Beer of the Week: Orange Blossom Pilsner
You down with OBP? (Sorry, I had to.)
The first time I tried Orange Blossom Pilsner was at this year's Jupiter Brewers Festival at Roger Dean Stadium. The Orlando-based company had a branded hatchback parked in the middle of the festival grounds with a beer tap poking out of the back side. If I remember correctly, they had a coconut porter as well as OBP, a light lager made with orange blossom honey from Florida. The most interesting fact about OBP is that, even though it's marketed as "Florida's Honey Beer," it's actually brewed in South Carolina by Thomas Creek.
OBP only recently found its way to South Florida, showing up at Crown Wine & Spirits and even World of Beer (where they have it on tap at the moment). If you've never tried it, now is a good chance to do so. OBP is a refreshing light beer with a subtle floral sweetness thanks to the 2.3 teaspoons of honey that goes into each bottle. You get a fair bit of citrus and orange flavor, which could be either an inflection of the honey or esters from fermentation (or both). The beer feels thin and vaguely crisp, with a dry, peppery finish and lots of carbonation.
Although critics haven't been kind to OBP, I enjoyed a six-pack purchased at Crown for around $10. As a light beer, it probably won't excite fans of big German pilsners (it's not bold or hoppy enough to compare). But as a light summer beer (hey, it's always summer here) or something cold and refreshing when you're in the mood for that sort of thing, there are far worse choices than OBP.