Welcome to Thirsty Thursday, a weekly column where we pick a beer from our fridge and review it, because in a world where two new breweries launch every single week, sometimes we need some help sifting through all of the hops.
For the last several months, I’ve heard about this brewery just a few minutes from my house. While it’s still planting its roots in the area, Warwick Farms Brewing is building a reputation for itself locally and a friend of mine decided to make a curbside pickup to grab several efforts before it quickly sold out. He was kind enough to grab me an assorted four-pack, so I decided to steer away from the IPAs and DIPAs and instead review a beer style I don’t give enough love to on this column and since F.Y.T Pils touts “award winning” on the label, it only seemed fitting.
Started back in 2017 on a 22-acre estate in Jamison, Pennsylvania – about 30 miles north of Philadelphia – the brewery runs on a seven barrel brewing system in a 1,200-foot space. With a desire for brewing artisan beer using locally grown and sourced ingredients, Warwick Farm offers a range of farm-to-tap efforts and even intends to start growing different varietals of hops right on site – Chinook, Nugget, Cascade and Centennial – to make the freshest beer possible. An on-site taproom is set to open in 2020, though it’s unclear how the current climate will affect the opening. Currently, Warwick Farms offers timed weekend pickups, so drinkers can order online, grab their beer and some glassware and enjoy it all from the comfort of their own home.
When it comes to releases, it looks as though Warwick Farms operates on a rotated limited release schedule, which appears to change fairly often. I’m basing that off of their website. One of the more typical beers in the lineup is F.Y.T. Pils, a 5.0 percent ABV, Cascade-hopped, unfiltered pilsner. Many breweries shy away from making pilsners because it’s not a sexy, trendy beer but others make it a year-round effort, taking a backseat to what’s constantly getting churned out on the schedule. The style lends itself to a more simplistic flavor but if done correctly, it can be a work of beer art. And that’s what it appears Warwick Farms has here, as evidenced by F.Y.T Pils’ recent first place finish in the Light Lagers and Ales category at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
The label for F.Y.T. Pils is pretty eye-catching, with the company’s name and logo strewn across the bottom, as with most of their beers, and a well drawn design of an eagle with a glass of beer in its talons in front of a white background. It makes sure “award-winning” is featured right above the name and on the side it lists the hops, the malts and the ABV as well as a brief explanation of what’s inside the can:
This unfiltered pilsner uses flavorful floor malts and is hopped generously with a floral noble hop. It has a balanced malt and hop flavor that is easy drinking, yet flavorful. We choose to keep this unfiltered by allowing the yeast to naturally drop out over time.
It makes me happy when all the information is right there on the label, so that I can better understand what I’m drinking and exactly what went into making the beer.
But enough about everything else, let’s delve into the actual beer and see what it’s all about. When I cracked it open, I went right for the nose, as per usual. There wasn’t a ton of hop-based aroma but I did get a healthy dose of malt – fresh bready malt, which is what you want from a pilsner. That’s really all I got out of it, because it’s tough to really judge a pilsner solely on the nose – there was no underlying hint of fruit, no jazzed-up wheat undertones, just a simple pilsner-smelling pilsner.
After a quick whiff, I poured it into a pilsner glass I had hidden in the back of the cabinet. It was at that point I fell in love with this beer. The pour was magnificent, everything I hoped it would be. It poured a vibrant golden color that was completely see through, also offering a bright, white fluffy head that simply would not go away. Seriously, it didn’t dissipate until I was about halfway finished the beer, speaking volumes for the carbonation and time spent on getting this beer to the masses.
The taste was more complex than it would be from a standard pilsner.
There’s ever-so-slight hints of the hop mixed in with the pronounced flavor of the malt. It starts out bready, follows it with a hint of the floral hop flavor and bitterness and ends with a really nice, clean finish on the back-end. I cannot emphasize enough how clean and crisp it finished, which just made me want to crack open another one once I was done. I was only given one from my buddy and I regret not asking him to grab more, that’s how much I enjoyed it. Light, flavorful, insanely drinkable – if you want something perfect for the warm weather give it a try.
A four-pack of F.Y.T. Pils is $14, which I would say is a steal for this beer – I’d easily pay $18. I went on to BeerAdvocate to get a score but noticed Warwick Farm is kind of a ghost. There was no site rating for this beer and just one rating, a 4.38 out of 5. I don’t think that’s too far off, in fact I went a little bit higher than that and scored this one as a 9.0 out of 10. It offered more flavor than other pilsners, without overdoing it, and proved to be well-executed as evident with the clean, crisp finish and the highly drinkable characteristics. I gushed over this beer a little but I plan on making a trip to get over there once things are semi-normal. I’m excited to try the other efforts he brought.
Stay tuned for next week, because I might try something from your favorite brewery.