Pilsner gets a bad rap from many of today’s craft beer drinkers. With the current wave of enthusiasm for an abundance of flavor in beer, be it bitterness (west coast IPA), juiciness (New England or hazy IPA), sourness (lambics, wild ales, kettle sours, or goses), or sweetness (fruit beers, shandies, etc.), we often immediately overlook Pilsner as a desirable option. With Pilsner, we think we automatically know what to expect: a pale lager that’s light and crisp, but lacks body and substance. Oh, and there is sometimes a “foot” aroma we don’t care for. But if you know where to look, it’s not difficult to discover a Pilsner that contradicts those expectations and delivers something special.
Barebottle Brewing’s Patio Pils is one such Pilsner, offering a huge peach aroma right off the top of the glass when freshly poured. It washes down easy without that ubiquitous “foot funk” you can get with lesser quality Pilsner.
What originally drew us to try Patio Pils was knowing it was hopped with one of our favorite varietals: Nelson Sauvin. Also found as a primary ingredient in Mandela Effect, Nelson Sauvin is often characterized as a dominant hop, lending strong flavors (varying from tropical to even pepper notes, while others still go so far as to call it “dank” or with “diesel” character) to whatever brew in which it finds itself. As such, you’ll most often see Nelson Sauvin used as a primary hop in IPA, commonly blended with other hops to create a more rounded profile. But what you might not know is that Nelson Sauvin can also act in a subtle manner if utilized by the brewer in a different manner. The result are aromas and flavors that range from citrus to mango and gooseberry, which are supplemented by hints of pepper and allspice and sometimes with a stone fruit pungency. In the case of Patio Pils, that clean, freshly-picked peach skin aroma comes through the most, offering a Pilsner experience unlike most on the market.
Being a lighter, lesser bodied beer means that Patio Pils is an excellent choice on a hot day, with low alcohol and bitter levels that will allow you to drink till your heart’s content. But that same lightness also means that the subtle notes we just described won’t stick around for long, so drink Patio Pils fresh, and cold. We recommend picking up a crowler or growler of Patio Pils and drinking within 48 hours to best enjoy the more subtle flavors not usually found in Pilsners.
You can try Patio Pils both at the Barebottle Taproom, or delivered exclusively through BottleHop in San Francisco.