Before I get started on the beer I think those of you who read this monstrosity on a weekly basis have proved loyal enough to learn some more about me, lucky you! I originally started doing this because after applying to an embarrassing amount of brewery jobs I may (or may not) have been qualified for…I finally wised up and just started asking for advice. I received two bits over and over again; the first, was that I should start writing a beer blog to have something to show. The second, was to drop the breweries for now unless I was willing to move to Colorado and become a brewhouse pourer (I thought about it). Luckily or unluckily for me, depending on how you look at it, my dad would hear none of that. The distributing gig was something I hadn’t thought of though so with no luck on the brewery front I went for merchandising…and some sales rep. jobs instead. After repeating the process of a lot of job applications sent without much reply a good friend of mine from college sent me a text and asks how close I live to Tampa, FL. “Not that close, about 4 hours…but I love Tampa!” with that a process began that I am happy to say has lead to my first job (out of college) and my first opportunity to become part of the beer world that I love so much. If I think about it, I am blessed. I may have sent out over 100 resumes, emails, and filled out tedious online applications but it only took me five months o find a job, where I know a lot of others are still looking. I am also very blessed because how many college graduates can say they are working in the field of their dreams? Probably not many.
Why am I sharing this process with you? Mostly it is an excuse to say thank you for reading and giving me views that have kept me writing this blog for the last four months. But also, because while in life, the process of it all can be frustrating and annoying and even make you want to throw in the towel. The answer sometimes really is at the end of a tall cold pint. I astound you with my insight…I know.
Anywho! I am very sorry for my absence the last two months, it’s been hard with starting a new job…I honestly never realized how much “work” a job is. I know that sounds stupid, but I have never had a 9-5 job, so it has been a big adjustment from my biggest accomplishment of the summer which was molding a couch cushion to my butt. While I was out in the field I realized how many beers I haven’t tried. In two monthsI have managed to try over 70 new beers, give or take. The one I will be discussing today is from Cigar City’s Patio Pills. This is truly a delicious beer from a great Florida brewery. If you haven’t ever had a reason to go to Tampa, you now have one. The brewers at Cigar City are truly fantastic and have amazing vision for beer. In my opinion they brew a diverse line up of beer. I have encountered some people that call their beer “average” this is something I have encountered in the distributing business where I talk to many people in the industry a day, Everyone is different. Duh. So, someone who loves Left Hand could find Cigar City to be mediocre and visa versa.
As you may have deduced, Cigar City Patio Pills is a Pilsner…so glad to see that none of you have lost your smarts in my absence. Pilsners can get a bad rap from craft beer drinkers because some people think they are not special enough. The Patio Pils is in fact a limited release beer from Cigar City (that I was lucky enough to try). Before we get into what makes this particular beer special I would like to talk about Pilsners in general. All pilsners can be broken into three types; German, Bohemian, or American. The bohemian style is the “original pilsner” so named for the region in Germany that unveiled on October 5, 1842, at the new municipal brewery in the city of Plzn (pronounced “Pilsen” in Germany) in Bohemia, now part of the modern-day Czech Republic. Budweiser actually refers to itself as a pilsner…although the lack of hop flavor would make it more of a pale lager. The German Pilsner differs from the Bohemian listed above mostly because of it’s focus on hops. They originally did this, because the region in which they were brewing did not have soft water naturally provided. They also tend to be more highly carbonated with more dryness and less emphasis on malt characters. Now, the American style pils gets broken down into three smaller categories, these are; American, Classic American, and Pre-Prohibition American. These terms are used to the beers in the Pilsner style that were brewed by German and other immigrants in the United States before Prohibtion, and to the modern craft beers that have attempted to recreate that style. American Pilsners are usually brewed with American hop varieties and American six-row barley, requiring the addition of, fermentable adjuncts usually in the form of Maize.
Ok, now, specifically to talk about the Patio Pils. It was frankly delicious. I like pilsners, but I have had my far share of mediocre ones. Cigar City makes it special by replacing six-row barley and cluster hops with premium two-row pilsner malt and noble hop varietals. They got generous with the hops aroma without allowing it to overpower the actual flavor of the beer. It is, as they describe a superb warm weather beer. I found it to be refreshing and good to the last drop…which I was tempted to suck out of the bottle. Since it was a limited release it was served to me in a bomber (750 ml) , with a glass…I drank it by myself and was grateful I didn’t have to share.
I know this isn’t as detailed as I have gotten in the past as far as my opinion goes but I promise we will get back to that. If nothing else I hope this helped you learn a little more about the Pilsner style in general. I would give this beer 4 out of 5 pints, and suggest that if you get the opportunity to explore Cigar City, you do it.