Sunshine Pils balances tang with toasty sweetness | The Triangle

Sunshine Pils balances tang with toasty sweetness

The beer for this week is the third in a series I’m doing this summer on Troegs Anthology No. 1 variety pack. This case features a six-pack each of Dream Weaver unfiltered wheat, Pale Ale, Sunshine Pils pilsner and HopBack Amber Ale. I love all these beers and almost always have one of these variety packs in my fridge because it has something for just about everyone.

Troegs describes the Sunshine Pils as a hopped-up European pilsner, which to me makes it a distinctly American take on the style. Most pilsners have a significant hop presence, but in Europe it’s all noble hops. This is America, though, so of course we dump in more hops than normal; bigger is better, after all.

Troegs was founded by the Trogner brothers in late 1996 and sold its first keg of beer July 18, 1997. The original brewery was located in downtown Harrisburg, Pa., and it did not have an attached pub, which is unusual for a microbrewery in the U.S.

The demand for their beer expanded quickly, and Troegs broke ground on a new 90,000-square-foot facility in Hershey, Pa.

This facility is constructed in a rather unique manner with a large window-lined hallway running through the brewhouse.

This allows visitors to take self-guided tours during the hours of 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The new facility also boasts a 5,000-square-foot tasting room and sells the brewery’s famous scratch beers.

The beer poured a dead clear straw golden color with a single finger of pure white head. The head was fairly fine, especially for a pilsner, and it stuck around longer than I expected.

Overall it actually reminded me of a Belgian, especially given the lacing it left behind. The aroma was a combination of a tanginess, which may be related to the hop content, balanced with a nice, toasty malt sweetness.

The body was moderately thick, especially when cold, and the carbonation was fairly low, another surprise to me from a pilsner. The flavor profile was overall more delicate than I expected. Up front was a nice malty sweetness, which was followed by a significant bitterness.

The finish dried out just enough for this beer to just fade away. Overall, the beer was very clean and refreshing without any off flavors.

Overall, this beer is delicious, although it’s not quite to style. The carbonation was a little bit lower and the body a bit thicker than I think a pilsner should be, but it was still quite a good beer.

It fits an afternoon of grilling perfectly, and I would pair it with milder, slightly more delicate cheeses like Gruyere, although as usual, a sharp cheddar will pair quite well too.