Just how strong is the lager revival? Not only are most of the better craft breweries around making them, but some are even releasing them in January instead of June. Turntable Pils is the latest year-round offering from Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Co, a brewery that knows the style well, with Dortmunder Gold and Eliot Ness Amber already in their flagship portfolio.
Turntable is named in honor of the city’s rock ‘n’ roll history, a Czech-style pilsner branded as “a reissue of a classic style.” The beer is effervescent, more golden than straw colored. The aroma is complex: grassy and floral like a traditional pils, but a touch earthiness with a citrus element like orange peel.
The flavor profile, unsurprisingly, is a similarly delicate dance between these notes, mostly working a mildly sweet but earthy interplay, but with a crush of orange and floral hops that balance out the grains. That touch comes from American Sterling hops, a similar variety to the Saaz commonly found in European pilsners.
For an American pilsner, it’s full flavored with a rounded-out body that coats the entire tongue before a crisp finish. The bigger flavor gives a better year-round applicability, allowing Turntable to work as well in January as it will in July or August. Whether it’s after shoveling a big snowfall or after flipping the Jet Ski, it’s nice to sit down to a Turntable either way.
To stick to their “wax nostalgic” branding and music metaphor, this six or 12-pack pilsner is an everyday record you put on and let spin all night, instead of that novelty 45 that’s good for the first three minutes but needs to be retired until the next special occasion.
Brewery: Great Lakes Brewing Company
City: Cleveland, OH
Availability: 12 oz. bottles
Loren Green is a Minneapolis writer covering beer, music, and more. Follow him on Twitter at @lorenmgreen.