This week: Genesee Pilsner
Genesee Brewing Co.,
Looking over some of my past pilsner reviews, even some of the best did not quite hit the mark, underdoing the malt and overdoing the hops in the form of bitterness, even taking into account that the pilsner style is a touch more bitter than regular German-style lagers.
Genesee’s pilsner strikes a perfect balance between malt flavor and bitterness, with the added plus of wonderful floral and grassy hop flavors that usually are hard to capture in a bottle or can.
I’m asked occasionally whether the type of glass used to drink beer influences flavor. In general, I would say no; however, it does make a big difference in bringing out aromas and for visual aesthetics. For instance, if you pour a beer into a simple pint glass, you will not get the aromas that you would from a tulip- or V-shaped glass.
I always use a V-shaped pilsner glass for lagers simply because I like looking at the cascading bubbles that make their way from the bottom of the glass to the top. It also helps show off the clarity of the beer.
Genesee Pilsner had these qualities, along with a straw-colored body topped by a bright white head. It was a work of art to admire.
The aroma of the malt was bready and biscuity, with a strong floral background from the German hops used. The light pilsner malt came through in the flavor of the 5% ABV brew, where the hops took on a more grassy note.
The carbonation was crisp, yet the mouthfeel was soft on the palate. A kiss of bitterness at the end helped the beer finish cleanly.
Genesee Pilsner is available in Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. It has a Beer Finder link at the top of its home page.
Genesee has also released its India Pale Ale. It had a good balance between the pine and grapefruit characteristics, where many American IPAs tend to be dominated by the pine. The caramel malt used in the beer was noticeable despite the hops and while there was the expected bitterness, there was no lingering harshness.
Genesee IPA is available in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Many beers are available only regionally. Check the brewer's website, which often contains information on product availability by mail. Contact Todd Haefer at firstname.lastname@example.org.