Pencil Pilsner was one of the first names that we talked about, way back in 2017 when we were just getting started. When people think of Jones Beach, one of the first things they picture is the pencil. It's an iconic symbol for all beachgoers and we knew the beer we named after it needed to be something for all beer fans.
Our first release was an American IPA named after the Jones Inlet. While we tried to make it as accessible as possible, there are still people that don't like (or don't think they like) IPAs. Naturally, we got a lot of questions about what other styles we'd be releasing and the pilsner was our fourth beer in the market.
Pilsners, in general, are what I think of as an "everyday" drink. There are some beer styles that you have to search out and specifically be in the mood for. Pilsner isn't one of those styles. Our goal was to make a beer that fits in whether you're on the beach in July or sitting by the fire in the winter.
It's true that the end product is easy to drink, but the process to make it isn't quite as simple. Pilsners are lagers, which means that they need more time in the tank and you need to be able to precisely control the temperature to get the best results. For that reason, we weren't able to test this recipe out on our first set of equipment so if you were lucky enough to try the Pencil Pilsner at the beach back in July, that was our first attempt at a true lager beer!
The recipe is about as simple as it gets with just two grains. Domestic two-row malt and flaked corn make up the base and we add in a hop blend from New York Hop Guild. The blend is proprietary but it includes the best of New York-grown varieties with West Coast- and New Zealand-grown hops to give a well-rounded bitterness and aroma that is just present enough without being overwhelming.