I don’t know Boulevard’s policy on this sort of thing, so I hope I’m not breaking any rules, but I figure I can get away with pleading ignorance once! A friend of mine who has done some work with the brewery gave me a few bottles of a test batch of pilsener from Boulevard Brewing Company. The bottle is an unlabeled 12oz screwtop that says to drink by July. I know nothing about this beer other than it’s a test batch of a beer that will presumably be in the running as a seasonal or regular offering.
The beer pours a straw yellow color, a little more orange than, say, Budweiser, but in that same category. It’s not quite clear, but has a little haze and in a pilsener glass it poured with a nice two-finger white head that dissipated fairly quickly.
The aroma is unmistakably pilsener. Pils are lagers that vary from region, but got their start in 1830’s Bavaria. Pilseners tend to be clean, crisp, fairly dry and refreshing beers. They sometimes have a slight metallic “twang” from the noble hops that are often used in their brewing. Pilseners tend to be a little malty and lighter on the hops, which are there more for aroma and balance.
Unfortunately, my allergies are wound up today, so my nose is even worse than usual. The aroma on this beer just really yells “American macro” to me. I got some hops early in the aroma, but after a few sips all my ailing schnoz is picking up is sort of that spilled-beer-from-last-night’s-party type of aroma. I don’t think I am doing it must justice in my impaired olfactory state, SO, moving on…
The flavor is really good on this beer. Light, nice carbonation, very refreshing and WAY too easy to drink. This is the type of beer that is easy to gulp and rewards you with a little tingle on the throat and just is giving me a feeling of “Ah…. Friday….” THis is a perfect beer for after a long week and heading into a week of vacation, which I just happen to be! There is a little hoppiness on the finish and maybe a little graham cracker on the malty side of things. What I like about pilseners is that they are light, refreshing beers that don’t make you think too much!
Mouthfeel is pretty aqueous on this beer (I don’t want to say watery because I don’t mean it in a bad way). I get no alcohol in the aroma or in the flavor whatsoever. I’d be curious to know the ABV on this. If this is a sub-5% beer I would really like that, as this would make a nice session beer/tailgater (hey, maybe they’ll put it in cans!). I think this beer would pair well with lots of foods, too, as long as they aren’t too heavy or saucy.
This would be a great beer to have on hand at a party where you know there won’t be “beer geeks.” It’s 100 times better than American macro beers, but pilseners are going to easily tolerated by someone who, say, never drinks a more adventurous beer than Corona! This is a fantastic beer and I’m really enjoying it. The aroma still isn’t doing anything for me, but I get none of the things in the aroma that I don’t like in the flavor at all. I’ve had a fair share of pilseners and this is a good one.
I sincerely hope this beer gets added to the lineup of Boulevard’s offerings. This would make a good year-rounder, but also a nice addition to the spring lineup (although Irish Ale has that in the bag). People who like Bob’s 47 in the late summer would like this a lot, I think, although this pilsener is a lot lighter and less malty, and cleaner, than Bob’s 47. Boulevard should be congratulated on this beer. The only thing I’m really disappointed about is that I only have two left!