Hoppy pilsner is to India pale lager (IPL) what black IPA is to Cascadian dark ale: When it comes down to it, they’re really just the same thing. The same goes for Brooklyn-based Threes Brewing’s Yclept Hoppy Pilsner. After tasting, it was apparent this beer’s soft malt flavor, slightly turbid appearance, and overly hoppy character were all signs it was meant for the wide-ranging, loosely -defined IPL category.
“Yclept” itself is an Old English word with Germanic origins, meaning “by the name of.” It’s also randomly happens to be the name of a 1999 album from an obscure post-punk experimental rock band called Dome. Whichever reference Threes meant to name this beer after, I’m not sure, but one thing is for certain: This is a solid beer worth trying if you have the opportunity.
Appearance and Aroma
Yclept’s can art features a simple, bold orange design. The beer pours a hazy (yes, hazy) straw gold color, bucking the usual trend toward brilliant clarity in traditional lagers. This is complemented by a robust bright off-white foam that lasts long after pouring. Swirling the suds in my glass, aromatics of tangerine and orange come through, in addition to floral notes.
In the end, Yclept is just a damn good beer.”
Yclept is not only hoppy, it’s also flavorful. It’s juicy and citrusy at the start, with notes of grapefruit and orange. The flavors then transition to pine and herbal hops and a Saltine cracker and biscuit-y malt sweetness. The beer ends with a resiny bitterness and refreshing, dry finish.
If I were blindly presented this beer I would have no idea that it’s a pilsner. For what it is, though, I think Threes Brewing did a decent job melding traditional lager flavors with new-school trends. But, ultimately, I don’t really think beer styles matter to a person who’s just looking for a good beer to drink. In the end, Yclept is just that—a damn good beer. At 5.2% ABV, it’s also sessionable enough you can enjoy more than one.