Enegren 9th Anniversary Imperial Pilsner

Review Date 9/6/2021  By John Staradumsky


Ah, Americans and our love of everything that’s bigger and better (better being a relative term, you see). Take beer, for example. The Brits centuries ago began exporting a stronger, heartier stout to Russia and called it “Imperial Stout” in honor of the Czars (Catherine the Great was said to be very fond of it). Here in America, we decided in the early days of our craft beer revolution to “imperialize” every style we could get our hands on. In time, that led to Imperial Pilsners.

Sometimes this works well, and sometimes it works less well. The first such beer I can recall enjoying was Samuel Adams Imperial Pilsner 2005 Harvest, which was truly an astonishingly good brew. It is one I wish was still offered today, and the only criticism I can think of for it (and it is a small one) is that it was perhaps a bit too hefty at 9% alcohol content by volume.

Along comes Enegren Brewing of Moorpark, California, fifteen years later, with their Enegren 9th Anniversary Imperial Pilsner. Is this their first ever Imperial Pilsner? No, they also brewed one for their 8th Anniversary, but it is in fact the first in the style from them that I have tasted. They say on the label:

Our 9th Anniversary Imperial Pilsner is brewed with German Malts & a blend of German Tettnang, Herkules & American Amarillo hops. This beer celebrates a milestone 9th year with the expansion of our biergarten & welcoming a winery, Craft House, coffee roasting company & restaurant to The Alley. The German word "Gemütlichkeit" is used to convey the feeling of warmth, friendliness, and good cheer often associated with enjoying beer in good company. This is something we strive to put in every liter of Enegren beer, whether you enjoy it in our biergarten or in your own backyard. Drink up! Before the Murder Hornets arrive... PROST!

Prost to you, Enegren. Enegren offers many pilsners, and I am so grateful that they do to pilsner what many American breweries do to IPA: make lots of them. There are many German hops after all, and Czech as well, to play with, and Enegren does this well.

Enegren 9th Anniversary Imperial Pilsner has an alcohol content of 7% by volume (just right, I think!). I paid $4.05 for my pint can from Craftshack. I have no other pricing information available. I ordered it on September 21st of 2020 and I drank it on January 7th of 2021.

Enegren 9th Anniversary Imperial Pilsner pours to a pale golden color with a moderate sized head formation of creamy foam and a big herbal grassy bitter hop nose. Taking a sip, the beer is medium malty, not really crisp biscuity like a classic pilsner but sort of biscuit malty. It is absolutely infused and permeated with greasy, herbal, leafy hop notes and finishes quite bitter. I loved every sip of it, and could only help remarking that this is what imperial pilsner SHOULD be! Not too strong (though stronger than a classic pils), and bursting with Teutonic hops.

What will 2021 bring us for Enegren’s 10th Anniversary? Something spectacular, I’m sure.

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