It’s not sexy. It’s not popular. It’s not what’s now.
As we shift out of a fall season that has shown utter disdain for seasonal beers the likes I haven’t since I started opining, this should be the time to start getting into stouts. Most of our faithful readers know that this is where a lot of brewers across The Commonwealth shine on the national stage. Don’t worry, we’ll get to all those. But I didn’t want to get too far into the season without talking about this beer.
I usually start all my pilsner reviews the same way: complaining about how they don’t get the respect they deserve and imploring more breweries to go simple, even though it can be a hard push to move product. So when I see canned runs of local pilsners, I am intrigued and curious. This was worth the effort.
Cruise Control, Crooked Run Brewing (Sterling, VA)
Pilsner, 5% ABV, 25 IBU
Presentation: Tall boy into glass to taste, classy after that.
Appearance: Deep golden/gold straw, slight whitish foam that stayed a little bit and laced glass quite well (**Note: Your carbonation will vary, especially tap vs. can vs. growler. Find can has higher carbonation that other leading to more head. Pluses and minuses is another topic for another time. This is just our observation in this instance.**)
Aroma: Bready to sweet-bready bold with little must and a good helping of fleshy fruit/citrus
Taste: It is more rounded than super crisp, which is great as it shows a slightly heavier side of full-flavor pilsner. But the counterbalance is the use of the NZ hops that give it a tropical fruit middle-back to finish. In a slightly lighter version, you would be up against some lime, lemon, grapefruit, but the ‘bass’ in this moves the dial to a more fleshy mango, starfruit area that is nice.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: For a craft pilsner, it felt right on, with a medium density, slightly astringent, maybe just a touch on the hoppy side of reset. The 5% ABV is on point and the IBU is noticeable at the end but the contributions to the overall flavor hits earlier.
Overall: So why a pilsner review in November? Well I’ll tell you. This is a November Pilsner. I could easily see this play well 4 different seasons. But there will be those that think it is too heavy for summer or too fruity for winter. And as we are in a transitional time of the seasons, this is the right time for this one. Northern Virginia has this beer on lock down, and I have seen Crooked Run’s cans pop up around the state so keep your eye out for this one.