Polestar Pilsner, Left Hand Brewing Company, Longmont

Style: Pilsner

ABV: 5.5 percent

Serving Type: 12-ounce bottle

Malty? Hoppy? Light, bready malt; mild hop bitterness

Reviewed: May 2014

There’s an adage in the beer community that goes something like: “Pilsners are so delicate in flavor that there’s no place to hide any flaws.” Meaning, if you want to walk into a brewery and make a snap judgment on the talent of those preparing the ales and lagers, well, then the Pilsner might be a good place to start. It is a true test of brewing skill. (In fact, brewers often do just that when visiting other breweries.) Polestar, Left Hand Brewing’s take on the classic German style, has nothing to hide.

Perhaps it is no surprise that Left Hand has a killer Pilsner in year-round rotation. As a kid in Nebraska, head brewer Ro Guenzel fermented sauerkraut and pickles with his Grandfather, and as an adult developed a fondness for German-style ales. Polestar and Oktoberfest are among his Left Hand favorites.

Polestar, another name for the North Star, has a mild bitterness that smoothes out and finishes clean, crisp, and dry. Simply put, it’s the kind of the beer that will pair well with the impending heat of summer.

Would we buy it again? A sure bet for Pilsner fans. Those unaccustomed to the style might want to try a sip of their friend’s Polestar before committing to a full pint.