Malts: Canadian 2-Row Pale, Weyerman Vienna, Weyerman Munich
Hops: Magnum, Hallertauer, Saaz
A solid Czech-style pilsner is a great brew for hot weather—and Buzzards Bay Brewing's version is rightly crisp and clean, making it a satisfying thirst quencher after a hot summer's day. Hell, we'd have a pint of this on a cold winter's morning, but that's just us—completely nuts for beer. Expect a clean pilsner aroma—with a lightly lemony note from the generous portion of Hallertauer and Saaz hops, atop a background of very fresh-smelling grains. Sure, we love to age many of our brews, but this one is a great example of fresh beer best enjoyed fresh. Expect the grainy notes to carry through into the flavor profile. Look for a subtle note of honey, with a lemony zestiness (thank you Hallertauer hops) and a gentle spiciness from the Saaz hops. Finishes appropriately bitter. Overall, this is just a great pilsner—well crafted, well balanced—top marks! Try with lightly spicy Pad Thai, spritzed with lime.
It seems fitting, given the bustling beer culture of Massachusetts, that back in the 1800s the state was known for growing some of the finest hops in the world. Buzzards Bay Brewing, a family-owned brewery based in the heart of a southeastern Massachusetts farming community, is trying to restore that reputation. Using a portion of their 140 acre farm to grow hops (not to mention barley and pumpkins) for their ales and lagers, they've literally brought hop farming back to the region.
Sometime after discovering underground water springs on their farm, the Russell family set up a 50 barrel brewhouse and state-of-the-art bottling line. By winter of 1998, just five months after they began brewing operations, production reached 3,000 gallons of ale per day. In 2000 they began producing lager beer alongside English style ales. The Russells brew, bottle, and package all of their microbrews at their farm brewery. Not only are they experts in the realm of brewing, but they're also acclaimed grape-growers and vintners. Buzzards Bay Brewing's sister Vineyard and Winery, Westport Rivers Winery, is well-known throughout Massachusetts.
We haven't met a brew of theirs yet that we didn't rate highly. This month, as is appropriate for summer, we're featuring a pair of brews to help you cool down—Buzzards Bay Pale Ale and Buzzards Bay Pilsner. If you can get your hands on anything from this excellent northeastern farm-brewery—buy it! They've got a great repertoire of quality beers.
For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, call (508) 636-2288 or check out their web site at www.buzzardsbrew.com.
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