Wingtip The Captain 1st Class Pilsner 4.5% abv.
Around 75% of all beer consumed in the UK is lager, most of which is bland, fizzy stuff produced by a few mega-corporations. It is always a revelation to try a lager that actually has some flavour, especially one that is brewed in the UK. The Captain 1st Class Pilsner pours a dark golden colour and has a grassy, floral aroma with a distinct dry bitterness coming from the use of Czech Saaz and German Tettnang hops.
This really is as good as any premium German or Czech pilsner. It is the sort of beer that would go well with most foods and should be on the drinks list of any bistro that is trying to offer a decent choice of beers. Unlike most lagers which are just guzzled down, this is a lager to really savour. The depth of flavour is due to the 5 week maturing process and the fact that no adjuncts such as rice or maize are used in the brewing. Many big name lagers use rice, maize or other flavourless grains to bulk up the drink as they are cheaper than barley.
The Captain Pilsner is brewed for Wingtip by Andwell Brewery who are based near Hook in the north of Hampshire. Andwell started brewing in 2008 and have a 20 barrel plant supplying over 200 outlets. Wingtip was established in 2015 by the father and son duo of Chris, ex-flight simulator/computer expert and Simon Tripp, ex-drinks industry maestro. Wingtip is a travel-based brewing company that outsources brewing to appropriate partners who are committed to consistency and first class quality either at home or overseas. They are based at Gatwick Airport.
The Pilsner style of lager originated in the town of Pilsen in the Czech Republic in 1842. Lagers are bottom fermented beers, as opposed to the top fermented ales. “Lager” actually means “to store” and real lagers like The Captain have a long maturing process. Many industrially produced lagers are described as Pils or Pilsner style but all taste much the same. The Captain Pilsner is quite an eye opener to a lager sceptic such as myself who normally prefers fuller flavoured ales. I don’t know why more British breweries have not tried to brew their own lagers. I am always disappointed when I ask for a beer in a restaurant and am inevitably offered lager brewed by a big corporation. We don’t choose to drink industrially produced wine so why are we so indiscriminate about lager?
I expect that Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro like a beer or two after a gig so not why pour yourself a glass of Captain 1st Class and enjoy their rendition of The Captain which was featured on their 2009 LP, ‘Only Revolutions’.