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
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.
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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.