Got Beer? Jack’s Abby, Otter Creek Joint Custody Nouveau Pilsner

Collaboration beers are all the rage, so when Jack’s Abby and Otter Creek joined forces to create a Nouveau Pilsner, I had to give it a taste to see what makes it “Nouveau,” or “new” to those who never studied romance languages. Jack’s Abby has been quickly earning a place in the local beer scene, and of course Otter Creek is a well-established brewery going back to the early days of the revolution. I was eager to see what these two can produce.

It pours a perfect straw yellow color, very slightly hazy, with a fine, filmy foam resting atop the brew. Its aroma is appropriately grainy from the malts, and the first sip rewards with a crisp, creamy pilsner flavor, a touch yeasty, with a very light dusting of hop flavors to give it a nice bitter finish. The hops linger on the tongue like a fine resin. As I slowly drain my glass, the lacing stays firmly stuck to the sides.

Most pilsners shy away from a high IBU, and while the Joint Custody is a humble 40, the flavors are pronounced in just the right way. The solid 6.2% ABV means this is no mere session beer, but a hearty pilsner, which seems like a contradiction in terms. This light brew packs a decent punch. While I’d normally call a beer like this a good crossover beer, I think this might be a bit much for a liteweight to handle. Maybe after they’ve sampled a few bohemians and are ready to step up and drink with the big boys.

I’d consider this a late addition to my top beers for summer list — a nice, refreshing, lightly hopped brew that has the charm of a pale ale, the crispness of a nice pilsner and the light body of a session beer. Perfect to chase the sweats away on a hot afternoon, enjoy this one with my blessing.

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