New Pilsner Alert! Meet Cin Cin
For the last couple of years, we’ve been loving our new canning line, a CFT Microbrew from Italy, which increased our efficiency and ability to pump out about 100 cans-per-minute.
Thanks to this bad boy, we’ve been able to offer a lot more Tasting Room-exclusive releases, including our latest this week, Italian-style Pilsner Cin Cin (as in chin chin, or how you’d pronounce ‘Cheers!’ in Italian).
Lager superfan and Brewer Brad Young jumped at the chance to spread the gospel on this brew, and why you should check it out even if you’re not normally a beer-flavored beer drinker.
“It’s an amazing beer. I love lagers, personally,” Brad says. “That’s my go-to. That’s my favorite thing to brew here, and my favorite thing to drink. I got to brew this one, too.”
When we spoke with Brad about chatting for this brew last week, he said he had just pulled a sample off the tank.
“That was right after it crashed, so it was still pretty young. I just had a sample, but I was like, oh, this is going to be perfect,” he shares.
This brew joins Boat Ramp Champ as one of our more recent lager brews.
“A pilsner is lager yeast, and it’s lagered, which means cold storage, so we hold it cold for a long time. That cleans it up, gives it clarity,” Brad says.
Cold fermentation is important for lager yeast so that it doesn’t throw off any of the flavors that you would typically find in ale yeast. The biggest flavor character of these brews comes from the malt and hops.
“I like brewing it so much because it’s a harder style,” he says. “You can’t hide behind anything, so if something goes wrong, it’s very apparent.”
For an Italian-style, there is some history to this brew that is fun to explore as well.
“I love the old German tradition,” Brad says. “As a European lager, it’s hoppier. We actually dry-hop this one a bit, too.”
For old-school German or Czech Pils, this isn’t the norm, so it’s a fun modern twist.
“It’s dry-hopped with European hops. The ones we picked are spot on and really flavorful. It’s going to be refreshing,” he says. “It’s going to be a beautiful weekend, and this beer is going to be perfect for it.”
If you’re used to drinking more American-style craft brews, you’ll notice a difference in the way hops present themselves in this brew.
“European hops are usually low in alpha acids,” Brad says, which usually contribute the bitterness to a brew.
“The flavors are much softer, whereas the American hops are more juicy, in-your-face, tropical. European hops are mellow. They’re usually a bit grassy, vegetal, with tea or spice notes,” he says.
Cin Cin utilizes Saphir hops, which are German, and help give spicy and floral notes to the brew.
“European hops are delicate. They’re pretty,” Brad says with a grin. “They’re subtle.”
Brad usually always has a playlist to get him in the right mood for different brews, and he explored Italian opera singers for this one.
When we ask which singers, Brad thinks for a minute.
“I’m trying to remember the guy’s name,” he says.
“Pavarotti?” Packaging Lead Paul Greer offers from the next table over as he bites into his lunch.
“No,” Brad says, still musing, before it clicks. “Oh, Andrea Bocelli.”
Fellow movie fans might recognize one of Bocelli’s famous songs, “Por ti volare,” in the finale of the movie Step Brothers with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.
“It’s June, and we have some nice weather coming. I’m going to sit on the beach and drink this with my family this weekend,” he says.
While many of us get excited when we see a new lager coming up on the docket, they don’t typically get as much fanfare as our fruit-forward beers.
“I think we should teach people that they should be excited for these,” Brad says, smiling. “Because of how much work and time goes into them. There’s definitely a place for lagers.”
“It’s a more technical beer to brew and cellar and filter. It’s such a good, clean taste. It’s perfect,” Brad says. “Brewers love it. Everyone who works here loves lagers. Most of the people in the industry love lagers as well.”
As for why he enjoys them, Brad shares that he enjoys the hoppier taste, as well as the low alcohol which makes the brews super crisp and refreshing.
It’s a great brew to enjoy after spending a hard day’s work putting in the time to make them.
“Lager, it’s important to be delicate with it as you’re working with it,” Brad says. “You have to treat the wort carefully, because all the flavor you’re getting is from the grains and hops.”
“It makes for a bit of a longer day for us, and I can’t speak for the other brewers, but for me personally, I get really excited about it,” Brad shares.
“It’s a nice reminder of why I started doing this in the first place,” he says with a laugh. “I appreciate that management kind of knows that, too, so they tend to push my schedule towards these styles.”
When checking out a new brewery, Brad sometimes uses lagers as a benchmark for what breweries can do. For beer fans, this is one brew you’re not going to want to miss.
“I’ve always tried to figure out how to convince people to drink more lager,” Brad, grinning.
If you’ve primarily gravitated towards fruit-forward options, lagers are a great introduction to an entirely new style of beer as well.
“It’s lighter and easier to drink. For people who are newer to craft beer or are macro drinkers, craft lager is a good introduction to the world of craft beer.”
So, as you’re enjoying some of this 4-pack, know that your support for lagers is warming the hearts of our brewers, and they could definitely use some love as they head into the busy summer season!
Cin Cin is a 5.5% Italian-style Pilsner which will be available in the Tasting Room for a limited time, both on draft and in 4-packs to go. Grab a glass or pick up a pack to take home from our Brewtique.