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Photo illustration by David Van Dyke
For dear old dad this weekend, what better gift can you offer him than a little brother.
Especially when that sibling is not yours, but Creemore Premium Lager’s.
It’s good to have a little brother.
Maybe that’s why Creemore Traditional Pilsner “parents” Gord Fuller and Karen Gaudino are proud to present their new golden beverage.
OK, so they weren’t there when Creemore’s popular Premium Lager was born. But don’t judge: There are all sorts of families out there. This is the 21st century ….
“We absolutely didn’t want the reaction that this is Creemore’s little brother,” brewmaster Fuller says.
“It’s our interpretation of a classic style of beer.”
Yikes. Hope the little guy wasn’t around to hear that.
Sorry, but after trying it, I can’t help the label. Their staple lager ($2.50 per 473-ml can, LCBO) is one of the beers I have, ahem, familiarized myself with over the years — I was excited to see what their new offering ($2.55 per 473-ml can) would be like, and if it was like their premium staple.
“We kind of talked about a bunch of beer styles,” Creemore’s marketing guru Gaudino says.
They thought about wheat beer and champagne-yeast beer, “but they seemed to be maybe pretentious for us.”
So they went back to their roots.
Their lager was first designed based on what Fuller says are the best elements of Czechvar (Budweiser Budvar over the Atlantic) and Pilsner Urquell, so a pilsner was a natural selection for their 20th, especially after a trip Fuller took to the Czech Republic two years ago. “We were almost trying to pay homage to these great beers. To copy it exactly wouldn’t be respectful in a way,” Gaudino says.
It’s definitely the maltiest pilsner that I’ve tried. That’s not a bad thing. Dad will be glad to tip this back by the barbecue.
Pilsners are more typically known for the bitterness and aroma of Saaz hops, used in both Creemores, along with Slodek hops in the pilsner.
The little brother actually has a similar aroma to the original lager, and even has what Fuller calls the “flavour fingerprint” of the original. The yeast and water are the same in both beers, butbecause the malts are a little different.
They both have Canadian two-row Pale malts and Cara Amber malts (North American in the lager, weaker German for less amber colour). So there are some similarities.
When switching from lager to pilsner, the little guy’s hops wash over my tongue to trump the nutty, caramel notes of the lager.
(Amazingly, Fuller says there is more malt used in a batch of the pilsner to create balance for the 5.2 percent alcohol per volume beer.)
Dad will prefer this test over the Pepsi Challenge. Give it a try!