When I think of the pilsner style I am usually thinking about the two countries best known for the crisp and flavorful light lagers, Germany and the Czech Republic. The style originated in that part of the world and many of the best versions are produced in those countries or directly inspired by their beers. American pilsner can cover a range of interpretations of the style, from true-to-form interpretations of European lagers to aggressively hopped versions to the mass produced adjunct lagers that label themselves as pilsners. A substyle of pilsner I am not very familiar with is French pilsner, but Notch Brewing released a beer in the style and they have never steered me wrong, so I was happy to give it a try. Beer D’Alsace is open fermented, double decocted and hopped with Strisselspalt hops, and is available on a rotating basis on draft an in 16 oz. cans.
Notch Biere D’Alsace pours clear dark yellow with a pillowy white head. The aroma features a significant burst of floral hops. This is a balanced, clean, easy-drinking and (obviously) sessionable lager at 4.4% ABV. The hops add notes of fresh herbs, cut grass and lemon zest. The malts contribute hints of crackers and freshly baked bread. Biere D’Alsace finishes crisp and very clean, with just a touch of residual hop and malt flavor. This is an excellent pilsner, Notch makes many great versions of the style and this might be my favorite. I will drink many of these this summer if they are available! Hoppy Boston score: 4.75/5.
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