Multilectual Daily Online Magazine focusing on Architecture, Travel, History, Interior Design, Vintage and Contemporary Fiction, Craft Beer, Coffee, Bungalow Living, San Diego's Historic North Park and Balboa Park by award-winning journalist Tom Shess
Friday, September 8, 2017
THE BREWSPAPER / CONVERSATION WITH KELSEY MCNAIR
Discussing the merits of Bird Park Bohemian Pilsner from North Park Beer Co.
West Coaster Magazine’s Brandon Hernandez sits down with
Kelsey McNair of North Park Beer Co., San Diego.
BRANDON HERNANDEZ: One of the things I enjoy most
about North Park Beer Co. is that it’s a place for people who genuinely enjoy a
variety of styles made to style. Sure, the house IPA has plenty of punch, but
even it exhibits the great balance that is the trademark of owner and
brewmaster Kelsey McNair‘s ales and lagers.
like these—session and mid-level strength brews that are flavorful and
easy-drinking—that will convert more people to the glories of finely crafted
brews. Primed for accomplishing that on the Pilsner front is North Park Bird
Park, a Bohemian-style Pils that goes down easier than most local takes on the
style, which often end with a sharp, almost biting sensation.
classic Czech Pilsner flavors of herb and earth are all present, newcomers to
craft will not be challenged by a slap-in-the-throat finish, making Bird Park a
fine candidate to become many future craft-beer drinkers’ “breakthrough beer”.
Of course, if you’re already into craft, as well as Pilsners, you will be able
to appreciate it for its light body, cohesive layers of flavor and the great
deal of thought that went into its composition. For that, I’ll turn it over to
KELSEY MCNAIR: “To me, there’s nothing like a
well made Bohemian-style Pilsner. Moonlight Brewing‘s Reality Czech is my
favorite version and easily one of my top-ten beers. Anytime I travel to the
Bay Area, I make it a point to drink a lot of that beer. Several years ago,
owner and brewer Brian Hunt of Moonlight was at The Linkery for an event where
several of his beers were featured.
upon a seat next to him at the bar and struck up a conversation. As a then-avid
homebrewer, I hoped to get some recipe nuggets from him so that I could take a
stab at making my own version of the style. He went into this long rant: ‘In
order to brew this style, first you need to go to Prague and drink as much
Pilsner as you can. You have to understand it that way.’
away from this conversation without any new knowledge about his recipe or
procedures. I generally never aimed to clone beers as a homebrewer, I would
just get inspired by commercial beers and make my own recipes. Some Internet
sleuthing told me that Reality Czech used Perle hops, so I figured I’d include
them in my pils, too, as an homage to this superb Pilsner. But, I never made it
to Prague and I never actually ended up brewing a Bohemian Pilsner as a
homebrewer. Fast forward to now, I finally put the recipe together and just
went for it. For our version, we used German Pilsner malt and some Melanoidin
Malt to add some malt richness and body.
the water profile balanced and very soft. We hopped it with the classic Czech
Saaz and also German Perle. We borrowed some lager yeast from the local lager
master in town, Doug Hasker of Gordon Biersch, and fermented it low and slow to
make sure the beer turned out as clean as possible. The result? An impeccably
clean Pilsner with lovely nuances of bready malts and spicy, floral hops that
has a firm, well-integrated bitterness. The body is medium-full and the finish
is snappy, dry and refreshing. With the temperature on the rise, Bird Park is
the perfect beer for your backyard barbecue or a day at the park.”—Kelsey
McNair, Owner & Brewmaster, North Park Beer Company