Opened in 2011 in Framingham, Massachusetts, Jack’s Abby Brewery has been garnering a lot of attention and drawing fans in the New England region for its bold, expressive take on lagers. The brewery only makes lagers (although it has a sister brewery, Springdale, that experiments with ales). The beers that come out of Jack’s Abby defy all expectations of an American lager. In a review of the brewery, which can be read here, we tried a range of their offerings and found them diverse, distinctive, and delicious. Today we are sampling their new Spring seasonal beer, Citra Brau.
Jack’s Abby notes that Citra Brau is a pilsner-style lager. The can states: “We used Citra hops throughout the brewing process to give this classic golden lager a tropical aroma, fruity flavor, and juicy finish.” The description includes notes typical of a New England IPA, but the relatively modest alcohol content and the low, 30 IBUs suggest otherwise. Let’s give it a try and see.
Unfiltered, the beer pours into the glass a hazy golden yellow. A very slight head appears when it is poured aggressively, then quickly dissipates. The nose lives up to the name by presenting a light, clean, citrus hop note along with a touch of grass, but I don’t really pick up a tropical aroma. On the palate, the citrus element is again at the forefront, but it’s not overpowering, and it is complemented by the distinctive cereal flavor of pilsner malt. The beer closes, like all great pilsners, with a crisp, clean finish.
For what it is, Citra Brau is a great beer. It is a crisp, bright, drinkable pilsner that, in warmer weather, I could enjoy all day. It will pair wonderfully with a range of food without drawing too much attention to itself. Also, it should be noted, the price for this beer is surprisingly reasonable.
B+ / $10 per six-pack of 16 oz cans / jacksabby.com