For a long time, my default beer was an IPA. As IPAs have grown incrementally stronger, however, I’ve found myself expanding my horizons considerably and discovering a renewed interest in lagers and pilsners—beers that are better-suited to a day of drinking without that sloppy feeling.
It doesn’t hurt that innovative brewers are doing creative things with traditional German styles. Hence Suarez Family Brewery’s Palatine Pils—a beer that combines the easy-drinking aspects of a pilsner with a subtly complex, unpredictable flavor.
Palatine Pils is pale yellow in color, with a minute but steady stream of bubbles rising to the top. It’s very much on the clear side: there’s no sediment or haze in sight. In the light, the beer turns a more golden hue.
There’s a little bit of heat on the nose, along with wheat that conjures an image of expansive fields. A little sourness also comes through, as the essence of cranberries and cherries.
Palatine Pils is neither fish nor fowl, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t tasty, light and well-crafted.”
Palatine Pils is certainly crisp when you taste it, but there's also a hoppy cloudiness lurking in the background. The initial taste is buttery and savory; there's some weight to it, unlike the lightness of many a pilsner. Once that registers, it’s followed by a fuller, more bitter taste, which adds some complexity. It’s certainly got the refreshing qualities of an archetypal pilsner, but that’s not all that its sets out to do. A mild acidity, reminiscent of green apples,strikes a slightly dissonant note at times, but the overall effect is a complete and welcome one.
Palatine Pils deftly dodges expectations. It’s a satisfying and complex beer that also works well as a thirst-quenching summertime drink. It’s neither fish nor fowl, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t tasty, light and well-crafted. It’s a satisfying beer that won’t weigh you down, and revitalizes a classic style. It’s hard to argue with that.