Akademia Shiver Pilsner | ABV 5.1%
BJCP Style: Kellerbier (Pale)
Hops: German Hops | Malts: Pilsner
Brewery: Akademia Brewing Co.
City: Athens, GA – 150 Crane Drive, Athens GA, 30606
Appearance: Clear, straw yellow. Frothy white head with tiny compact bubbles. Good retention. Fast rising bubbles.
Aroma: Floral and grainy.
Flavor & Aftertaste: Floral and grainy flavor. Mild bitterness. Low sweetness.
Palate: Light to medium bodied, dry and crisp. Moderate carbonation. Finish is short, dry and crisp.
Kellerbier is a bit of an oddity here in the United States. It is popular in pubs and beer gardens in Munich, Germany, where it is served in its most fresh form on draft. Here in the U.S., it is starting to gain some following; but is considered a summer seasonal when it does make an appearance. What is Kellerbier – translated as “cellar beer”? It is a simple, young lager made in the Helles (pale) or Marzen (amber) style. It is described as young because it starts out as one of those two styles (pale or amber, depending on the malts used); but is not lagered long enough to fully develop into its end target. Traditionally, it was served directly from the cold cellars. It is also unfiltered and unpasteurized.
Style parameters for Kellerbier (or sometimes called Zwickelbier) are fairly loose. According to Beer Connoisseur, the term “describes more the aging and serving processes than specific stylistic requirements.” Therefore, you will find a wide variety in the malt bill resulting in colors from pale yellow to dark brown. The ABV will range from 4.7% to 5.4% and bitterness from restrained to moderate. Regardless, it is traditionally a beer to be served on draft and drank in large quantities; but you’ll find it canned/bottled today.
I would describe Shiver as more a “Champagne” like beer (no not Miller High Life!). It pours out a pale yellow color with fast rising carbonation that culminates in a nice fizzy white head; but has more lengthy head retention. The nose exhibits floral and grainy aromas. Similar flavors on a light to medium bodied mouth-feel. I mentioned Champagne-like previously because it conveys that same dry, crispness start to finish you get from the venerable French sparkling wine. Bitterness is very light at first; but builds to a mildness. Not overwhelming at all and the beer is very drinkable.
When thinking about where this beer fits in, the obvious conclusion is on draft at the brewery or beer bar. I would also invite you to expand your thinking. For beer drinkers who like Saison; but maybe want something with a cleaner, lager profile Shiver would fit the bill nicely. Not to mention it is a less pricey alternative to most Saisons. I can see it pairing well with Thanksgiving and Christmas meals. Summer picnics and barbeques is another great place to pair it up with a variety of foods.
Shiver has the distinction of being Akademia’s first beer packaged in 12 oz. cans. Previously, everything the brewpub packaged has been in 16 oz. cans. This is another plus because the smaller cans make it much more cooler friendly.
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!