Wednesday, December 17, 2008


The past year has given rise to a new beer style, one borne of the relative successes of the Imperial/Double IPA and the Imperial Hefeweizen: the “Imperial Pilsner”. It’s really just the ticket to get the ale freaks excited about the pilsners they forsook long ago; pump it up with hops and strange malt varieties, jack up the alcohol, slap on an “imperial” label on it and there it is. I’m one of those who was brought into the fold this way, though I’m more excited about a good pilsner (Moonlight Reality Czech, Gorden Biersch Pilsner) now than I’ve been in a good while. Now the superstars at PORT BREWING have thrown their hat into the imperial pilsner ring with PANZER. PANZER!!!! This is indeed a big beer, stepping onto the scales at 9.5% alcohol, with an intense sweetness and hoppy bite to it. A pilsner? OK, if you say so. Pours a deep golden yellow, as you’d expect. The candied sugar is very pronounced, and given the proximity taste-wise to traditional Belgian beer, you’re likely to stylistically fool a lot of amateur judges when you plop this in front of them. Grassy and piney as well, with a little bit of alcohol burn. Hmm.

PORT BREWING PANZER goes into the “glad I drank it” category, but is likely to never set foot in the “I’ll buy it again” category. You know what I’m talking about. 6.5/10.

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