We’ve all been there… you walk into a bar with dozens of taps, expecting to find something crisp and refreshing, only to discover that nearly every beer on the list is an IPA. LuLu Maynard of the legendary South Philly haunt Grace Tavern, knows the feeling all too well. “The beer scene is just flooded with these overly-hopped IPAs. Great beer and classic styles are being overlooked because IPAs are everywhere.”
One of the beers that Maynard says deserves a second look is Firestone Walker Pivo Pils. “They knocked it out of the park with this one. It’s light, refreshing – everything you’d want in a pilsner,” she explained as she and her business partner James Fernandes cracked open a few bottles.
“IPAs are getting so extreme, sometimes it tastes like you’re drinking your grandma’s perfume,” Maynard laughs. “Pivo is crisp and balanced, but also has that nice hop character on the back end. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Pivo Pils made its debut in 2013. It is not the oldest pilsner out there (the style dates back to 1842, originating in the city of Plzen) but it is one that pays tribute to the history of this classic beer style. Firestone Walker Brewmaster Matt Brynildson says his beer is a “classic pilsner with a West Coast dry-hopping twist.” He adds, “There’s something in the simplicity of a pale lager that makes a good one such a thrill. Even with so few ingredients, Pivo is lush and complex, but still easy and approachable.” Pivo Pils reminds us why pilsners are part of the bedrock of brewing history.
Having worked at Grace Tavern for the last 12 years, Maynard officially became a business partner last August, and she makes sure Pivo is always available at the bar. “We have it in bottles all the time and we rotate [the draught] in, on one of our 10 taps quite a bit. You need a solid pilsner to round out your selection.”
At least one IPA will always be pouring at Grace Tavern, but give the rest of the tap list a look. You’re sure to see an assortment of styles – a handful of new releases and a few old standbys, that just might deserve some rediscovering.
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