Seven sozzled SOBA-ites (OK, we weren't that sozzled, and there were 8 of us by the end but that doesn't sound as good) gathered at Galbraiths on Saturday to explore what seems to have become a vexed question - what (if anything) is NZ Pilsner? I'd proposed the theme following a brief discussion with the guys at Croucher in Rotorua and it sparked off a heated debate on this forum - 11 pages of which I printed out and took along to the meeting.
We sampled the following beers, made notes on the key characteristics and scored them out of 10:
Galbraiths Bohemian Pilsner
Emerson's Organic Pilsner
Three Boys Pils
Wigram Bavarian Pilsner
Pilsner Urquell (as a sylistic benchmark)
It was a fascinating experiment, and very enjoyable. Precisely what I'd been hoping for when I suggested these regular meetings. So what were our conclusions?
- if Pilsner Urquell is a benchmark for Pilsner, Galbraith's effort is closest to style.
- the other NZ brews are quite different from the style. They all exhibited (to a greater or lesser extent) a level of sweetness which was not found in the Urquell or Galbraiths.
- however, all of the brews exhibited the lingering hop bitterness in the aftertaste which seems to be a characteristic of the style. So all the beers seem to spring from a common heritage.
Certainly not a definitive result, but a fascinating exercise. In case you're interested, the scores on the doors (overall) were:
Three Boys 44
Next meeting will be at The Shakespeare Tavern on Saturday 14th June at 2pm. Hopefully see you there.