Pennsylvania Brewing Company - Kaiser Pils
- Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 45
- Serving Temperature: 42-48°F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass, Stange, or Flute
- Malts: 2 Row Pale
- Hops: Perle, Hallertau, Spalt
This 2008 GABF Gold Medal winner in the German-Style Pilsener category is described by Penn as a “Northern German Pils,” a nod to the more prominently zesty and citric pilsners of that region. Weighing in at 45 IBUs, it may seem extreme in terms of what one expects from a pilsner, but it’s not unheard of among examples of the style from northern Germany. This brew presents a vibrant golden yellow color with some light chill haze, topped by a bright white head. Sure enough, prominent Hallertau hop aromas come forth with a definite earthy, spicy, and lemony citrus character, while crackery pale malt provides structure underneath. On the palate, we found the malt quite robust in flavor, providing a solid backbone of biscuity, crackery flavors to stand up to the hops, which struck us as assertively herbal, spicy, and mildly citric. Soft and well-carbonated, Kaiser Pils is a refreshing but bold, in-your-face style of pilsner. And we like that. Try pairing with grilled lemon-pepper chicken or shrimp. Prost!
Pennsylvania Brewing Company founder Tom Pastorius developed a taste for real, authentic beer during his service with the U.S. Army in Germany. After coming back to the U.S. and earning a Master of Business Administration degree at Penn State University, he returned to Germany where he lived for some time in the ‘70s, incorporating beer into his diet just like the Germans for whom beer has been as much a staple as bread for hundreds of years. Many an American has come home from living in Germany only to be sadly disappointed by the bland, poor quality, rice- and corn-laden products commonly referred to as “beer” here in the States, and that’s exactly what happened to Tom when he returned to the U.S. in 1981. “Beer tastes better over there. I just missed the beer…,” he recalls.
His thirst unsatisfied by the commercially available beer choices, and in need of work, Tom made the bold decision to start a brewery. In 1986 he bought the abandoned brick and stone E&O brewhouse for $225,000, and launched a laborious $4 million, 3-year restoration project on the nearly 150-year-old building. Tom’s focus for the new-found Pennsylvania Brewing Company was to brew traditional, authentic German-style beers using German-sourced ingredients and equipment, and he was wildly successful.
Sadly, in 2008, the brewery was shuttered when a private equity firm took control of the business and outsourced production. But things got back on track when a group of local beer loving investors came together in 2009 to retake control of the business, returning the brewery to full production in 2010. For more information about the brewery, scheduled tours, or their attached restaurant, call (412) 237-9400, or visit their website at www.pennbrew.com.
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