Most brewers gravitate toward moody dark Belgians or rich barleywines this time of year, so of course Dogfish Head releases a bright, snappy pilsner — so cheeky! But just because they're being playful here doesn't mean Dogfish hasn't thought this one through — they've brewed this pilsner with spicy Saaz hops and a dose of pear juice for a midwinter sparkler that is perfectly suited to snow days, hearty food, and fireside sipping.
Beer Details: Piercing Pils from Dogfish Head Brewery, Milton, Delaware (Pilsner/Perry hybrid, Seasonal Release, 6% ABV, 35 IBU)
Appearance: So perfectly clear, I just want to gaze at it adoringly for a few minutes. The beer is a lovely shade of warm gold topped with a crackling head of glossy foam. Seriously, what a pretty beer.
Aroma: Lightly sweet — a touch fruity, a touch of honey
Taste: Pear is such a light flavor that it can be really hard to capture. This pilsner doesn't scream PEAR! in capital letters, but the pear tea and pear juice added during brewing definitely give the beer an extra layer of complexity and a fruity acidic note. Both things compliment the sweet pilsner malts really nicely. It is sweet and crisp with a bracing amount of hops — more hops than is usual for a pilsner, but that fits with Dogfish Head's style perfectly.
I love this as a late-winter beer. In my make-believe world, I'm sitting in a ski lodge as I'm sipping this, gazing out at the snowy slopes with a plate of cured meats and cheese at the table beside me.
→ Drink This Beer With: A simple dinner of cured meats, cheeses, and crusty baguette.
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