The pilsner style of lager is world-popular. There have been well over 1,000 pilsners produced since its inception (how many of those are currently in circulation I do not know). It is long overdue that I pontificate about the pilsner beer style for my beloved BaDoink readers, and so today marks the beginning of my 5-part pilsner series. Each week I will gift you with some pilsner knowledge, and review a pilsner beer along with it. This week I have selected a pilsner from one of my favorite brewers: “Piercing Pils” by Dogfish Head out of Milton, Delaware.
In 1842 the first golden lager was made in the city of Plzeň (or Pilsen), located near Prague, in the modern day Czech Republic. The particular beer that launched this style is commonly known around the world as “Pilsner Urquell”. If you have been to the beer aisle at a liquor store and haven’t seen Pilsner Urquell, I advise you to stop driving motor vehicles immediately and have a friend take you to an optometrist to get a corrective lens prescription post-haste, because you must be fucking blind. It’s quite arguable that I should fully review a bottle of Pilsner Urquell out of respect for the style and for this series of articles. But it is also arguable that I don’t give a shit about paying such respects, because Pilsner Urquell is an average beer at best, and it is brewed by SABMiller, which is the European equivalent of InBev. Knowing where it comes from I would bet both of my giant, juicy testicles without a shred of trepidation of losing them that Pilsner Urquell today is just as similar to the original pilsner as a Pizza Hut BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger pizza is to the first margherita pizza that was made in Naples, Italy. But if you insist, here’s my review of Pilsner Urquell: it’s flavorless, flat, yellow piss-water. Don’t drink it. Review complete.
As a side note, it has been widely reported during the past 8 months that the two aforementioned mass-producers of stale camel bile are likely to merge! Birds of a feather flock together! And no one with taste buds gives a fuck. But I digress. Let’s discuss real beer now.
The presentation here is delightful and encouraging. Piercing Pils, like a standard pilsner, is crystal clear and gold. The head is bone white, and fluffy like a pile of down feathers. The head is not dense at all and therefore doesn’t last long after the initial pour. Its aroma is fruity, pungent, a tad sour and a tad skunky. The scent is not very strong, but it is bright and happy. When I bought this beer I was turned off by the pear tea and pear juice additive concept, and predicted I wouldn’t really enjoy it beyond one bottle. But it’s a good thing I didn’t bet both of my testicles on that prediction, because my voice would sound like Michael Jackson after inhaling an entire helium tank as soon as I had taken that first sip.
Fuck me with a lemon-juice marinated lava lamp, this beer tastes good. The pear tea and pear juice is very noticeable up front, but is balanced nicely with sweet grains, malt, a pinch of funk, and the taste of fruity acidity. It finishes dry and bitter with a refreshing cucumber note. The aftertaste is strong with a grassy, piney bitterness singing the lead chorus, and some sweet fruits adding backup vocals. The bitterness fades and the fruity flavor of pear lingers for a little while longer. It’s creamier and more velvety than I figured it would be, and is loaded with CO2. The glass only contained two foam rings near the top as an indication that a beer had been present.
The addition of the pear juice and tea was a splendid idea. The reason I drank this one first out of the 5 pilsners I shall be reviewing was I predicted I would like it the least. Well, don’t I feel like a dumbass? If this is the weakest of the 5 then I’ll have to wear a condom while I drink the 2nd best one, and the very best one will give me a case of priapism. It’s been a while since I loaded my pantry with Dogfish Head’s brews, and Piercing Pils yanked my penis and slapped me in the face. It’s time to stock up again.
Stay tuned for next week’s Pilsner: Sweetwater Brewing Company’s “Take Two Pils”.
Czech Pilsner (brewed with white pear tea and pear juice)