Beer: Piercing Pils
Brewer: Dogfish Head Brewery
Style: Czech Pilsner
Description: Piercing Pils pours a brilliant clear golden hue with a white foamy head that leaves a perfect lacing on the glass. The aroma is much more complicated than typical pilsners, with notes of pear, citrus, biscuit malts, and noble hops cutting through. The flavor backs the nose and is very malt-forward with biscuit and bready malts hitting up front, followed by pear flavor before the noble hops finish up by washing over and leaving a very clean, crisp, and dry finish on the palate. The body is very light with moderate carbonation and is just what you would want for the style. In a world that produces a seemingly endless amount of bland pilsners, it is very refreshing to see a world class brewery make this style its own and produce one that is extremely enjoyable.
Food pairing: Pilsners are great beers to pair with traditional American fare, but many lack flavor and depth to add anything to the meal and instead tend to act more like seltzer water; that is certainly not true for Piercing Pils. This full-flavored pilsner enhances many meat dishes by highlighting the caramelization within the meat; try having this with BBQ ribs and/or a delicious medium-rare cheeseburger, and do not be afraid to pile on the toppings. The pear notes add a layer of sweetness to the meat while the malt really enhances the meat profile to make a truly great pairing with this beer. Something a little heartier to try with Piercing Pils on these cold nights is a delectable pasta primavera dish; the beer cleanses the palate effortlessly between bites and allows the pasta to shine through without weighing down the palate. Also keep Piercing Pils in mind for those upcoming Super Bowl parties, as it goes great with pizza, wings (the spicier the better), nachos, and anything else at such a party. While most pilsners are lightweights, Piercing Pils can hold its own against a wide variety of dishes.
The final word: Piercing Pils is an unquestionably perfect pilsner beer and is a great one to give to any friends that enjoy beer but have not taken the leap into drinking craft beers. Many of us are used to the watered-down pilsners that pass themselves off as beer but lack the depth and flavor that true pilsners possess. Piercing Pils not only has the flavor depth one would want from the style, but the addition of pear adds an extra layer of intricacy, though it does not tread anywhere near becoming a “fruit beer.” Dogfish Head is a brewery that certainly has made its own path in the beer world and it yet again bucks the trend of releasing dark seasonal beers (porters and stouts) and instead releases a light, refreshing pilsner as its new winter seasonal beer. It is absolutely impeccable and is a welcome break from the many dark beers consumed this time of year. The six percent ABV also makes this an extremely sessionable beer that is great for a night out with friends. Though Piercing Pils is new to the market, it will quickly make itself at home in your fridge!
Rating: W W W W V
Where can I get it? Currently available in 12-ounce bottles at J & H Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Krugel’s Georgetown Deli & Beer, Wilkes-Barre; Exit 190 Beer Deli, Dickson City; and Backyard Ale House, Scranton.
Remember, enjoy responsibly! Cheers!
-Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer, and beer historian. Follow Derek’s beer blog at idtapthat.org.