There can only be one undistributed beer of the week. The competition is fierce in San Diego's beer community, but someone has to take the title. This week's best undistributed beer is...
32 North Brewing Co. - The Conqueror
ABV: 5.5. percent ABV
Pair with: Caesar chicken salad or fish tacos
This beer comes to us from Nick Ceniceros, head brewer at 32 North Brewing Co. While a tasty pilsner may seem like an easier beer to brew on the outside compared to other, more extravagant styles, it is quite the opposit
e. Every mistake can show through in a lighter beer like this one, which is why this un-flawed beer is a top pick for us. It is a flavorful, crisp and fruity pilsner that stands out among the rest while still being incredibly clean and true-to-style.
"We use a 100-percent Weyermann Barke
Pilsner Malt, which is an heirloom variety offered by Weyermann Malt," Ceniceros said. "We absolutely love this malt. I think it gives a distinct flavor to our pilsner.
"To give our pilsner more character, we use a blend of Aurora and Hersbrucker (hops) in late kettle additions, almost like a IPA would be brewed, giving the beer a more hop forward character than most pilsners. (It is) fermented with Weihenstephaner lager strain at low temperatures and dry hopped with Saphir - a citrus, floral and fruity hop."
Ceniceros explains that with any lager or a lower ABV beer, it's very hard to make well and can be prone to off-flavors coming through. It's part of why this brew is one of Ceniceros' favorites, alongside the fact that is a sessionable beer and is an easy go-to beer for sharing with friends on any given day.
"People tend to over look the style. There is a beauty to such an easy beer," he said. "As I've matured in my brewing career, I find myself head over heels for a simple, clean beer."
This brew offers a nice aroma of hops without any true bitterness on the taste. It's ultra refreshing due to the fact that there are notes of floral and citrus from the hops, with a complimenting drinkability and no hop bite. It's a clean beer with a surprising amount of flavor for a "simple" pilsner. This brew will be offered year round at 32 North Brewing Co., which makes sense in San Diego for a crushable beer such as this.
This pilsner was the first brewed by 32 North, Ceniceros says. He joined the team as their head brewer in 2016 and says his goal is to improve the brewery's reputation and beers as a whole. So far, we're very impressed with what we're drinking.
This beer is currently available on tap at 32 North Brewing Co. Get it while it's cold!
32 North Brewing Co., 8655 Production Ave., Miramar. 32northbrew.com
Editor's Note: Undistributed beer of the week is a series that profiles a local brew only available to try on draft at specific locations in San Diego.