As Mike recently wrote, beer geeks and beer dabblers alike can get wrapped up in a vicious cycle of always seeking out the bigger and more extreme beer, and neglect the classics. While it happens to the best of us, a little balance–beer feng shui–is in order. Thus the choice of Bitburger as the Sip With Us Saturday beer. For a little frame of reference on this beer, check out our post from a few days ago.
Before reviewing this beer, let point out its price tag. I picked up an eight pack of cans (16.0z) for $8.99. That’s roughly $.07 per ounce. Before I left the store I priced a six pack (bottles) of Budweiser. Six 12oz. bottles of Bud was $5.99. That’s roughly $.083 per ounce. The Bitburger (imported from Germany) was less expensive than the American produced (Belgian owned) beer. Interesting. As my wife and I are geering up financially for the birht of our fifth child, I was elated at my savings. This post is not intended to serve as a tasting comparison between the two beers, merely to illustrate that in some cases, venturing into unknown beer lands can be cost effective (though I’ll admit this is not the norm).
I poured this beer from the can into a tall pilsner glass. There was a surprising supple head that lingered. the beauty of this style of beer–(pilsner)–is that the grain build and the Lagering process leave a cystal clear beer. In fact, I held the book I was reading up to the rear side of my glass and could easily read the text behind it. With the endless stream of tiny carbonation bubbles streaming to the surface, the beer looked beautiful.
The wafting aroma is pretty much what one would expect from this style. Beady yeasty aromas and crisp grainy malts are fairly dominant. The hop aroma brags of musky European hops. There is noticeable metallic/mineral note as well.
As much as I hate to pull the old “tastes like it smells” copout, I have no choice,as this is the case with this beer. Unlike many American macro pilsners, there is a quality difference here. The beer is absolutely crisp and clean. It refreshes and cleanses the palate like none other. The malt build is perfectly balanced with a delicious bitterness. In fact, as the beer washes down the throat instead tasting a blanket bitter quality, one can actually taste flavor qualities of the hop.
Anyone who visits this site knows that this is not a typical style of beer reviewed on this site; however, for what it’s worth, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. Since it is not a complex beer, there is not much more I can do to add to a review, other than to say it is a sterling example of what qualities should be exhibited by a German Pils. While beer beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I would venture to say that the typical beer drinker that lives off the Macros (like Mike and I did at one point in time) would probably find this beer better than their go-to beer and would be delighted to save some precious cash at the same time.
Among other Pilnsers: