Modist Brewing has been one of the Twin Cities’ best breweries since opening back in 2016. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Modist does things a bit differently. Their head brewery starts with a “with a flavor and experience in mind, then works backward” to craft a great beer to fit that profile. You can read all about their alternative brewing philosophy here, and how that leads to some awesome brews.
Today I have one of those non-traditional beers - an oak-aged Czech Pilsner called I Bring You Love.
I Bring You Love first caught my eye as the name and images are inspired from The Simpsons/X-files crossover episode. This Czech Pils was brewed with Bohemian Pilsner malt from Czechia, Saaz hops, and a Czech lager yeast. It then was lagered and conditioned in massive oak foeders. The beer has an easy-going 5% ABV, was released on March 19th of this year, and two 16-ounce cans cost me $10.
The brew poured a light, nearly transparent, golden color with about two fingers of slightly dense offwhite foam building up. The head lingers for a little while, slowly fading down with some moderate lacing being left behind.
On the nose, the beer was quite light and inviting with one big difference from the normal Czech Pils - you could really smell the aging on it. The beer had a nice charred wood characteristic to it that not only complimented the typical Pilsner notes of flaked grains but overtook it. That’s right, the charred wood smell actually led the way in the aroma, with the lighter cereal-like grist qualities sitting underneath the wood.
With such a unique scent, I couldn’t wait to dive into this lager.
My first sip started off with a creamier, heavier body than I was expecting. But the heftier body didn’t affect the flavors of the beer at all, as it still tasted light and crisp. And, by the time I was half done with the pint, the body had begun to thin out until it was more of a standard Pils body by around the midway point.
That oakiness that dominated the aroma wasn’t nearly as powerful in the taste. Instead it just accented the other, more standard Pilsner characteristics.
There was a cereal-like quality that came from the Czech-grown Bohemian Pilsner malt, which also added a bit of caramel sweetness to the brew. A dash of citrus - mostly lemon - also added to that sweeter beginning.
But this beer is more complex than a typical Czach Pilsners and, as so, the flavors began to change midway through the sip.
On the back half, there was a little twinge of charred wood that combined with some peppery spice and citrus rind from the Saaz hops. That combination added a dash of bitterness and some dryness to the brew. The pithy quality also added some late dryness to the sip and lingered on my taste buds for a moment longer than everything else.
It still finished cleanly and had me immediately going back for another swig. This is a perfect beer for those chillier summer nights, when you want something light but not too, too light. It’s an easy drinking brew with a little heft that most Pilsners don’t have.