A Pils from the Hills


A Pils from the Hills
Brains Craft

Is it just me, or is Pilsner something of a Marmite concept? Not in terms of you either love or hate it, but you either worship it or you don’t. Some people are aggressively pro-Pilsner, harbouring a deeply ingrained love for the complex precision of crafting a true Pilsner, and devoutly persecuting heretical pretender-Pilsners. BrewDog’s recent release of Vagabond Pilsner has caused some consternation from drinkers and the like who claim it isn’t a Pilsner*. Meanwhile, the rest of us aren’t too worried as long as it tastes good.

Then again, horses for courses, I have a rather (futile) opinion of what I believe a porter to be, and how it differs from stout. We each have our flag to wave. My point is, I don’t know if a Pils from the Hills qualifies as a true Pils. Can’t say I care too much either. Not my flag to wave. (Edit: having now obtained the pump clip graphic, it states ‘pilsner-style’. So there you go.)

It is pale gold in colour (the modern beer scene hasn’t quite reached Black Pilsner territory yet), with a very earthy aroma, backed up by something I loosely pinned down as a ‘white biscuit’ aroma; you know, a Farley’s Rusk, Rich Tea or Nice biscuit.

The flavour is light and delicate, bringing forward earthy qualities and fresh-cut grass, sweetened by chunks of toffee and a surprising fruit presence of pears, green apples and under ripe hedgerow berries. Overall, it reminds me of Zatecs, with a creamier body and a fruitier taste. Do places still sell Zatecs in the UK? I’ve not seen it in years.

A Pils from the Hils is what it is: one for the summer, to be kegged and served in tall pint glasses dripping with cold condensation, before being taken to a beer garden. So what are you waiting for Brains? The summer is here at last; you fill those kegs and we’ll empty ’em.

*Google ‘Vagabond Pilsner’ and read the various opinions; since this isn’t a review on Vagabond Pilsner, I’ll say no more.


2 thoughts on “A Pils from the Hills”

  1. God damn. Zatecs. That was a tasty beer. Never seen it since the days of Shenanigans.

    I think pils and pilsner (which were originally explained to me as two very different things – Pils being a German take on Pilsner) now seem to be used interchangeably. The important thing is that authentic depth of flavour and genuine noble-hopped finish. This sounds like it has what it takes.

    Also, I hate to be MR FANCY LONDON BEER MAN but I’m pretty sure Camden Town knocked out a “Black Pilsner” (Black Friday I think it was called) last year.

    Might change my blog name to MR FANCY LONDON BEER MAN. Twitter account, t shirt, the works.

    1. Pils/Pilsner are used interchangeably, and I’m sure some beer lover somewhere froths at the mouth and makes claw marks in the furniture every time an ill-informed reviewer like myself mixes them up. I’ll put it on my ‘to read’ list.

      You are correct, Mr Fancy London Beer Man, and I know this because Mr Nathaniel Southwood Esq of Norwich beat you to the punch in ruining my best laid blog plans, by shaming me in front of the world on Twitter yesterday. On Twitter! I’ll have to delete the entire blog and hide in a Yorkshire beer square in Tadcaster where no one will ever find me.

      Beer is fast entering that postmodern-esque stage; if you can imagine it, it has already been done…

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