Stevens Point Snow PilotJanuary 22, 2017
At the moment it is 2 degrees F in Stevens Point; I checked. This brewery, one of America’s oldest, cut a big hole in the ice with Snow Pilot, a delicious brown ale, resplendent with the aroma and flavor of a nut that grows in arid, semidesert climates. More amber than brown, it pours with a handsome, rich tan head. Pronounced pistachio in the nose is creative and warms the heart, inspiring dinner by the fire. Crispy duck breast sautéed in shallots and covered with a cherry/pistachio sauce was a good choice, as the beer has hints of stone fruit, like plum pudding, yet remains dry and appropriate for all holiday menus.Charles Finkel is founder of Merchant du Vin and the Pike Brewing Co. Finkel is a pioneer in the marketing of beers in America.
My first ever pistachio nut brown, so I have few expectations—better said, no expectations. Expect the best from one of America’s heritage breweries. Gem-like crystal clarity and a wonderfully visual red/brown hue that reflects sincerity. Wonderful cocoa/chocolate and vanilla notes in the aroma. Lightly hopped. Clean and tantalizing. Undertone of nutty pistachio actually emerges. It’s 10 degrees outside and this beer seems extraordinarily appropriate. A wonderful addition to my 47 years of beer tasting. Pass me a slice of pecan pie, please.Charlie Papazian is the author of the New Complete Joy of Homebrewing, founder of the Great American Beer Festival and national beer examiner at examiner.com. Papazian is a leading voice in beer and brewing.