Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Maryland Beer: Baltimore-Washington Beer Works Pendulum Pilsner

I try (and fail) not to get on my high horse when speaking of craft beer and tell drinkers that they need to drink more of XYZ style beer or that brewers should brew more of that style. But, with that said, lagers are a style that I wish received more attention from brewers and drinkers alike.

Up to now, it's my feeling that craft beer has been pushed forward with the attitude of more, more, more. Lagers aren't known for high alcohol, IBU's, or exotic flavors in general. What they are known for is being perfect snapshots of subtle perfection and attention to detail. It's that subtlety that gets lost in translation for the average drinker. It's also why I love them so much. Nothing jumps out at you and says "Hey, I'm a lager baby! Drink me and love me!" Well, some might, but that's Justin Timberlake talking, not the beer. Lagers stand on their own merit. If there's a flaw, you're going to know about it and no amount of dry hopping is going to overshadow the product you produced. Perhaps that's why so many brewers shy away from lagers.

One brewery that apparently  isn't afraid of lagers is Baltimore-Washington Beer Works . In fact, two out of the three beers they produce are lagers and for that they get a tip of the cap. They also get a review. Let's get into it.

Brewery Location: Baltimore, MD
Style: Pilsner
Serving Type: Bottle
ABV: 4.5%
IBU: 22

Appearance: My bottle of Pendulum Pilsner didn't pour with much head to speak of, but good lord was it crystal clear. The beer was one of the all time beauties to look at. Amber and visually flawless, I'm not ashamed to say I sat in my "man chair" for a good five minutes reveling about how good it looked while Deana sat across from me on the couch shaking her head and second guessing why she chose me.

Aroma:  I was a bit disappointed with the nose. I tried my best to sniff something out, but overall I wasn't getting much more than just a note of sweet malt here and there. When I wasn't gazing lovingly into my glass I was sniffing like a Basset Hound so it wasn't without effort that nothing special was detected aromatically.

Taste: Pendulum Pilsner drinks incredibly smooth, but that's about as far as I can go with the compliments. There was mellow malt taste with nothing on the back end to bring everything full circle. Personally, I would like to see the Saaz hops have a slightly bigger role. A crisp, snappy, dry finish would be the perfect way to balance out the sweet malty experience you being your sip with.

Final Verdict: As a huge fan of The Raven and an even bigger fan of Tale Tell Hearty Ale, I was ready to LOVE Pendulum Pilsner. We were going to be boys and spend many an evening together in perfect harmony. But, as it stands, we're probably going to settle for being acquaintances. Sure, he's cool and I don't have any real problem with him, but I don't see us having enough in common to spend extended hours together.

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