Gordon Biersch Releases Mosaic Pils Tomorrow – Why You Should Care

March 4th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Beer Releases, Washington Breweries

Kevin Davey at the downtown Seattle Gordon Biersch.

Kevin Davey at the downtown Seattle Gordon Biersch.

I know that for many beer drinkers in Seattle, lagers are an afterthought. It’s a sad reality. Ales get most of the focus from local breweries, and I can’t blame them. People love IPAs, stouts and all those other tasty styles. I personally drink a lot more ales than lagers, but I sure do enjoy a well made lager when I find it. I can’t pass up something like a Chuckanut Pils when I see it on tap at a local bar.

Gordon Biersch (GB) is one of just two breweries in Seattle that put their focus squarely on lagers (Emerald City is the other). Yes, it’s a chain. Yes, it’s located in Pacific Place and has all the atmosphere of, well, a chain restaurant in a shopping mall. But, they’ve been making solid lagers for a long time in Seattle (they opened in 1999), and since Kevin Davey took over as Brewmaster last August, things are getting even better. I stopped in about a month ago to grab a beer and say hello, and I was not surprised to find that their Czech Pils was tasting as good as the well-regarded one I mentioned from Chuckanut. That shouldn’t be surprising. Kevin was previously the Lead Brewer at Chuckanut for 3 years, which is regarded as one of the best lager producers in the country. He then spent a year working for the esteemed Firestone Walker Brewing Company in California before returning to Seattle for a short stint at Georgetown Brewing and then moving into his current position at GB. His experience is paying off, as he is a one-man show at the Seattle location of GB.

If you aren’t familiar with the brewery, I’ll let Kevin tell you about it in his own words:

At Gordon Biersch we painstakingly make German-style beers that follow the Reinheitsgebot.  We’re an interesting lot.  While most pub brewers are constantly rotating their draft choices and trying new things every week, we are content fine-tuning our recipes until they’re perfect.  It’s a painstaking process, but (it is) incredibly rewarding to make a simple beer with flair and panache.

In addition to Kevin taking over, there is a lot going on at GB these days. First up, GB will be releasing a Mosaic Pils tomorrow at 5pm as part of their Brewer’s Select series that I’m guessing will kick ass. The Brewer’s Select Series allows each brewer at individual GB locations to deviate from their fine-tuning of the regular lineup to craft something special that they come up with. More about the beer from Kevin:

When approaching my Brewer’s Select beer, I chose a classic export-style Pilsner with an American hop twist.  There’s an IPL craze going on, but not from many lager breweries.  Most of these beers are done from ale breweries and, in my opinion, are an IPA done as a lager.  I would rather do a lager with IPA traits. Mosaic Pils is a marriage of Pilsner and IPA.  It’s stronger and more bitter than a typical Pils, but cleaner, dryer and more sessionable than an IPA.  Clocking in at 50 BU and 5.8% abv, it’s just barely dangerous.  It’s crisp, hop forward and drinkable; should be a huge crowd pleaser.
As for why Mosaic?
I fell in love with Mosaic hops while out in Yakima during the hop harvest, rubbing hop samples at Hopunion, a craft brewing hop distributor.  On that trip I found Pfreim’s single hop Mosaic Pale Ale and it was one of my favorite beers of the year.  Mosaic is an interesting hop.  Although it has that citrus-y orange peel common in American hops, it also has a great marmalade, pineapple, tropical thing.  It can also be pretty dank.  I got back to Seattle and was determined to use it.  Anecdotally, we also got a dog from the shelter that was a stray in Yakima.  We named him Mosey.
Yeah, I’m excited to try it. There will be samples of the beer and special food menu items at the party. If you can’t make the party, stop by sometime this month to give it a try.
In other news, GB will be undergoing a complete restaurant-wide remodel beginning in April or May. As mentioned, they’ve been in Pacific Place since 1999 and could use some updating. Among other things, the bar will have an expanded tap selection, including guest beers, which they currently don’t have room for.
Another thing that most people don’t realize, including myself, is that the brewing system at GB is pretty big (by brewpub standards). Kevin brews on a 20bbl brewhouse with 4-40bbl fermenters. I struggle to even think about how they managed to get all that up to the 4th floor of a downtown mall in the first place. The restaurant is huge and sits about 500 people, but the brewery production is nowhere even close to maxed out. Kevin has floated the idea of distributing his Czech Pils to local bars, but he doesn’t yet have the green light on that from executive management.
Cheers to Kevin and GB for giving Seattle lager drinkers an option for consistently good German-style lagers.


One Comment so far ↓

  • Andy O)))

    Thanks for this article! I’m a hardcore lager fan and living in Seattle with its IPA-obsession gets really old. I love Chuckanut but it’s frustratingly hard to find. Will definitely Czech out the new GB beer and swing by Emerald City soon.

Leave a Comment