For a little International flavour (see? I used the “ou” spelling) here in the digital beer universe, I’m sticking with the theme as I procured a small supply of Bavik Pils, which is generally regarded as Belgium’s (and one of Europe’s) finest pilsners.
I don’t know whether this is the time or the place to get into the history of pilsner beers, other than saying Miller Lite is NOT an example, but will err on the side of caution and save it for another day due to the backlog of reviews I have to get through.
I had some expectations for this one, however, as Bavik was well regarded by beer maestro, Michael Jackson (for those of you who do not know, he was not the MJ who danced), and had fared well at an international blind tasting of 27 renowned pilsners conducted by Beer Passion Magazine in 2000. In addition, the brewery has survived the InterBrew-Labatt juggernaut that has gobbled up many of the traditional, independent brewers … as I’ve contended in the past, the good stuff in Europe, as in the U.S., is not made and/or controlled by the big guys.
This pilsner pours pale straw in color, with a floral herbal nose. Unfortunately, the thin, white head falls quickly even though it retains a bit of lacing. (A good pils, as a German brewmaster friend of mine once told me, should take seven minutes to pour—allowing the head to dissipate. “Any less than that, send it back,” he claimed.) Regardless, Bavik has a balanced mouthfeel, with plenty of sweetness to compliment the crisp, herbal finish.
While I have to consider that this style—or any lighter lager—will take a beating as an import, this is a good effort … albeit nothing more than what was to be expected.