Slip Pils is a 5.2% German Style Pilsner that tips its foamy white hat to consummate Californian brewery, Firestone Walker’s Pivo Hoppy Pils.
Fork Brewing brewer, Kelly Ryan, says there are some styles of beer that are, for him, the Holy Grail in terms of brewing and drinking. In particular, perfectly crafted Pilseners and Saisons.
“In the past few years, I’ve managed to get to Denver and to Philadelphia as part of World Beer Cup judging,” he says.
“It’s always great heading to the States and being inspired by some of their fantastic beers and breweries. Due to the huge amount of beers to taste in such a short window, it’s not often that I will try the same beer more than once or twice.
“These are beers I found myself coming back to again and again. Super-clean, amazing drinkability, a combination of sweetness and dryness and the most incredibly delightful German hop characters – full of lemon zest, subtle herbaceousness and wonderfully perfumed floral aromatics.”
Kelly says Slip Pils is more of a nod to Firestone’s Pivo Hoppy Pils, especially because he’s a big fan of the Saphir hop and wanted to see if he could get its fantastic aroma into this Pilsener.
“I’m a little limited with my plant in terms of my mashing regime and modifying temperatures in the mash tun and I had read that Firestone Walker’s Head Brewer, Matt Brynildson, utilises a few tricks to really maximise attenuation of this beer.”
In other words, Matt does a few magical, wort wizardry spells to make sure that when all of the sugars ferment out of the beer, it ends up with a really dry and clean finish.
“So I lowered my mash temperature for starters and put in a little extra yeast than usual and ended up with a beer that finished at a Gravity of 1.008. Nice and dry, just like I wanted! I love it when science/magic works,” says Kelly.
A German friend of Kelly’s, Albrecht, had just imported a bunch of fresh hop pellets from his homeland and Kelly picked up a good variety to trial with.
“I’m a massive fan of a hop called Perle, which gives a lovely floral/herbal bitterness and flavor and also the rich, oily, lemon zesty Saphir, so it was with this combination that I dosed the Pils up with.
“I went heavy on the late hop addition to really boost the aromatics and it has also resulted in a wonderful impression of perfumed sweetness, even though the beer finished with less residual sugar than is normal.
“These hops were coupled with German Pilsener malt from Weyermann, which is wonderfully clean with a very subtle bready/doughy.”
Kelly says the key to a good Pils for him is excellent drinkability.
“I just had an Emerson‘s Pilsener recently and had almost finished the glass without even realising I had. It was remarkably quenching, crisp and aromatic, with just enough bitterness to maximise the drinking experience.
“If I can achieve something close to this with this beer, than I’ll be a very happy brewer!”
With several tasters recently heard to exclaim over some sneak-peek previews of Slip Pils that they could drink this Pilsener all day long, Kelly should count himself a very happy brewer, indeed.
Slip Pils is debuting on tap at Fork & Brewer this Wednesday!
Slip Pils German Style Pilsener Tasting Notes
Flavour: Initial malt sweetness balanced by a light noble hop bitterness. Smooth with good dryness and floral.
Aroma: Dominated by lemon-spice with hints of thyme honey and promises of subtle perfumed sweetness.
Look: Straw-yellow with a bright, white head.
Hops: German Perle and German Saphir.
Malt: German Pilsener Malt.
Yeast: Fork House Strain – Cool fermented, 5 weeks lagering.