In the US, pilsner gets kind of a bad name (thank you Miller, Coors and Bud). Most craft beer drinkers in the US prefer big and bold flavors, and the name pilsner recalls the tasteless lagers that get chugged at campus-wide keggers. This is unfortunate, because when they are made correctly a pilsner can be a subtle and flavorful beer. The pilsners you find in central Europe are very different than bland American macro-brews, with noticeable crisp hops and substantial malt flavors. Many US craft breweries have come to the realization that there is a good market for flavorful, well-made pilsners. They are great beers to go with warm Summer weather. Idle Hands brewery in Everett, MA began by making mostly Belgian style ales, but their recent releases have branched out into other types of beer. These new styles include a series of lagers, and the third beer in that series is Adelais, an unfiltered German style pilsner. Adelais is made with three types of pilsner malts and then hopped with Hallertau, Hersbrucker and Saphir hops. It is sold for a limited time in 500 mL bottles and on draft.
Idle Hands Adelais pours a hazy golden yellow with a solid white head. The smell is pretty mild, some grainy malts with a touch of earthy hops. The taste starts with the malt, some crackers, fresh baked bread and a little buttery flavor. The hops are present as well, some pine forest, with a little herbal spice. The beer is clean and drinkable with a subtle but noticeable bitterness. The finish is crisp with very little aftertaste. At 5.2% ABV it is not quite a session beer, but I could easily knock back a couple while grilling on a Summer afternoon. Adelais is a solid addition to the Idle Hands lineup. I look forward to seeing what they come up with next. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
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