Local brewery Big Rock has unveiled a new brew, perfectly timed for Oktoberfest. Fifth in its Brewmaster’s Edition seasonal beer series, the SAAZ Republic Pilsner is a light lager, generously spiced with Czech hops. Considering the current craze for bold, bitter hops in many craft beers, this throwback to the classic European pilsner style is refreshingly smooth and balanced.
Debuting the beer at WURST Restaurant & Beer Hall last week was apropos. Its lively lower-floor German-style beer hall played host while brewmaster Paul Gautreau spoke about his latest creation to a packed house. He then took part in the hall’s trademark beer-stein-holding competition. A polka band, The German Knights, toured the hall while guests mingled and sampled treats from the beer-friendly menu.
Traditional veal schnitzel, chicken schnitzel stuffed with pork sausage, bratwurst, sauerkraut and pretzels were served buffet style — all pairing perfectly with the SAAZ Republic Pilsner. The beer can be found on tap at select restaurants and pubs including WURST, Alloy and National Beer Hall. Where recommends checking out Big Rock’s innovative “beer goggles” map (found on its website and as an app) to locate its products in-store and on tap. – Adele Brunnhofer
Pick up our current issue or check out the digital version for our cover story on Calgary’s best beer halls, including WURST.