Beer of the Week: Old Mission Lager

Mission Brewing looks to an age-old flagship when looking to please contemporary craft-fan palates

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Ine the summer of 2022, Mission Brewing decided it was time to update its image. The result was a full-scale rebrand that brought a contemporary feel to the 15-year-old revival of a company dating back to 1913. As stewards of such a historic brand, management was careful to go with a respectful renewal rather than some rash upheaval. As such, Mission’s beers are still recognizable at retail and its facelift has been well received by locals. As successful as that effort was, when designing their latest year-round beer, the Mission team trained their line of sight squarely on the rearview mirror, aiming to emulate not only the composition but the packaging design of an ancient flagship. Enter this week’s featured beer, Old Mission Lager. This new release emulates a crispy-boi lager of yesteryear which was brewed at the original Mission Brewery in San Diego’s Five Points neighborhood. Refreshingly effervescent with just the lightest touch of sweetness up front followed by an alluring spike of lemony citrus and minerality in the finish, it is well-suited as a daily crusher. In addition to bringing new life to an old staple, Mission also revived elements of the can that used to house what was formerly called “Old Mission Beer”. In doing so, it used the very same Old Mission typeface and crimson hue, pairing them with a subdued shade of gold and Mission’s current logo. Other modern elements include a pair of pack-sizes built to appeal to today’s consumers, 19.2-ounce single-sale cans and eight-packs of 12-ounce cans, making for something that’s simultaneously old yet new again.

Old Mission Lager is a beer we have been developing and tweaking for several years, and we’re stoked that it’s finally hitting the wider market. Inspired by a beer of the same name produced by the historic Mission Brewing Company, it’s an American lager that pays homage to the style’s German and Czech pale-lager roots. Though trial-and-error we settled on a grist and mash profile that produces a light-bodied, well-attenuated and crisp lager complemented by a dash of Noble hops to bring a balanced bitterness and hop flavor. In the craft-beer industry, brewers often say ‘we brew what we like to drink’, although sadly customer preferences don’t always align with brewer preferences. As the craft-beer market has increasingly opened up to craft lagers, we’ve been happy to see that this beer has been a big hit, both with our patrons and amongst our employees. This is a lager we’re all proud of and we hope people grab a pint, eight-pack or tall can and enjoy the beer wherever life takes them.”

Jeremy Castellano, Director of Brewery Operations, Mission Brewing
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