The Taste Test: Blind-tasting 25 Minnesota Pilsners

Continued from Page 1.
Photo by Wing Ta

Photo by Wing Ta

Beers advanced to Best of Show round (in alphabetical order):

■ 612Brew 52 by 612

Tasting Notes: Easy drinking if a touch sweet. Needs more bitterness to balance the malt. Leans to the American adjunct lager style more than American Pilsner, but still very enjoyable.

■ Bad Weather Batch 200 Bohemian Pilsner

Tasting Notes: Light and drinkable with a malty roundness. Medium bitterness. Clean fermentation. Judges desired more hop aromatics.

■ Beaver Island Check Pils

Tasting Notes: Light and balanced. Bready malt sweetness balanced by moderate bitterness and floral hop character. Some ester fruitiness was noted. A delight.

■ Birch’s on the Lake Bohemian Pilsner

Tasting Notes: Pronounced Saaz hop character. Medium grainy malt sweetness. A bit round for the style as opposed to crisp. One judge felt it leaned more to the maltier helles style.

■ Fulton Pils

Tasting Notes: Soft, adjunct malt flavor with spicy noble hops. Bitterness is a bit too high for the international Pilsner style. Inviting and approachable. Good balance.

■ Indeed B-Side Pils

Tasting Notes: High grainy/bready Pils malt character. Balance leans to the bitterness. One judge called it Kölsch-like, noting a delicacy and light pomme fruit character.

■ Lake Monster Calhoun Claw Pilsener

Tasting Notes: High malt profile and spicy hop notes in the aroma. Decent balance between malt and hops in the flavor. Smooth. Finishes dry in the palate with clean bitterness.

■ Utepils Pils

Tasting Notes: Moderate bready malt with a hint of toastiness. Moderate spicy/floral hop character with a good malt to bitterness balance. Excellent example of the style.

■ ■ ■

Best of Show: Fair State Pils

Tasting Notes: Judges called this an excellent beer with great hop prominence. It’s bitter in the balance. High spicy hop flavor is backed up by low, grainy malt sweetness. One judge noted some papery oxidation in the aroma that did not carry over to the flavor. The finish is dry and crisp with lingering bitterness. Beautiful to look at, it is a brilliantly clear medium-gold with a dense cap of creamy, white foam.

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Michael Agnew, A Perfect Pint About Michael Agnew, A Perfect Pint

Michael has a passion for beer. He is Minnesota's first Certified Cicerone (think sommelier for beer) with the Cicerone Certification Program, and a National Beer Judge with the Beer Judge Certification Program. In addition, Michael is himself an award-winning brewer. He writes a monthly column on beer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.