Name: River Birch
Brewing Company: The Drowned Lands
Location: Warwick, NY
Style: Pilsner – Other | Foeder Pilsner
“The Drowned Lands has crafted an outstanding, world class Pilsner that transcends the style.”
From Drowned Lands page for the beer:
Foeder-fermented Pilsner brewed with Weyermann Pilsner Malt and a touch of Weyermann Vienna, hopped with German hops for a floral and spicy balance. As is tradition, this was fermented low and slow in one of our American Oak Foeders, then transferred to stainless where it was lagered to maturity.
We’re tasting grassy lemon pitch, a particularly oaky pile of straw, a mellifluous bouquet of summer flowers, and that little burst of citrus oil you get when peeling an orange.
Another pilsner already? I suppose I’m making up for lost time, but when one visits a brewery on a warm summer day, a Pilsner might be the best test of their quality.
The Drowned Lands had the unfortunate timing to open the same year as the COVID-19 Pandemic, but despite that hinderance, they’ve already received several accolades, including being listed as one of the 10 Best New Breweries of 2020 by USA Today (along with NJ’s own, The Seed in Atlantic City). Before I knew that; however, I’d heard good things about them and one of the former brewers of Conclave Brewing had recently joined Drowned Lands. How could I not visit on the ride down from Cooperstown, NY to home?
Of the beers on tap, I knew I wanted to try their pilsner. It is one of my favorite styles after all and the pilsner is where a brewer’s skill shines. I fondly remember the two pilsners Conclave brewed when Bryan was working there, too.
Look at that beer! Perfect golden approachability, it looks just the way a pilsner should look. Aroma…I think I get some of the earthiness from the oak foeder in which the beer was fermented.
What does the beer taste like? Like nectar from the gods. I’m completely blown away by this beer, it is a perfectly crafted lager. The traditional elements of the German malt and hops are present, but the oak fermenting brings some fresh, new perspective to the old world style.
I enjoyed the beer so much I had to bring home a four pack because it was delicious and my fridge was a little low on pilsners. The next day, I had a pour from the can and it was just as good. Extremely refreshing, potently flavorful, elegantly crafted.
The Drowned Lands is a gorgeous brewery, especially on the day of my visit which was lovely weather. If I lived closer (I’m about an hour and a half away), I’d be visiting them a couple times per month.
To put it in simple terms, River Birch is one of the best Pilsners I’ve ever had. To quote Mat from Massive Beers, this Pilsner is “Mount Rushmore Status.”
Highly Recommended, link to Untappd 4.5-bottle cap rating.