Reviews are done by Jim Matt, our Head Brewer, who is also a veteran FoBAB judge, GABF judge, and BJCP Master judge.
Puma, our Pilsner, (5.2% | 40 IBU) is back and has never been better. We ran a slew of experiments over the past few months to better craft our Pilsner and with summer on the horizon Puma is right on time.
Malts: German Pilsner
Hops: Magnum, Hallertau Mittelfruh and Saphir
What the origin of the Pilsner?
The Pilsner style originated in Pilsen, Czech Republic around 1842. The beer was brewed with English malts and German brewing techniques, namely lagering. It used local —to the Czech Republic— Saaz hops. The water in the Czech Republic was very soft, also, which impacted the soft malt and hop character of the beer. Puma falls more into a German style Pilsner, which is characterized by water with a higher mineral content, as well as traditional German hops.
How has the Pilsner experimentation played into the honing of Puma?
We were able to try three different yeasts in the first experiment. In particular, we were looking at a lager yeast that provided a relatively quick turnaround time, favorable flavor characteristics, and a yeast that produces low levels of undesirable by-products (diacetyl and sulfur). In the second experiment, we tried different dry hopping regimens as well as using a different type of Pilsner malt. This all culminated into some slight recipe changes in Puma and something we’re ultimately really excited about.
What are the notable characteristics of this beer?
It’s light, crisp/dry, and moderately bitter without being harsh. Puma is floral, slightly spicy hop flavor and aroma with a backbone flavor of Pilsner malt—almost saltine cracker-like.
What makes you want to drink this beer?
Puma is perfect for the summer months. This is a crisp, clean and dry beer that you can enjoy anytime by itself or with food.
Appearance: Clear, light yellow in color. White persistent head with some lacing.
Smell: Moderate malt aroma reminiscent of saltine crackers. Medium hop aroma with floral, slightly spicy notes, hints of tangerine and lemongrass, low sulfur, no diacetyl, low amounts of DMS.
Taste: Medium bitterness, medium hop flavor that is very floral and slightly spicy. Medium malt flavor, the same saltine cracker character that one gets on the aroma and ultimately a dry finish.
Mouthfeel: Medium light body, slightly grainy, slight mineral character with a touch of astringency that helps in the perception of dryness.
Overall: A clean, slightly bitter dry lager that is immensely quaffable.
What foods would pair well with Puma?
Pork schnitzel or Bavarian Bratwurst.
Ideal glassware for Puma?
The Pilsner style glass is ideal for this beer.