Friday, July 16, 2010

Beer of the Week (Vol. LXII)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the wild and crazy guys at Glen Lake Wine & Spirits who can help provide the beverages you need for a swinging time (you provide the polyester shirts, tight pants, and medallions).

Pilsener beers typically don't attract much interest from beer fans. Which is something of a shame considering their interesting history and origin:

The people of Pilsen have always been passionate about their beer, so much so that unsatisfactory brews were unceremoniously emptied into the city's sewers.

Because, of course, those were the days before our pure golden pilsner was born, days when beer was a dark and muddy concoction that varied wildly in quality.

Enter Josef Groll, a genius and a visionary who saw beyond the ordinary to create something that has withstood the test of time and inspired generations of imitators.

He created the world's first clear and golden beer which, on 4 October 1842, the first golden beer was unveiled at St Martin's Market.

Legend has it that the single strand of yeast used to produce our golden lager came to Groll by way of a runaway monk who smuggled it out his monastery. Today, centuries later, we can trace the pedigree of our unique Pilsner H yeast back to that single strand.

"Pilsner" soon became a generic term for any bottom-fermented beer, but the proud people of Pilsen would have none of that, and in 1898 they renamed their beloved beer Pilsner Urquell, meaning simply "The pilsner from the original source."

We continue our focus on European beers this week with the genesis of the pilsener style, Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic.

Lighter green bottle. Classic font on the green & white label which includes a logo and coat of arms.

Beer Style: Pilsener

Alcohol by Volume: 4.4%

COLOR (0-2): Bright gold and crystal clear. 1

AROMA (0-2): Malty and hoppy with hint of honey. 2

HEAD (0-2): Bright white. Good volume. Decent lacing (that's for Saint Paul, who's all about the lacing). 2

TASTE (0-5): Well balanced with more of a nod to the mildly bitter hops than the bready malt. Floral flavors are noticeable as well. Light bodied. Very crisp and refreshing. Eminently drinkable. 3

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Sharp with nice lingering bitterness. 2

OVERALL (0-6): A beer that isn't going to blow you away (what pilsener is?) , but is still quite satisfying. At 4.4% ABV, it's an excellent choice for summer events when you want to have more than one and still savor the flavor. It's also a well-rounded effort with elements that come together nicely. 3

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 13