It’s easy to love the fruity hop character of mondo West coast IPA’s and the dark roasted malts of a serious Imperial Stout or Porter, but true talents lie with the brewmasters who can make a crisp and clean pilsner.
Flaws can be hidden in so many big flavor beers that we forget how hard it is to create a simple cold-fermented lager or pilsner. All the fanfare and love are given to the giant flavorful top-fermented ales from around the world, but I truly love a great pilsner more than any other style on the planet.
This is the time of year that pilsners get their love, because nothing is more refreshing on a hot and humid day than that supremely bitter bite. Luckily, this area of the country excels in making the traditional style and we have so many quality versions to choose from.
If you find yourself anywhere near Downingtown, PA, I ask that you visit the Victory Brewpub to sample one of my very favorite versions of the Czech Pilsner. Yes, they have a wonderful option in the widely-available Prima Pils, but their single hop version known as the Braumeister series, is quite delicious and a little less bitter and just a touch grainier. It just feels more Old World than the Prima.
The nose is all biscuit malt and a touch of white pepper and mellow honey aromatics. Quite a perfect profile for a good keller pils. The carbonation is exquisite and continuously refreshing. The flavors mirror the nose and also have a good amount of floral hops on the backside. Less bitter than the flagship Prima, but again, this is more of the Old World style. Overly hopped pilsners are much more German in style, and this stays true to its Czechoslovakian roots. A truly delicious brew.
You can find Victory Braumeister Pils on tap at The Victory Brewpub and in limited quantities around the city.