Showing posts with label Pilsner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pilsner. Show all posts

Oct 10, 2016

Stroh's Bohemian-Style Pilsner

     When the word hit the news that Stroh's would be brewed in Detroit again, you would've thought from the buzz and excitement about it all over internet that it was announced that Bob Seger was going to go door to door and hand everyone a bottle or something.
     By the time I started drinking Stroh's, the company was the 3rd largest brewery in the country but was also starting to fall apart. Their home base brewery in Detroit was closed in 1985 (and along with it, the fire brewing process they proudly boasted about on it labels) and by 1999, all the company's assets were sold off essentially making it finally really only Stroh's in name is it was brewed by contract all over different parts of the country. That version (or whatever the facsimile of it is these days at least) can be found in it's blue can in parts of the country to this this day.
     From what I remember it was fizzy, yellow barley pop. It had a bit more bite then some other macros and less of that weird corn syrup and carbonated water flavor than others. It was your standard beer but, as a Michigander, it was OUR standard. As the years went on though, whatever distinct characters it had slipped away more and more making it interchangeable with most other budget swag on the shelves.
     This new Stroh's, brewed at  Big Boy Restaurant associated Brew Detroit LLC in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood, is a bit more "grown up" than that if, at least, by a tiny bit. The abv is a little higher for starters (5.5% vs 4.8%) along with other things that are easier to detect with the eye, nose and and tongue. The color itself is a more of a gold than the faded yellow straw for beginners. The head is a bit stronger too and it holds on for more than a few seconds. Unlike smelling just like only damp saltines, there are also faint notes of honey on the nose here.
     The flavor is crisp and fresh. The malt base is sturdy (I am guessing it's the choice of Vienna malt that does the trick) instead of watered down and has a slight sweetness to it. The biggest twist from what I remember from any Stroh's I've had back in the 80's up until even more recent times at this point though is a slightly bitter but not biting to hard hop notes. Like all marcos, regular Stroh's seemed to have just enough to have them play their part in the brewing process but never a priority. Here, they are noticeable but not over the top making it taste closer to a good, solid German pilsner than whatever the really, really old coots are drinking at the down at the corner bar. As it warms and breaths a little, pine notes come a little more to the forefront as do the faint flavor of corn chips.
     It's pretty obvious that this beer is aiming for a retro-hound crowd and, like the 1960's recipe Schlitz that can be found around at some better beer stores, I think they nailed it. Don't pick this up expecting your mind to be blown but if you're looking for something that's tastes like the kind of beer our dad's and grandpa's drank when they were younger or a lawnmower beer with a little more oomph this could be your fix.
strohbeer.com

Aug 13, 2012

Short's Pontius Road Pilsner

     With it being as sweltering, nasty, sticky hot as it has been this Michigan summer the idea of a beer filled with sticky hops or just a general thickness have not been on the top of my sipping list.
     Wanting something a bit light and refresh BUT with flavor after the tastebuds have been attuned to many complexities has lead to a lot of trial, error and disappointments. I knew there was a pilsner out there that would hit the spot though so I kept searching.
      The look of this matched the bright, sunshiny days we've had around here with it's clear, bubbly golden color. It's head small and gone within seconds.
     The aroma is was faint but refreshing with notes of just mowed lawn and lemon slices. Earthy and fizzy. Yep, Smells like a summer day. So far so good.
     The flavor is reminiscent of your standard classic old guy pilsner but a bit more crispness and much more less carbonated corn syrup characteristics. The pilsner malts really stand out in a fresh baked wheat bread kind of way in the front. That's followed by a light but noticeable hop that brings out a white pepper and some bitters in toward the end. That lingers a bit on the finish but doesn't stick around too much to wear out it's welcome on a 97°F day.
     To say that this is the one of the most amazing pilsners I have ever tried with be stretching it a way bit but it is pretty good and worked well with what I was looking for after a day at work then going home to do work in the yard.
http://www.shortsbrewing.com/ 

Jul 24, 2010

Short's Spruce Pilsner

Here's a situation I'm sure many a craft beer aficionado understands. You're at a party and someone spots you with something that isn't a Bud Light, Corona, PBR etc in your hand. The start to engage you in conversation by saying "Oh, drinking one of them weird beers I see." Now, since it is a party it's highly likely you aren't bringing some ultra limited double casked Imperial something or other but most likely something that can be found at any decent grocery store like a Sierra Nevada, Anchor Steam, Bell's or what have you. No matter how you go about telling them that what you are drinking is fairly normal/not weird at all they'd rather not listen and then just tell you how they can get a 12 or 18 pack or whatever and "get hammered all night". In those cases all you can do is shrug and say "Oh cool" and slink away.
In the case of Short's Spruce Pilsner and in that situation though I would have to say "Yep, It's a pretty weird beer." Clear golden in color with a modest head that leaves some interesting looking lacing behind. Let it breathe for less than a minute and you'll seriously find yourself looking around to see who dragged a Christmas tree into the house. Well, I did at least. Beneath the northern Michigan pine forest on a breezy early spring day scent are some citrus hops peeking out.
My initial thought on the flavor was some high end gin with ginger nuances. The pine flavor is really stands out on the first sip and is there all the way from start to finish. And when I say pine I'm not talking the pine qualities a lot of hops have in IPA's or Double/Imperial pilsners. I'm talking "Yep, they aren't kidding when they say on the bottle that it's brewed with Michigan spring blue spruce tips." Nope, not extracts or oils from them but the actual tips of the trees.
Letting it breathe and warm up in the glass slightly the spruce pulls back a bit and the bright and tangy lemon/lime like hops come out a bit more. The finish packs the pine back in tasting somewhat minty in the end. You'll feel warmth all over your body as each sip goes down but not a burn that you might think with what was used to brew it not to mention it's 10% abv. Surprisingly, though the brew does have a lot of body and a semi-fat mouthfeel it's slightly (but only slightly) less oily feeling than I expected and very sticky none the less. Definitely a sipper here. I don't think I could ever sit down and have a 6 pack session with them because the flavor is way over the top but I do plan to pick up another six of these before they're gone and pop the cap on one when the mood for something quite interesting and way different hits me.
http://www.shortsbrewing.com/