Fearful Symmetries

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26 January, 2016

From the Frozen Tundra: Packerland Pilsner by Hinterland Brewery



Pilsners are trendy these days, I guess. Green Bay's Hinterland Brewery resurrected their Packerland Pilsner in 2014 after a hiatus of 17 years. Demand for the beer just went away back in the late 90s. But now the pils is popular again with many brewers who primarily traffic in ales adding a one to their repertoire.

Sadly the Packers' season is over but fans who cannot get enough of the green and gold can always reach for a Packerland. After having had a bad experience with a brew that wasn't Packerland recently, I've been checking dates on beers. My bottle of Packerland dates back to around Guy Fawkes Day. So, while not born yesterday, I think it should be suitable for a sampling. This was the first time I'd had the bier so I didn't know what I was getting into. Would it be a Czech-style pils with a generous dose of spicy Noble hops? Or more like its German cousin with a hint of asceticism?

Packerland poured a light gold color and was quite clear. I only managed to eke out a small white head that went away rather quickly. However, there were lots of bubbles inside going up which made for a rather pleasant looking glass of bier.

I caught a crackery grainy smell as well as a little corn when I took a whiff. Quite frankly, I was surprised to not catch any hops in the aroma. Considering the bier's flavor, I wouldn't be surprised if I simply had a stuffy nose (it is January, after all) and was unable to detect some hoppiness. That light graininess was also caught by my tongue as was a little doughy malt sweetness in a clean overall taste. There was some hoppiness present here with a bit of grassy/spicy hop flavor that gave very little bitterness. Packerland certainly leaned towards the German version of the style in its restraint.

The finish was fairly dry with the malt flavors fading to allow some spicy Noble hop flavor to emerge along with (finally!) some bitterness. While my glass was not overcome with Schaumhaftvermoegen, there was some decent thinly-streaked webbing to had along with a lot of foamy specks.

While Packerland seemed to be aiming for German pilsner status, the hop flavor wasn't just moderate, it was nearly MIA. Packerland has a nice, delicate maltiness, but it sat waiting idly to host a party of Noble hops but only one or two of them showed up. Believe me, it is not often that I will proclaim that a beer needs more hops but this is definitely one of those rare occasions.

Junk food pairing: Keep it simple with Packerland and have plenty of pretzels and potato chips on hand. French onion dip would also be welcome.

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|| Palmer, 5:57 AM

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