Beer: My Antonia
Brewery: Dogfish Head
Style: Imperial Pilsner
Serving Style: Bottle
Glassware: Pint glass
Drinking Establishment: Kerensa’s family home, NJ
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Secondary Consumer(s): Kerensa’s family
Sight: Straw, almost clear body with a huge, fluffy head that looks like beaten egg whites. Excellent head retention; it settles into sculptural, voluminous shapes.
Smell: Strong earthy, herbal hop aroma.
Flavor: Bitter hop note at forefront, with an herbal–thyme or parsley–bitter aftertaste.
Feel: Medium mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This does not feel like your normal Pilsner.
Concluding Remarks: Dogfish Head’s My Antonia (named so for Willa Cather’s Bohemian heroine) is an Imperial Pilsner. It is a continually-hopped brew, which means that hops are added to the beer throughout the boiling process. As it sits, it begins to develop a sweet malt profile, in addition to notes of ethyl alcohol. The flavor of the beer transforms as it goes down: first, there’s a rush of bitterness, then a sweet malt, and it finishes with a bitter herbal note. While interesting, I highly recommend not drinking this with food. It will overpower anything else consumed in its path. It’s a nice break from the low ABV session Pils I’ve been drinking this month, though. Also, if you’re interested, look out for Dogfish Head’s collaboration with Birra del Borgo. They produced this Imperial Pilsner before Dogfish went off and did its own thing with Antonia Shimerda. They do make a good brew, but I would be curious to try and discern the difference between Dogfish with and without Italy’s help.