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Top 100 Beers of 2018

Top 100 Beers of 2018



by Rick Franckhauser
Highland Pilsner
Highland Brewing Co.

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R&D Brewer Trace Redmond Talks Highland Pilsner

What sets this beer apart from other examples within the style?
The Hallertau Blanc hops along with more classic varieties of Saphir, Perle, and Hersbruker lend white grape and spice notes to the aroma. The lager yeast we use provides a nice body, smooth mouthfeel and subtle yet engaging residual sweetness.

What makes this beer truly world class?
We take a lot of pride and put a lot of effort into sourcing and testing our raw materials and monitoring the beer throughout the process to make sure every Highland Pilsner is the best pilsner it can be. We are into beer self-actualization.

How popular is this beer among your faithful fans?
It’s the number one selling beer in our taproom!

Who came up with this beer’s recipe?
Our former brewmaster Hollie Stephenson (now head brewer at the Guinness Open Gate Brewery) first created the recipe for Highland Pilsner.

What’s your favorite aspect of this beer (flavor, aroma, mouthfeel, etc.)?
I love the white grape aroma and how the flavorful Hallertau Blanc hops mingle nicely with the spicy/noble character of the Perle and Hersbrucker varietals. This is a pilsner that’s truly having some fun.

Can you describe this beer in 10 words or less?
Yes please, I’ll have one more!

What’s a good food pairing for this beer?
Shrimp and grits, trout and asparagus or strawberry ice cream.

Judge’s Second Opinion

In a beer culture that exalts extremes, I believe it is important not to miss out on the satisfaction that can be found in the finely balanced classic styles. When properly executed German Pilsners can be one of the most enjoyable beers to pass over your palate. Perhaps our reaction against the fizzy yellow mass-produced American beers that have been marketed as “Pilsner style” and have dominated our society for so very long have tainted our understanding of the style.

With the rise of the craft beer culture, ales have reigned supreme and there is no limit to the amount of hops we expect to encounter. There are, of course, good reasons for these trends; after all, hops are wonderful and ales allow a quick turnaround for the brewer, freeing up valuable fermenter space. Fortunately, trends are ever-changing, and in recent years more and more craft breweries are producing lagers.

Highland Brewing Co.’s Pilsner represents all that is great about a classic German Pils. Highland has managed to do what very few American brewers have been able to accomplish, namely brew a German Pils that can stand up to the great brews of Germany. There is something spectacular about those German beers. The beer showcases an incredibly rich malt profile while remaining light-bodied and highly-attenuated. The floral hop bouquet is crisp, clean, refreshing and balanced toward a well-rounded hop bitterness.

Highland Brewing Co. has managed to brew a classic. Each aspect of the malt and hop flavors are clean distinct and bright. There is a real synergy as each element of the beer that works to complement the other with sublime balance and freshness. The rich malt supports the hop bitterness as the floral and spicy hops add complexity and drinkability that I could never get tired of. It’s one of those beers that after you drink one, you are immediately ready for a second. Slap on your Lederhosen, pour yourself a liter of Highland Pilsner and settle in to some wiener schnitzel and oompah music as your mind drifts off to the Biergarten – Rick Franckhauser


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