Review: Stony Creek Black Water Pils

Review of Stony Creek Black Water Pils from Stony Creek Brewery in Branford, CT.

Beer Type: Black Pilsner  ABV: 5.2%  IBUs: 45  Tried from bottle.

Their Description: “This is a hoppy black Pilsner, or traditionally a Schwarzbier, in which we increased the hops a bit. This beer has an elegant maltiness w/ mild, almost bittersweet, notes of chocolate and coffee. Magnum hops impart a clean hop bitterness, while Black Water’s dry finish allows the Chinook and Tettnang hop spiciness to shine through.”

The Reality: This beer pours a pitch black color with tons of head and a crisp roasty scent. The flavor is undoubtedly a pilsner malt, at least at first, with notes that remind you of more macrobeer brands like Pilsner Urquell or Carlsberg. That doesn’t last long as the bitter roasted wave rolls in with the faint coffee and dark chocolate tones they mentioned. It drinks clean and relatively dry with a mildly bitter aftertaste that doesn’t linger. The body is slightly heavier than a traditional pilsner but is still drinks light overall.

Final Verdict: For all of you pilsner lovers out there that were looking for one with a bitter roasted kick, this beer is for you. For those of you that aren’t overly thrilled with typical pilsners (like myself), this beer does offer a bit more depth of flavor. I did enjoy drinking it more than a traditional pilsner, as it was certainly more interesting and complex and felt heartier even though it was still relatively light. So, even though you know you’re drinking a pilsner-style beer, there’s more to enjoy, and the dry bitterness is a nice replacement to the common aftertaste you’d expect. Not unlike how Maggie Gyllenhaal’s roll as Rachel in The Dark Knight was a nice replacement to the stiff, lifeless performance of Katie Holmes in Batman Begins.