Catawba Brewing’s ENO Hoppy Pilsner

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Look, if I’m being perfectly honest, there aren’t many styles of beer that I don’t like. Saison, porter, IPA, sour, stout…I can think of a situation where each of these would be the perfect beverage. I found stouts go particularly well with little league baseball games. But I have a special place in my heart for pilsners, that crisp and refreshing style that has a long history in Europe and America, but has been overlooked for far too long by America’s craft brewers. Until recently. After decades of going deep into IPAs and barrel aged everything, more breweries are digging into the subtleties of the pilsner.

Catawba gets a little off center with their new collaboration with Eagles Nest Outfitter, the ENO Hoppy Pilsner. ENO, of course, makes those handy hammocks that you see hanging all over the Appalachian Trail and college dorm rooms nationwide. Catawba Brewing and ENO are actually located on the same block in Asheville’s South Slope neighborhood. Plus, beer and hanging out in hammocks just go together, so a natural partnership was born.

Now, here’s what I love about pilsners. They’re light and crisp and super easy to drink, but they tend to have a bit more going on than similarly light and easy drinking beers, like say, the blonde ale. Spend some time with a pilsner and you’ll uncover all kinds of subtle characteristics, from a corn-like sweetness to a hop bite from the addition of a robust German hop bill. Given the name, Catawba’s new version has plenty of the latter, but they also add a newer hop strain to the mix, American Idaho #7.  It’s still an easy-drinking beer built for summer, but there’s a layer of hoppiness that comes at you in a long wave of citrus and finishes with a hop bite. And it’s all just 4.9%, which means it’s not only the perfect hammock beer, it’s sessionable enough to be the perfect pump track beer too. Or Beer Mile beer. Or fly fishing beer. Or…

Pick it up in six pack cans throughout the spring.

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