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

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Storm Watcher Red Pilsner by VIB

For some unknown reason, I decided to visit VIB today. I heard an empty growler in the trunk and had 30 minutes before violin practice pickup, so growler run it is. The closest place was VIB, Phillips or Moon. Being a beer ticker, I had to try something new. VIB had the red pilsner on tap, which I thought was a new beer. More on that later; don't worry, there is a happy ending. The label on the tap said "Storm Watcher Red Pilsner", didn't VIB already have a beer called Storm Watcher? And what really is a Red Pilsner? Neither BJCP nor Brewers Association has a red pilsner in the guidelines. Perhaps it is a Vienna lager, International Amber lager or an Altbier. This red pils might fit into these categories. Or perhaps, this is just a winter lager? Dang it, is this another VIB recycled beer recipe? Sure tastes like it. I actually plan to cut and paste an old review, because the flavour is similar. Luckily they had 2016 Hermannator and a new IPA called Highway 19. The Highway 19 is your standard IPA dry hopped with Mosiac, at least that is what the nice lady behind the counter told me. She seems very confident and believable. I got a sample also; SPOILER ALERT, it's good.

Storm Watcher = 6/10 


This ruby red brew is nice to look at, even though there is no foamy head. Despite the lack of head, it still offers up hints of vanilla and caramel with slight spicy hop presence. A cool creaminess delivers lots of malts - think graham crackers, caramel and raisins. There is also a continuous presence of vanilla that is not overpowering. The ending is sweet, quenching and ever so slightly astringent.  The storm watcher will appeal to beer drinkers who like their brews on the sweet side.


Taste +3
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.5%
Value +1 (yes, I would drink this beer again)
Appearance +1 I liked the label the first time

Glassware: Clean lager glass

Food Pairings: This would pair perfectly with an unsmoked ham and cheese sandwich on rye. Perhaps a caramelized onion and mushroom cream sauce over buckwheat noodles. Maybe a desert of sticky toffee pudding would accentuate this lagers sweetness. Come to think of it, the Storm Watcher could be used to make a hot toddy.

Cellar: Nope

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Surfrider Bohemian Pilsner (Vancouver Island)

It has been a while. This pause is not due to lack of great local beers to try, but mostly due to a computer crash. Thank you NCIX for the new gaming/blogging rig. There is no shortage of great local beers to try. If you can find it, try the Lighthouse Rhubie ale. Other notable releases I have to review include the double delicious Whooper Swan Impy IPA by Swan's, Mike Doehnel's pilsner by Driftwood and  the Canoe/Salt Spring Una Mas release. There are too many releases by Spinnakers to mention.
But this article begins with a sad commentary. It appears things might be changing at Vancouver Island Brewing. Those familiar with the industry have mentioned that much of the VIB sales force have left or have been let go. Luckily, Victoria's top Certified Cicerone is still on the job. Hopefully this will not impact their seasonal bomber releases. This is the formula we have come to enjoy in BC craft beer. Have a handful of core brands that pay the bills and release some one off bombers to generate brewery interest. If these bombers taste good and sell well, repeat them. We should be seeing more of the Australian barley wine Numbskull by Lighthouse in the near future.
This leads us to the latest release from VIB, the Surf Rider Bohemian Pilsner. This is donation brew with 25 cents going to the Surfrider Foundation. You all voted for this one; I would have preferred the West Coast Common but such things happen in a democracy. What did the beer prick think about this beer?

Surfrider Pilsner = 7/10


This is a beer blog so maybe I should try and provide background about this beer style. Of the two old world pilsner styles, this Bohemian style is the maltier and less hoppy variety. By contrast, the German style Pils tends to be drier (more attenuated) and hoppier. This extra hop flavour is enhanced by water that has a higher sulfate content. The Bohemian Pils tends to be richer in malts and more restrained in the hops. This is due to a special barley mashing technique called decoction. Decoction involves changing the temperature of the water used to extract sugars from barley during mashing. Surfrider is a textbook Bohemian pils. The nose is slightly sulfury with cracker malts blended with minor floral and spicy hops. It was unexpectedly hop forward with floral but the chewy honey and cracker malt backbone was not far behind. A slightly mushy linger ended clean; awaiting another sip. Say what you will against the humble pilsner. I would like you try and drink a barrel aged, imperial stout on a warm patio.


Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 5.0%ABV
Value +1 A decent Czech pils
Appearance +1 Nice label and decent description of what the beer will taste like. Donations to charity are a nice touch.

Glassware: Only a tall pilsner glass will do

Food Pairings: Will work with most light fair. I'm thinking cucumber and Brie sandwiches. The chewy maltiness always calms spicy Thai food. For those who are bold; they might try a white chocolate fondue.     

Cellar: Nope

Friday, May 3, 2013

Festival Ale (Vancouver Island)


This beer was created for two up island music festivals: Vancouver Island Music Fest and VicFest. The different labels contain the same lightly dry hopped Pilsner-like beer with ale yeast. Before you all start rolling your eyes, just wait a minute. Not every beer needs to be a palate challenging, imperial, wood aged and exotic yeast gastronomic masterpiece. These beers have their place; like at a beer gathering where you debate whether you are tasting are Thompson, Flame or sultana raisins. Beers like the Festival ale are perfect for hot days listening to outdoor music. That being said, I enjoyed this beer. It was simple yet tasty. There was no flavour wheel thought involved.

Festival Ale (Vancouver Island) = 4/10

Straight off the nose draws you in with light citrus and floral aromas. The malts are clean with a little bit of honey and  vegetal chewiness. Lots of carbonation cleanses the tongue and leaves a barely discernible spicy and citrus hop snap. That is it, very Kolsch like. Lots of people will like this beer.

Glassware: Fluted Pilsner or stange. The pictured glass is the wrong choice for this and any other beer. I was too lazy to go downstairs and get the proper glass.

Food Pairings: early dinner course options like salad or cheese and crackers. Lobster, pasta and seafoods are other good options.

Taste +3
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value +1
Appearance 0

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pott's Pilsner (Moon Under Water)

I like not introducing myself. Maybe it makes me feel like some undercover beer agent snooping around for the latest news. This sounds better than I'm an antisocial jerk that doesn't like to talk to anybody. So I sat at the bar at Moon Under Water and talked to no one. Actually I sat next to Dustin from Central City, but he left as soon as I sat down. This happens often to an antisocial jerk - me, not Dustin. Dustin is very pleasant, but I don't talk to him much (see above)

I did learn a few things while silently seated at the bar:
a) Moon Under Water has a rotating guest tap. Not big news, but they do have what is up next on the chalkboard. Clay mentioned - not to me- that he would be getting Coal Harbour stuff on tap soon.
b) Next up on tap is a weizenbock!
c) People really like the wings.

I tried the cask of dunkel, it was OK. I little thin, but ok.

Pott's Pilsner = 7/10

It is not often I give a Pilsner a high rating; usually these beers are inherently boring. They shouldn't be boring, but often they are brewed that way. This is the second best pils I have ever tasted. Prima Pils by Victory brewing is #1. The nose is very agreeable: minor DMS, good amount of straw, spicy hops with a citrus tinge. Something very unexpected happens when you take a sip, there is flavour. Quite a bit for a local Pilsner. It's the spicy hops that grab you first, not too assertive, they are comforting. Then the lemon-lime citrus steps in and says hello. This is followed closely by straw malts with faint pale fruits. To finish it off, there is a lengthy linger of dry, spicy citrus hops. The DMS only adds body; it doesn't increase your daily intake of veggies. Well done. I also like the fact that it is unfiltered. There is nothing wrong with a little cloudiness.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 4.9% (know it should get a -1 but it's my blog)
Value +1
Appearance +1

Other Pils reviews
Pacific Pilsner
Hoyner Pilsner
Swans Trumpeter Pils

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Swans Trumpeter Pilsner and Eat Your Veggies


Before I rate this beer, we need to have a quick discussion. It is about everyone favourite beer friend: dimethyl sulfide (DMS). DMS is the aroma of vegetables, creamed corn or asparagus. This is not to be confused with diacetyl; which is the flavour of butter and adds a slick mouthfeel to your beer. These flavours are permissible in some beer styles, such as German pilsners. From a judging standpoint this is acceptable, but from a drinking standpoint this might be unacceptable. I have this argument with EskimoDave from time to time.  He is a DMS hater. Conversely, I am a DMS fan. In the right amounts it adds body and sweet vegetable flavours. EskimoDave thinks it provides grossness in a glass. Now that I think about it, I don't think I have even seen EskimoDave eat a vegetable.


Swans Trumpeter Pilsner = 7/10

A soon as the nose hits the glass, the aroma of creamy vegetables and spices fill the nostrils. A slick and chewy mouthfeel delivers spicy hops and big carbonation up front. This settles down to reveal dry straw,a hint of honey and creamed corn. The nice long finish reminded me of pistachios and limes. Very refreshing, if you like your veggies.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0 ?
Value +1
Appearance +1 always better in the pub

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Lagunitas Pils

This claims to be a Czech style Pilsner. At 6.2% I'm not sure how they think this will work. But I will try anything with a Lagunitas label on it.



Lagunitas Pils = 6/10
Ratebeer 3.24 75th  percentile
Beer Advocate 82%

A little bit too much sulfur and vegetal aromas was mixed with the light grass and citrus. I might overlook this if the taste is worth it. It is. Malts dominate the start with a tad of lettuce, bread and metallic mixed in. In a brief moment, the spicy hop rush starts. It is a mix of earthy, spicy and minerally. This all seems to work nicely.

Taste +4
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content +1 6.2%
Value +1
Appearance 0

Other Pils Ponderings
Panzer Imperial Pils
Czech Mate Pils (Paddock Wood)
Pilsner Urquell

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hoyner Pilsner (Hoyne)


I hate doing reviews like this. They equate me to some basement dwelling beer hater. Well.. I am in a basement but I do not hate this beer. However, I have had a few brews and a full dose of Battlefield Field 3 video game adrenaline rush: here it goes.
This beer lacks focus. It has too much flavour to be an American Pilsner. It was too sweet and unattenuated to be a German Pils. It is more in the Bohemian range. Perhaps it is just my West Coast palate crying out for more hops. There is a Victory Prima Pils in my fridge calling my name; perhaps the greatest beer I have ever tasted. My soul was crying for a local Prima Pils that could be obtained by the growler full. Forevermore contentment would fill my heart- and stomach. However I am being unfair; this is a tasty beer.


Hoyner Pilsner (Hoyne) = 4/10

This beer was sampled twice; in growler and bottle. Did I mention that I got growler #8? The aroma came across as faint with straw with some honey and a little lettuce (not DMS). Chewiness is not something I look for in a Pils, but the Hoyner had some. Each sip was a little on the honey/sweet side. There was enough honey, lettuce, spices and herbal goodness to keep the palate active. Normally Pils end like a door slam; this one lingered with a honey and straw slickness. Not unpleasant - just unexpected. People will like this beer, perhaps one of the best Pilsner styles produced in BC. Beer geeks might say: dry it out, add more late edition spicy hops and then call me.


Taste +2
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content 0
Value +1 (it is OK)
Appearance 0

Other Pilsner style reviews
Stanly Park Pilsner (chuck this beer at the wind mill)
Czech Mate (Paddock Wood)
Pilsner Urquell

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Stanley Park Noble Pilsner

Stanley Park Nobel Pilsner = 0/10

Ratebeer 2.4/5 only 3 reviews percentile
Beer Advocate N/A

Nose is about as lively as Gaddafi; maybe a bit of apple juice. Mouthfeel is light to medium and fizzy. It tastes like a stale Stella. Apple juice, slight vegetal, straw, perhaps a bit of spicy and herbal hops. Maybe Canada's most advanced brewery can use this technology to make a tasty beer. Much better in cans than on draft, but far from an endorsement. It's a little too sweet for me.

Taste 0
Aftertaste 0
Alcohol Content 0 5%
Value 0
Appearance 0

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Overboard Imperial Pilsner (Lighthouse)

I really hate sounding like a fan-boy; it is not good for my image. Everything limited release from Lighthouse turns out golden. I wasn't really a fan of the Shipwreck. It was good, but I can be a bit of a beer prick. Now this is a style that does not get a lot of attention. Most of the big or experimental US breweries make one. Dogfish has their My Antonia and Samuel Adams has one in their Imperial Series. Rogue did a Morimoto in those ceramic bottles, but $20+ for a fancy bottle is a little steep. After loving the Port Brewing Imperial Panzer, I have been looking forward to trying this style again.

Overboard Imperial Pilsner (Lighthouse) = 8/10

Ratebeer nope
Beer Advocate B (One review)

YADBB when you do a beer review you must say what the beer tastes like. This brew means biznass. Before the bottle cap hits the floor, aromas of spices, grass and sourdough bread speak of boring beer mutiny. Sorry, I felt it necessary to add the nautical reference. From the first sip there is a pronounced alcohol burn that slightly numbs the tongue. Luckily the flavours of banana bread, dry spices and slight citrus are not lost. There is a lot going on here; the creamy texture and ample carbonation deliver new sensations with every sip. A continuous alcohol warmth dries the tongue and paints a floral and spicy ending. Well done. I might buy this beer again; I rarely buy a beer twice.

Taste +4
Aftertaste +1
Alcohol Content +1 8.5%
Value +1
Appearance +1