Moonlight Reality Czeck

Moonlight Brewing Co is one of those 90s era breweries that’s still kicking, and their catalog reflects this history well. In a good way! They’ve got the occasional wacky offering (a Gruit made with Redwood branches?) but it’s mostly comprised of traditional beer flavored beer.

I’ve heard about a few of their beers quite often, but due to the relatively small size of their brewery, their beer was usually limited to kegs and sold almost exclusively in the San Francisco Bay Area. They played around with cans for their flagships and when the pandemic hit, then pivoted entirely to cans during lockdown (they’ve since settled on a mixture of packaged and kegged). I suppose I could have gotten some poor schmuck to smuggle me an off-brand growler years ago, but that turned out to be unnecessary.

Reality Czeck is their flagship pilsner with a reputation as one of the best in the game. Is this justifiable pride for a hometown brewery’s offering, or does its history as a hyper-specific local offering inflate its ratings? Does everyone do this sort of thing with their local pilsner purveyor? Do pilsners attract a more loyal local following than other styles? I mean, this beer is quite good, but for us Philly area goobers it’s just so much easier to grab a Prima Pils (or one of Human Robot’s many pils offerings). Obviously I’m the type of dork that will jump through hoops to get my hands on a can of this stuff, but most folks probably have a local pils slinger that will do the same job…

Moonlight Reality Czeck

Moonlight Reality Czeck – Pours a clear golden yellow color with a few fingers of head, good retention, and lacing as I drink. Smells nice, bread, cracker, with floral, spicy Saaz hops balancing things out. Taste hits that bready cracker character well and the herbal, spicy Saaz pitches in here too, with a nice balancing dry bitterness on the finish (it’s not “bitter” like a WC IPA or anything, but it’s there). Mouthfeel is crisp, clean, well carbonated, and relatively dry, absolutely perfect balance of all elements. Overall, fantastic Pils here… A-

Beer Nerd Details: 4.9% ABV canned (16 ounce pounder). Drank out of a Willibecher on 9/2/23. Canned on: 08/07/23.

I didn’t take detailed notes, but also drank a can of Death & Taxes, a “San Francisco Style Black Lager”, which was quite roasty but also deceptively light bodied. I also got a can of Rythmic Chaos, an old-school American Barleywine that is piney and resinous, a decidedly untrendy approach these days, but it’s actually quite nice and tickled a nostalgic itch. Overall, definitely glad I sought these out and will probably try some of these again, but it’s not like it will displace my local purveyors..

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