I am constantly trying to convert people. Those who hold a Big Three beer in their hand, clutching it with a death grip as though it were their key to survival, those are my mission. Last night, I was attempting to spread just such a gospel. I volunteered to bring drinks to a neighborhood get-together and thought long and hard about the proper brews that would have craft beer virgins handling them in a few short hours. When on these crusades, I try always to make the style jump a small one, which leads me, most often, to a lighter style, such as this pilsner from Left Hand.
While my main focus of conversion is those naive to the world’s beer selection, I too partake, if it happens to be a beer I have yet to try. Last night was my introduction to Polestar, while not my first meeting with Left Hand.
It pours like a pilsner should, modeling the best qualities of the style, practically showing off and showing up those who try, and fall so short. It is a brilliantly clear golden straw yellow. I can see through my glass like looking into the bottom of a crystal clear lake, but for the yellowish tint, I would hardly know what was in the glass. There is a nice head, a soft vanilla tint to the billowy cap of foam. It takes a while to settle, forcing me, as I should, to take my time creating the perfect pour. A nice lace develops soon after the head creeps back down to the half finger of film that lingers for the rest of my sampling. There is also a steady, but not crowded, stream of bubbles from the bottom of my glass, giving a sense of motion, but not frenzied carbonation.
It smells magnificent, seriously. Fresh grass, lemon and bready yeast blend perfectly in order to prepare me for a refreshing, summer brew. And that it is. Smooth as silk, somewhat surprisingly so for such a light style, the beer goes down easily. There is enough complexity on the palate, too, to make you want to savor each sip, not just hydrate as quickly as possible. The majority of the flavors were also on the nose, but the blend is great, so I am not disappointed by the lack of change from smelling to swallowing. A bit of bitter dries it out just enough and leaves me oddly quenched and craving more.
Now, last night’s attempts at converting those of the non-craft world into true good beer lovers fell slightly short with this pils. I don’t know if it was the creamy body or the bit higher ABV than typical, but it seemed to lack the qualities a transition beer needs to get someone over to the ‘good side.’ However, because I forced myself to sample one, making sure it was appropriate for the crowd, of course, I have stumbled into one of my top pilsners yet!