Contrary to my personal life, I actually have a bit of a distaste for excess. I don’t like excessive displays of affection (either towards myself or between others), I don’t like to participate in large gatherings, and I really don’t like any flavor or taste that’s there simply to be there.
That last bit is a tad difficult to explain to some people, and usually I have to pull out the hot sauce simile. A bit of hot sauce to add flavor is a good thing. A lot of hot sauce just to see how much heat one can stand is a waste of time. I don’t see the point in it, other than some masochistic streak that can give someone bragging rights.
How does this relate to beer? Well it seems as if Americans have this thing for hops. We love it. We love the bitterness it creates. If you do a quick check of the beer aisle that doesn’t deal with the Big Three, you’ll see an excessive amount of IPA’s; beers that by design have a huge hoppy taste to them. At times, it seems as if the level of bitterness is based more on a dare than on a flavor profile of any sort. So I find myself quite often avoiding beers with an excessive amount of hops, and I have a predisposition to be wary of any beer that uses the relative of the cannabis plant.
Which leads me to Prima Pils, a pilsner made in the German tradition that has a picture of a hop cone right on its label. I was predisposed to not like this beer on principle.
Imagine my surprise when I found that I liked the beer, quite a lot frankly. The hops here show a remarkable amount of restraint, and it makes the brew a recent pleasant surprise.
Appearance: A light yellow lager, with a strong head upon it that seems to last quite a bit. Really nice Belgian Lace on the side of the glass as the head dissipates slowly. It is a little more opaque than others in the lager line, and if judged, this would likely be a mark against it.
Aroma: There’s a strong hit of hops here, even a bit of floral-ness along with it. (Hey, is floralness a word?)
Taste: It’d be a little arrogant of me to say that this is what a pilsner should taste like. Let me instead say that this is what I imagine a pilsner should be. Stong hit of bitterness right up front that slowly fades away. Then the essence of the hops comes into play, with the bitterness intermingling with some floral tastes and some orangey-citrus hints in the background. If there’s a malt or grain here, I’m not finding it, but I don’t think that’s the point of pilsners. I’m not a fan of bitter beers, but this one has a nice complexity about it which I find intriguing.
Mouthfeel: Brighter than most pilsners, but the effervescence quickly fades. Probably the weakest part of the beer. But still better than most.
Drinkability: If you’re a fan of pilsners, this might be one which needs to be sought out. It’s complex and far more interesting than other pilsners I have sought out. Not watery at all. A very good beer.