A Rarity In The Gluten Free Landscape
Gluten Free Pilsners
I’m not exactly sure why, but you don’t see many Pilsners in the gluten free craft beer landscape. Or perhaps they’re out there, but as taproom-only offerings that most of us never see or taste.
Today I am excited to bring you a review of the Bierly Brewing Felix Pilsner. This beer is brewed in Philomath Oregon at a dedicated gluten free brewery (one of FOUR in Oregon!). This Pilsner is one of two styles they offer in bottle. The other one is an Amber IPA, which I reviewed a couple weeks back.
I must admit, I have tried this beer once before…years ago. I found it on tap at Ground Breaker Brewing when I was in for a visit, but I’m excited to give it a fresh taste and share it with you here on the blog.
The Taste Test
Bierly Brewing Felix Pilsner
The Felix Pilsner pours with a boisterous head and a delicious sound. It has a pale yellow color, and just like Bierly Brewing’s Amber IPA, this Pilsner is crystal clear. If I didn’t have it in a textured glass, you would be able to read the Sunday paper through it.
The beer tastes as crisp as it looks. The carbonation hits the palate with force. The texture is crisp but the flavors are smooth. The last time I remember drinking this ale, I remember detecting (or interpreting) heavy notes of fennel at the time. I don’t really get that characteristic this time around. It could be that the recipe has been tweaked since I tried it a couple years ago, or perhaps it just tasted a bit different to me on draft.
Regardless, this Pilsner is very easy drinking and refreshing. It also has a distinct mineral taste to it, which adds to it’s crispness in my opinion. They did a great job of disguising the sorghum flavor with this brew. I wish I could record a soundtrack for this review, because this beer is very chatty. Its (now) thin head is bubbling away, lulling me to thirst as I write out this review.
This beer is labeled as a Bohemian Pilsner, which inspired me to do a bit of research on the history of this particular style. (Spoiler Alert: This style has been around for a loooooong time.) I learned that the authentic qualities behind a Bohemian Pislner are nothing like those of the reinvented American Pilsner, therefore you may be pleasantly surprised with its profile.
The Felix Pilsner was brewed with Czech Saaz hops, Oregon Magnum hops, and Weihenstephan yeast. Keeping with tradition, Bierly Brewing exercised strict temperature control during brewing and lagered the beer for 2 full weeks. This means it was stored in a cool environment for two weeks during fermentation. This produces greater clarity in the finished product.
This Pilsner has a 4.3% ABV and 32 IBU. So it’s light on all accounts. But not tasteless and watery like many American Pilsners. (No offense intended if that does it for you!) It’s actually quite complex and as the beer warms, I notice different layers of flavor exposing themselves.
I recommend getting your hands on one of these babies during summertime. It would be the perfect low alcohol lager to enjoy on a hot summer afternoon while tending to your garden, mowing the lawn…or just to enjoy while you watch someone else do that stuff. ?
Until next time…