Portland, Oregon, USA
I don’t review (or drink) a lot of Pilsner, or any other sort of lager. But, I’d heard good things about Breakside and if a quality Portland shop is going for it, it might actually be worth a shot. Plus, given the complete lack of rain and plenty of sunshine/heat around lately, it’s definitely Pilsner weather. With the Phillips Bock earlier this week, this is now two lager’s in a row! For a craft beer enthusiast, I find lager’s tend to be less distinctive than what you can produce with an ale in all it’s various styles. Lager’s are traditionally made with noble hop varieties which are characteristically lower in bitterness and more aromatic. Hallertau and Saaz are typical examples of noble hop varieties vs. modern hops like Cascade. To find a top quality Pilsner coming out of a region known for modern hop varieties is a bit rare, but I expected and found that the hops are actually present and noticeable! Too often with Pilsner, the hop is merely an afterthought. Not so in this case.
The beer pours a translucent golden yellow, indicative of it’s subscript ‘liquid sunshine’. That’s about where the comparisons to ‘normal’ Pilsner’s stop though, as there is a discernible hop profile balancing the light refreshing body. The hops are slightly more bitter than I’d expect from the classic German varietals, although given the style I’m sure modern varieties weren’t substituted in, and I wasn’t able to find an ingredient listing on their website.
After a (usual) summer filled with hop bombs, this was a nice change of pace without losing out on quality. While it didn’t blow me away, I am more led to rave about it purely for the fact that it is a Pilsner with flavour!