Beer Beer Beer

Beer of the Week: Victory Prima Pils

Unrepentant beer drinkers, rejoice! Each week, Clean Plate Charlie

will select one craft or import beer and give you the lowdown on it:

How does it taste? What should you drink it with? Where can you find

it? But mostly, it's all about the love of the brew. If you have a beer

you'd like featured in Beer of the Week, let us know via a comment.


There was a time when any lager I was presented with was like an affront to my palate. I just didn't want to drink the stuff. To me, those lighter beers just lacked the flavor and character of their more robust counterparts. Why would I waste calories on a less flavorful beer when I could be drinking something big, powerful, and hoppy.


These days, you could say my beer drinking tastes have come full

circle. I'm no longer put off by lagers -- in fact, sometimes I seek

them out. And not because I've grown sick of big beers. I just have a

new appreciation for the subtler taste of lagers and, specifically,

pilsners. With subtle or spicy food, when it's hot out, or when I just don't want

to get blasted off of one glass, a well-balanced lager can your best

friend.


A lot of cool pilsners have hit Florida in the past few years. Stoudt's Pils

is one I can't recommend enough -- it has a near perfect blend of light

body and fruity esters, with a heavy dose of dry, herbal hops. And Victory Brewing Company,

out of Downingtown, PA, has a pilsner called Prima Pils that's cropping

up all over these days. It doesn't have the complex flavors of the

Stoudts, but Prima Pils is a nice, light lager that'll serve as a good

substitute for German beers.


In the German tradition, Prima Pils is a very dry, light-bodied pilsner

with a hoppy aftertaste. It uses German malts and hops to achieve its

flavor, but there's also something distinctly American about it. With a

light, fuzzy head, high carbonation, and a thin body, Prima is an easy

drinker. It's so light, it's nearly transparent -- if malt is your bag,

Prima will probably leave you disappointed.


But the hops are rather interesting on this one. I taste dry flavors

usually associated with heavy scotches, like leather and tobacco. And

the aromas linger around there as well -- grassy, herbal, and slightly

tanned. All this leads to a beer that starts on fairly common ground

but finishes unique. I enjoyed the last half of my glass of Prima Pils

much better than the first, maybe because it took me about that long to

discern the flavors.


Is this a pilsner to kick you from your big beer habit? No, probably

not. For that, I'd look at Stoudt's offering. But if you like dry

German lagers, give Victory Prima Pils a go. Find it at Total Wine

& Spirits and some Publix Supermarkets.

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John Linn