It’s officially summer tomorrow, and time for a new crop of light, refreshing summer beers. Blue Paddle from Colorado’s New Belgium Brewery fits that bill. It’s a Czech-style Pilsener and the first lagered beer New Belgium produced. The nose is grassy with peach and a bit of apricot. The middle is malty and has a surprisingly heavy body. Not too heavy, but I’d call it a medium bodied beer. There are notes of toast and grain and a very bready finish. This is a definitely a malt-forward beer, with the hop notes deep in the background. This is probably a bit rich and heavy to be a proper lawnmower beer, but it’s a properly good Czech Pilsner.
I give it a 4.2 out of 5.
We are coming to the last few winter seasonals for the year, and today we have Piercing Pils from Dogfish Head. Now, a Pilsner is a bit of an unusual choice for a winter seasonal, and Pilsner isn’t one of my favorite styles in any case, but I’m keeping an open mind. Dogfish Head calls this both a Perry-Pils hybrid, and a Czech-style Pilsner, and to those ends it has been brewed with pear juice, White Pear Tea, and spice Saaz hops. The result is delicious. The head is long lasting and creamy. The nose is light and smells faintly of apple, pear, and ground wheat. The middle is superbly balanced between sweet pears and bitter herbs, both of which fade into a toasty finish that also adds a bit of lemon. The body is light and crisp, and the alcohol is a moderate 6.0% ABV. This is a really fantastic beer, and I’d be happy to drink quite a lot of it. Pity it’s a seasonal.
I give it a 4.6 out of 5.