Full Sail Brewing ”26″ Cascade Pilsner is the brewery’s newest creation and will be used as their year-long 26th Anniversary beer. Brewmaster Jamie Emerson and crew have been steadily putting out some really good lagers in the last few years, but I think this is hands down one of the best. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving the Black Bock, Bohemian Pils and some of the others, but this one is outstanding. I first tried this beer on Full Sail’s annual Hop Field Tour. If you’d like to view my pictorial essay, you can view it here.
The “26″ was the crowd favorite, and they quickly drank through the 1/2 bbl of beer (15.5 gallons). Full Sail describes this as a Northwest-style Pilsner. It’s higher in alcohol than a traditional Pils and has a heck of a lot more hops as well. Additionally, the hops are traditional Northwest hops. Full Sail will be releasing a “Fresh Hop” version of this beer this fall (I’m excited to try it, for sure).
Appearance: Bright gold, white head, good retention.
Aroma: Citrus, touches of grapefruit, light pine notes, “fresh” aroma.
Taste: Light, malty dryness, spicy hop finish, Crisp with a super pleasant and refreshing hop kick on the end.
Overall Impression: What a tasty beer! Despite it’s hoppy character, everything is nicely balanced. You don’t lose the malt backbone through the hops. The hops, while boldly northwest at 60 IBU, are still delicately enough applied that this beer still has “Pilsner” character. This beer is bright, crisp, refreshing, and above all, super enjoyable. I suggest you grab some and keep it around. It will be in my fridge as a regular. This beer will be available for another 12 months. Also, thank you for not calling this an India Pale Lager!
Availability: Limited year-long release. Look for it where Full Sail’s “Brewer’s Reserve” beers are sold. Here’s a link to the states and locations where Full Sail is sold.