Pennsylvania Brewing Company - Penn Pilsner
- ABV: 5.0%
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 30
- Serving Temperature: 40-47º F
- Suggested Glassware: Flute, Pilsner Glass
- Malts: 2-Row, Caramel
- Hops: Hallertau Perle, Hallertau Tradition
The name is a little bit deceiving, as Penn Pilsner is brewed more in the style of a Vienna lager than a traditional German pils - but whatever it's called, it's tasty and we like it. Presenting a rich copper color capped by plenty of near-white foam that holds together well as it lowly drops, Penn Pilsner looks good in the glass. Aromas of lightly toasted bread crust, caramel, and maybe some honey are apparent, punctuated by a hay-like, grassy, noble hop profile. On the palate, the crackery malt character of a pilsner is here, but it's accompanied by a lightly toasty-bready malt quality and a bit of residual sweetness. We found the hop dosage to be in perfect proportion to the beer's malt core, overlaying it with some spicy notes and drying the beer out nicely in the finish, which lingers with some clinging hop bitterness and a touch of grain. This is an extremely food friendly beer; we recommend pairing this brew with roasted pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes and/or egg noodles, and plenty of gravy. 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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