Got Beer? Foolproof’s Ocean State Lager

For the next brew in my infinity part series of RI beers, I decided to go simple, light, summery and crisp. I wanted something that would help remove the sweat from my brow and manifest its own droplets on the side of the container. Something basic, but still flavorful, local (of course) and resplendent with maltiness.

So I bought Foolproof’s Ocean State Lager.

“A bold, crisp lager brewed in homage to the great state of Rhode Island,” says the can, which goes on to boast “a soft and subtle malt profile balanced with a refreshing hop flavor.”

Well, my job is done.

In all seriousness, this is a pretty standard craft lager — what I like to refer to as a crossover beer. You can hand it to your swill-sucking friends and they’ll probably enjoy it. It’s a pilsner, very sweet, with very little hop characteristics. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because a pilsner with tons of hops is called an IPL.

Pilsners are typically reviled and splashed with holy water in the craft beer community. Since the big macros are based on the pilsner style, there is a lingering prejudice toward the light, malty style. One might find the flavor a little too reminiscent of the days when straw-colored adjunct-filled nastiness dominated the shelves unchallenged.

Personally, I love a good, crisp pilsner, and this is the perfect time of year for it. So without further ado, let’s crack it open.

The nose is very light, all malt, with that unmistakable pilsner aroma. It’s incredibly sweet, with very little in the way of hops. I do detect a faint bittering swimming somewhere in the malt sea, but I think it needs a life raft.

I’ll admit, I was hoping for more, but you’d be wrong in thinking that I don’t like it. For me, it’s sort of like The Last Jedi. There were parts I genuinely liked and thought were very well done, and then there are parts where I’m baffled by their storytelling choices, and it inevitably leaves me with a sort of “so… that was a thing” sort of feeling. The malt character is really just about perfect, but I can guess that some people wouldn’t go for it, while others would love it.

This isn’t a bad beer, I just think it has the potential to be so much more. Just a little sprinkling of maybe some sorachii ace hops or citra would really make it pop, and still keep the IBUs down enough so it could remain an easygoing, enjoyable pilsner.

I criticize because I love, and despite my often sardonic tone, I really do want what’s best for RI beer, and I have nothing but respect for Foolproof. So don’t be afraid to hop it up, my friends.

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