Beer of the Week: Paul’s Pilsner

Division 23 Brewing teams with an award-winning homebrewer to showcase diversity of a pair of New Zealand hops

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I recently published a Craft Q&A article wherein the new head brewer for Division 23 Brewing, Reed Miller, shared about his approach to overhauling that Miramar operation’s beer portfolio. His responses conveyed a willingness to not only explore a wide array of styles, but also take chances and even have fun with the process. It would seem that is, indeed, what he is about. The new guy just released a pair of beers that, while worlds away from a stylistic standpoint, spotlight the exact same hop combination. Those varietals, Kohatu and Waimea, hail from New Zealand, and are the basis for Division 23’s new double IPA, Dual Zone, as well as this week’s featured beer, Paul’s Pilsner. Both beers are replete with the tropical-fruit flavors and aromas these hops are known for, but the caramel notes of the IPA transform them, lending something of a brûléed effect. While pleasant, if you’re looking to be whisked away to the land of the Kiwis (and Maoris) via an unadulterated sensory experience, go for the Pils. (Or take two and call me in the morning…apologies for the dad joke). The bouquet smells of under-ripe papaya and passionfruit with undertones of peach, followed by lychee and white peach on the tongue. It’s all there for one to pick up, but as with any good Pilsner – even those of the hoppy variety – balance and drinkability are paramount. Paul’s Pilsner gets high marks in both categories and I’d imagine the beer’s eponymous co-creator (see below for more on him) would be pleased with how it turned out.

Our friend Paul, who is a national homebrew champion in Canada, came to San Diego for a vacation. So, obviously he wanted to help us brew a beer! We worked on a recipe with him to make a crisp Pilsner recipe, then load up the whirlpool with New Zealand hops. We loaded the basic Pilsner base with Kohatu and Waimea hops that give a big burst of flavor which is quickly washed away with the dryness of the beer and makes you want another drink. To show the diversity of these hops, we also brewed a double IPA called Dual Zone. This 8.3% (alcohol-by-volume) hop-bomb used the same Kohatu and Waimea hops, but with a slightly maltier base and a huge dry-hop. With the larger hop additions, you get more candied-fruit flavors and a big floral nose. We hope both beers will show how different beers can be when highlighting the same hops!”

Reed Miller, Head Brewer, Division 23 Brewing
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