Its a little late in the season for a Brooklyn Pilsner, but I am huge fan of their beers and could not resist when I saw it in the store - even if it was a warm on the shelf.
The Pilsner pours a deep golden color. Its not orange or copper, but a dark yellow with a nice head but a significant amount of haze. The aroma is mostly clean, with a slight hoppiness mixed with a faint touch of sulfur. Both the haze and the sulfur notes bely this beers age - the bottle is stamped good through January 2013, but cold storage would do it some favors.
Brooklyn Pilsner is a big bodied, hoppy example of the
I came across this beer for the first time a few weeks ago and was intrigued by the combination. I used Rye a few times back in the day as a brewer, but was never quite happy with how it blended into the malt flavors of a beer.
Interestingly, Sierra Nevada solved this problem by using Rye in an IPA - a style marked by strong, spicy accents.
Sierra Nevada Ruthless Rye IPA is a deep copper orange color and pour with a thick brown head that stays creamy throughout, benefitting from the proteins in the rye malt.
With the winter of 2012 turning into a winter without snow, I decided to turn to Breckenridge Brewery for a taste of a winter wonderland, via their Lucky U IPA.
It pours a dark copper, almost red clay color. This beer is bottled unfiltered, resulting a cloudy, hazy beer with a little sediment in the bottle. Given that they are shipping it to the Boston area from Colorado, unfiltered is probably the best way to preserve freshness.
My Lucky U didn't pour with much head, but a swirl of the glass stirred up a creamy foam head as it doesn't lack for carbonation.
Anchor Brewing Company'sBrekle's Brown Ale is an interesting, flavorful twist on the classic brown ale. Its an all-malt brown that manages to avoid the heaviness that plagues many dark beers. It relies on a single hop, Citra, to give the blend of roasted malts a surprising depth and complexity.
Brekle's has a nutty aroma, with caramel notes and a hint of smokiness. It has a beautiful color for a brown - deep copper that is not too dark, settling nicely between an amber and a porter, a delicate trick to pull off for the brewer. Its head porous creamy, with dark brown color and nice lacing.
Stoudts Brewery has long been one of my favorite American craft breweries. I met Carol and Ed Stoudt years ago on the beer festival circuit and always enjoyed their German-style beers. Over the years, they've expanded their roster off ales.
Stoudts Pils is a traditional German-style Pils. The beer had a dark golden color, much darker than a typical pilsner, but not yet the copper color of a Sam Adams Lite. Surprisingly, my bottle poured very hazy - I suspect the effect of too much time spent warm on a package store shelf.
Sam Adams Latitude 48 IPA is a twist on a traditional IPA. On the label, it says its made with German, English and American hops all grown at the same latitude around the globe. The result is a combination of Hallertau, East Kent Goldings for spicy and earthy flavors, combined with American varyeties Zeus, Simcoe®, and Ahtanum hops to give it some citrus punch.
This IPA has a deep copper color, much closer to amber than one would expect from a traditional IPA. It pours with a thick, brownish head - lots of carbonation.
This is a beer close to my heart - I played a role in the original design of Fenway Pale Ale and brewed it for many years while I was a brewer at Beer Works. It is still one of my go to beers, alongside Back Bay IPA, when I visit Beer Works for Red Sox games.
Beer Works started bottling the beer in the past few years. I visited their Lowell brewery and bottling line about two years ago - when Acquia was based in Andover - and they were still experimenting with their process for filling, bottle conditioning and more.
Another great looking beer, every pilsner lager should aspire to this color. A perfect pour with no haze. The aroma is subtle - sweet notes with mild perfume, floral notes from the european hops. Over the past year, I've had enough Sam Adams Noble Pils to notice subtle grassy, almost skunky notes at times. The combination of noble hops and exclusively pale malts make this almost a naked beer - there's almost nothing to hide potential pilsner off-flavors.
The delicacy of the nose hides the big hop flavor that come through when you taste this Pilsner - it grabs you right from the start with
My fridge is starting to get a little cramped, as I'm accumulating a collection of beers to review. As I was just in Chicago a few weeks ago for Drupalcon Chicago, I'll start with a Chicago favorite - Goose Island India Pale Ale.
Goose Island is one of Chicago's oldest craft breweries, they've been wining awards at the Great American Beer Festival since 1989. Their India Pale Ale is golden in color, with a cloudy haze that is probably both from the protein and a result of the distance its traveled to the Boston area.