Timbo Pils
Highland Park Brewery

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German Pilsner
Ranked #36
Ranked #9,974
4.2 | pDev: 4.29%
Highland Park Brewery
California, United States
Very Good
Notes: We took inspiration for this West Coast Hoppy Pilsner from both German Pilsners and West Coast IPAs. We used more German influenced hops in the kettle (Czech Saaz, Opal, and Saphir) which gives the beer a softer bitterness and a nice floral and earthy hop base. We then used Mosaic and Motueka for dry hopping to bring out the tropical west coast flavors of mango, riesling grapes, and passionfruit.
Reviews: 5 | Ratings: 19
Photo of BucannonXC5
4.41/5  rDev +5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 16-oz. can
Glass: Modern Times 16-oz. Willi Becher glass
From: Highland Park Brewery in Chinatown, Los Angeles, Calif.
Price: $16 for a 4-pack
Purchased: June 2, 2019
Consumed: June 7, 2019
Reviewed as: German Pilsner
Misc.: Canned on May 24, 2019

Picked this up on the way home from the 2019 Firestone Invitational. Had tried it twice before, both at the invitational (2017 and 2019), giving it a 4.25 on Untappd. Was excited to actually get the chance to review it. Can called it a “West Coast Style Pilsner with Mosaic hops.” Not sure it could get any better for me.

Poured a medium yellow clear color with one finger of fizzy off-white head. Lots of fast moving bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass at different speeds. Minimal watery lacing. Average retention. (Sight - 3.00)

Smelled big whiffs of Mosaic and Nelson right away, almost more like an IPA or session IPA than a pilsner. Also passion fruit, mango, tangerine, pineapple, grapefruit, fresh-cut grass, spicy Czech Saaz, black pepper and white grape. Even better out of the can with Mosaic, Nelson, passion fruit, mango and tangerine dominating. (Smell - 4.50)

Tasted almost as good as the nose. Got Mosaic, Nelson, mango, passion fruit, tangerine, pineapple, mixed berry, grapefruit, fresh-cut grass, spicy Czech Saaz, black pepper, white grape and earthy malt. (Taste - 4.50)

Medium body. Oily texture. Lively carbonation. Long, dry, spicy finish. (Feel - 4.50)

Just a terrific pilsner. I know it’s not traditional, but I love hoppy pilsners. (Overall - 4.50)

4.41 | 98 | A

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Photo of fmccormi
4.15/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Straight pour from a 16oz can to a stemless wine glass (HPB’s Bottle Friends cat glass). This was canned on May 24, 2019 according to a canning date printed in black ink on the underside of the can (“Canned on 05/24/19”), making this can 4 days old at the time of consumption. Purchased at the brewery three days ago, and it’s been in the fridge since.

Appearance (3.75): This pours out two fingers of fizzy, off-white head capping a crystal clear, light straw-gold body. The head dies away at a moderate pace, giving an audible crackle as it leaves a weak series of broken arcs of delicate lacing where the head has receded. I wish there was some more retention, but the overall appearance is beautiful before it dies away completely.

Smell (4.25): Immediately fragrant upon pouring, this beer throws off a lovely mixture of bright papaya, tangerine, and white peach. I’m just amazed at how far the nose travels. A touch of passionfruit emerges from the undercarriage, wedded to stark, crackery grains, offering notes of hay, dusty boule crust, and a light mineral note that calls to mind river stones. A bit of dank, fruity ganja comes out of the mix, as well. I love the nose, but could use a little more “lager.”

Taste (4.25): On the palate, the beer is lean and crackery, with soft lemon zest mixing with underripe white peach flesh, a broader mineral character married to a soft, earthy, dusty straw note, and a very subtle note of white grape skins. The beer opens with a soft, grassy bitterness, transitioning into that earth, straw, and soft mineral tones, before the hops swell into lemon zest, brighter notes of river stones and common cracker, and a subtle, weedy resin character. It’s extremely lean and crisp, without feeling too dry at all—it’s surprisingly soft. The softest bit of earthy spice shows up in the mix, hiding behind a grassy bitterness that presents itself in a different light. It feels simple but quietly complicated at the same time.

Mouthfeel (4.0): This beer is exceptionally light, crushable, and quenching. That said, it’s missing some of the complexity I’d hope for in a really well-defined pilsner. The body is light, no doubt about it, and swishy and dry, but surprisingly soft, while the carbonation feels light, fizzy, and soft all at once. The carb mixes evenly with the body, dissipating without much trouble, barely helping an already light and gentle body to finish even softer.

Overall (4.0): I love this beer. It’s not as good as some of Highland Park’s other lagers and pilsners, but it’s still unbelievably drinkable, refreshing, and surprisingly complex in very subtle ways. Who knows, maybe this beer will feel more integrated and refined in a couple of weeks—I feel like Highland Park’s beers often make that transition in canned form—but it’s still delightful right now. Recommended if you’re into a good craft pilsner, but don’t forget that they get even better with Highland Park.

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Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Arrives a clear golden, with a nice, medium-sized head; decent retention and lacing

Smell: Quite fragrant, with floral tropical fruit elements

Taste: Tropical fruit forward, with strong floral tones; the hops build through the middle and the finish is crisp

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: I was really pleased with this beer; it hinted at being a Pilsner but didn't have the anticipated Germanic elements; nevertheless, I really liked the combination of the crisp finish with the juicy hop profile.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
4.21/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Huge amount of hops on the nose; complex aroma of tropical fruit, berries and lightly floral.

A: Golden color, totally clear with a tight uniform head that has solid retention, lots of lacing left in the glass.

T: Big hoppy taste, tropical fruit, berries and lightly floral, very crisp, with a moderate lingering hop bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderately high carbonation.

O: Excellent; not really a Pilsner -- this beer has a huge amount of hops and the kettle hops do use some traditional Pilsner hops, but that's is where the similarities end. This beer is much closer to an India Pale Lager in that both use a similar grain bill (Pils or 2 row), lager yeast and of course lots of hops. Style aside this is a pretty phenomenal beer in that it has a huge complex hoppy nose and taste without being vegetal.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.19/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

At this point, I think we need a style that's "American Pilsner" ... or "New American Pilsner" that would encompass these experiments with hopping. It's definitely not an IPL. It drinks like a pils but with the brightness and tropical notes that come from a judicious use of NZ hops. Beautiful.

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Timbo Pils from Highland Park Brewery
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 19 ratings