Prior to starting this blog, we sat down (with a beer of course!) and laid out the goals we hope these writings convey and achieve. One of these goals is to inform craft beer enthusiasts of the many great beers currently available in Arkansas and those that are coming down the pipe. Another is to provide in-depth analysis and our honest opinions on these beers in order to convey our experiences and initiate dialogue with our readers. Last, we hope to recruit new disciples of this craft beer movement and open the doors to those that are stuck in a domestic beer rut. Is ignorance bliss? Should one be happy with the standard ol’ beer? No. There is a giant world of flavor just around the corner, here in Arkansas, waiting for you to explore.
Along these same lines, we are pleased to offer up our first review, Austrian brewed Stiegl Pils, which we have affectionately labeled “the gateway beer”. Stiegl Pils is easily approachable for any craft beer novice. This statement was proven in a conversation I had with a beer newbie (we’ll call him “Bud”) at a Razorback tailgate a few weeks ago. While the pork shoulder was on the smoker, I sat a few Stiegl’s out to knock the chill off of them. I knew this beer would be a great match for my friend. I gave one a hard pour into a cup and took it over to Bud. The following conversation took place:
Me: Here you go, Bud. Try this.
Bud: [looks at my wife] You sure, man?
Me: Not that, this beer.
Bud: Oh. Dude, you know I don’t like those fancy-pants beers you drink.
Me: Open your mind. Open your heart. Try this beer.
Bud: Alright. [drinks beer and looks at the cup] Tastes a little different, what is it?
Me: That’s called flavor, my friend.
Bud: I like it!
Did we then weep in a life changing moment? Nope. We did enjoy some flavorful and refreshing beer alongside some wonderful food. Oh, and some Hog Football to boot!
Let’s drink this beer and review:
Stiegl Pils pours an extremely tall and fluffy, powder-white head. This big head is good- trust me! Let it die down a bit and enjoy the suspense. Appearance is crystal-clear, pale-straw in color. The carbonation is very apparent and nearly resembles that of champagne. It will look beautiful in a tall Pilsner glass. The bouquet – or smell as we say in rural Arkansas – is of very light sweet pale malts and hay in the nose. Let’s take a gulp: You will taste a little sweet bread and grains in the initial taste, but it’s very clean up front. There are very faint noble-like hops for a balance. The beer gives just enough flavors to appreciate, but does not lead one to deliberate on the details. The mouth feel is very crisp and has just a smudging more body than your standard American light beer. It has a very smooth, clean finish.
That was a good beer, wasn’t it? Overall, Stiegl Pils has your typical Pilsner flavor profile and is very successful in getting all of them right. This is very drinkable and refreshing beer. A slicked-up Philadelphia lawyer might say “highly quaffable.” We say drink up! If you like Bud light, Miller Lite or Coors light, you will love this beer. You can also find the beer in a mini-keg for those golf days, canoe trips, or plain old wild house parties. It’s a great beer to wash down a burger or to enjoy on the back porch while watching your spouse mow the lawn.
Final review: 4 Diamonds
You can find this beer at the following beer-friendly locations:
Colonial Wine & Spirits – Little Rock
Corner Liquor – Hot Springs
County Line Liquor – Springdale
Crossover Liquor – Fayettevile
Jack’s Package Store – Mtn Home
Dickson Street Liquor – Fayetteville
East Side Liquor – Elkins
Macadoodle’s – Springdale
Pat’s Beverage Shop – North Little Rock
Popatop North – North Little Rock
Premier Wine & Spirits – Fayetteville
Spirits Shop – Fayetteville
Springhill Wine and Spirits – North Little Rock
Sullivan’s Liquor – Little Rock
Wine Rack and Spirits Shoppe – Hot Springs
In Good Spirits – Fort Smith
Shamrock Liquor – Fort Smith
Spa Town Wine and Spirits – Hot Springs
Capital Hotel – Little Rock
Popatop University – Little Rock
Lake Liquor – Maumelle
O’Looney’s – Little Rock
Big Orange – Little Rock
Stiegl Pils – abv 4.9% – brewed by Stieglbrauerei zu Salzburg (Austria) – $14.20 MSRP for 6 x 16.9oz bottles