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Review: Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner

Posted by Gary Dzen, Staff  August 3, 2012 07:00 AM

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It says something when you tell a brewer you're an IPA guy and he still pours you a pilsner.

harpoon.JPGSuch was the case when Harpoon co-founder Rich Doyle poured me a sample of Harpoon Bohemian Pilsner a few weeks ago. It used to be hard to get excited about a pilsner. That's changing.

"This is a hard beer to make," said Doyle, asking me what I thought. "But it's a very good one."

I didn't know what I thought. I didn't want to be influenced by my surroundings, so I waited to review the beer. I bought a six-pack of Bohemian Pilsner a week later to test the beer on my home turf.

The beer pours a faded yellow with a big, wispy head. Tiny bubbles rapidly rise to the top of my glass. It's a pilsner, alright.

It's hard to get excited about a pilsner because often times there's nothing to one. It's not hard to get a pale lager. Like a cup of coffee, pilsners are everywhere. Harpoon brews theirs with Tettnang and Saaz hops. At 48 IBUs, you can taste the hops. That's a good start.

Extended lagering smooths out the beer. It's got as much hop flavor as some milder IPAs, but it's much dryer. I get some lemony citrus flavor. This is a clean brew, good for summer days (or nights) and good for your friends who have no idea what a pilsner is (on second thought, give them your leftover Buds). It's available in a six-pack or in Harpoon's Summer mix pack. It's not my favorite style of beer, but I respect the work that went into it. The beer is 4.7 percent ABV. A six-pack costs around $9.

Gary Dzen

About 99 Bottles

Gary Dzen writes about craft beer here and in the Globe when he's not covering the Celtics for He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @GaryDzen.

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