I’ll be the first to admit I have not jumped on the craft beer bandwagon of recent years. It’s not that I haven’t liked the ones that I’ve tried, it’s just all a bit overwhelming to me. I’m a simple guy. If you ask me what my favorite beer is, I usually give the short answer, “a cold one.” If I‘m really adventurous, I’ll crack open a Goose Island Sox Golden Ale or look for my favorite, Harp Lager. Trying to navigate my way through the craft beer department of a liquor store is like looking at the backside of the graffiti-filled garage of my childhood. All of the cans and bottles look really cool and colorful, but I have no idea what any of it means. After a few minutes of staring at and admiring the creative designs, I just walk over and grab a case of “the usuals” that might be on sale.
I reached out to my fellow food fanatic and resident craft beer aficionado of On Tap Sports Net, Beer Garden Jim (@jsram311). Knowing my preference for mass-produced American style lagers, Jim pointed me in the direction of Chicago’s very own Maplewood Brewery and their Pulaski Pils Chicago Pilsner.
Maplewood Brewery’s website describes it as “properly lagered for beer drinkers everywhere.” I would say that is an accurate description and Jim did not lead me astray. With a 5.1% ABV, this Pilsner is light and crisp enough to not scare a guy like me off, while finishing with a full enough body and flavorful hops to remind you that you are not drinking a beer produced in vats the size of the Merchandise Mart.
If you’re like me and looking to expand your horizon of hops, Maplewood’s Pulaski Pils is a great place to start. It went great with the deep-dish pizza I had Saturday night so I’m sure it’ll go great with a burger or steak right off the grill as well or just sitting back and watching your favorite team. I definitely recommend putting some cans on ice and cracking a few open when you fire up your grill this season.
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