Local Roots and The Beer Road Take a Fresh Look At Pilsners With Chaos Mountain’s Cross Czech Pilsner

Beer Golden to “straw-like yellow”, and clear as a bell.  Outwardly, a classic Pilsner might look and seem about as mild mannered as it gets.  A showcase for crispness and typically a champion for those noble hops (you remember those, right?), they seem well intentioned enough.  But somehow, under the weight of the last dozen massively Citra dry hopped IPAs, it’s also a style that can seem as if it’s relegated to sitting quietly in the craft beer back seat.  Although toying with them does happen, rarely – “Imperial” versions are fairly uncommon, and a few of us might remember the Stone (or even Devils Backbone) “Black Pilsner”.  For the most part, you likely think you know what to expect from the two major, by the book, classic versions:  Bohemian/Czech and German.

But do we really remember how good they can be?  Sure, for some, the style seems to be a little lacking in the street cred department.  The latest IPA “worthy” of travelling five states and waiting in line for three hours for may own that territory. But amid the endless numbers of home run hitting IPAs, a good Pilsner is the beer that keeps swinging away, hitting near .400 and reaching base with regularity.  So an honest look at the style just might reveal that their current reputation for being overly tame is, of course, more than a little unfair.  Well done versions are startlingly crisp, helping make them perhaps the classic heat wave reducing summer beer.  A typically low abv% makes them immensely crushable and a great session beer.  And for those who can appreciate the floral and sometimes spicy edged nature of the hops typically used in Pilsners, they can be a nice switch up from the citrusy or pine like varieties so common in IPA and Pales.

Chaos Mountain BrewingThis summer has seen a handful of new Czech style Pilsners pop up in the area.  Three Brothers (Harrisonburg) released their “Pilsnerd”, Hardywood (Richmond) their Bohemian Pils, and closer to Roanoke, Chaos Mountain has recently produced one of their own, “Cross Czech Pilsner”.  Previously available only at the brewery in nearby Callaway, it will make what will likely be its only appearance outside the brewery this weekend at Local Roots Restaurant.

Head Brewer Will Landry offered a couple tasting notes for the beer, noting that “a soft grain sweetness leads off the taste, fading to a crisp finish while not drying out”, adding that “it’s a great entry beer to craft”.

I’m betting that for many craft beer curious, it’s been a while since the last revisit of a good, solid Pilsner.  This weekend at Local Roots, make your way out, check out an example of what a hand crafted Pilsner can be, and look beyond that seemingly mild mannered, clear appearance.


~ by thebeerroad on September 11, 2014.

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