I’ve enjoyed a nice solid vacation down south while fellow VBR’s Alex has been manning the articles and Ben has been on our other social media platforms. But the time to relax is over. It is August, which means it is Virginia Craft Beer Month. While we celebrate Virginia brews year round, this month is a great opportunity for the Commonwealth to really get the Virginia brand out there. And of course, we are going to do our part by pushing out a ton of content and extensive coverage of the biggest party of the year at the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival.
Until then, we are going to roll on with our reviews. We were finally able to find this beer on tap just last weekend, and *shocker* it was another quality beer. And while they are known for some really, really big beers, the lower ABV and ‘simpler’ styles can be even tougher to produce.
Pony Pasture Pilsner, Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery (Goochland, VA)
Pilsner, ABV: 5.7%, IBU: 30
Presentation: Tap pour into pilsner glass. I’m not going to get on my high horse (get it ‘pony’ ‘horse’, ahhh what do you know) about glasses again, but it is nice once and a while to get out of the pint glass rut.
Appearance: Medium to deep dark gold, mostly clear, with solidly white head that sits up for a few seconds, then laces the glass.
Aroma: Clean with some light malt and bread notes with some noticeable spice.
Taste: Upfront pils malts gets cut in the middle by a great light spice from the hops, but make no mistake, this is a very clean and crisp beer, pushing on the traditional Czech style a lot.
ABV/IBU Mouthfeel: Slightly heavier than most pilsners, but does not weigh you down and is very drinkable. A little bready back end from a complete reset is too be expected from this style. ABV is higher as well, but the spice covers up any sharpness and blends into the beer. Well balanced IBU, which the use of hops is one of the highlights of this beer.
Overall: Simple is hard. In music, any one can blow through thousands of notes at 140 bpm, but it is the slower tempo songs that takes the most work and can expose hidden flaws. We view pilsners in this class as well. Sometimes you have too much going on in a beer to really get down and look at every little things. In a pilsner, you leave yourself out there for greater scrutiny. Lickinghole has had no problems with people digging into their beers, as the same attention they pay to their higher ABV beers they tend to this one as well. It is very, very smooth and drinkable and would love to see this in cans on a regular basis. Until then, this is a bomber or tap find that is available throughout most of the Commonwealth. Seek this one out for the dog days of August.