Category Archives: Pilsners

White Bay ‘Gantry Crane’ Czech Pilsner

Rating:

We brewed this beer as an ode to one of our brew team’s favourite styles. Comprised of 100% imported Bohemian Pilsner Malt, Gantry Crane underwent a lengthy and arduous multi step mash and was generously hopped with Sladek and Saaz hops. Gantry Crane was cold fermented under pressure, naturally carbonated and had 10 weeks of cold conditioning in tank prior to packaging. This baby is absolutely purring! A beer we have been looking forward to making and drinking for a very long time.

Na
 Zdravi!”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Slightly pale straw gold with a fizzy three finger crown nestled comfortably on top. The head holds its shape and leaves a mess on the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: It was hard to ignore the rumblings around the quality of this beer so here we are…jumping on the hype train again. On first meet it’s very impressive though. Very similar to Pilsner Urquell (on the can and inside it 😉). It has that classic savoury character in spades – umami rice crackers, delicate florals and herbals, crusty white bread. A subtle skunky note, Noble hops, tinned corn and other starchy veg all providing good support.

Flavour: Quite dry, bitter and floral on the front palate. Some of that skunky-ness creeps through but the savoury rice crackers and wheat grains do also. Getting a flutter of farmyard funk developing late – hay/straw, grassy and herbal hops then somewhat of a pithy citric finish which draws out nicely.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, fairly clean and light on. Very palate-friendly as to be expected. Co2 is about spot on and so is the 5% ABV.

Overall: We always have a bit of a giggle when brands are allowed to package up products that look so similar to the original. A mate once told us that it only needs to be 30-odd % different from the original for it to pass. Anywho, it’s a quality Pilsner. Doesn’t knock Rattenhund off the No.1 spot but it definitely deserves a spot in the top 5 best Aussie Pilsners.

Hop Nation ‘Ratto Cane’ Italian Pilsner

Rating:

“An homage to classic Italian Pilsner, traditionally brewed with Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt, then saturated with European hops: Perle, Spalt, Saphir and Tettnang. Balanced, refreshing with citrus characters and subtle herbal aromatics.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, pale straw golden pour and a frothy two finger head resting atop. Excellent retention and lacing as it subsides.

Aroma: At first glance it’s very impressive. A lot like Rattenhund but that should come as no surprise as this was modelled off it. Exceptional balance between the biscuity and semi sweet Pilsner malts and the earthy, floral and herbal hops. A veeeeery faint lick of peppery spice, tangerine and wood shavings for that added complexity.

Flavour: Right off the bat the floor malted Bohemian Pilsner malt shows off it’s deliciously earthy yet subtly sweet honey and savoury rice cracker qualities. Fused through are the somewhat spicy, herbal and floral notes. Love how the hops impart a particularly disparate earthy tone as it finishes with a soft crisp bitterness and lingering herbal/grassy accents.

Mouthfeel: Very clean, crisp and refreshing. The Co2, mild-moderate body and 5.1% ABV are all dead set spot on.

Overall: An absolute cracker of a Pilsner. We’re still unsure which part of it makes it an “Italian Pilsner” though. Just slapping the Italian translation of Rattenhund on there and calling it Italian doesn’t really cut the mustard 😆. Still a very splendid offering.

Hop Nation ‘Rattenhund’ Pilsner

Rating:

“Australia’s #1 Pilsner! Rattenhund is the beer that no one asked us to make, but our brewers knew we all needed. It utilises a number of techniques we don’t typically implement across our beers, so it was a fun one to bring to life! Traditionally brewed using Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt, partnered with Saaz and Spalt Select hops. Rattenhund has been fermented by Bluestone Yeast’s Pilsen strain, before an eight week extended lagering. Clear, refreshing with a fluffy, lip smothering head.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Slightly hazy straw golden pour with a fluffy two finger head forming on top. Good retention and intricate lace work as we imbibe.

Aroma: With all the high alpha new world hops emerging these days it’s very easy to forget about the OG hops. The ones that pretty much grandfather a lot of the hops we enjoy today. And one of the OG’s OG hops is Saaz and it’s featured magnificently in this Pilsner. A nice light grainy malt base features as well – crusty white bread, crackers and mixed seeds.

Flavour: All the classic Saaz qualities upfront – earthy, spicy, herbaceous and floral with the light and grainy malts providing a perfect counter balance. The middle is all about the cereal grains with the earthy tones hanging on for the ride. Fresh cut grass and herbals tailing in late and then helping set up the dry, grassy finish which lingers.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean and snappy. Tight Co2, mild-moderate body. The 4.8% ABV is perfectly positioned.

Overall: This is a real surprise package. Their original Pilsner (The Damned) left a little bit to be desired but it seem the brewers have been honing their Pilsner skills. The old Ratdog comes through! Solid offering.

Red Hill ‘Fandango’ Bohemian Pilsner

Rating:

“The Brewers’ Rhapsody, the original Bohemian Pilsner. Back from our library of hits, this Pilsner has never missed a beat, pumped up to 11 with Bohemian Pilsner malt and Lashings of Saaz hops, you too will be in rhapsody when you feel the edges of your mouth go up after just one sip. Packed in sleek black 355ml cans the Fandango Bohemian Pilsner is an annual specialty release. This version features art by Melbourne Ale cartoonist Matt Golding with an illustration of how you feel when you are drinking this beer!!!”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Deep golden pour with a slight hop haze. Excellent Co2 activity and a thumb of finely beaded foam perched on top. It drops a sheet of lacing on the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: We sometimes forget just how good Red Hill are at brewing the European styles. This Bohemian style Pilsner presents brilliantly – solid malt structure i.e rice crackers, semi sweet honey and straw setting the stage for those gorgeous Saaz hops to do their work off of. Definitely floral, a tad herbaceous and spicy as well. Ultra clean yeast profile. Oh yeah this is good.

Flavour: Quite hop forward actually. It comes on with a quick cameo of grainy malts and straw/hay and then the hops/bitterness envelopes the palate. It hits an earthy note as it passes the mid and is further enhanced by a subtle peppery spice and a warming booze burn which only intensifies as it carries into the dry and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean but slightly bulkier than your typical Pilsner. Mild-medium body, Co2 is spot on. The 6.5% ABV is noticeable but not overpowering.

Overall: We don’t think they’ve strayed far from their OG Pilsner recipe here. Other than a bigger hop profile and ABV it drinks pretty similar…and that’s what we like most about this. Very traditional base but with a new world kick.

Van Dieman ‘Freycinet’ BA Pilsner

Rating:

Freycinet Pilsner melds our love of classic Pilsner character, perfectly balanced alongside our Van Dieman take on one of the classic styles of beer.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Interesting colour, it pours a rose gold with an absolutely huge five inch head which takes an age to recede. It leaves a smattering of lace on the glass.

Aroma: This idea of barrel aging Pilsners/Lagers is a really cool concept. In this day and age of quick progresssion it was only a matter of time until it was done (by the way we know it’s nothing new we’re just making the observation). Pretty conventional Pilsner base – picking up something floral but not in its usual hop form, subtle farmyard funk, grains and straw. We’re certainly intrigued.

Flavour: Super carbonated…explains the ridiculously large head. Quite dry and grainy, lots of hay/straw and those same rose and or hibiscus-like florals we got on the nose. Clean rice cracker malts and earthy qualities through the mid leading to a grassy finish with really delicate hints of oak woven through.

Mouthfeel: Light on, a little gassy, a little mineraly. Medium-high Co2, mild body. Only 4.1% ABV so no real talking points there.

Overall: Yeah ok, it was interesting and a little unique but not anywhere near interesting and unique enough to be memorable. Would have loved to see a lot more oak character considering it spent time in barrels. Not bad.

Warsteiner Premium Pils

Rating:

“Enjoy this world-class international premium pilsener. Unique: the slightly tart taste experience. Exceptional: the top quality of the ingredients. Inimitable: the exquisite premium character. Pleasantly light: thanks to especially soft brewing water.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Strikingly clear golden pour with a three finger crown forming on top. Excellent retention and lace work as it ebbs.

Aroma: About as perfect as a German Pils can be. It’s actually got quite a complex malt profile; the most dominant scent being the sweet honey and biscuits but there’s also subtle layers of savoury grains, doughy bread, light toasty notes and crackers. Like any conventional German Pils it also has an earthy, spicy and almost floral hop character to balance it all out. Very very nice.

Flavour: There’s certainly a bit of a switcheroo here. On the nose the malts dominated but here it’s much more crisp and the hops display their best qualities – spicy, floral, earthy and grassy/herbal in their delivery. As it progresses the toasty cereal grains fuse back with the hops and create a wonderfully clean and balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and refreshing AF! Light-moderate body, Co2 is spot on. The 4.8% ABV is right where it needs to be.

Overall: We remember drinking this way back in the late 90’s. They were somewhat of a go-to due to its sheer session ability. It’s great to see nothing has changed coz it’s still an exceptional German Pils.

Seven Mile German Pilsner

Rating:

“A Classic German style Pilsner. Pairs great with fatty foods, fish and chips, or a salty pretzel. Made with a mix of Australian, and imported ingredients. Each carton contains 16 beers.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Pale golden hue with lots of Co2 activity. Quite an aggressive pour which yields a massive four finger head. Excellent retention and healthy lacing on the glass.

Aroma: Really clean and conventional. Semi sweet malts provide honey, rice crackers and hay and work in tandem with the Noble hop profile; light florals, peppery spice and herbals. We find it interesting that they call the beer a German Pilsner yet they use Czech Saaz hops. Anywho, it’s a nice aroma all the same.

Flavour: Fairly well structured. It’s got a strong Pilsner malt base which displays a hint of sweet honey and savoury grains, crackers and straw. Some mild DMS (sulfates and creamed corn) presents but it’s pretty well integrated. We’d love to see the Saaz hops coming through a bit more, only subtle touches of earthy herbals and florals creep through. Nicely rounded and balanced finish.

Mouthfeel: Clean, crisp and soft texture. Only slightly under-carnonated for us. Mild-moderate body. The 5.3% ABV is slightly lifted for the style but has no impact on the beer as a whole.

Overall: Well it certainly isn’t our favourite release from Seven Mile but it isn’t bad either. There are some flaws but ultimately it’s a satisfactory crack at a rather difficult style.

Jacobinus Classic Pils

Rating:

“Classic is the Pils classic among the Jacobinus monastery beers. Sun yellow, highly aromatic and full of character with a fine bitterness with great hop aromas.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Looks fantastic – light straw gold with a fluffy three finger crown. The head gradually recedes and leaves a mess on the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: There’s just no mistaking a conventional German Pils…so satisfyingly clean and refreshing. She’s chock-a-block full of grassy, herbal and floral hop characteristics, hay/straw, wheat grains, honey and wood shavings. Really subtle touches of fresh crusty white bread, dried leaves and a really faint hint of citrus as well. Classy stuff.

Flavour: Dead set spot on. From start to finish the somewhat earthy and grainy malts are front and centre. At times displaying some honey-like sweetness, grassy hay and straw along the way. The herbal and floral hops dependably there in support and integrated beautifully also. Brilliantly crisp and mildly bitter finish with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Well rounded, crisp and fairly heavyset for the style. Medium body, mild-medium Co2. The 4.9% ABV is right where it needs to be.

Overall: Exactly the kind of beer a hot Sydney arvo demands – a crisp, easy-drinking Pils with full flavour and impeccable balance. We love uncovering classic Pilsners from well established European breweries. Especially ones who’ve been around since 1369! You can bet your house that it’s going to be good.

Hawkers ‘Lucky 13°’ Bohemian Pilsner

Rating:

“This beer is a clean, crisp homage to the roots of Pilsner. Lagered for a full two months, brewed with Bohemian Floor Malt and hopped with nothing but Saaz, it’s a clean, crisp journey back to old-world brewing.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Bright golden pour with a monstrous three and a bit finger head which takes an age to reduce. It leaves an absolute mess on the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: From the outset it screams classic old world Pilsner. It’s got a strong but well tempered Noble hop profile which throws out the hallmark florals, herbaceous notes, mildew, black pepper and subtle earthy and grassy characters. Super clean and semi sweet malts providing delicate touches of water crackers, rice biscuits and flower nectar. Exceptional balance on show here.

Flavour: Everything has carried over from the aroma very nicely. A short and punchy bitterness upfront is quickly enveloped by the delicious herbals and florals, subtle peppery spice/rocket and the dry biscuity malt doing its thing in the background. A hint of malt sweetness pops up but is overtaken by the returning hop bitterness and soft pithy notes which deliver a crisp and bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean and dry. Nice and subtle sparkle to it. Moderately bodied. The 5.4% ABV is slightly higher than average but it’s neatly tucked away.

Overall: Very sessional. Not too badly priced ($7.50) for a 5.4% 440ml tinny also. We love that they went for an all out traditional Czech Pilsner and we love the fact they pulled it off even more. Classy stuff.

Burnley Brewing Bohemian Pilsner

Rating:

“This pale gold Urquell-esque beer is based on Josef Groll’s original recipe from 1842.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Clear straw golden complexion with a billowing three finger head . Excellent retention with healthy lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: No word of a lie if we were blindfolded and asked to guess the beer we’d be saying something along the lines of Urquell or Budvar. The brilliance of the Saaz hops are displaying the uber floral, spicy and herbaceous qualities and the delicate malts provide a backdrop of rice crackers, grains and soft honey tones. Just a beautifully balanced and perfectly executed aroma.

Flavour: The super conventional approach continues on to the palate. Again, the balance is dead set spot on with the spicy, floral and herbal hops perfectly countered by the savoury and semi sweet cracker malts. Really subtle touches of cedar, mildew and lemon thyme tacking on late as it finishes floral and herbal with a mild lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, toned and slightly dry. Soft texture, perfectly carbed, mild-moderate body. 4.8% ABV is bang on for the style.

Overall: Such a classy Pilsner. They’re not bullshitting when they say this beer is based off Josef Groll’s original recipe. This is as traditional as you can get. Absolutely brilliant interpretation.

Frankische Braurei ‘Leikeim’ Pilsner

Rating:

“You can argue about taste, but not quality. Leikeim Premium is a very special beer brewed in accordance with the Pilsner tradition. It is a bottom-fermented beer of the very finest kind; tripple hopped and completed with aromatic brewing malts. People love it for its tangy taste and pleasantly bitter finish. This beer has character.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: 100% clear bright golden complexion with a monstrous four finger head perched on top. It takes an age to reduce and leaves an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: As clean as a whistle! Displaying a beautiful balance between the semi sweet grainy malts and the floral, grassy and earthy hops. A pronounced yet restrained dryness from the yeast rounds it all out nicely. We don’t know what it is that we love so much about German Pilsners but when they’re done right they’re bloody magnificent.

Flavour: Dead set spot on. Upfront it’s a neat little fusion of floral, herbal and earthy hops with the delicate bitterness coming along for the ride. Very mild sweetness from the malts (maybe a touch of toast as well) offsetting the hops. Hits a real herbal/grassy note late in the piece then finishes clean and dry with a lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean and dry. The trifecta! Perfectly carbed, mild-moderate body. 4.9% ABV is exactly where it should be.

Overall: Well we’ve never heard of this German brewery until now but no word of a lie this Pilsner is as good as any you’d get from the likes of Weihenstephan or Trumer. Perfectly executed and traditional AF. Superb.

7th Day Brewery Pilsner

Rating:

“New World take on a European classic. Light, easy drinking lager with New World hops.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Clear straw golden complexion with two fingers of well retained head perched on top. It weaves a fine line down the glass.

Aroma: A little reserved but its main features would have to the candied lemon/lemonade, fresh herbs, pine needle and mandarin. A hint of grapefruit and passionfruit coming through as subtle support. There’s a grainy/crackery malt structure along with fleeting hints of earth, light florals and detergent. Not bad, certainly in the new world style.

Flavour: Much fuller and more rounded as opposed to the aroma. There’s a really delicate tropical fruit note that’s decided to grace us with its presence. Mixed orange citrus, biscuit malts, a touch of semi sweet honey, pine resin and fruity herbs like lemon thyme, verbena and sage. Kind of a light and herbaceous finish which offers decent length.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, fairly clean and light on. Mild-moderate body and Co2. 4.9% ABV is well positioned in the beer.

Overall: This is our first crack at 7th Day and while it didn’t blow us away it was still quite a good Pilsner. Lots of new world hop character but still light and crushable. Not bad.

Pfungstadter ‘Edel-Pils’ Pilsner

Rating:

“The heart of our brewing art and traditionally good. Pilsner for the most sophisticated of tastes: The fine, crisp hops create a pleasant, slight bitterness. A delight for real pilsner fans.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Fully transparent golden/straw complexion with a thumb of sturdy white head atop. Good retention and lacing as it subsides.

Aroma: Brilliant. About as conventional as they come. Getting a nose-full of the gorgeous Noble hop characters; earthy herbals, mildew, grassy notes, florals and wet hay. The malt profile is super clean and bready…crusts, water crackers and farmyard grains. There’s also a subtle peppery spice to it as well. Superb.

Flavour: It holds a nice dryness, it’s crisp and also super clean. Quite earthy and green upfront with wet hay, grains, herbals and grassy notes which blend with a distinct hop bitterness that carries through the mid. It slowly tapers out and lets the earthy and spicy herbals to do their thing in the finish. Reasonable length on it too.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean and dry. Very refreshing, moderate bitterness, mild-moderate body and lively Co2. 4.9% ABV so it screams session-ability.

Overall: Loved it…loved every aspect of it and can’t fault one part of it. The kind of beer we have in the fridge for those times when we want something simple but don’t want to sacrifice flavour. World class stuff.

Garage Project X Victory ‘Air Drop’ NZ Hopped Pilsner

Rating:

“Home & Away, a series of rebrews bringing some of our funnest overseas collaborations back to the Garage. For this release we bring you Air Drop, originally brewed with the legendary Victory Brewing Company in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Riffing on their flagship Prima Pils, this crisp, super aromatic brew is packed with Riwaka, Nelson Sauvin and Motueka hops giving a delightful antipodean twist to this classic beer. Bringing home the goodness.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Kinda pale straw golden complexion with a sturdy two finger head which retains well. A wet but healthy lace clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Clean, crisp and brimming with all of that NZ hop goodness; yellow grapefruit, tart orange, white grapes, lime, evergreen and subtle resins. Behind the new world hop profile is the classic old world grain bill which displays water crackers, cereal grains, rice and corn. It’s just a beautiful assembly of the old and the new.

Flavour: Oh wow, the NZ hops really dominate…it’s lucky they work well with the style otherwise it would be hard to even call it a Pilsner. We must admit the grainy and semi sweet malts do counter the hops nicely. What is it about Kiwi hops that work so well with Pilsners? Apart from their Saaz-based lineage. Either way it’s a burgeoning style that we can really dig.

Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp AF. We can tell the 6.1% ABV is there, and for good reason…coz it’s really high for a semi-traditional Pilsner! Mild-moderate body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: We can’t quite make a call on this one. It could have something to do with us being purists when it comes to Pilsners but we can certainly respect a new world version. It may just be a tad too new world for us…maybe. How’s that for a taste of cast-iron certainty!

De Brabandere ‘Bavik’ Super Pils

Rating:

“1894 was a very special year: it was the year when the one true Bavik Super Pils was born. And the Bavik Super Pils has made its own way to quality and taste ever since.”

Glassware: Footed flute.

Appearance: Light golden yellow with a gigantic four finger head perched on top. Takes ages to recede but when it does it leaves an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: Quite a robust nose for a Pilsner…we were getting wafts as we were writing the appearance. So nicely poised as well. Subtle Noble hop characters (spicy, herbal, grassy) just sitting on the semi sweet crackery malts. Light florals, a touch of earthy-ness, a hint of buttered corn (DMS) but we think it works with the style. Classic Euro-style Pils.

Flavour: Nice follow through. Again, super clean Noble hop qualities – herbals, florals, spice, a touch of earthy mildew. The semi sweet malt profile offers up rice crackers, grains and a touch of honey. There’s a lick of bitterness as it finishes dry and grassy with good duration.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean and tidy. Light on with medium carbonation. 5.2% ABV is only slightly higher than the average but nowhere near enough to make any waves.

Overall: So damn crushable it’s not even funny. We couldn’t have chosen a better to kick off with on this warm and lazy Sunday arvo session.

50/50 Brewing ‘Tahoe Pilz’ Pilsner

Rating:

“A classic Czech inspired Pilsner that starts off clean and finishes crisp. Tahoe Pilz has a clear, clean look and feel that delivers refreshment in any season.”

Glassware: Tulip.

Appearance: Crystal clear light straw golden pour with a sturdy two finger head. It slowly retracts and leaves a thick blotchy lace on the glass.

Aroma: Gives off that hybrid kinda feel…ultra clean with crisp grainy malts and grassy Noble hops but there is a slightly lifted lemon citrus character which, by the way, works in extremely well. Big notes of straw/hay punching through, some spicy yeast and doughy white bread crusts. Sensational!

Flavour: Exquisitely balanced. It all just comes together in a perfect marriage. Beautiful grainy malt structure with the grassy, spicy and citrusy hops cutting right through. The yeast providing that subtle touch of skunky spice. Lovely dry and bitter finish with lingering grassy-ness in the tail.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, ultra clean and light on. Really vibrant Co2. 5.3% ABV is slightly lifted for the style but it’s hidden nicely.

Overall: We’ve always believed the best way to judge a brewery is by their lager. Mostly because there’s no high ABV, huge hop or malt bills and adjuncts to hide any mistakes behind. It’s just your 4 to the floor ingredients (water, hops, malt and yeast). This is near perfect and sums up the brewery as a whole.

Staatsbrauerei ‘Rothaus’ Pils

Rating:

“The most popular Rothaus beer is the Rothaus Pils. With an original gravity of 12.4% and 32 IBU’s, Rothaus Pils has a prominent position among other pilsners. Rothaus Pils is fermented from bottom-fermenting yeast that’s been developed in house, before maturing for roughly four weeks. During this period, its robust and elegant flavors and its high Rezenz are cultivated. Rezenz is the term for the refreshing feeling produced by the carbon dioxide in beer.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Light, straw golden pour with two fingers of sturdy white head atop. Excellent retention and lace as we go.

Aroma: Classic Bavarian style Pils. It’s got that lovely pinch of semi sweet and grainy malt with all the authentic hop notes; cut grass, herbs, earthy, light florals and delicate citrus. Definitely picking up a bit of wet hay and straw as well. Perfect really.

Flavour: Balanced to perfection. Just a hint of the slightly sweet malts – grainy, honey – with a slightly more pronounced lemon/citrus character. Plenty of Noble hop grassiness, spice, florals and earthy notes which set up the clean and kinda herbaceous finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light and totally crushable. Mild bitterness with vibrant carbonation. 5.1% ABV…right on the money.

Overall: It doesn’t get much better than this. It’s dead set gone straight in to our top 5 best ever Pilsners. Superb!

Quiet Deeds ‘Knock On Wood’ Barrel Aged Pilsner

Rating:

“Dreams of doing a barrel aged pilsner have long bubbled in the background at Deeds. After lagering for a month in tank, we racked the whole batch into Chardonnay barrels and let it age on oak for 90 days. The result is a crisp, oaky experience that celebrates Spring!”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Transparent straw golden pour with a healthy three finger head nestled on top. Good retention and lacing as it ebbs.

Aroma: Certainly has a traditional character. Mixed herbs, mildew, lemon and a subtle hint of Riesling. We must say the Chardonnay barrels don’t seem to offer a whole lot, maybe a wee hint of apple/pear and other sweet and delicate fruits. Just a flutter of vanilla and oak coming across. Not much happening here.

Flavour: Ok this is where it’s all at. It kicks off with a herbaceous Noble hop quality which is fused through the delicate fruits and oaky Chardonnay – the latter displaying soft buttery accents. Quite pithy late in the piece, finishing dry, mildly bitter and grassy with excellent length.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light. Smooth with a discernible bitterness post swallow. Mild-medium body, Co2 is spot on. 5.9% ABV is well concealed.

Overall: As soon as we saw this we knew we had to try it as we’ve never had a barrel aged Pilsner before. Did it excite? Well, no not really. We would have liked a bit more from the barrels but the base Pilsner was good.

Newstead X Weihenstephaner ‘Luftschloss’ Pilsner

Rating:

“Old meets new in this modern interpretation of an unfiltered pilsner. Fresh malt from Voyager, malted in an Old-World fashion. Old-World bittering hops meet New-World flavour hops. While New-World mashing technique is balanced by Old-World fermentation scheduling. What results is a accumulation precision and flavour. The best of both Worlds!”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Fully transparent golden pour with a billowing four finger head. It takes an age to reduce and makes an absolute mess on the glass.

Aroma: Getting a direct candied lemon quality straight off the bat.. has that slightly herbaceous lemon strepsil thing happening. Slightly sulfuric, slight vegetal notes also coming across. Classic Noble hop qualities – spicy, earthy and floral with a faint hint of mildew. Not as refined as anticipated, especially when a name such as Weihenstephaner is involved.

Flavour: Can’t help but feel this has a touch of the New World applied to it. We get a mix of low alpha acid Aussie hops like Pride of Ringwood or Ella alongside the classic Noble strains like Saaz or Tettnang. Subtle florals, spice and candied citrus meet soft grainy notes and move in to an earthy, herbal and mildew finish which endures nicely.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light and zippy. Mild-medium body. 5.1% ABV also nicely positioned.

Overall: Although it’s a good Pilsner at its core we were expecting a bit more from it…mainly because of the Weihenstephaner factor. Not a bad crack but we’ve had better.

Weissenoher ‘Zwickel’ Pils

Rating:

“We had been itching for some time to make a somewhat strong, full-bodied Helles. So we made a batch of Pils with an elevated level of original wort, 13.6%. Additionally, we dry-hopped generously, using our traditional Hersbrucker noble hops. This way, this time-honored variety of hops, a native of our Franconian home country, will fully develop its impressive aromatic potential. Our Zwickel Pils is a non-filtered beer, paying homage to the tradition of bottling straight from the barrel. Satisfyingly full-bodied and aromatic with hops. Our Zwickel is a Weissenohe masterpiece of an expressive, regional and traditional specialty beer.”

Glassware: Flute.

Appearance: Pale light golden complexion with a sturdy two finger head which holds together nicely. Good lacing clings to the glass as it ebbs.

Aroma: Nice and light, crisp, herbaceous and grassy. Very delicate fruity accents atop a super clean grainy malt profile. Hay and straw, crackers and a somewhat funky yogurt-like scent which gains more traction as it settles. Quite a strange aroma for a Pilsner and just as we go to take the first sip we see the beer is almost a year old. 🤬

Flavour: That yogurt character doesn’t translate to the palate thankfully so the age on the beer isn’t going to kill us, hopefully. Fairly classic Pilsner notes – grassy herbal hops, wet hay/straw, mild fruity notes and semi sweet grainy malts. A little earthy at the back as it finishes slightly dry and grassy/herbal.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light-medium body. Good Co2. The 5.6% ABV is lifted for the style.. especially considering the the traditional nature of it.

Overall: Don’t know about this one. The best thing about it is the ceramic crock-style bottle but the actual beer itself is a bit underwhelming. Then again the age of it could be a factor so we may have to try it again when it’s fresh.