Stroh’s Bohemian-Style Pilsner

Image by Gordon O'Keefe

Image by Gordon O’Keefe

I may have a reputation as beer snob, but that is not the case.  I’m just a regular guy from the crummy south suburbs and I am proud to present to you:  Stroh’s Bohemian-style Pilsner – the review.  The re-introduced Stroh’s, brewed by The Stroh Brewing Company (a.k.a. Brew Detroit), Detroit, MI.  It’s got that typical sweet bouquet of an American adjunct lager.  Light to medium gold, Stroh’s has a thin white head and some OK lacing.  It tastes sweet initially, but it doesn’t take long for the bitterness makes its presence known.  Not overpowering, but definitely there.  The bouquet has a touch of rust.  I don’t remember exactly how the original, or more accurately, the 1980s version of Stroh’s tasted, but I’d say this is probably richer and more flavorful than the original.  It’s reminds me of the reformulated Schlitz.  Tastier than Old Style or Miller High Life.  I like it.

Mother of Exiles

Image courtesy of Revolution Brewing

Image courtesy of Revolution Brewing

What is more refreshing than a nice pilsner beer on a beautiful summer day?  Maybe fresh Michigan blueberries, but that is not the point of this post.  The point is to tell you about Mother of Exiles Pilsner from Revolution Brewing in Chicago.  The name comes from the Emma Lazarus poem “The New Colossus” and its reference to the Statue of Liberty as the mother of exiles.  When liberated from its 22 oz. bottle, this 5.5% ABV pilsner style immigrant is light gold with a gloppy, frothy head that assimilates into nothingness in short suit.  There is a slight haze that looks like a depiction of a thermocline from an old textbook, and even the healthy carbonation it possesses doesn’t disturb it.  The bouquet is slightly floral, slightly peppery, slightly sugary and has a quality to it that reminds me of freshly mown grass.  All are summertime appropriate.  The sweetness on the tongue reminds me a bit of the sweetness you taste when eating a packaged Popocatapetl corn tortilla, but the dryness on the palette is more pronounced sensation.  Bitterness tempered by sweetness, it works.  Mother of Exiles is OK, but I think of big beers when I think of Revolution Brewing, and I find myself slightly disappointed.  “It’s not you, it’s me.”

75/100 Pilsner

Samuel Adams Noble Pils: spring approaches

Replacing Spring Ale this season in the Sam Adams lineup

Just a look at this one reminds you that the worst of winter is past and that the warm days ahead are closer and closer.  Noble Pils is medium yellow in color, produces a thick, fluffy head and leaves tons of lacing all the way down, all thought head recedes to a thin, surface-covering layer fairly quickly.  Not a lot of carbonation is visible, but the beer is not flat.  There’s a prominent hoppy aroma, a little floral, a little peppery, but not too strong.  It’s a smooth-bodied beer with a touch of citrus tartness and floral sweetness.  This brew is reminiscent of Sam Adams Golden Pilsner from the mid 90s.  I was a big fan of it back then.  The malt characteristics are not too prominent, but come through in the richness of the body and the smooth texture, and the slight dryness in the finish once again reminds you of the hops.  The term noble hops refers to low bitterness/high aroma varieties such as Saaz, Spalt, Tettnanger and Hallertau (and 1 more in this brew, I don’t know what it is) that are typically used in European pilsners like Pilsner Urquell.  This is a warmer weather beer, and I can imagine it accompanying grilled shishkabobs or pinwheel steaks.  Definitely an above average offering from Jim Koch and Co., and one that will please the hops lover in us all.

So new it’s not even on their website

I don't even know if this label gos with the beer I drank.

I don't even know if this label goes with the beer I drank.

I had a chance to sample an Upland Brewing Company (Bloomington, IN) Pilsner while in Indianapolis, and see the only mention is “coming soon”, a Preservation Pilsner.  I was surprised to find such a good beer at a Damon’s restaurant because they seem to offer Blue Moons and Amstel Lights as their premium beers.  I’ll take an MGD over either.  What I do know about Upland’s Pilsner that is offered at Damon’s in Indy is that it is tasty.  It’s hoppy and floral, crisp and finishes dry.  It’s deep gold with a slight haze.  The flavors are light and don’t overpower the taste buds, and it has a fairly light body.  It’s refreshing, and would be a good beer to accompany spicy food on a warm summer day.  I don’t know where it is available outside of central Indiana, but I hope it makes its way to Chicago.  My daughter recently said the only things she knew in Indiana were the Colts, David Letterman’s mom and our friends Al & Tonya.  Add Upland’s Pilsner to that list!