Brewsters Czech Pilsner

Reviewed by on November 15, 2013 in Local Heroes Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Brewsters Brewing Company

  • Origin: Calgary, AB

  • Rated On: August 28, 2013

  • Best Before: N/A

  • ABV: 5.0%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: Czech Pilsener

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

Alberta’s longest existing brewpub, Brewsters was started in 1989 in Regina, Saskatchewan by the Lanigan family, and subsequently expanded into Alberta in the 1990s. There are chain locations spread throughout Edmonton and Calgary, and the brewing is now done primarily at the Calgary Foothills facility, with a lesser amount whipped up (the German styles) at Oliver Square in Edmonton. They sell an everyday line of standard, fairly robust draft offerings, while sporting a rather large rotating series, all served in their “True Pour” system, which basically boils down to ‘clean lines, and full 20oz pints’. They also bottle a small subset of their products, like this ode to the classic pilsners of Bohemia.

This 500ml bottle pours a somewhat hazy, pale golden straw colour, with one fat finger of otherwise aspirational puffy, loosely foamy, and quite bubbly off-white head, which leaves a decent array of sudsy cobwebbed lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of grainy, biscuity, and slightly yeasty pale cereal malt, white pepper, fresh cut hay, and peppy grassy hops. The taste is a bit more restrained on the rounded grain front, as a certain warming character invades, the doughy cereal fullness persists, a bit of muted, indistinct citrus wafts about, and those floral Saaz hops do indeed arrive, but to the tune of a somewhat underwhelming fanfare. The carbonation is mature, in the sense of a duly muted peppiness, the body a pleasantly plump medium weight, and generally smooth, the hops not really willing or able to mess around here. It finishes off-dry, the more or less crisp crackery malt oblivious to the somewhat middling rendition of Bohemian hops.

For an Alberta-brewed example, this is one of the closest I’ve yet seen to evoking the enjoyable experience that is the true Czech Pilsener – crisp, biscuity, and sassy in its hoppiness. They got that here, sure, but with a certain dose of Canuck understatement – worthy enough for the masses on the waning summer patio, but a bit lacking against the world beaters.

Brady White

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