Can a pale lager truly be called a Pilsner if not brewed in the town of Plzeň, Czechoslovakia? How about if it’s brewed in New York? To answer this question, let’s dig a bit deeper.
What exactly is a Pilsner? The short answer is that it is a pale lager invented in 1842 in the town of Plzeň. One of the key ingredients of a true Pilsner is the soft water found in Plzeň – so unique that other countries have tried to treat their own water to mimic the feel and taste!
With that said, Brooklyn Brewery set out to produce a modern, refreshing, full-malt Pilsner – however since the state of New York is quite far from Plzeň’s water source, I would have to categorize this as an American Pale Lager.
Once uncapped, this sud immediately reminds me of a Budweiser – just not as stomach-turning! Slight hints of bready malt and eventually citrus appear. It pours a pale, golden straw color, with a huge foamy, fluffy white head. Inside the glass this beer looks like a Bud or any of the ‘big three.’ The taste, however, was a slight upgrade, no doubt due to the fact that Brooklyn Brewery does not use any filler like rice or corn.
No strong malt or hop characters upon first sip. As expected, this is very easy to drink and extremely balanced. The Pilsner hosts a smooth mouthfeel that finishes dry with a very, very faint hint of bitterness.
This brew is extremely easy to drink and makes for a great ‘lawnmower beer’, with not a lot of complexity. You do not need to overanalyze this beer while you’re drinking it – instead zone out with a 6 pack on a warm day while watching a baseball game.
In a previous review, we mentioned that the Brooklyn Lager might be a great ‘gateway’ beer for friends who haven’t embraced the craft beer movement. The Brooklyn Pilsner however, might be the ultimate gateway beer, as it is not as complex as the BK Lager, is extremely smooth and balanced, and does not contain cheap filler.
With so many great craft beers on the market, I can’t imagine reaching for a dedicated six pack of the Brooklyn Pilsner – however if you’re a fan of Bud, Miller or Coors, pick this up and get ready to move on to bigger, bolder and better craft beers!