I thought the era of making every beer Imperial was over, but this new big-bottle beer from Gordon Biersch shows that it's still worth doing. The IPB, as they're calling it, is made with Hallertau, Tettnang, Spalt and Saaz hops, and clocks in at 6.5% ABV. It's rich, bold, bitter stuff, with a hefty, almost chewy malt backbone. (Think graham crackers and wheat biscuits, plus plenty of bitter hops.) Though it lacks the lightness and crispness of a pilsner, it works for those times when you can't decide between cracking open a pilsner or an IPA, and you're yearning for malt.
This beer would be right at home with salty meats—try grilled bratwurst or pastrami sandwiches. It would be a nice counterpoint to pulled pork or smoky ribs (don't forget the baked beans cooked with burnt ends.)
Have you ever tried an Imperial Pilsner? Samuel Adams makes the Hallertau Imperial Pilsner, and Heavy Seas has the Uber Pils. What do you think? Is this a style you'd seek out?
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