Aass Bryggeri - Aass Pilsner
Serving Temperature:40-45° F
Suggested Glassware:Pilsner Glass
This brew certainly looks the part of a German-style pilsner as it presents a gleaming golden-straw color with crystal clarity and a fluffy cap of bright foam. On the nose, look for noble hop aromas to come forth front and center. We picked up big grassy and hay-like notes with earthy and herbal spice tones and a wisp of lemon zest. On the palate, this pils delivers a super crisp and dry character as a core of crackery pils malt is decorated with all of those noble hop aromas coming through brightly on the palate, as well. Pilsners can be tricky to brew as there is absolutely no place for any flaws to hide, and it's clear Aass has their recipe and process down pat. It's got everything we look for and love in a German pils: bold European hops, moderate bitterness, and a clean, refreshing dryness that culminates in a very crisp finish that leaves us wanting more. For pairing options, the brewery recommends salty, spicy, and strong flavors. Pizza and calzones are among our favorites with pilsners, and to those suggestions we'd add citrus marinated shrimp with a touch of red pepper or finely diced serrano. Cheers!
Located in the city of Drammen (current population ~63,000), along a river of the same name, lies Aass Bryggeri, Norway’s oldest active brewery. Originally founded by Ole Pehrson in 1834 and sold to Halvor Ellingsen in 1842, the company was initially involved in several industries in addition to brewing, including baking, household goods, and timber, which was floated down the river from the rich nearby forests. The Aass family comes into the picture after 16-year-old Poul Lauritz Aass, from a farming family living in the village of Skotselv (current population ~700), made his way to Drammen to start his adult life. After trade school, he and a partner bought the brewery business in 1860, and within six years he was the sole owner.
After Poul’s death in 1904, ownership of the brewery passed to his children, with his son, Jens, taking over operations. Educated in the art and science of brewing in Germany, Jens set about modernizing the brewery, introducing machinery to the brewhouse and replacing horses with motor vehicles for local distribution.
The third generation, Detlev, took over from his father around the time of World War II. Despite various hardships including rationing and a multitude of material shortages, the brewery survived, and in 1957 Aass gained a bottling license for Coca Cola which continued all the way until 2000. Detlev’s youngest son, Terje, took over the brewery in 1979, ushering in an era of expansion and export growth. The fifth and current generation, Christian August Knudsen Aass, took over in 2013.
Aass Bryggeri is one of just a handful of independent family breweries remaining in Norway, and amazingly they've been brewing in the same location for over 180 years. They employ around 100 workers who craft a fairly wide array of beverages. In addition to their main beer business, Aass produces cider, mineral water, and aquavit, a spiced liquor which is a Scandinavian specialty. For more info, visit www.aass.no/en.
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