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As a brewer and major consumer of beer, I’m often asked, “What’s your favorite kind of beer?” That’s not an easy question to answer because it depends on the season, time of day, what I’m eating and my mood more than anything. But it’s safe to say that Pilsner is the style of beer that I crave most often. To be clear, I’m not talking about the watered-down Pilsners that dominate the world. I’m talking about the real deal—Bohemian Pilsner. When I first visited the Czech Republic about 25 years ago, I discovered what Pilsner is all about. Every town I visited had a brewery with a signature Pilsner, and the vast majority I tasted were exceptional. The experience starts with your eyes—the beautiful golden color and frothy head. Then the nose—Saaz hops! Pleasantly spicy, herbal, earthy and slightly grassy. Then sip and savor the perfectly balanced flavors across your tongue—sweet pale malt flavor up front, bready malt flavor and spicy hop notes in the middle of the palate, followed by a crisp and smooth hop bitter finish. Well-balanced between malt and hops, and as smooth as lager gets. No wonder the Czechs drink more beer per capita than anyone else!

What frustrates me about this style I crave so much is that it’s so hard to find a true-to-style Bohemian Pilsner outside of the Czech Republic. And drinking imported Czech Pilsner is always a letdown because this style of beer needs to be fresh and unpasteurized to maintain that fantastic hop flavor. My saving grace is that there are a handful of American craft brewers who brew a pretty damn good Bohemian-style Pilsner, especially when I buy it fresh at the brewery. Even better, this summer I can satisfy my craving every day thanks to BJ’s EnchantressTM Golden Pilsner. Yes, it was my idea to add a Bohemian-style Pilsner to BJ’s seasonal lineup this year. Brilliant idea, if you ask me.

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