I was never much of a Pils popper, but I have been taking an active role in expanding my horizons. I figure if I can't enjoy a few good pils, I am not really well rounded as a beer drinker. Plus, I am practicing beer pairing for the holidays, and I think a good bitter pale Pilsner will match with one or more parts of thanksgiving or christmas.
So I got three commercial Pilsners. 1) High and Mighty's Beer of the Gods. 2) Lagunitas Pils Czech Style Pilsner. 3) Dogfish Head Golden Era Imperial Pilsner (just couldn't resist this one, too bad I missed it previously when it was known as Golden Shower).
I checked them all out on BeerAdvocate, and I was wondering if I just wasted thirty bucks. Well actually Lagunitas was well rated, so I guess I could have just wasted twenty bucks. But not a waste at all. Each was good or different in their own way.
1) High and Mighty - "Beer of the Gods". This is a pilsner on steroids. Unfortunately, it failed the doping screening. It is a normal pilsner with like twice as much hops. Good idea: pilsner style with IPA hopping. But unfortunately, double doses of noble hops makes for grassy harsh bitterness. I learned this first hand homebrewing recently. That said, it is highly bitter, and unique. I may not buy it again, but I may try the same thing in my own brewing (but with high alpha acid bittering hops) and I will enjoy the five that I have left. Overall a C. See BeerAdvocate for more detailed reviews from many other opinions.
2) Lagunitas - "Pils" Czech Style Pilsner. Lagunitas makes a great IPA that I've had, really clean and fresh and grapefruit bitter. I even made a clone recipe of it a few times, I liked it so much. I knew that they know how to add the hops, and the label was nice enough to tell me it has almost 40 IBU. I thought this might be almost exactly what I wanted, but I might not mind a few more IBUs. I am drinking this one right now, and it is really good and solid. It is still hoppy, but it is just so much more refined than the so-called "Beer of the Gods". Really good. Overall an A-
3) Dogfish Head - "Golden Era" Imperial Pilsner. This one was not very well received on BeerAdvocate, but then again, it seems every DFH beer I look up on there has a lot of "...normally I love these guys, but this one was not my favorite..." type of talk. As for me, I think this one is exceptionally smooth and well balanced, especially for an Imperial. Maybe I need to try the 90 Minute IPA again, but from memory, that IPA was way too overboard in the super malty sweetness thickness department. I was sort of expecting the same thing, but in lager form from this one, especially consiering what I'd read. But I really like it. Overall an A-.
I have only had one each of the above beers, and not formally taken notes or scored each category as I will for my upcoming fomal BeerAdvocate reviews. But I will say I didn't waste any money, and I am happy.
Oh yeah, while I was there, I got a big bottle of Sierra Nevada Harvest Wet Hop Ale, which has perhaps the only 100% approval from BeerAdvocates that I've ever seen. I can not wait to drink this one. I should actually go back and buy more right now! Oh yeah, our liquor stores are closed on Sundays. Maybe tomorrow ;)