Trumer Pilsner

Drink Reviews Trumer Brewery
Trumer Pilsner

“Time heals all wounds,” to borrow a well-used phrase, and that seems to be the case with the American beer scene. We spent decades under the monopoly of watered down versions of German pilsners and lagers—a heavy-handed rule that did quite a bit of psychological damage for American drinkers and brewers. We revolted with viscous stouts and super-hopped IPAs. There was a reactionary period (mostly during the ‘90s) where some of us wouldn’t let a pilsner touch our lips. But time has passed. Craft brewers are in love with the pilsner again, and are using its subtle profile as a canvas for both traditional homage and experimentation. We had the chance to taste and rank 62 of the best (mostly American) pilsners recently and were blown away with the breadth of interpretations on the style being produced right now.

And then there’s Trumer Pilsner, which isn’t so much an interpretation of the style as it is an original. Think of this beer as the mold that young brewers are breaking. The recipe is hard line old school, an ancient concoction developed in Austria by Trumer Brauerei to adhere to the strict German Reinheitsgebot. For decades, the beer was only sold in Austria, but since 2004, the pilsner has also been brewed here in the states, at a second Trumer Brewery in Berkeley, California. Except for the water, everything used to brew this beer is shipped to California from Austria, so this isn’t an American take on a German pilsner—this is a German pilsner brewed in America. It’s a style-defining sort of beer, and it’s racked up the hardware at various GABFs and World Beer Cups to shore up that reputation.

Trumer pours as pale as a character from one of those teen vampire movies, and has a classic pilsner nose—bready, sweet and floral. The head is like Memory Foam. The sip is full of bready notes, from sweet to cracker—a malt bill that’s balanced by a strong hop presence that’s both floral and spicy. It’s all zesty and crisp at the end, exactly the way you want a pilsner to finish.

Everything about this beer screams “classic,” and it gets that classification not just because it’s old, but because it’s old and great. This beer is complex, balanced and incredibly drinkable. It’s the kind of beer I find myself gulping instead of sipping.

Brewery: Trumer Brewery
City: Berkeley, California
Style: Pilsner
ABV: 4.8%
Availability: Year round, six pack bottles

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