Fit for porches and coolers
A Review of Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner by Shmaltz Brewing Co. / He'Brew
Posted on 9/17/2012 by Chops
Ah, the pilsner. Perhaps the most recognized of beer styles thanks to Big Beer's bastardization of the style. Thankfully the craft beer movement has been flooding the market with quality examples of the pilsner in an effort to educate the beer drinking population on what this style is supposed to taste like. And to be perfectly honest, even bad craft pilsners are worlds ahead of their mass-produced adjunct laden counterparts. I recently visited my favorite local pub seeking refuge from a sweltering hot day. I craved something light and refreshing. To the rescue slid the Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner.

Shmaltz Brewing describes this beer as a dry hopped American rye pilsner. I can honestly say that this combination was a first for me, so I went into the beer with an open mind. In the glass, this beer has a clear golden coloration that is noticeably darker than its standard straw counterparts. It comes with a sudsy white head that quickly dissipates. On the nose, I detected that signature lemony citrus with some lager-like grassy notes, which I imagine is a direct result of the dry hopping.

That first taste was definitely an eyebrow scruncher. It took a little while to firmly grasp what was going on in the glass. First of all, this beer has an oddly sharp hop profile for a pilsner and actually ventures into pale ale territory. The earthy grassy note sets up shop as the dominant flavor, pushing the lemony zest into the background. This beer drinks much more like a pale lager than a pilsner. All the pilsner traits are present though, just muted. The finish is quite clean with a crisp bitter aftertaste.

Overall, the Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner is a pretty good beer. I was seeking something light and refreshing, and in that arena I succeeded. Consequently, I can recommend this beer mostly to novices and general craft beer fans. But, seasoned drinkers looking for a quality pilsner will probably be disappointed. Don't get me wrong though, it's still a tasty beer, just strange for the style. To me, I would classify it as a pale lager hybrid or a wispy pale ale. I recommend going into it with no expectations. Just enjoy it for what it is: a tasty lighter brew fit for porches and coolers.

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Coney Island Mermaid Pilsner by Shmaltz Brewing Co. / He'Brew
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