Monday is here, and it’s time to start another week. Pick of the Weekend is our weekly post where we recap our favorite brews of the weekend past.
A heat wave, Beachwood Brewing’s second anniversary, and a blind tasting leds us to some stand-out brews over the weekend.
It’s hard to believe that Beachwood BBQ in Long Beach has only been open and making beers for two years! The team has made a name for themselves by making seriously killer beers, and while Julian is best known for his hoppy brews and IPA, in two years there have been 60 different beers brewed in almost every imaginable style. At Saturday’s anniversary party the brewpub had over 24 house beers on tap, from an amber ale to a zwickelbier, Beachwood was pouring something for everyone.
The IPAs on-offer were predictably excellent, but the ultra-refreshing Tart Simpson berliner weisse was the prefect match for the sweltering day. The light wheat beer style gets more popular every Summer, and Tart Simpson is a nicely balanced examples that isn’t too tart or one dimensional. Zwick in a Box was another non-IPA, non-Stout standout from the event. A zwickel- or keller -bier, Zwick in a Box is an unfiltered version of Beachwood’s excellent Loma Prieta Pils, and the beer adds a rich bready aroma and flavor to the typical pilsner malt-and-hops flavor profile.
And speaking of pilsners, we tried a blind taste test of six different pilsners over the weekend, and the results were pretty surprising! We’ll have a more in-depth feature on the tasting later this week, but one of the surprise stand-outs from the lineup was a beer that I’ve developed a reputation for hating: Trumer Pils. To be fair, my dislike of the beer has been greatly overstated, but I never imagined that I’d pick Trumer Pils as a favorite among such a stand-out field.
It all started when Trumer launched distribution in Los Angeles. I covered the beer for the Daily Dish, and I had this to say:
Trumer Pils is an excellent example of a traditional German pilsner, and the style is a perfect match for a balmy spring day, but the last thing you want is to get a skunked bottle of the beer when first trying it. Somewhat contradictory to the brewery’s focus on quality is its use of traditional green glass bottles to package the beer. Light is one of beer’s greatest foes — especially hop-forward styles like pilsners. Your best bet for trying Trumer Pils is finding it on draft locally, and if you want to take home some bottles, brewmaster Lars Larson suggests buying sealed 12-packs to minimize the beer’s exposure to light.
I followed up that post with a more critical (someone called it “eviscerating” – but I wouldn’t go that far) editorial for Beer of Tomorrow. I was a little heavy-handed in my derision for the brand. I didn’t have to call them “disrespectful to craft beer drinkers” or call them out for a “stubborn adherence to an antiquated technology for the sake of marketing”. But you’ll notice that I don’t ever take a shot at the beer. Trumer is a very well made pilsner, and I am just frustrated that I’ve had such a hard time getting a non-skunked sample of it (which is why I recommended only drinking the beer on draught.)
The PR folks at Trumer sent me a six pack for evaluation which happen to arriveon the day I was planning to hold a blind pilsner tasting, and I was excited to see how Trumer would fair. The sample brews were well-handled, and I did not detect a whiff of skunk during the tasting. Furthermore, Trumer Pils scored in the top-half for both myself and Julie. It has a great balance of malt to hops in the aroma, a refreshing light body, and a complex “zesty” finish. It was probably the most easy-drining and refreshing pils we sampled.
I stand by my advice to avoid Trumer in bottles (as you just don’t know how it has been handled), but if you’re a pilsner fan, and you see if on tap I would not hesitate to recommend the beer!
Now, let’s hear your pick of the weekend in the comments! Did you have anything that surprised you, countered your expectations, or was just super delicious and perfect for the moment?