I’ve been drinking a ton of pilsner lately since it is the perfect beer for the summer. There are a bunch of good to great craft pilsners out on shelves now. Some are year-round beers while others are summer seasonals. I thought I’d share a few more good ones in a quick and dirty double review. The first is Smuttynose Vunderbar, which was once a limited release beer, but it is now their regular summer seasonal. It is brewed with a minimal number of ingredients, just pilsner malt, acidulated malt and Czech Saaz hops. They use the hops in the boil and in the dry hop to add crispness, flavor and aroma. The second is from Cambridge Brewing Company, who has just started to release their hoppy pilsner named Remain in Light in cans. Remain in Light is brewed with pilsner malt and flaked rice along with German and Czech hops.
Smuttynose Vunderbar Pilsner pours a deep golden yellow with a mild white head. The smell has some floral noble hops, not strong but evident on the nose. The taste starts with a nice little hoppy bite, notes of forest floor, cut grass and a hint of citrus. There is a solid pilsner malt backbone, subtle touches of white bread and butter. Smuttynose Vunderbar is very refreshing and easy to drink at 5.1% ABV. The beer isn’t bitter, but nice and crisp. The finish is very clean with just a hint of hoppiness left on the tongue. Overall a very well done traditional European pilsner, a great beer for a hot summer evening. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5
Cambridge Brewing Company Remain in Light pours a clear straw yellow with a mild white head. The smell is mild with some earthy hops and light malts. The taste starts with the pilsner malts, notes of cereal grain, hay and crackers. The hops are present too, just a touch of lemon and pine along with a refreshing crispness. Remain in Light is light in body and very drinkable at 5.0% ABV. The finish is dry with a pleasant little hoppy bite on the tongue. This is a very solid pilsner, worth a try if you like the style. I would have liked a little more hop flavor since it is labeled a “hoppy” pilsner, but part of that is my over-hopped American palate. Hoppy Boston score: 4.0/5.
Previous Smuttynose reviews:
Previous Cambridge Brewing Company reviews: