Spencer Brewery - Premium Pilsner
- ABV: 4.7%
- Bottle Size: 12-oz
- Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs): 41.5
- Serving Temperature: 40-45° F
- Suggested Glassware: Pilsner Glass
- Malts: Pilsner
- Hops: Perle, Hersbrucker
This German-style pilsner pours a golden-straw color capped by a robust and lasting head of crisp white foam that laces nicely as it slowly drops to a persistent collar. In the aroma, look for prominent earthy hop tones with touches of lemon zest and a coriander-like spice note. These notes come through with prominence in the flavor, as well, as this well-hopped pils delivers a nice finishing bite that works nicely in concert with the characteristically crisp lager finish to clear the palate and beckon another sip. Crackery pils malt provides a satisfying core along with good balance for the bold European-style hop profile which comes through quite spicy. Pilsners and pizza are one of our favorite pairings, but there are plenty of other options that work nicely with this food-friendly style of beer, from shrimp scampi with angel hair pasta, to Vietnamese-style lemongrass chicken, to a snack of cheddar and aged chèvre. Cheers!
For many of us lovers of craft beer, our first foray into the world of Belgium's amazing ales came after stumbling across one of the famous Belgian Trappist monastery beers produced by Chimay, Westmalle, Orval, Rochefort, Achel, or, less likely due to its virtual absence on these shores, Westvleteren. However, not all of the Trappist breweries are located in Belgium, and several new Trappist breweries have opened around the world in recent years. There are now about a dozen certified Trappist breweries, most of which are located in Europe; this month's featured brewery, Spencer, which opened in 2013, is one of the exceptions.
So what is a "Trappist" anyway? "Trappist" is the common term for the monasteries of the Cistercian Order of the Strict Observance. The monks live according to the Rule of St. Benedict, which dates to the 6th century and emphasizes both prayer and work. As such, for over six decades the Trappist brothers of St. Joseph's Abbey in Spencer, MA have produced jams & jellies for sale to the public to support the monastery as well as their charitable assistance to the disadvantaged. Several years ago, one of the monks took an interest in brewing and trained at a local brewery. Inspired by him, more monks began to share his interest in brewing – a tradition among monastic communities dating back to the Middle Ages. For two years they gathered info and took multiple trips to visit existing Trappist breweries; starting with Westmalle and finishing at Sint Sixtus (Westvleteren), the brothers toured around Belgium learning all they could from their fellow monks, the producers of some of the greatest beers in the world.
Upon completion of their travels and learning, the monks of St. Joseph's voted overwhelmingly to launch their own Trappist brewery – America's first! Following Trappist tradition, they named their brewery after the abbey's home of Spencer, MA. In addition to traditional abbey-style beers, the monks also produce styles not typically associated with Trappist breweries, including IPA, Imperial Stout, Pilsner, and the darker "Festive Lager". For more info, visit them at spencerbrewery.com and www.spencerabbey.org.
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