A staple in the southeastern brewing scene, Atlanta-based SweetWater Brewing Company has been doing anything but “floating the mainstream” since 1997. In an effort to protect the water it cares so much about, SweetWater partnered with fisherman-founded sunglasses brand Costa on a Kick Plastic campaign to raise awareness about plastic waste in oceans and waterways. SweetWater is doing its part by brewing Kick Plastic Pilsner, hoping drinkers will join the movement and “kick in to kick plastic.”
A Czech-style pilsner, Kick Plastic looks the part as it pours bright and straw-golden from its ocean blue can. Its hyper-bubbly body and thick foamy head add to the impression this will be a crisp and refreshing classic pilsner. And while hardly anyone talks about lacing in beer anymore, Kick Plastic clings to the glass so fiercely it bears mentioning.
SweetWater has definitely coaxed out the distinct herbal and grainy aroma of a good pilsner. But while the brewery says I should find some tropical notes from the addition of Azacca hops, I’m finding way more of the typical Czech aromas than anything from the tropics. Spicy, earthy hops with a background of sweet malt make up the bulk of what I smell hovering over the glass.
This is a good beer with a great message.”
I’m surprised to find a punch of fruitiness coming through in the flavor after a disappearing act in the aroma. Kick Plastic tastes more like a tropical pale ale than a pilsner early in each sip, with light grassy, mango, and citrus flavors. Then the Czech-pils grabs the wheel with the hoppiness becoming more spicy and herbal. The sweet, biscuity malt base supports both the fruity and spicy waves of hops before lingering with a sweet and refreshing finish. Kick Plastic isn’t the best or most unique pilsner I’ve ever had, but the combination of classic pilsner flavors with the punch of fruit brought on through creative hopping makes for an interesting brew.
Kick Plastic Pilsner does just enough to be worthy of your attention, but this is a good beer with a great message. We should all do our part to reduce the plastic waste that is overflowing landfills, clogging waterways, and damaging oceans. So definitely support Costa and SweetWater’s efforts by drinking Kick Plastic Pilsner, but more importantly, join the movement by kicking plastic in everyday life.