I’m sure those of you who have read my previous reviews are well aware of my opinion regarding pilsners but for those of
I’m sure those of you who have read my previous reviews are well aware of my opinion regarding pilsners but for those of you who may not, the TLDR version is that pilsners are an oft ignored and scoffed at style of beer that deserves more respect. With a pilsner there’s no hiding, it has to be done with absolute precision, especially considering how long they take to make.
New West’s Steel & Oak is part of the crop of new breweries from BC’s lower mainland with a solid line up of beers and a definite and distinct style to their branding. I’ll be honest, I have been looking forward to seeing Steel & Oak in Alberta since the brewery opened their doors and they’ve lived up to the hype I heard from my peers across the Rockies.
Steel & Oak’s Red Pilsner is self described as being caramel, spice and crisp and they’re not lying on any account. The nose is incredibly unassuming with vague, ambiguous notes of toffee, caramel and maybe somewhere in there is some sort of faint floral, spicy hop notes. This wasn’t a good start. I was fearing the worst, maybe I had chosen poorly. Maybe this was the one beer, like so many craft breweries have on their portfolio, that is very, plain and simple and easy to get on tap at nearly every bar and restaurant, something clean and very basic that alludes to be far more complex or interesting than it actually is. How could such a beautifully copper hued Lager let me down? It didn’t. The flavours are full, robust with a clean finish. Those toffee and caramel notes I found when I stuck my nose around the glass showed up in spades along with a nutty quality and a pleasant roastiness accented by an unexpected spicy hop bite. This beer pairs well with the end of a long day, watching Don Cherry spew senile diatribe on Hockey Night in Canada, or if you need to rekindle your faith in pilsners which you should because pilsners can be fantastic just like this one is.
Our Score: 3.75/5