Amsterdam Starke Pilsner

Starke Pilsner is an Amsterdam Brewery limited edition, part of the Toronto brewery’s Adventure Brews series. I think we see it twice a year but tasting as it does now, I wish it was on permanent list.

It combines the best features of Czech and German pilsener, with a bit of Helles thrown in too, if you get each fresh and unpasteurized.

The body is rich, with a maltiness rarely found in craft brewing. It uses Saaz hops in the kettle and floor-malted pilsener malt.



35 IBUs offers a solid balance to the malt. I’d guess the final gravity is 1.014 or so, which lets you taste the malt, as old-time pilsener and Helles┬ádid, too. Nor do I believe those attenuations were simply the result of yeasts available: I think brewers and drinkers of Hapsburg times sought that malt quality, and brewers responded.

The Germans said, “Malt is the soul of beer” – they had a reason.

Many Victorian ales and porters similarly highlighted body and residual extract. So did in the main American beer before WW I, whether malt adjunct or not.

Starke shows this quality to great effect.

It seems to be tweaked year in year out and this is the best I’ve had. I wouldn’t change a thing going forward. Nice labelling, too.

Congratulations Amsterdam and the brewing team, led by Iain MacOustra and Cody Noland.


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