It has taken a long time, but I’ve found it at last, a proper American Pilsner Lager. However, a little bit of background history first. Over ten years ago when I first started to visit the U.S.A, to be quite honest. it was, quite literally a beer desert. There was very little beer to choose from and most of it was pretty poor. However after coming back a couple of years ago, it seems that the great American micro-brewing industry has taken off, and the U.S. is awash in great beer. There was one slight problem though, that no-one was making pilsner, my favourite style of beer.
Pilsner was first developed in Pilsen, Bohemia and is different to normal lager, in that is bottom fermented and uses Saaz noble hops, which give the unique distinct hop aroma.
There is nothing better in hot weather that sipping (or guzzling) down a cold, crisp pilsner, but in Houston I have been at a loss without something suitable to quench my thirst. I resorted to American IPAs, which have all but dis-appeared from the UK, and though the bitterness is great, they do tend to be a bit on the higher end of the alcohol scale, pushing 7%. There was a brief moment of relief last year when Sam Adams Brewery made their Noble Pils, but it was short lived since they stopped making it just when the weather became hotter.
I saw some new Pilsner Lager for sale last night, and picked up a 6-pack, but it wasn’t until I got home that I realised it was from the New Belgium Brewery, which make my favourite two American IPA’s.
It has a crisp, dry taste with enough herbal hops smell without overpowering the beer and as long as they keep making it, this will be my summer drink.