I like popping corks on beers. Legitimate corks. It lets me know I’m in for something a bit more complex than your standard pop top beer. Blue Mountain Barrel House, the sister brewery to Blue Mountain Brewery in Afton, Va., loves to put out corked beers. The Barrel House is where Blue Mountain produces top-shelf beers that require patience—lots of barrel-aged, bottle-conditioned brews. Beers with corks.
Their Uber Pils is one of my favorites right now, which is surprising since the Pilsner is arguably one of the most forgettable beer styles on the market. It’s almost easier to describe a Pilsner by what it doesn’t taste like. It’s not hoppy, it’s not malty, it’s not fruity…Beck’s is a Pilsner. Carlsberg is a Pilsner. Heineken is a Pilsner. The style is definitely crisp and refreshing, but it’s easily forgotten.
That’s not the case with Uber Pils, an “imperial pilsner” that takes the crisp, refreshing aspects of a Pilsner, then jacks it up into something memorable. The beer doesn’t have much of a nose (most Pilsners don’t), but it pours darker and cloudier than most Pilsners. It’s a rounder, more full-bodied beer with plenty of Pils carbonation, but more of a malt backbone. It’s just a little bit sweet, and clocks in a 40 IBU’s, which puts the beer in Pale Ale territory in terms of bitterness. It also comes in at a respectable 7.6% ABV, which takes it well out of session territory.
Ultimately, Uber Pils is a big beer, with big beer taste—the Pilsner for beer snobs who don’t respect Pilsners. For me, it’s one of those tasty brews that actually makes me sad when the bottle is empty. And it’s definitely worthy of the cork.
Follow Graham Averill’s exploits in drinking and parenthood at daddy-drinks.com.