When it comes to the craft crowd, we don’t want our beer to be ice cold. We drink our farmhouse ales at 40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit from a tulip glass and we want our stouts to be served at room temperature. A humid July Saturday afternoon is the only time when an “ice cold beer” should be appealing to anyone—and that’s where Ice, a pilsner made by San Diego’s Modern Times, comes in. True to its name, Ice is exactly what you want to drink ice cold.
Ice pours a transparent gold. There’s a ton of carbonation and a big, airy head, typical of the pilsner style. It’s a throwback in terms of appearance.
There’s a sweet graininess that typifies a traditional lager. The earthen hops give the aroma a well-rounded spiciness.
Simply enjoy it for what it is—and ice cold.”
At 4.7% ABV, Ice has a thin, light body. It drinks like a macro, insofar as it goes down smoothly. There’s a sweetness in the body that transforms into a dry, saltine cracker finish and a biting bitterness. The dry, bitter finish lingers a bit, which only encourages more drinking. While Modern Times is one of the better breweries in San Diego, the flavor of Ice is merely fine.
It’s not the greatest pilsner you’ll ever have, and there’s missing something that separates it from its peers in the new-school, low-ABV, flavorful lager game. Other pilsners made by craft competitors offer something a bit more interesting, but Ice falls to the middle of the pack. While it’s not a bad beer, it’s not one that would convert the typical Miller Lite drinker at a weekend barbecue, either. Simply enjoy it for what it is—and ice cold.