Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week 20: A Novel Pilsner

1. Lagunitas Undercover Investigator Shutdown
2. Furthermore Oscura
3. Stone Arrogant Bastard
4. Southern Tier 2X IPA
5. Dogfish Head My Antonia

"There seemed to be nothing to see; no fences, no creeks or tress, no hills or fields. If there was a road, I could not make it out in the faint starlight. There was nothing but land: not a country at all, but the material out of which countries are made."

It's book quotations like this that make craft beer so beautifully delectable. I haven't read Willa Cather's My Antonia in many years, but, nonetheless, maybe my affinity with Dogfish Head is so strong because both Sam Calagione and I hold English degrees, or maybe it's because he makes one amazing Imperial Pilsner.

Just like enjoying sours over the winter, I am now trying to adjust my palate to Pilsners. There was probably no real good reason why I never gravitated toward them. I thought they just "seemed" weak, kind-of bland, and oh yeah, they are lagers. Lagers just have never done it for me. If I delve a bit deeper into how a lager is made I might find that missing essence that IPAs or even Imperial Stouts are made up of.

So is it all in the hops? Probably. My Antonia is sweet and hazy on the palate and eyes. And if you close your eyes, the beautiful floral hops can make you feel something that the passage above makes me feel, something simple and handmade, something where images in your head manifest before you, something euphoric. And all along you were just drinking a pilsner.

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