Ninkasi Brewing Company’s Sterling Pils

2013-09-01 18.55.50

 

This has been sitting in my fridge for longer than I’m comfortable with. Before you get freaked out about beers sitting in the door shelf of a refrigerator for years at a time, let me clarify what “longer than I am comfortable” means in my house: about a week. That just won’t stand! So, down it had to go. A cold beer is also a nice way to end a day of weekend working.

At this point you already know the format so let’s just dive in!

From the can:

Sterling Pils is a German style Pilsner brewed with North American ingredients – including Sterling hops from Washington, Premium Pilsner malt from Montana and Idaho and some of the best brewing water in the world from the Pacific Northwest

From my notes:

Looks just how you want your Pilsner’s to look: cloudy straw and lots of carbonation. Smells of some malt and maybe yest. Sweet, but very subtle. Some white, velvety head that quickly dissipates. Crisp and refreshing, very drinkable! Tastes crisp, grassy, with some crackeriness (that’s the light malts and yeast, I think) Nice hop finish that lasts… Complexity in the finish, earthy and herby with some spice.

That book is where I make my beer notes. It is a fancy moleskine beer journal my wife bought me. She is the best wife.
That book is where I make my beer notes. It is a fancy moleskine beer journal my wife bought me. She is the best wife.

A perfectly serviceable beer! If not the best Pilsner I’ve ever had. And, since it isn’t I don’t see myself drinking very much of it in the future!

Rating (out of five):

 

 

Beer of the Week 51: Elemental Pilsner

 

Lightning Brewery’s Elemental Pilsner

From the bottle:

You are about to enjoy Lightning’s version of a fine German Pilsner. This is a pale smooth-drinking beer with hints of noble hop character. We use German Pilsnermalt, German hop varieties, and a selected Bohemian lager yeast to create this Lager Bier. Our traditional methods of cold filtering and natural carbonation produce a clean look and taste. Elemental Pilsner is brewed in keeping with the Reinheitsgebot, The Bavarian Beer Purity Law of 1516.

From my notes:

Clear, crisp, carbonated, this light amber colored beer has a big bubbled head that quickly dissipates to a thin 1/2 inch. Smells of grainy malts and some floral and grassy hints. On the tongue the beer is floral with honey like taste with more of that malt as well.  The finish is all Noble hops and it’s one of the strongest finishes I’ve had in a Pilsner.

Very smooth and very crisp! Though I wonder why the went with mostly German ingredients when Pilsners are Czech?

Another beer from a local brewery. Elemental is a good Pilsner, not as good as my favorite Pilsner but still really good. Pils are known for their bitter finish but Elemental goes up a notch or two more so be ready for that. If you’re looking for pairings this beer would go well with German or Japanese cuisine, or peppery cheeses.

Rating (out of five):

Beer of the Week 50: Chainbreaker

Deschutes Brewery’s Chainbreaker White IPA

From the bottle:

What if wheat wasn’t the goal in itself? But a route to something awesomely new?

You pair wheat, hops and Belgian yeast and suddenly ‘bingo, a wheat like nobody  else’s.’ With real depth, coriander and sweet orange peel, it’s citrus-packed and silky smooth going down.

From my notes:

Cloudy straw white color with thick, creamy looking white head that leaves a light lacing on the glass. Citrus, pine, and spices on the nose. Yeast and wheat when it first hits the tongue with hints of citrus, grapefruit specifically, and some spices, coriander I assume. This is quickly followed up by the crisp hop flavor as it goes down. Smooth and dry finish. Surprisingly juxtaposition of a Belgian and an IPA.

The smoothness of a Wheat beer with the intensity of an IPA?!

I’ve already reviewed a number of Deschutes Brewery’s beers, and they’ve become one of my favorite brewers, Chainbreaker cements my opinion further. The fact that it’s a Witbier and an Indian Pale Ale makes for some interesting questions. IPAs are generally paired with robustly flavored foods that can hold their own against the strengths of the beer. Witbiers are usually paired with lighter fare: seafood, salads, citrus dishes. Chainbreaker is both. So what would it go well with? I think both. Chainbreaker won’t overwhelm delicate, subtle foods but it will stand up to spicy, strong and bold flavored dishes. This beer was a real surprise and a real treat.

Rating (out of five):

Beer of the Week 49: Mission Brewery Blonde Ale

Mission Brewery’s Blonde Ale

From the bottle:

With the color of a pilsner and the character of an ale, our blonde is a welcome and refreshing respite. Endowed with an authentic kolsch yeast strain for a peck of fruitiness that compliments the blend of noble hops. Lager-like with its delicate dryness, it really is redolent of ales from Koln, Germany

From my notes:

Large bubbled, bone white head. Quickly dissipates. Clear, carbonated blonde yellow color. Malts and fruit on the nose. Malt sweetness and a little Pilsner snap in there finishes dry, with a straw-like, slightly bitter finish with subtle notes of fruit and spice.

An American Blonde Ale, Mission’s is easy on the palate though it seems to lack some of the complexities of a Pilsner

My first local beer here in San Diego! I know Stone Brewing Company is located in San Diego, one of their taste shops is just a few blocks away from me. But, if you’ve been reading these beer reviews for any length of time you know that I’m not a fan of their brew. Or their juvenile, machismo fueled marketing. Anyway, Mission Brewery is only five years old and I saw their bottles in the local liquor and grocery stores so I thought I’d take them out for a spin. Nothing amazing here this blonde ale is perfectly serviceable and would be great for simple grilling, including fish.

Rating (out of five):