Brewer's Blog

Phil's Pils is ready!

Monday, May 14, 2007

The photo above is from the Festiv-Ale in Regina way back in November. You may recognize me on the left, but the main thing here (and the whole point of this new beer) is the guy on the right. More specifically, it's what our good buddy Phil is holding - HOPS!

We met Phil shortly before we opened the brewery here in Winnipeg. He's a great guy and he loves the hop. I have been known to partake in the hoppy stuff, too - and it's no coincidence that Phil's favourite Half Pints beer is the Little Scrapper IPA. He's a member of the Great White North Brewerianists Club and has a collection of classic breweriana to rival the best of them. He specifically searches out good beer & good beer breweries - so naturally he found us before we found him.
So being a man of infinite good taste, when I decided I would make a hoppy Pilsner for the duration of the summer, I thought to myself:
"Self! Why don't we make this beer for Phil because doesn't he deserve it as much as anyone?"
I answered: "Of course we can, 'cause that's how we roll at Half Pints, and we can call it Phil's Pils!"
Anyhoo, check out the label description:
Our buddy Phil is a friend of good beer, so Phil’s Pils must be impressive ode to good taste. Thankfully (Phil would say) it’s the polar opposite of most Pilsners available today. Brewed using two-row pale, melanoidin, and crystal malts, this lager is chock full of malty goodness on top of German Hallertau and Czech Saaz hops. This brew is also dry hopped with a blend of Mount Hood and more Saaz. Our Pils actually tastes like malt & hops – what a novel idea! Try it with a slow smoked rack of ribs or a wedge of Pepper Jack cheese. Serve at 6 C. in a Pilsner glass. 5.2% a/v 30 IBU
Now, I wasn't kidding when I said this is summer beer - but rather than foisting another wishy washy Pilsner on the world, I thought it more prudent to put the Half Pints seal of approval on this much maligned and often bungled style. Pilsner should be drinkable yes, but the most refreshing part of its flavour profile is a snappy hop flavour. It dries out the tongue and gets you longing for the next sip. Unfortunately, this is something that large scale breweries omit.
Instead, they choose to focus on maximizing profits, appealing to the dumbed down market of beer drinkers who think a wedge of lime shoved down the neck of a bottle constitutes a higher form of "taste". Often their brews reek of corn and skunk. Or worse, taste distinctly of table sugar and chemicals.
Then, they throw millions of dollars at their marketing department to spin the beer in a positive light - playing on national pride, vacation memories, and best of all, dressing up low grade swill as a "premium beer".
Obviously, this isn't our goal when producing beer. We brew for flavour first, price the beer fairly, and accept that we're never going to be able to afford the mansion on Wellington Crescent. We're just not that kind of brewery.
So, stick it to the man, and try Phil's Pils, and if you happen to meet him in a darkened alley, you better be ready to wax poetic about the hops!