Clutch Brewing Company
I grew up in an era when beer meant either a pale, insipid industrial lager brewed to the tastes of the lowest common denominator or an import usually in a green bottle and usually skunky or at best abused and stale from a long ocean voyage and long stays in various warehouses. By 1980 the total number of breweries in the US dropped to 44. You bought what they produced or you drank gin and tonics. When the craft brewing revolution began, most concentrated on ales because they were easier, required less equipment and quicker to make. For a long time I steered clear of lager and pilsners because their were either skunky or poorly made.
Today with over 7,000 breweries in the US we have choices and craft breweries have honed their skills and expanded their equipment and produce a wide range of good beer and we are now drinking some very good lagers. Clutch Brewing Company Phils’s Pils (5.8% alcohol by volume) is one of them and you realize that this is not fizzy yellow tasteless swill. Cracking the crowler releases big rich malt aromas with some fresh bread, bread crust, and spicy hops. The bready rich malt aromas weigh in at medium plus and the spicy hop aromas come in at medium low spicy hop. It pours brilliant deep gold under a dense, creamy white head with good retention. Hold the beer for a moment in the front of your mouth and enjoy the very tasty initial fresh bready malt and then let the beer roll through your mouth as the malt flavors meet an assertive bitter mid palate. The malt flavors have nuance and are layered and complex. The bitterness is soft and rounded, prominent but not harsh with medium floral spicy hop flavors. There is a slight hint of light hint caramel. The long finish alternates between a light hop bitterness and malt. The flavor has a long, wonderful tail. The alcohol is just barely noticeable but lovely. The carbonation and body are medium and while the beer finishes crisp there is a light creaminess at the beginning. This is a very by the book Czech Premium Pale Lager that hits all the right buttons. I find it packed with flavor and character and am enjoying it immensely. You will seek it out for it long, lovely complex malty, hoppy tail. I rate it 92.
Go to Czech Premium Pale Lager for an introduction to the style, food pairing and glassware recommendations, and links to reviews of similar beer.