My first thought when I heard that Stone's Arrogant Consortia was doing a beer in collaboration with Metallica and calling it "Enter Night" was, "OK, that's a pretty good name for a stout." But the real surprise was that Enter Night is a pilsner (Arrogant Consortia already has a stout—Black Metallic—also a good name but unfortunately not a collaboration with Burzum).
My second thought was, "A pilsner from Stone?"
The marketing materials don't really shed any light on the, "why pilsner?" question, but I do have a theory: Yellow beer is the beer of the people. The proletariat. Metallica and Stone no doubt arrived at the mutual understanding that the thrash pioneers' fan base likes their metal heavy but their beer light. No one is tailgating at the Cow Palace with a tulip of tripel. Fuck that!
Appearance and Aroma
Something about the sleek, matte black can makes me want to crush it in my hand and scream obscenities at it. The beer pours clear yellow, with a touch of haze and a sugar-white head. The nose is filled with lemon, cut grass, sourdough, damp cellar, and that soupçon of wet dog that is the mark of a good pilsner.
This is a fine pilsner, and a sneakily ambitious attempt by Stone in the sense that it's hard to improve upon a beverage more or less perfected 100 years ago.”
This is Stone here and, if they aren’t making an IPA, they're still going to wildly gesticulate in the direction of one. Indeed, the first sip provides a snap of resiny bitterness that will make any West Coast IPA zealot finger their prayer beads. Those flavors cling to the teeth and settle into the soft palate, while a bit of pale maltiness stumbles in wounded and dies mid-tongue.
After a while your whole palate is ablaze with citrus rind, with each sip providing a momentary, bready relief before it too adds its bricks to the wall. Five to ten minutes after finishing off a can I'd swear up and down I'd just eaten a grapefruit. Are we sure this isn't an IPA? Show me the receipts, cowards!
When I was 13 years old, my friend's dad used his "Kill ‘Em All" shirt to successfully get out of jury duty. Anyhow, this is a fine pilsner, and a sneakily ambitious attempt by Stone in the sense that it's hard to improve upon a beverage more or less perfected 100 years ago. Of course, Stone's take was to add more hops—and if you expected otherwise, well, I don't know what to tell you. But when the temperature in L.A. begins to creep up again, and my seasonal craving for ice cold yellow beers re-emerges, I’ll most likely still reach for a Bohemia or a Bitburger.