May 12, 2011

Dogfish Head My Antonia

My Antonia label

My Antonia was originally brewed as a one-off with Italian brewer Birra del Borgo back in 2008 and only available in the U.S. in extremely limited quantities. Thankfully, in 2010, Dogfish Head decided to start brewing this continually hopped Imperial Pilsner in the states which resulted in a much large distribution.

As a continually hopped brew, I was really worried that this one was going to end up similar in taste to the 60, 90 or even 120 Minute IPA product line. It would be a worry that was quickly dashed upon opening the bottle. Instead of an overwhelming hops bombardment, the beer carries a much lighter hop character and leans heavily on a classic pilsner backbone. The result is one hell of a beer.


My Antonia pours slightly hazy and light straw in color. The large, rocky head faded slowly to a decent lacing.


There are most definitely hops in this pilsner and yet, for as fruity and citrusy as they are, they do not dominate the nose. There’s a solid pils malt character, a subtle spicy herbal note and a light sweetness in the mix, as well.


I’m not entirely sure how much hops went into the batch at a continuous rate, but the beer is quite balanced between lemony citrus, pine and a light malt sweetness. That subtle sweetness transitions smoothly to a lingering hop bite that is of a moderate level, as more of a piny character comes out — as does a welcome bit of warmth from the 7.5% ABV. The beer is smooth drinking and crisp making for a refreshing beverage.


My worries of this brew being over-the-top in terms of hops may have been unwarrented, but they were still there. You just don’t know what Sam and crew are going to do with their brews. As it stands, My Antonia is an excellent Imperial Pilsner that has a great flavor profile and is, for the higher alcohol, deceptively drinkable. I only wish I hadn’t given my other bottle to a friend.


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