By Bill Lau | A Potable Pastime
4.9% ABV, German pils
EKU, Kulmbacher Brauerei, Kulmbach, Bavaria, Germany
We’ve been experiencing a summer heat wave here in Ohio recently (like much of the US), and pils (or its Czech forebear pilsner/pilsener) is a beer style that I find myself craving a lot when the thermometer is pushing north of 90 deg F (that would be pushing into the mid-30s for you metric types out there). Which reminds me how we were told in grade school America was going to be switched over to the metric system by the time we made it to high school. That was well over 40 years ago. Hello, still using ounces, pounds, and miles here. Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes, anyway, there’s something quite refreshing and thirst-quenching about a good pils.
Now, the US mega breweries like to label their products as pilsners or pilsner-style lagers, with said products only barely remotely capturing anything of the style’s true character, adulterated as they are by corn or rice adjuncts, with hopping levels greatly reduced, mild flavors, and lagering reduced to the bare minimum possible. But we beer geeks know the real deal is a flavorful, crisp, and refreshing classic style, brewed with all malt (no adjuncts, thank you!) and noble hop varieties (and plenty of them!), and sufficiently lagered (cold aged for clean flavors and smooth character).
So here’s a genuine Bavarian pils for your consideration and enjoyment. Prost!
Appearance (5/5): Brilliant, beautiful straw-gold appearance with perfect clarity, capped by a pure white head that starts out tall and subsides to a sustained thin layer. Beautiful!
Aroma (9/10): Resplendent with that luscious mix of spicy noble hops and crisp malt; enticing, pure pils aroma!
Palate (4/5): Body on the lighter side of medium with a nice, prickly carbonation.
Taste (10/10): Crisp, fresh, grainy & crackery malt and spicy-floral hops abound. Bittering joins in smoothly, balancing at first then providing a nice, drying kick into the finish. Has that flavor reminiscent of fresh wort (the boiled malt and hops that are fermented into beer). Clean with absolutely no off flavors or notes. Flavors linger nicely, gently fading for a lengthy and pleasant aftertaste. Perfect example of the style.
Overall (18.7/20): I’m really quite impressed with this one. Excellent pils! Pair with anything needing a bright, crisp counterpoint (say where some would drink a dry white wine). Complemented a bowl of broccoli cheese soup quite well.
Disclosure: The author has received no reimbursement or compensation for this article. All opinions and remarks are those of the author alone.