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Sunday, February 23rd 2014

People's Pilsner
(People's Brewing Company)

Trent is our "Midwest Can Man" and can collector extraordinaire. This pilsner, which comes in a hand-labeled 12-ounce can from an Indiana brewery with relatively limited distribution has some significant meaning to him. We'll let him explain...

People’s Brewing Company is located in Lafayette, Indiana, which is where I spent most of my youth.  It’s where I got caught up in the beer can collecting craze of the mid 70’s, and it’s where I had my first canned beer (a lukewarm Pabst Light shared with a buddy who pilfered it from his dad’s garage stash) at the tender age of my-mom-reads-these-posts-so-I-ain’t-saying. So there’s that, but there’s more.

Lafayette’s commercial brewing history dates back to 1843, and just one - Lafayette Brewery, Inc. – reopened after Prohibition before losing the battle to the big boys like many other small local breweries. In the last few years before their 1953 demise they packaged two beers in cone top cans that could be filled on their family-owned bottling line: Ye Tavern and Kopper Kettle. 

Locally brewed canned beer then vanished from the Lafayette landscape for 60 years, and this beer drinking can fan with deep roots in this river town spent the better part of four decades hoping it would one day return. 

In late 2013 People’s ended the drought and made my very personal wish come true. Can of the year indeed.

 

From the People's Brewing site:


"This beer is a twist on the Northern German style Pilsner, also known as Dortmunder or Export style Pilsner. These beers made use of hard water, like that of Lafayette, for that reason more malt was used and just enough hops to balance the beer. Rather than change the “locally raised water”, we have added some Caramalt to our Pilsner malt bill to give this beer some malt character. We’ve chosen S hops, which have a slightly spicy character, in a very simple hop schedule. The result is a clean finishing Pilsner beer, unique to the Lafayette area and our wonderful local water.

 

Here we go...


Pour - Pours a colorful gold and a little cloudy in our glass.  Head is thin but sturdy. 


Aroma - Distinctly spicy hops and pilsner malt.


Taste - The slightly sour (to me) noble hops show up at the start and linger for just a moment before giving way to the light sweetness of the malt.  What seems to be higher carbonation for the style lends itself to a clean, snappy finish and we’re at the bottom of the glass before we know it.


Overall - Emotional attachment aside, People’s Pilsner is a very good representation of the style.  Like many well-crafted pilsners, it’s an excellent choice for the first beer of the day before you go zapping your palate with hoppier fare. 


Note -  The craft can revolution seems to have taken hold in Indiana.  Early canning pioneers like Sun King and Great Crescent have now been joined by Tin Man, Daredevil, Flat 12, Cutter's and People’s. Keep an eye out for more coming later this year. Cheers! 


People's Pilsner
Style: Dortmunder/Export Lager
Brewery: People\'s Brewing Company
City: 
Lafayette, Indiana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Caramalt and Pilsner malt
Hops: Santium
ABV: 4.5%
IBUs: 42
Date: February 23rd, 2014

Posted by Trent


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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Monday, May 7th 2012

Churchkey Pilsner Style Beer
(Churchkey Can Company)

 

Here it is! The much anticipated, and perhaps a little surprising, return of the "flat top" steel beer can, or that is at least what these types of cans have been called ever since they were replaced by pull-tabs and ultimately the current "stay-tabs" - who get their name because they "stay" on the can. Churchkey Can Company has certainly had a good deal of press lately with this, their first release. We've got to admit, there is something pretty cool about holding one of these cans. They're the same size as a 12 oz. aluminum can but a good deal heavier and the act of opening one of them is also a pretty neat experience, having never done it before. Let's see how the beer inside holds up!

 


 

From the Churchkey Can Co. can holder:

"Churchkey Pilsner is a handcrafted pilsner style beer made from the highest quality ingredients. The body of the beer comes from the light, grainy pilsner malt taste, accented by a smooth clean bitterness. The Saaz hop taste and aroma featured in the Churchkey Pilsner make for a uniquely complex yet sessionable finish. Protected from both light and oxygen by our flat top steel can, the freshness of the beer is kept intact, just waiting to be enjoyed."

Here we go...

Pour – after succesfully opening my first beer can ever with a churchkey it's time to pour this beer. I've got to say that it was pretty cool to open a can of beer like my grandfather did. The pour is actually a lot smoother than with conventional cans, no glug, glug action, just a steady stream of straw colored liquid filling the glass. A thin, wispy head forms on top. By the time I take a sip the head is totally gone. Carbonation still looks good though.

Aroma – honey, orange marmalade, brown bread, a little grassy along with some grainy/cereal smells.

Taste – sweet at first on the tongue and then a nice sharp bit that dries the mouth a bit while leaving a tangy aftertaste. Lots of malt flavor in this pilsner, a little toasty and bready with some spicy, earthy notes from those Saaz hops. Love the crisp, kick of a finish. 

Overall - solid pilsner. Not an easy brew to make and certainly one that doesn't give the brewer much margin of error. Aside from a missing head after a few minutes of settling, this was a nice brew and a well executed initial offering from Churchkey Can Company. I can't help but think it would be cool to have an IPA of some sort in these cans, perhaps one day we'll see that!

Note - the recipe for Churchkey Pilsner was actually put together by two homebrewers from Portland, Oregon. Also, in case you were wondering, the cans are filled and seamed using a modified Cask Brewing line and each of the steel cans is lined with the same lining as traditional aluminum beer cans. The cans can be recycled the same as aluminum as they're quite similar to the cans that you're vegetables and soup come in. Pretty cool.


Churchkey's six-pack holder come with a free opener


Churchkey Pilsner
Style: German Pilsener
Brewery: Churchkey Can Company
City: 
Seattle, Washington  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Pilsner malt
Hops: Saaz
ABV: 4.9%
IBUs: 29
Date: May 7th, 2012

Posted by Russ


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Monday, June 20th 2011

The Crisp
(Sixpoint Craft Ales)

I'm still finding a bit hard to believe that Sixpoint cans are actually a real thing. When I visited the tiny brewery back in 2005, when it was hardly a year old, I'd have never guessed they'd be selling cans of their beer in the not too distant future. In the short history of the brewery they've definitely earned the respect of the beer drinking populous in NYC and beyond. These guys are hard working and care about not only the beer they're brewing but also about being a part of a community. If you're ever in New York definitely make the trip out to Brooklyn and visit this brewery. Cheers!

 

From the back of the can:

"There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. Crisp Lager has nothing to hide behind - no makeup to cover up any flaws. Raw ingredients and their essence, full and unabated...uninhibited...CRISP."


Here we go...

 

Pour - golden, a little darker than straw colored with a nice inch of fluffy white head on top. This is clean and clear and looks mighty tasty.

 

Aroma - wooah! Talk about a sulfuric, earthy aroma kicking out of this can. This is the real deal. There are some grassy/citrusy hoppy notes and light maltiness as well but more than anything this one smells like a very fresh, well-brewed lager beer.

 

Taste - from the first sip of this beer you'll know you've entered the lager zone. Void of the sweetness associated with many ales this is indeed a beer that has nothing to hide behind. This bounces off the tongue with nice floral/grassy hop flavors, a bit of a mineral bitterness and just a touch of malt. Each sip seems to satisfy just a little bit more. This has a very defining dry, earthy sweet finish and nice bite. I am a fan.

 

Overall - very enjoyable pilsner. This is indeed "crisp" and very refreshing. If you're a pilsner person this will certainly make you happy as there aren't too many top notch American versions of this style, especially ones that are canned.

Would I buy more of it? - definitely. Great beer. Loved all 16 oz. of it and will certainly be buying more cubes!

Note - Sixpoint is currently canning four of their beers. These include; The Crisp (Pilsner)Sweet Action (Cream Ale), Righteous Ale (Rye Beer) and Bengali Tiger (American IPA). Collect and enjoy them all! Cheers!

 

   


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
The Crisp
Style: German Pilsener
Brewery: Sixpoint Craft Ales
City: 
Brooklyn, New York  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.4%
IBUs: 42
Date: June 20th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Sunday, June 12th 2011

Kold Lager
(Tallgrass Brewing Company)

I picked up some cans of Köld while I was out in Kansas not that long ago only to realize, just recently, that they've apparently stopped canning this beer. We'll categorize this as "retired" unless we hear otherwise. It's too bad as it was a great beer and the only lager they were brewing...which may have led to the decision to not can it anymore. Perhaps they'll bring it back? If not, they brew plenty of other good beers. Cheers! 

 

From the Tallgrass site:

 

"Köld is a crisp, easy-drinking lager with a traditional Pilsner malt aroma and subtle notes of honey and citrus. Köld is brewed using the finest German malts and hops, making it reminiscent of German-style lagers."


Here we go...


Pour - floods the glass with a very pale, yellow, straw color. The head is a foamy half-inch of white foam on top. Clean and clear in appearance with some tiny bubbles at the bottom.

 

Aroma - grainy with some cereal notes and a bit of lemon peel. Not a whole lot in the nose but that is to be expected from the style.

 

Taste - crisp and light are the first two descriptors that come to mind. Some nice sweet honey flavors come out along with the grainy/maltiness that came out in the aroma. With this style we're looking for something that's light-bodied and dry in the finish without being too sweet or too flat. This hits all the marks quite well. Not a lot of malt y sweetness on the tongue but the carbonation and body make for a very refreshing beer. 

 

Overall - easy drinking, light-bodied lager that is adjunct-free. This is not an easy style to produce so kudos to the folks at Tallgrass for successfully concocting this one. This dances down your throat and leaves you thirsty for more without being too full to throw your hand back in the cooler. 

 

Would I buy more of it? - seems kind of trivial now unfortunately. 

 

Note - Tallgrass currently cans their IPAAle, KöldOasisBuffalo Sweat and Halcyon Unfiltered Wheat beers. We're still working our way through all of them! The folks at Tallgrass are good people. Cheers!

 

  

     

 

 

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Kold Lager
Style: German Pilsener
Brewery: Tallgrass Brewing Company
City: 
Manhattan, Kansas  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 16 oz. can
Malts: ???
Hops: ???
ABV: 5.0%
IBUs: 16
Date: June 12th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Monday, April 4th 2011

Black Star Golden Lager
(Great Northern Brewing Company)

   

 

The nice folks from Great Northern Brewing Company were kind enough to send me some cans of their Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager, their one and only canned offering. They've now released this brew in both 12 and 24 oz. cans and I have to say I like the weight of a 24 oz. can! I owe them a big thank you and an apology for it taking me so long to get this post up! Cheers and thank you Charlotte!

From the Great Northern Brewing site:

 

"A "double hopped" (dry hopped) unique American lager based on traditional European Pilsners with a crisp refreshing body and lots of taste. We add hops in the kettle and then again before finishing for aromatic quality."


Here we go...

 

Pour - very clean, very clear light golden or straw color. Almost an inch or stark white foam on top. The head on this looks quite nice and leaves some lacing as it fades away. Nice little bubbles streaming upwards.


Aroma - the aroma is subtle, a bit of mashed grain, some grassy notes, some straw/hay as well as slight citrus. 

 

Taste - very crisp, clean flavors. This lager has a nice malty, almost toasty, taste upfront and a nice bite in the finish. The carbonation levels are spot on and make this beer quite refreshing. No real hop presence, more honey and caramel sweetness and almost no aftertaste. 

 

Overall - No, the double hopping doesn't provide this beer much in the way of hoppiness but this is a nice example of a lager that is well brewed with a nice malt profile and a clean, crisp finish. Well done. I'd like to go to Whitefish, Montana and try some of their other brews some time.

 

Would I buy more of it? - perhaps I would. I'd imagine this has a nice price point and in the summer a few cold cans of these would be a nice way to start the evening next to a campfire. 

 

Note - Started by Minott Wessinger, the great-great grandson of famous brewer Henry Weinhard, the Great Northern brewery was built in 1994 to brew Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager as its flagship beer. Black Star beer quickly became a local and regional favorite. Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager is available in both 12- and 24-oz. cans as well as on draught. You can also try a number of their other beers on draught at their brewery in Whitefish, Montana.       

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager
~ 12 oz.
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Great Northern Brewing Company
City: 
Whitefish, Montana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 and 24 oz. cans
Malts: 2 row malted barley
Hops: 80% Mittelfruh and 20% Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 15
Date: April 4th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Monday, April 4th 2011

Black Star Golden Lager (24 oz.)
(Great Northern Brewing Company)

The nice folks from Great Northern Brewing Company were kind enough to send me some cans of their Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager, their one and only canned offering. They've now released this brew in both 12 and 24 oz. cans and I have to say I like the weight of a 24 oz. can! I owe them a big thank you and an apology for it taking me so long to get this post up! Cheers and thank you Charlotte!

From the Great Northern Brewing site:

 

"A "double hopped" (dry hopped) unique American lager based on traditional European Pilsners with a crisp refreshing body and lots of taste. We add hops in the kettle and then again before finishing for aromatic quality."


Here we go...

 

Pour - very clean, very clear light golden or straw color. Almost an inch or stark white foam on top. The head on this looks quite nice and leaves some lacing as it fades away. Nice little bubbles streaming upwards.


Aroma - the aroma is subtle, a bit of mashed grain, some grassy notes, some straw/hay as well as slight citrus. 

 

Taste - very crisp, clean flavors. This lager has a nice malty, almost toasty, taste upfront and a nice bite in the finish. The carbonation levels are spot on and make this beer quite refreshing. No real hop presence, more honey and caramel sweetness and almost no aftertaste. 

 

Overall - No, the double hopping doesn't provide this beer much in the way of hoppiness but this is a nice example of a lager that is well brewed with a nice malt profile and a clean, crisp finish. Well done. I'd like to go to Whitefish, Montana and try some of their other brews some time.

 

Would I buy more of it? - perhaps I would. I'd imagine this has a nice price point and in the summer a few cold cans of these would be a nice way to start the evening next to a campfire. 

 

Note - Started by Minott Wessinger, the great-great grandson of famous brewer Henry Weinhard, the Great Northern brewery was built in 1994 to brew Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager as its flagship beer. Black Star beer quickly became a local and regional favorite. Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager is available in both 12- and 24-oz. cans as well as on draught. You can also try a number of their other beers on draught at their brewery in Whitefish, Montana. 


Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager
~ 24 oz.
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Great Northern Brewing Company
City: 
Whitefish, Montana  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 24 oz. can
Malts: 2 row malted barley
Hops: 80% Mittelfruh and 20% Czech Saaz
ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 15
Date: April 4th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Thursday, February 10th 2011

Joes Premium American Pilsner
(Avery Brewing Company)

Joe's Premium American Pilsner is the only one of Avery's beers that appears solely in a canned format (well, that and draught but NOT in bottles). This was a beer that was made by the brewery for the sole purpose of being a canned release and we should be so lucky. 

 

From the Avery site:

 

"A contemporary rendition of a classic style, Joe's is hopped with purpose: beautifully bitter and dry with an abundance of floral, Noble German hops. Uber sessionable. Utterly American. This is Premiuim American Pilsner."


Here we go...

 

Pour - very light straw color, pretty bright sunshine-like yellow when the light hits this. Head is sort of soda-like yet dense and about a half-inch in thickness. Looks nice and clean and clear as it should with some tiny bubbles streaming upwards to freedom. 

Aroma - a bit malty, some fresh-cut grass notes, a bit of citrusy hoppiness and slight hints at earthiness.

 

Taste - that first sip will have you re-thinking the mere notion of a canned pilsner. Erase every possible thing you've been told because this is something entirely different. One taste and the bite of the hops, the solid malt profile and the addictive crispness snap of a finish and you'll be hooked. Plenty of bitterness from all those hops as well as a mineral, almost iron-like, flavor as well. This one has the dryness associated with the style but that just keeps your face pressed in the glass after each sip. 

 

Overall - The hoppy bitterness and the all out bite of a finish of this pilsner are what really sets it apart. I could get used to drinking pilsners if they all tasted like this! Share this with any potential craft beer drinker and call it you're good beer deed of the day.

 

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely! I'm bummed that this was my only one. I need more for when all the snow melts and its time to barbecue.

 

Note - Along with Joe's Premium American Pilsner, Avery has also canned their White Rascal White Ale, Ellie's Brown Ale and their absolutely delicious Avery IPA! Try 'em all!

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Joe's Premium American Pilsner
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Avery Brewing Company
City: 
Boulder, Colorado  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Two-row barley
Hops: Magnum and Hersbrucker
ABV: 4.7%
IBUs: 42
Date: February 10th, 2011

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Lagers, Pilsners


Thursday, August 19th 2010

Freestyle Pilsner
(Santa Fe Brewing Company)

Freestyle Pilsner is the first of four canned seasonal releases from Santa Fe brewing. Its also their second canned offering after Happy Camper IPA which is their only year round canned release. The can shows a hop with devil horns on one side and on the reverse its a hop with a halo. I love it!

From the Santa Fe Brewing site:

 

"The assertively hopped Freestyle pils exudes the flavor and the aroma of the classic Saaz hop (a tribute to “the original” pilsner), while maintaining enough body to balance but not overpower this hop’s pleasant, spicy tone. An unhurried lagering process so frequently overlooked by American craft brewers is strictly adhered to in the production of Freestyle, which makes this beer by far the most light, clean, and quenching beer in the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s line up."


Here we go...

 

Pour - light golden, straw-like in color with a thin head that is quick to disappear. Clean and clear in appearance with a good carbonation level.


Aroma - a little bit grainy, hay, grass with a touch of citrus.

 

Taste - grainy, malty with some nice hints of floral citrus and bitterness from the hops. This is light bodied and very refreshing on the palate. It finishes dry with some tanginess and a lingering hop bite. A very well done pilsner that has some nice unique touches to it. 

 

Overall - smooth, satisfying and very refreshing. A solid and unique take on a traditional style. Easy drinking and well worthy of the investment.

 

Would I buy more of it? - sure, there are a few canned craft pilsners and this is one of the better ones.

 

Note - Along with Santa Fe's Freestyle Pilsner, they'll be releasing three other seasonal canned beers. Freestyle Pilsner will be followed by an Oktoberfest this fall, Java Stout in the winter and finally their Viszolay Belgian-style Dubbel in the spring. I can't wait to try them all. 

 

      

 


Can Scale:
(See All Rated)
Freestyle Pilsner
Style: American Pilsner
Brewery: Santa Fe Brewing Company
City: 
Santa Fe, New Mexico  
Country: 
United States  
Container: 12 oz. can
Malts: Hallertau and Saaz
Hops: Pilsner and Vienna
ABV: 5.5%
IBUs: ???
Date: August 19th, 2010

Posted by Russ


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Labels: Pilsners