love when breweries do collaboration beers – it’s like an inter-company
comic book crossover. More often than not, collab brews tend to be
unique, experimental and exciting and that’s definitely true of Joint
Custody. They’re calling this a “Nouveau Pilsner”, which I suppose is
code for “rauchbier meets IPL.” There’s a lot of hoppy goodness to be
found here and it works fine as an IPL or hoppy pilsner, but the
addition of smokey/peaty malt really surprised me. It’s a combination
that works surprisingly well.
I poured a 12oz can into a flared snifter. There was no freshness date and it cost $2.49 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Maize/pale orange hue over a very cloudy body. Pours to a small, white, foamy head which laces and retains well.
Smell: Light tropical fruit notes not unlike a West Coast IPA. A touch of honey, flowers and grass as well.
Taste: I went into this beer thinking it was going to be a traditional
pilsner at the core (a style I really enjoy) with different hop
character all around. I was right on the latter, but way off on the
former. This beer is probably better viewed as an IPL since it doesn’t
have much of a pilsner taste to it. Not that it’s bad – far from it. The
base malt is of the amber/Vienna/Munich range with a bit of a sweet
honey character. Where it really becomes interesting is on the finish
when an intense smokiness appears out of nowhere. You’d think that’d
clash with everything that came before it – especially the juicy
tropical-tasting hops – but it actually complements it rather well. This
beer makes full use of its 40 IBUs as there’s enough to give it some
bite, but restrained enough that the smoke does a lot of the biting as
Drinkability: I was a bit surprised to find that this beer is 6.2% ABV
in strength; that’s pretty hefty for a pilsner. It’s not nearly as light
as is common for the style. There’s much more density to this body. The
mouthfeel is fuller, and just a tad sticky; though it is quite crisp on
the finish. I’ll bet the name Joint Custody is a play on the fact it’s
smokey. That smokiness lingers momentarily, along with a light dry