Philly has just started in on its first heat wave of the summer, and with temperatures expected in the high 80s over the next few days, it's a perfect time to move onto summer style beers. I've been meaning to blog one of the beers by Saranac (technically the "Matt Brewing Company"), so here's a way to kill two birds with one stone.
For whatever reason, it seems like American craft breweries aren't all that interested in the pilsner genre. Almost anything in America that gets labeled "Pilsner" is actually an American-style lager--a far cry from the refreshingly hoppy Czech-style brew. Fortunately, Saranac doesn't engage in the same shenanigans. They use genuine Saaz hops, which is what gives a Pilsner its distinctive flavor. Unfortunately, they don't seem to use quite the same strength or quantity that you'll find in Pilsner Urquell, Czechvar, Krusovice, etc. So while I have to give Saranac props for sticking to the true genre, I don't think their brew stands up to any of their old-world counterparts.
Nevertheless, Saranac's pilsner is a satisfying, albeit simple, beer. It's really light bodied and mild tasting, lending it incredible session-ability. And while it isn't Czech-strength, it has enough hop bite to keep your tastebuds interested. Just the thing you might be in the mood for on a 90 degree summer afternoon while you're chilling on the lake.