I’ve recently got my hands on a few brews from the Victory Brewing Company that are on my epic list – namely the Prima Pils, Golden Monkey and the Storm King Stout. I’m going to leave the Storm King until winter hits (unless we have an appropriately massive storm in the meantime), but I want to try the Prima Pils and the Golden Monkey while there’s still some remnants of summer floating about. As such, here’s beer number 94 off my epic list – Prima Pils by Victory Brewing.
The bottle says:
The label is bright and kind of cartoony…it’s definitely eye catching. There’s a single hop cone shining brightly in the middle of the label. On the side there’s a brief explanation of how the beer got the name ‘Prima’ – basically, Prima is a German word used as an exclamation of joy and victory (though Google translate says it means ‘First’…which I guess is the same as Victory), and hence the perfect name for this victorious brew.
The body is a sparkling bright yellow with a thick white head. The aroma is sweet and zesty citrus (I’m thinking grapefruit) and just a hint of spice, almost like a Belgian Wit. It’s mouth wateringly appealing. The initial taste is also very Belgian, more like a Trippel than a typical Pilsener. Then the bitterness hits –it grabs your tongue like a monstrous hand, and coats your whole mouth once you swallow. It tastes like the white bits of the grapefruit that most people do their best to avoid…not exactly pleasant, but somehow it adds to the ‘fresh citrus’ experience.
The aroma isn’t as zesty now but it’s still sweet, which is deceptive given how dominant the bitterness is. When the beer is on your mouth it washes the flavours around and creates an overall feeling of pleasantness and refreshment; swallow it and you’re left with just the bitterness to remind you of what you once enjoyed. It’s not a harsh bitterness, but it’s in your face and it lasts forever…or at least until you have another mouthful. As the beer warms further the bitterness calms down and the malt can express itself more, which is a change for the good.( Note: I say the bitterness calms down, but it’s possible that my tastebuds are actually just broken)
By the final few mouthfuls the aftertaste suddenly looses the bitter aspect completely: now it’s like I’ve been eating lemon meringue pie (further indication that my taste buds are indeed broken)
This is quite a pilsener. It’s very interesting from a “good quality craft beer” perspective, however since I don’t think I could handle more than one at a time it loses points from a “refreshing beer” point of view. There are some light and refreshing flavours, but they are hard to detect behind the bitterness – it puts your mouth in a choke hold until you tap out, handing the beer victory and allowing it to yell “Prima!” If you love bitter grapefruit or big crafty brews, then this beer is for you. If not, you might be best finding a less victorious beer.