Saturday, February 8, 2014

Base Camp Ripstop Rye Pils

Base Camp Brewing Co., Portland, OR – Ripstop Rye Pils

Stars: 4
Date sampled: Jan 12, 2014
Format: 22oz aluminum bottle
Where we found it: Industry-provided sample

Base Camp Brewing Co. out of Portland, OR markets themselves as specializing in brews made for the outdoors. To date, four of their offerings are packaged in really snazzy looking and awesome feeling all-aluminum bottles. The bottles are lightweight and shatterproof, so they are great to throw in a backpack…great if you’re into the whole drinking-in-the-wilderness thing. These bottles also supposedly chill beer more quickly than glass if you stick them in a river (although, as Megan points out, that means that the beer will also warm more quickly than glass-bottled beer if left out).

Function aside though, apparently the net environmental impact of packaging in aluminum is less than that of glass. So the bottles look good, feel good, and they are better for the environment – nicely done.

But what about the beer? Regardless of the merits of the packaging, this beer has sparked renewed interest in the pilsner style for me.

Like most pilsners, this is an incredibly refreshing, easy-drinking brew with a user-friendly ABV. And pouring crystal-clear with a snow-white head, this beer is just as pretty as the packaging. But, unlike any pilsner I’ve tasted to date, this pils has an unprecedented rye spiciness. A bit maltier than your average pils too, so the mouthfeel is a bit thicker than average for the style. But the rye spicyness cuts this and gives the impression of a drier beer. There is a slightly spicy and citrusy hop presence both in the nose and the linger, but it’s the rye that really steals the show here.

This is a fantastic brew and I’d recommend it even to those who don’t normally gravitate to the style (especially if you’re a fan of tasty-rye-goodness like I am).


Stats: 5.7% ABV / OG: 1.055 / FG: 1.012 / IBU: 52 / SRM: 3.7