Content and opinions by Kristi Yorks and Adam Kagy Be unique, be bold, and be a little crazy.  Good laws to live by. Whether you are making turns or making beer, a little crazy can be a great thing. That’s the secret to being able to see and do what hasn’t been done before – the crazy idea to look, to try, and to see what might happen. Since 1995, Dogfish Head has been exploring its own special kind of crazy and has devoted itself to the philosophy of “why not?” and the notion that no idea is too far gone, no line too remote, and no ingredient too unusual to throw into the pot. Have they made mistakes? Sure. I’ve certainly made a few mistakes and have apologized profusely to my knees, collar bone, and broken derailleurs afterwards. But when a crazy idea makes sense, when it works, something good becomes something great. Enter the Dogfish Head Piercing Pilsner. I’ve never had a Czech-style pilsner. In fact, I don’t really like pilsners to begin with. But, hey, we are being a little crazy here. Pilsner Staying true to Dogfish Head tradition, this isn’t just any pilsner. Brewed with pear juice, pear tea, and Saaz hops (a “noble” hop), it aims to make a statement. Golden hues compliment a sweet, malty aroma. It’s clean, crisp, with just a touch of hops on the nose – something earthy, something spicy. The taste was everything I expected from a pilsner…and then not. Something happened mid-gulp. Something changed. The immediate smoothness and light malts gave way to hops – not bitterness, but an earthiness and a spice, balanced by the sharp sweetness of pears. That sweetness and faint acidity lingered. The pear juice pierces through the hop’s spicy legacy, transforming it into something unexpected. I took a minute to savor it before, promptly, devouring my glass. It turns out that not all hops are hoppy. Saaz hops are known for their earthy, herbal flavors – not for their bitterness. With a low Alpha Acid level, these hops won’t bitter-up your beer, but they will complicate it. The flavors of the Dogfish Head Piecing Pilsner were true to their name: sharp and complex. I tasted the malts, the hops, the pear, in succession, soaking in the clash and the balance. The mouthfeel was thick and full. Did I mention refreshing? Despite the clash of sweet, spice, and earth, the beer itself remained crisp and dry. I could drink a lot of these, but probably shouldn’t. At 6% this is a pilsner meant to be sipped and savored. Remember, I said crazy. ABV: 6% Value: $8.99 for a 4 pack Taste: 5               Style: 5                      Appearance: 5               Aroma: 4.25 Verdict: A good beer reserved for good people and good times on or off the trail.

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