Take a Pils if the heat's getting to you

IT NEVER ceases to amaze me how we all bumble along in spring and then, bang, hello summer. There you are, watching the kids play touch footy and wondering whether it is time for a coffee and, seemingly, one week later you are cursing the fact that the batteries in the air-conditioner remote have gone flat and you have to get in the car and head through the heat haze to the supermarket for more double As.

In my case it made me look in the beer fridge and - my friends, these are words I never thought I would type - decide it was so hot I didn't feel like drinking one of the many rich and delicious varieties of dark beer that inhabit the bottom two shelves. Fortunately, Hugh the Neighbour came to the rescue.

Not having spent his life working in an air-conditioned environment, HTN had sensed the mercury was going through the roof and had sourced some rather drinkable German pilsener for our Sunday afternoon beer research session. While I am still not exactly sure how to pronounce the name properly, some icy cold Oettinger Pils proved a worthy antidote to the beating sun.

Oettinger is one of the largest producers of beer in Germany, if not the biggest. It has a reasonably simple approach to business - brew good beer and sell as much of it as is possible. Now, HTN and I would normally see this as a recipe for disaster - the thought of that Chinese Snow beer from a couple of months ago still gives me the dry horrors.

However, the Oettinger brewery started operations in 1333, and the Pils is brewed under the German beer purity laws. The combination of good ingredients and almost 700 years of practice make for quite an enjoyable drinking experience. It pours a pale golden colour with a light head that leaves a trail of foam rings down the glass with each sip.

It is a light style, so don't expect a big whack of flavour, but you do get more than a hint of hops from the first sip to the slightly bitter and crisp finish.

The Pils is tasty, reasonably priced and full-strength, and while HTN said he probably would not swap it for his James Squire Chancer as the go-to home beer, considering the current climatic conditions you could certainly do worse than swallow a couple of really cold Pils on a hot day.


330ml bottles; 4.7% ABV $14 per six pack; $36 per carton of 24.

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