Tasting Notes: PC Pils from Founders Brewing Co.

Image credit – Founders Brewing Co.

Lager madness continues to dominate and delight the Tasting Notes segment this week as we take a look at PC Pils from Founders Brewing Co. (Grand Rapids, Michigan).

I first brought you news of PC Pils back in August  when Founders Brewing Co. announced that this offering would be joining their portfolio as a new fall to winter Seasonal release (click here to read the full post).  This “American Hopped Pilsner” employs the expected qualities of the fine Pilsner malts you would find in European examples, but the brewery throws your palate a curve with the use of Chinook, Cascade and Centennial hop varietals sourced stateside.  This happy union produces piney, citrusy and floral flavors and aromatics in a beer that can only be described as “profoundly crushable, pleasantly crisp.”  PC Pils is available through the end of the year and can be found on draft, in 6-packs of 12 oz. bottles for the suggested retail price of $9.99, and in 15-packs of 12 oz. cans for the suggested retail price of $17.99.  Look for this one at craft beer retailers in Alabama, Florida and throughout the full distribution footprint of Founders Brewing Co.  With that information covered, let’s open this can, quench some thirst and take some Tasting Notes!

Tasting Notes for PC Pils from Founders Brewing Co.

Appearance: PC Pils slips into the glass as a light golden yellow in color.  When exposed to direct light, the body glows, gaining a vibrancy that can only be described as a highlighter yellow hue.  The body is pristine, clear, and shows off a moderate carbonation level meandering about.  The pour built three fingers of pillowy, bubbly foam that is the brightest of whites.  Retention is good, eventually causing the head to fall to fluffy, amoebic masses playfully acting as a top cap.  Lacing is decent and turns up as chunky spots left behind sparingly and sporadically after sips.  Reserved in presentation but silently screaming all things Pilsner.

Aroma: A delicate but unmistakable hop presence gets things started in the department of aromatics.  Light pine and juicy citrus laze about, mingling casually with the fresh floral tones that nonchalantly greet the nose on each and every inhale.  Clean and lightly sweet Pilsner malts cut the hops a bit by lending a touch of biscuity goodness. It may sound simple, but this is one alluringly fragrant Pils.

Taste:  Without any apprehension at all, the hops certainly show a little more bite here.  Pine resin kicks the flavors off, shifting to bitter grapefruit peel and zest with ease.  Lithe floral and serene grassy tones soften things up a bit as the flavors move toward a crackery Pils malt presence that is more savory than sweet.  The maltiness complements and lends balance to the hops.  A fine level of brewing craftsmanship is stamped all over this brew’s flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: This offering is light in body with a bright carbonation level to it.  That said, the beer is still somehow allowed to retain a touch of weight.  This gives PC Pils the ability to properly and fully engage the palate, and separate itself from any mass-produced lagers out there masquerading as standards for the style.  The ABV plays zero role here, and rightfully so.  The beer is crisp, clean, dry and incredibly easy drinking.  Aftertaste is just a touch of lingering pine and grapefruit zest.

Final Thoughts: If you are looking for a traditional, Euro-style Pilsner, PC Pils probably will not get you that fix.  Sure, it retains the malt characteristics of a traditional Pils and European examples of the style do have a snappy hop presence . . .  but full disclosure warrants that I inform you that the hops in PC Pils show some teeth.  Aptly described as an “American Hopped Pilsner,” this offering absolutely shows the brashness that our country is often accused of having and displays our seemingly undying love of lupulin.  This being the case, I do have to say that the bitterness and hoppiness are both presented in such a way that the beer retains the style’s easy drinking nature.  This is not a case of over-hopped insanity.  No, not at all.  It is more of an artistically penned love letter to American hops delivered in a medium other than the expected IPA.  It is a beer that will satisfy the most decorated of hophead, and will also act as a great way to introduce the craft beer novice to the bewildering world of hops in the format of an easy drinking and more approachable style.  Crisp and wonderfully drinkable, PC Pils is a welcomed addition to the new and growing landscape of American lagers.  Prost!