Beer Review: LIVE OAK PILZ

Beer Review: LIVE OAK PILZ

Live Oak’s Pilz, presented in a 12oz can adorned with the brewery’s signature black, white, and yellow design, catches the eye. However, the potential confusion among their core beers due to similar aesthetics is a concern. The lack of a visible packaging date adds to the uncertainty. Poured into a pilsner flute, the pale golden hue with an impressive, white foam seems appropriate. Yet, the unexpected haziness, possibly chill haze, raises eyebrows for a traditional pilsner style.


The initial olfactory experience offers subtle notes of soft orange peel and a hint of citrus oil-like perfume. However, the aroma lacks the expected intensity, missing the fresh dough and grassy noble hops typical of the style. As the temperature rises, the scent veers towards overripe pear and yellow fruit esters, an unwelcome deviation for this type of beer.


Live Oak Pilz takes a distinctive approach with a strong emphasis on water chemistry, boasting abundant calcium and heavy minerals. While a mild grassy hop bite is present, it fails to deliver the sharpness expected. Hopes for a robust grain character to balance the minerals remain unmet. Instead, the flavor profile leans towards a bland territory, dominated by drying chalk and slate. The overall water profile feels too abrasive for the pilsner style, potentially alienating some drinkers.


The beer’s mouthfeel lacks the expected body, with the flavor profile dominated by the pronounced presence of minerals. The hoped-for thick grain character to counterbalance the minerals is notably absent. The grassy hop bite, though present, lacks the assertiveness desired for the style, contributing to an overall lackluster experience.


In a city known for its stellar pilsners, Live Oak Pilz faces a tough crowd in Austin. The pilsner scene in the city, featuring standouts like Hans’ Pils by Real Ale Brewing and Hops & Grain’s Dispensary Series Pilsner, sets a high bar. While acknowledging the potential impact of the canned format and beer longevity, the argument stands that mastering the pilsner style requires perfection in every aspect, from water chemistry to yeast health. The Live Oak Pilz falls short, with its rough water profile and lackluster flavor, making it a less compelling option in a market where excellence in pilsner brewing is the norm.