Sweetwater Brewery Road Trip Pilsner

July 21, 2010

The summer vacation day-trip is almost at an end and what better selection to talk about than one that has travel in its name? Seeing as how Atlanta, home to Sweetwater Brewery, is on the way back from Athens, site of last week’s selection, it makes sense to make this a stop on the trip.

“Eclectic” is a word bandied about when folks find it difficult to describe multi-faceted personalities or ideas, but honestly no other word suffices for the guys running Sweetwater. They keep their hop-stained fingers in a number of honorable pies, everything from Georgia river conservation and charitable fund-raising for the Humane Society to sponsoring popular concert events… heck, even starting their own spring music festival. Sweetwater recently joined in a carbon-neutral partnership with NativeEnergy, a non-profit that provides wind turbines and methane collectors to native American tribes and low-income farmers in attempt to lower their carbon footprint.

They know a thing or three about beer, too. Winning Small Brewery of the Year at 2002’s Great American Beer Festival fueled them along to numerous awards including a recent gold medal at the Craft Beer Conference. So was this trip really necessary? Road Trip says yes, and you don’t have to worry about little Billy crying in the backseat asking if we’re there yet.

This is a German-style pilsner fermented with ale yeast like a Kolsch. Classic pils straw yellow color highlighted with gold and topped with a tall head of thick, soft foam. The smell is like lemon zest and grass with very noticeable malts and a faint trace of fresh hay. Road Trip’s flavor is complex yet balanced: bready and herbal, citrusy and slightly metallic. Light touches of honey and bitter lemon rind evened out by toasty malted grains and a spicy hop finish. Its texture is soft and airy making it easily quaffable.

We’ll be bringing the trip back home next week with another offering from Sweetwater as they officially unveil their next Dank Tank Project, The Magnum Imperial Pilsner. There is a release party planned at Hopjacks on Thursday, July 22 at 7pm. The theme of the party is, of course, Magnum P.I. Anyone wishing to dress up as Tom Sellec’s eponymous character will receive something cool.