May 21, 2019

Commonwealth Aureole

I’m a sucker for a good pilsner. Regardless of the time of year, there’s just something about that crisp, snapiness that is typically associated with the style – especially when it’s the first beer of the day.

Virginia’s Commonwealth Brewing is more known (at least to me) for their IPAs. They make some damn good examples of the style that are dynamic in flavor and rich in presentation. Aureole is a pilsner and while it’s a decent effort, the beer feels well outside of the company’s wheelhouse.

Aureole looks the part and even has a tremendous aroma with a welcome combination of grain, crackers, grassy hop notes and a hint of honey. The flavor, however, is more straight forward and perhaps a bit humdrum. This is not a terrible example of the style by any means, but it lacks character – unlike just about every other product I have encountered from the brewery. I did enjoy the balance between the grassy hop and peppery tingle in conjunction with the grain and malt sweetness. The extremely drying finish, though, was a bit much to bear through the entire drinking experience.

I liked that Commonwealth has (and probably will continue to) seek other avenues and styles to stretch their creative brewing wings. Every brewery cannot please every cranky old drinker. Aureole, I’m sure, will have its fans, but for me it’s just sort of there and didn’t quite scratch that first-beer-of-the-day awesomeness that I was looking for in the particular scenario.