Does anyone else have a style of beer they just have never been able to really enjoy? For me it is the dreaded pilsner. I think it may be the mind over matter principle that is keeping me away from it. How many times have you been watching commercials and heard the advertisement that says, “Triple hops brewed for that great pilsner taste!”? I know I must have heard it half a million times over the course of a lifetime. It’s not that there is anything wrong with pilsners overall, but it’s like Pavlov’s dogs. You hear that saying enough with a bad association, and you all of a sudden can’t seem to drink or order it anymore. Instead of salivating at the sound of a bell, I think I immediately skip the part of a beer list that says pilsners. Attempting to be a well-rounded consumer of beer, I wanted to give all forms of beer an honest try. So, when I saw that Mikkeller had a pilsner at my local store, I decided to pick it up for an honest try. Of course, when you get something from a far out there brewery like Mikkeller, you rarely get what you’re expecting.
This is my third Mikkeller review in recent months. I’m not sure if I’m just noticing their stuff more, or if they have actually been able to up their distribution to my area. Whatever the case may be, I’m glad that I can purchase more from them on a regular basis. I have one more of theirs in my fridge right now waiting for review as well. Mikkeller, as I have stated before, is a nomadic brewing company. They don’t have their own facilities; instead, they travel around to different breweries and brew there. Some of these end up being a collaboration, while other are specific to Mikkeller. I’m actually surprised I haven’t heard of more breweries using this idea.
Dream Pils is hard to find any information about. Evidently it is known as Danish Dream and American Dream other places. Therefore, I feel like I’m finding a lot of different conflicting information. In the American market this is sold as a pilsner, but in Europe it would seem this beer is being billed as a lager. Both of these styles use lager yeast, so I’m guessing that they feel they can bill it as they please. From what I can tell, the American billing of this beer in Europe is due to its use of American hops. As I began to drink the beer, it was pretty clear that this could be the real triple hops brewed pilsner.
This one pours out a golden-yellow color with some hints of orange. There is an ample amount of white fluffy head that develops on top of the beer. The beer is exceptionally clear which allows you too see its amazing clarity. There is definitely nearly no haze here at all; however, you can see the ample amount of carbonation that is present instead. The swirl brings out a little light lacing, but there is ton of sticky residue left over.
I was surprised by the ample amount of hops that come out of the smell of the beer. It’s a little citrusy overall, and you do get some apple cidery aroma as well. The beer has a very earthy scent to it. There is obviously some big sweet malt notes that are pleasantly backing up the hops. Finally you can pull out a little bit of the bready yeast aroma in there as well.
I was extremely surprised by the flavors I got out of the first sip. I expect pilsners to be somewhat fresh and crisp tasting with some light malts and not too noticeable hops. Instead, I got hit in the face with a bunch of hops with this one. There a little sweet malt intro to start off the beer. This leads into some very nice well-balanced hops towards the middle of the flavors. The hops are definitely more piney than I was thinking they would be. I was thinking the hops would come across more floral than pine. There is some slightly bready yeast that follows the first hit of those hops which leads to some very strong citrus flavors present towards the end of the tasting. Some more of the floral and bitter pine hops come in at the end and linger into the aftertaste.
There is lots of refreshing carbonation on the mouthfeel, and you get practically no syrup here at all. There is a surprising amount of piney hops as well. Ultimately it reminds me more of a pale ale than a lager or pilsner. I personally find it quite enjoyable. I like the ample amount of bitter hops, malts, and citrus that come along with the taste. It is a really pleasant aftertaste that helps me believe I can give pilsners another chance.
Mikkeller is a brewery to be respected. They always seem to hit their mark, and I’ve yet to grab a beer from them I outright didn’t like. If you’re down on pilsners like I am, then I would definitely recommend picking this one up. I doubt it’s a good representative of most pilsners, but it gives me hope that there are a few of them out there I will like for sure.
Teacher Grade: B+