Persephone (pur-seff-uh-knee) Imperial Pilsner was brewed with one foot in the past and one in the present. We started by creating this beer in the German style, an offshoot of the original pilsner that features German noble hops and a lighter, crisper body than its Czech counterpart. We used a blend of domestic Idaho 2-row barley and imported German malts as well as German Hersbrucker hops for flavor and aroma. We then took a leap forward by making this brew twice the strength of a traditional pilsner (8.76% alcohol by volume), with a big hop flavor to match.
After fermentation using a German lager strain, we conditioned this brew for two months at freezing temperatures. This maturation process is known as lagering (from the German meaning “to store”) and the process lends its name to the broad category of beer known as lager. This long lagering period is essential to create the smooth and well-rounded flavor expected from a pilsner. We present this beer in the German kellerbier tradition, where beer is brought to the consumer without filtration or pasteurization, and recommend serving it at 40 degrees in a traditional pilsner glass.
Persephone Imperial Pilsner pours a pale, glowing yellow with a bright white and frothy head. A light aroma of dried hay lifts from the glass, but the flavor is marked by soft mint flavors with sherbet-like overtones. A strong, resinous bitterness lingers on and on, blending into each new sip and providing a strong backbone for this brew. Persephone features a light body, but softer and rounder than the mass-produced versions of this style. Try Persephone Imperial Pilsner with grilled tuna steaks or white pizza topped with caramelized onions and brined olives. Or keep it German and pair it with bratwurst, sauerkraut and spicy brown mustard.
Despite the strength of this beer, we don't recommend Persephone Imperial Pilsner as a candidate for extended cellaring. The light crisp body and deep hop flavors will fade with time, which means this brew is best consumed fresh.
The Persephone Imperial Pilsner label features original artwork by brewery artist-in-residence Gabby Prouty. It depicts the return of Persephone from the Underworld, bringing with her the return of Spring. Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, was abducted by Hades and carried to the Underworld. The devastated Earth goddess Demeter allowed the world to become barren while she searched for her stolen daughter. Answering the pleas of starving humans, Zeus ordered Persephone’s release, but Hades tricked Persephone into eating pomegranate seeds. By decree of the Fates, that meant that Persephone would have to return to Hades’ realm every year, once again causing Demeter to grieve, and bringing about the winter season.
The Cellar Reserve series of beers are unique, different even from other craft beers. Grand Teton’s Cellar Reserves are brewed with specialty hops and malts and unique strains of yeast. Most ales and lagers are produced in 2-4 weeks. However, up to 8 months are spent on each of the Cellar Reserve specialty brews. They are also bottle-conditioned, which produces natural carbonation that will blend and smooth the flavors with time. Proper aging of these bottles creates beers to be cherished.
Grand Teton Brewing will release three other specialty brews in the Cellar Reserve line for 2011. The production quantity for each brew is very limited.
Original Gravity: 17.8 Plato
International Bittering Units: 70
Alcohol by Volume: 8.76%
Color (Lovibond): 4°
Persephone Imperial Pilsner will be available on Febraury 1st in bottle-conditioned 750mL bottles and on draft.