Good Beer Hunting

no. 192

As a brewer, I wish more people got excited about Pilsners. Requiring careful execution on brew day and keen attention during fermentation, the Pilsner is the most honest test of a brewer’s abilities.

And Heater Allen in McMinnville, OR is at the top of the Pilsner game. A tiny, family-run brewery focusing exclusively on all-malt Lagers and other German and Czech beers, Heater's team—Rick Allen, Lisa Allen, and Patrick Harkins—takes an uncompromising approach to every aspect of producing their graceful beers. 

But the Pils is the star of their show. A rounded cracker malt character supports a bright, spicy noble hop presence—all framed by a poignant fermentation character. Heater’s Pils finishes snappy-yet-soft, and it’s delicate on the palate. This beer's infinite drinkability just begs for liter-sized consumption.

In August, the Tree House crew brewed a sassed up-version of Heater’s Pils hopped with a blend of Continental and American hops. Look for the beer to be released this week at Heater's accounts in Oregon and on draft in Heater's taproom on Friday. If you make it there, relax and take a few moments. You might just find yourself getting excited about a Pilsner.

—Brendan Prindiville and Blake Tyers