Pounding Pilsners

Victory Prima Pils

Victory Prima Pils

I realized the other day I write in a lot of places. Here, new SOB, EVF, Screenlight, Avid and soon to be maybe more locations. All the while my original site, this one, that’s dedicated to my journey into, through and around [craft] beer gets pushed aside. My bad, y’all.

Enough about my writing tendencies; I’m here because I actually have something beer-related to write about.

The past two-ish months I’ve had more Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, MGD and many other light American Lagers/low-grade Pilsners than probably the past three years combined. Don’t ask. It got me thinking that I’ve never really been into Pilsners. And I think like a lot of beer drinkers it took having other styles to actually get into beer. Even today I don’t love Pilsners. They just remind me of college.

I picked up a variety case of Victory for $28 from Costco last week. I saw it and thought it was a steal! $1.17 a bottle…Doesn’t get too much better in the craft realm. Six of the 24 bottles are Victory’s Prima Pils (the one in the picture above).

Prima Pils is a German Pilsner. To my surprise it gets a 91% on BeerAdvocate but only a 3.45 on Untappd. But pretty much everything gets around a 3.5 on Untappd so take that with a grain of salt. To me, it’s a “decent beer.” Yes, hard-hitting analysis on this one. It’s light and if it was a little warmer out I think I’d enjoy it more.

According to BJCP a German Pilsner should have the following:

  • A light grainy Pils malt character and distinctive flowery or spicy noble hops
  • Straw to light gold, brilliant to very clear
  • Crisp and bitter, with a dry to medium-dry finish
  • Medium-light body, medium to high carbonation

IMO, this beer hits the first three bullets almost perfectly. For me and for this bottle, well I don’t really know how to classify “medium-light body.” I’m not really sure how much lighter or thinner this could go. This bottle was not anywhere close to medium, let alone high, carbonation either.

So there you go! My not-so hard-hitting analysis on Victory Prima Pils. Give me a break… I’m just getting back into this beer writing thing.

Have you had Prima Pils before? Ever been to Victory? Leave me some comments so I don’t lose track of this site!!

Advertisements

Tunnel Vision

Yards Brewing IPA

Tonight I will have tunnel vision.

It’s a fun game us “craft beer enthusiasts” play. We toast each other on Untappd. We comment on each other’s posts (and you better comment on this one!). We fight amongst each other about whatever the hot topic is; you know like Cicerone certifications. You know the drill. It’s fun. I play it and love it. But at the end of the day when I sit down on the couch to watch whatever sporting event is on or reruns of Castle on TNT, I just want my damn beer.

It isn’t important who brewed it. The bottling date doesn’t matter. My glass choice isn’t being picked apart by someone who takes this game way too seriously. Because it’s just me and my 12 ounces of enjoyment. I put on my blinders and have tunnel vision.

I can forget about work. I can forget that I’m way overdue for a new post on this site. My dog still barks at me but I don’t mind filling her Kong up since the treats are on the table next to my beer. I might grab my phone and check it in, if I feel like it. But it doesn’t matter. All is right in the world.

If I never started this site or if I ran my own brewery that beer right then would taste the same. Yeah, maybe I’d analyze it more or less if either of those scenarios were the case but it wouldn’t change the beer.

Once the beer is done I could reach for another one. I could write a post or watch more Castle. However during those 12 ounces it doesn’t matter. Tunnel vision has taken over. That’s what I’m going to experience tonight and hopefully many more times.

The Biggest Problem with Loving Beer

A couple weeks ago you guys helped me work through a problem I was having – picking a favorite beer. A friend of this site, Tom, wrote in the comments of the post that he hadn’t had one of his favorites in months because he’d rather experiment with new beers. After some thought I realized I hadn’t had many of my favorite beers in a long time as well. Why? I was too busy mixed up in the biggest problem with loving beer.

I’ll take one of everything, please.

I think we all have this deep, dark secret inside us that we want to try every beer ever made. We want to reach the end of Untappd and get some magical badge glorifying our great beer conquest. And we try, whether it’s a conscious decision or not. I do at least.

Long wall of taps

I’ll take one of everything.

Last week when I was in Chicago I found this place with 114 beers on tap. I had had about 50 of them before and the thought crossed my mind of attempting to try the remaining 64. I ended up sampling 14 over three different trips in 24 hours (don’t worry, they were all 4oz pours!). Back when I turned 21 my buddy and I tried to drink all 30 taps at a local establishment over three days. We did it. My liver didn’t appreciate it. This was pre-Untappd too and I’m sure the only badge I would have earned was a “You’re a Lush” badge. I probably hit Level III that weekend.

There are only so many beers you can consume in a day, week, month, lifetime. Let me tell you a cold, hard truth: Continue reading

A Brief Guide to Enjoying Beer

Anyone can drink a beer and enjoy it. It takes a special person to do it at a high-level. High-level you say? Yes. A black belt level. I might not be able to drink 20 beers or know the difference between every hops variety and yeast strain, but I can enjoy it just as much as any Master Cicerone and so can you. Here’s how.

Glass with Short on Beer etched

A Brief Guide to Enjoying Beer

Step 1: Go to store and pick up beer.

Pick one you know you like or one you haven’t tried. Don’t grab the front 6-pack if possible. Get one from the back – it is better protected from light.

Step 2: Store the beer.

If you’re not drinking it immediately put it somewhere out of direct light and that has a stable temperature like a pantry or cabinet not a garage or out on the kitchen counter.

Step 3: Chill the beer.

Put the beer in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours. If it should be served at a warmer temperature, i.e. Bourbon Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, chill for less time or let the bottle warm back up on the counter to its proper serving temperature. I let most of my beer rest outside of the fridge for a few minutes so I’m drinking around 45-50 degrees instead of 35-40 degrees which you’ll get when you pull them right out. Do some research. Here’s a serving temperature guide from RateBeer.

Step 4: Find a friend.

This step is optional but my favorite. Beer is meant to be shared. It’s in our blood. Humans have gathering around the fire to share drinks, talk and have fun for thousands of years. Fire is optional as well.

Step 5: Select a glass.

Find the proper glass for your beer. You can use your standard false pint glass if you want but please, pour it into a glass unless otherwise noted, e.g. Heady Topper. It’s hard to appreciate something you can’t see and last I tried it’s pretty difficult to see my beer behind a giant label and brown glass. It’s easier to smell a beer from a glass rather than a bottle or can too.

Step 6: Rinse glass under cold water.

Make sure your glass is beer clean then give it a quick rinse under cold water. Dry the outside of the glass with a clean towel. There’s no dire need dry the inside. Beer is 90%+ water anyway. Give it a couple aggressive shakes into the sink to rid the excess water. Just don’t smash your glass on the countertop. I haven’t done that yet but one day I’m sure I will. Check out page 4 of the Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam Syllabus for more information on beer clean glassware.

Hey, have you checked out my study guides for the Cicerone Certified Beer Server Exam?

Step 7: Open bottle with your favorite opener.

You must use your favorite opener. This is important. It’s good for morale. I bet there’s a story behind why it’s your favorite too.

My favorite opener

My favorite opener

Continue reading