Monday, August 12, 2013

Oregon Pilsners — Southern Oregon Brewing vs. Base Camp Brewing

Southern Oregon Brewing
Na Zdravi Czech Style Pilsner
ABV 4.8%

Base Camp Brewing
Ripstop Rye Pils
ABV 5.7% 

It's hard to beat a good pilsner on a hot day. If it's made right it should be crisp, refreshing and even a bit hoppy and bitter. On a broiling southern Oregon summer evening we put two Oregon pilsners into the ring to see which we liked best. As always we tasted blind for dramatic effect.

Beer #1 (Na Zdravi) was a hazy yellow with some grain and clean citrus hops on the nose. It had a nice sharpness/crispness with some flavors of grain and bread. The finish was mellow with more grain and a mild citrus bitterness.

Beer #2 (Ripstop) was clear and golden. It had a bit of a barnyard funkiness on the nose while the body was much richer and featured prominent bready flavors. The finish was quite malty and somewhat sweet and grainy with no hop bitterness at all.

If we judged these according to style the Na Zdravi would have won hands down, however that's not how we roll. We always judge on which beer we liked better and in this case we ended up choosing different beers. Ellen thought that the Na Zdravi was a bit too clean (bordering on lemon pledge) and preferred the smooth maltiness of the Ripstop. I went with the Na Zdravi simply because I was craving a beer with a modicum of hops and the Ripstop really had almost zero hop presence.

Split decision: Ellen chose the Ripstop, I chose the Na Zdravi