I just recieved notification that we have the Hallertau here in Southeastern CT! Ed Cramer from the great and powerful Gordon’s Yellow Front Package Store in New London, CT, has let me know that he has some of this sweet hop nectar in. I remember my first taste of this one last year. I bought it on a whim, probably because the box is so cool looking, and the word “Imperial” still puts me in a zombie-like state of blind grabbiness.
At around the same time, I had the Dogfish Head Golden Era Imperial Pilsner, and the Sammy really knocked the DFH around, by pure hop content. And who doesn’t love that? I never thought that noble hops could make a hop bomb until I had the Hallertau.
So allow me to recommend the Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner to you this season.
Normally I do a weekly news roundup, where I post links to other peoples’ content here and write a little blurb about each story I’m linking to. This week, I’m changing things up a little. That is to say, I just don’t stay on top of all the various news-like data on the web any more.
There was this thing yesterday where Jim Koch personally posted on the Brewer’s Association Forum (and some others, I guess) to offer up hops for sale. Ten thousand pounds of East Kent Goldings and ten thousand pounds of Tettnangers. That’s a lot of hops. If they can spare that much hops, just imagine how many they still will have in their cold storage once the deals are done. But overall, this is a great move, a gesture of goodwill from one of the biggest craft brewers to all the other ones. If only he had ten thousand pounds of Cascades… It also occurred to me, that maybe this is why they did the Hallertau Imperial Pilsner, with like a bushel of hops per gallon. If he had ten thousand extra pounds, why not make a batch of beer with them? So this offering means we’ll miss out on the Tettnanger Imperial Pilsner and the EKG Imperial Pilsner! All kidding aside, I did like the Hallertau Imperial Pilsner, and I would welcome the others, if they made them, even if the idea of an Imperial Pilsner is pretty silly to begin with. I wonder how many times I can write the words Imperial Pilsner in one blog post. I bet I will get a lot of hits from people searching Google for Imperial Pilsner in the next few days. Maybe I should make an Imperial Pilsner, for an upcoming brew day, coupled with a Flying Dog Collaborator clone (do you call it a clone when they give you the recipe?) – that way I could lager them both together!
In other news, not as widespread on the internet, today marks my one year anniversary of brewing beer at home. In honor of the date, I made two batches (A.K.A. the Beta Project in the Gemini Series). PostNatal IPA is for Aimée once she gives birth to our next child within the next few weeks, and Cherry Sparkles is in honor of Iris – the artwork is by and of Iris and the name of the beer is her self-appointed nickname - though it will be long gone before she’s ready to drink it.
I had the Dogfish Head Golden Era a while back. I liked it, I recalled it as big and hoppy. Then more recently, I had the Sam Adams Hallertau Imperial Pilsner. This thing is practically an Imperial IPA, it is cloudy and mega hoppy. In my head, the Golden Era was basically the same thing.
Last night during the Super Bowl, I dug out a Golden Era from earlier in the year. Maybe it was the few months spent in my fridge that mellowed it a bit, but I doubt it. It was a lot more like a pilnser, right down to the grainy smell and taste. It did a remarkable job of hiding its alcohol, but it was not absurdly hopped.
So who would have throught that the Dogfish Head Imperial Pilsner would be less extreme than the Sam Adams Imperial Pilsner. It seems funny to think, first of all, that there could be a less extreme Imperial Pilsner, since in some ways the whole notion of an Imperial Pilsner is silly. But the DFH is more recognizable as a Pilsner, whereas the Sam Adams is completely over the top.
Kudos to Jim Koch and the crew at Boston Beer Co. for coming up with a risky beer like that.
I have taken my own challenge again. I have developed an image of Sam Adams whereby I consider their beers to be OK, but boring and sort of aiming for the middle of the pack – nothing too offensive to anyone. This is, of course, not counting Utopias. Although I haven’t tasted it, it clearly isn’t for the middle of the pack, but it is also priced way out of range of average Joe, unlike Dogfish Head’s super-high alcohol beers. Hell, even Donald Trump might think twice about plunking down $170 for a bottle of beer. But I digress.
Another interesting beer Jim Koch and Co. have released is their Hallertau Imperial Pilsner, which they call “an intense hop experience”. This piqued my interest, and I was able to find a pack of it at Gordon’s in New London. Seems like it’s made with Hallertau hops, which I was afraid might be a bit over the top when used in abundance. They’re more meant for delicate finishing in my mind. But I could be wrong.
I recently had a “Battle of the Pils” where I bought three different commercial Pilsners to compare and contrast. This has prepared me to write about the various identifying characteristics that make a beer a Pilsner. There are actually a few different modern classifications for Pilsner.