Saturday, 8 July 2006

Beer O’Clock: Limburg Pilsener

Beer O'Clock Saturday today from Neil Miller at Real Beer.

As a man of the people, this week I thought I would profile a beer that is a bit more readily available to loyal readers than some of the recent Beer O’Clock offerings.

In doing so, I will have to forgo making any more jokes about the French. Apart from observing how different soccer is from war: In soccer, the Italians and good defenders and the French are known for their attacking flair… Oh – that will be the French Embassy on line two again.

Time to move on to the beer: Limburg Pilsener.

This fine beverage hails from the Hawke’s Bay (Hastings actually but you can understand why it would prefer Hawke’s Bay). The Limburg Pilsener is produced in the Bay by noted brewer Chris O’Leary.

Affectionately nicknamed “Father O’Leary” for his ability to take brewers' confessions, Chris is a highly decorated New Zealand brewer who produces a range of high quality European inspired beers.

The brewery name of “Limburg” is taken from a Dutch province which borders Belgium and Germany. It reflects that European influence. Limburg also gets heavy tank traffic a couple of times a century…

As an occasional consumer of craft beer myself, Chris O’Leary’s friendship and rivalry with Richard Emerson is just fantastic as they continually push each other to produce better and better beers.

This is one of them. It is a classical Czech style pilsener which was first made as a festive brew for BrewNZ’s Celebration of Hops in 2004. It proved so popular it has evolved into a permanent part of the range and is widely available.

The brewer uses German Pils malt (a big juicy malt) and Czech Saaz hops to ensure authenticity.

The nose is dry, grassy and spicy while the beer has the classic Pilsener balance between a juicy sweet malt middle and a crisp clean finish. Chris says this is “a classic, dry, crisp pilsener with a big focus on drinkability for a broader appeal. This is a beer we are really proud of.”

Rightly so. I named this beer my eighth best New Zealand beer of 2005. I described it as “simple yet beautiful – a lot like the brewer really.” He is just starting to live that down…

Cheers Neil

LINKS: Limburg
What People think of Limburg Pilsener - Rate Beer

TAGS: Beer & Elsewhere


  1. My teenagers say you only post about "old people's beer" on this blog. Guiness being the worst.

    Now what about Flame etc?

  2. I don't recall any comments on Guinness!

    But, for the benefits of your teenagers here is a review of Flame:

    Colour: Brown
    Aroma: Beer
    Flavour: Sweet
    Finish: Cold
    Attitude: Rocking

    Ta dah!

  3. "My teenagers say you only post about "old people's beer" on this blog. Guinness being the worst.

    Now what about Flame etc?"

    But these are beer reviews. Is 'Flame' a beer? :-P

    In any case, there's no point in doing Guiness reviews either since the local stuff is horrible -- the water's too clean. The local Murphy's is much more betterer.

  4. Someone leaning over my shoulder here tells me a) I'm a snob (there you go); and b) there's a review I can post from Kerry Tyack's 'NZ Beers: A Tasting Guide,' which finds something nice to say about even the most challenging subjects.

    About Flame 'beer' he says:

    This beer was originally produced by Black Dog Breweries, one of DB Breweries’ marketing inventions. It has a very loyal following, especially in the urban café and club scene. I cannot remember it leaving much of an impression in the past but this time around it showed better form in the DB line-up. It is a bright gold colour with a moderately floral, sweet fruit aroma. It is smooth rather than crisp but clean and refreshing, best drunk quite cold. The flavour has elements of honey and tropical fruit with enough bite to keep it interesting. While it has moderate length, there is plenty of flavour on the back palate. Enjoy it as an easy-drinking session beer that is likely to suit most occasions.

    So there you go. According to Kerry it's more than just a 5% ethyl alcohol solution with a label and a beer flavour sachet.

  5. Yeah well...the other beer popular with teens is Tui - and that's quite good because I buy it (it's like the Osborne's around here), but it's so disgusting I'm not tempted to drink it myself -- so it's sort of like an enforced diet.


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