Few breweries hold my unabashed loyalty like Oxbow. For a place that bills itself as an "American farmhouse brewery," its lineup showcases a diversity of styles: funky, tart, dry, malty and even hop-forward. One of the stars of the this lineup is Luppolo, an Italian-style pilsner.
While I love Oxbow, their typical format is the 500-ml bottle. I was charmed by the Instagram post that announced Luppolo would be available in four-packs of 16-oz cans. So, last time I found myself in Oxbow’s Portland, Maine taproom, I grabbed a beer, frites and four-pack of Luppolo.
Appearance and Aroma
First of all, let’s take a moment to react to the dopeness of the can art. Will Sears is the art director at Oxbow, so, should you need a lesson in modern art, check him out. The beer itself pours a golden-straw color. It’s transparent, yet a bit cloudy. The head is a pillow of effervescent carbonation that releases an aroma of earthy hops—grassy and subdued, with a hint of toasted grains.
The phrase, 'It tastes like a beer,' is often overused when it comes to describing lagers, but it’s rather appropriate here.”
The phrase, “It tastes like a beer,” is often overused when it comes to describing lagers, but it’s rather appropriate here. The beer is mild, malty and what a drinker would expect upon taking a sip of a well-made pilsner. It’s light in body, with a bit of sweetness that’s balanced by the bitterness from dry-hopping. The beers tast is brighter than its aroma. At 5% ABV, it is an easy-drinker, suitable for drinking all day.
This beer serves both sides of the proverbial craft beer coin. It exists for the craft drinker who just wants to pop open a cold, accessible-tasting beer in the backyard. On the other side, though, Luppolo demonstrates a depth and complexity warranting discussion and consideration. Most importantly, it’s another fantastic beer by Oxbow.