By David Diehl
During the holidays, it definitely isn’t alien for families to create traditions based around certain films. We all know the Christmas classics, but for George Aldrich, Owner and Director of Brewing Operations at Reinvention Brewing Company, the go-to franchise is immediately Star Wars.
“Christmas is indelibly linked with these movies for me,” says Aldrich. “As a kid we would always watch a Star Wars marathon on Christmas day. To me, creating the Galactic Empire Imperial Pilsner is the perfect Christmas beer and it has a Star Wars theme.”
This pilsner is a great beer to order at Finger Lakes breweries because it is an excellent example of razor-sharp precision. Unlike other styles, you cannot hide imperfections in this crisp classic by tossing in more hops or adjuncts. But Aldrich has struck back and reinvented this recipe.
“Basically, a pilsner is a relatively light beer, three to four percent alcohol, finishes very dry. I wanted to see what I could do to make an imperial version of a pilsner,” Aldrich explains. “Imperial pilsner isn’t an actual style, but I like to play with styles. We like to reinvent them.”
“I experimented with some production techniques to see if I could get an all-grain, nine percent pilsner that would still finish very dry like a traditional pilsner. I found some tricks and success,” he continues. “It is an Imperial pilsner using 100% New York ingredients product—that’s where I get the Empire—it’s produced in the Empire State. It just all fit together.”
Accomplishing a high-forced, light-tasting beer took work and patience, like a Jedi. But it has been a very successful seller for Reinvention, and is available in cans at the tasting room in Manchester, and other local beer markets, through the holiday season.
Reinvention Brewing. 9 N Main St, Manchester, New York
It was always a goal for David Diehl to return to the Finger Lakes and make an imprint on the beer culture of the region. A Hobart & William Smith Colleges graduate, Diehl spent over a decade in Brooklyn and is excited to be back and taking on Finger Lakes craft beer reviews and commentaries for EdibleFingerLakes.com. He has also been published in Inked Magazine, YRB Magazine, Nerve.com, and The Finger Lakes Times. You can follow his work at FLXWORDS.com.