Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Some years back there was a local San Francisco-area microbrew I used to patronize called GOLDEN GATE AMBER, from the Golden Gate Brewing Co. Their signature was a tap handle featuring the golden gate bridge, and it not only looked cool, it was one of the best beers available around town. I never got the memo that they’d folded up shop, but earlier this year I learned that the TRUMER BREWERY of Salzburg, Austria, decided to open up shop in America, and purchased the old Golden Gate Brewery building in Berkeley, CA to launch an American version of their signature TRUMER PILS beer. It’s been around for some time now, but as one who generally rejects pilsner-style beers, I never gave it a try. The other night the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco had it on tap, and I took the plunge. First impressions: I still don’t really like pilsners – at least when there are 47 top-drawer ales to be had within blocks. This one was very crisp and had a real classic taste, but honestly, it didn’t get me much more excited than if you’d pushed a macrobrew in front of me. And the thing is: I want to believe. I want to believe that there are pilsners out there every bit the equivalent of the ales that I (and probably you) revere, but this one was only marginally different than the grainy, light-bodied, uninteresting pilsners I’ve spent half a lifetime trying to get away from. I wanted this to blow the lid off my prejudice, but when it was finally downed, I had to admit I was itching for something very, very different in flavor and feel. Like an Imperial Russian Stout or something. I read an inspiring story about the guys behind this and I’m 100% behind their business plan, but I have to call a duck a duck and admit that I won’t be drinking their beer too often. 4.5/10.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you completely.
If you want to try a "good" pilsner, [if sam adams puts it out again this year]
is the Imperial pilsner [harvest]
man that was delicious last year!

Anonymous said...

I don't agree at all. I have been a lover of many styles of beer for years, even spending a summer working in a beer garden in Bavaria 10 years ago while in college. My favorite style usually goes with the season: enjoying the rich stouts, porters and amber ales in the winter and fall and enjoying the lighter more refreshing pilsners in the late spring and summer. When I discovered Trumer Pils sitting out side on a hot day, I fell in love with it (I love the crisp classic taste). I only recently (the last 3 years) started really appreciating the delicate flavors of pilsner beers, and Trumer is currently my favorite. If you don't like pilsner I wouldn't suggest Trumer, but then if you don't like pilsner, you shouldn't be drinking (or critiquing for that matter) pilsner in the first place :)