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Berwick Brewing’s Zwickle Pilsner Mixes Different Types Of Beers

November 7, 2018 GMT

Generally, I don’t care about Pilsners. These pale ales seem to be made solely for easy drinking.

In truth, I’d likely never turn one down, but I generally want a brew with more or less character. I want something that I hardly know I’m drinking, or I want something that kicks down doors as it marches down my throat. Pilsners don’t seem to want to commit either way.

Like many beers with a malt focus, Pilsners began in Pilsen, in what today is the Czech Republic. A Bavarian brewer up on all the new techniques at the time used some pale malts and English technology to bring about the Pilsner. It was pretty clear, which made it perfect for the rise in the glass drinking vessel during that time period.

Next, let’s talk about the Zwicklebier, which are German, unfiltered beers, meaning they are generally a bit cloudy. They are traditionally brewed exposed to the elements. Because they are unfiltered, they contain a good amount of yeast and sediment, which adds vitamins and flavor. The downside is that it also makes the beer more perishable.

Why are we talking about Zwicklebiers? Because it looks like Berwick Brewing Co. has found a way to combine them with Pilsners in its Zwickle Pilsner. The bottle doesn’t give me a lot of information on what the two have to do with each other, leaving me to wonder. Thankfully, the beer spoke for itself.

The brew had a beautiful clear yellow color with lots of bubbles and none of the cloudiness I expected. A good, thick finger of foam that never went away topped it off. The head retention on this brew was absolutely amazing. While the liquid didn’t look cloudy, the copious lacing clinging to the glass certainly painted a different picture.

The scent yielded a good amount of malt, which I’m sure doesn’t surprise anyone, plus some lemony yeast. Not much else was apparent, with the smell being pretty simple. No complaints there.

Up front, there was the pale malt I’d expect from a Pilsner. The first moments of that initial sip were not very impressive. After the swallow, however, all kinds of things happened. The decent bitter hops presence didn’t overwhelm, and a different sort of grainy malt taste, somehow distinct from the earlier subtle sweetness, followed. It settled on the tongue a bit like rye, but not quite. Swimming around in the background was just a little bit of lemon sour.

This beer did a lot. The taste was by far the most complex of any Pilsner I’ve had. It’s graininess came across as aggressive as an IPA, which I appreciate. I totally suggest getting yourself to the brewery and grabbing a pint of this. It does some great things.