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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is This a Pilsner?

Full Sail has just sent out a press release on their new LTD 03 beer, labeled as a pilsner. But is it?
The newly designed bottle labels describe LTD Bottling 03, as crisp, new pilsner-style lager that is pale golden in color, features a spicy floral hop aroma, a malty medium body, and a smooth thirst-quenching finish. LTD 03 registers "Pale" on the "Malt-O-Meter" that is featured on the six packs. Beer aficionados, or the aspiring ones, will enjoy the bottom of the six-pack that features an easy-to-read chart of "Today's Recipe," including Sterling hops, 2 row pale malt, plato (14 degrees), I.B.U. (35), alcohol by volume (5.6) and any special ingredients. LTD 03 will be available in six-packs and draught and will be available June through September.
As you know, I'm no style nazi. But to the lovely style of pilsner so much violence has been directed. When I heard that Full Sail was releasing a pils, my mouth started watering at the taste of those lovely Czech Saaz. I had also comforted myself with the idea of a German pils, perfumed with the noble aroma of a nice Hallertau.

But what's this, Sterling hops? Well, maybe it's not so bad. Sterlings are an American hybrid bred from Saaz about a decade ago. They are purported to contain the quality of Saaz. FS's version is (no surprise) a touch more robust than average, and I wouldn't mind seeing a few more IBUs, but hey, let's try it before we knock it, right? The LTD series was never designed to create standard styles of lagers--they're riffs on more well-known styles. So a Sterling-hopped pilsner-y style beer. Sounds about right.

Update. Full Sail twittered the following, indicating they're going for not only a pilsner, but a very good one. I like a brewery with moxie.
FullSailBrewing LTD 03 is officially here. Best pilsner ever? We think so.


  1. Sterlings are nice -- very 'Continental', but a bit more aggro than the real article. I've had lots of good beers made with them.

    More interested to know if FS is using a true Euro lager yeast or the house yeast they use to make Session and Henry's.

  2. Sterling Hops - Saaz Hybrid, suitable for replacing Saaz hops in brewery blends. Much higher yield potential than Saaz hops. aroma and oil composition very similar to Saaz. Alpha Acid 6-9% .

    That's the quick textbook answer.

    The YEAST "IS" the question!

  3. "More interested to know if FS is using a true Euro lager yeast or the house yeast they use to make Session and Henry's."

    Gog I hope it's not the Henry's yeast. That stuff gives off some very, very unpleasant stinky foot aromas. Even their otherwise decent IPA from last summer suffered from the distinctive Henry's funk that made it hard for me to drink unless I poured it into a pint glass and let it off-gas for a few minutes...