Abita 20th Anniversary Pilsner

Review Date 7/28/2006  By John Staradumsky


My experience with the Abita brewing company has been generally positive. After all, I just love their soft malty, creamy Abita Amber , especially fresh on tap in New Orleans (where itís ubiquitous). Their Andygator is a decent Maibock, and who can resist the chocolaty delight that is Turbo Dog ?

Still, Abita has never been what I would consider to be one of the best craft breweries in the land. But it is a very good regional brewer, and to celebrate its 20th anniversary, Abita has released a special pilsner style brew, Abita 20th Anniversary Pilsner.

Abita says that this is a limited edition beer. If thatís the case, I suggest you grab some while you can. Brewed and dry hopped with fresh domestic hops, the beer screams them, and itís crisp and refreshing character is just the thing for a hot summer day.

The label and six-pack carrier art are as unique as the beer itself. A local New Orleans artist, James Michalopoulos, was tasked with creating a painting for the label art. The painting depicts the original brewery as it was twenty years ago, which has since been converted to the Abita Brew Pub as the company expanded and needed a larger facility. The slightly surreal, brightly hued rendition is very attractive indeed, and a fitting tribute to 20 years of brewing at Abita.

Abita 20th Anniversary Pilsner pours to a bright golden color with a thick foamy head and a surprisingly hoppy nose. A thick layer of Brussels lace forms on the side of my glass, and follows the liquid all the way down to the bottom.

Upon sipping, I find the body of the beer to be moderate, akin to some German imported pilsners though a bit lighter. The real surprise here, however, is the hop character. Itís not as aggressive as say, a Victory Prima Pils, but itís bigger and bolder than many a domestic pilsner youíll taste.

The bitterness starts out as soon as you sip and intensifies into the finish. Itís grassy and herbal and lingers on the tongue a long time after sipping. The aroma of the beer is floral and very apparent from the dry hopping. In short, this is a true hop headís beer. I love it, and the only flaw I can discern is that the malt is too light, especially in the finish where the body peters out a bit.

Still, for $5.50 a six-pack, you canít go wrong at all with this beer. Be sure not to miss it.

Glad I tried it?  T

Would I rebuy it??


*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.

(B)=Bottled, Canned