Craft brewers go to great lengths to differentiate themselves from mass market beer, focusing on bold styles abandoned by the big guys. The result: Brews like big, bitter IPAs and high-alcohol imperial stouts have made beer drinking interesting again. But what will improve the flavorless, yet easy-to-drink, brews that we down in numbers at the game?
Philadelphia-based Victory Brewing Company's flagship beer, Prima Pils, is one hell of a start. This golden lager is bringing the fight to the doorstep of Budweiser, Miller, and Coors, proving that a small-batch pilsner can make a difference. The Prima Pils pours with the clarity and golden color of a Budweiser, Miller, or Coors (two things these three mass brands get right), but its composition and flavor hews much more closely to a classic German style Pilsner. In other words, it has flavor. The Pils is dry and clean tasting with just a touch of graham-cracker-like malt, spicy hop notes, and a crisp, bitter finish. Prima Pils is a pleasant reminder of why light lagers are the most popular beer in the world (and also a painful reminder of how few breweries aim to make them interesting). Fortunately, Victory distributes in 29 states. [victorybeer.com]