As cold season approaches and folks are lining up for flu shots, I’ve got a novel new way for you to get your nutrition. Put away your gummy bear vitamins, ’cause this week’s beer is all you need to brace yourself for the coming onslaught of runny noses and sore throats. Friends, I give you Voodoo Brewing Company’s Pilzilla, currently on tap at The Bodega. The Pilzilla is a Keller Bier, an ancient German style beer traditionally fermented out in the open in cold caves and deep vaults (the name means “cellar beer” in German). That’s cool enough, but what’s even better is that this means natural yeasts float into the beer and infuse it with tons of vitamins. Presto: the best new cold prevention to enjoy with a friend.
The Pilzilla pours a cloudy light orange. Because it’s not filtered or pasteurized you’re literally seeing sediments from the brew ingredients that normally don’t make it in the glass. It has a floral aroma, so crisp it almost verges on sour. At first sip it seems smooth and bready, like you’d expect from a standard light Pils. But the hops hit you hard at end: earthy and briskly bitter. It’s an unexpected twist on the style.
The Pilzilla in its current incarnation is made with eight different hops and comes in at a high percentage for the style at 7.5%. The brewery calls it a “voodooized” Pils and every year they add a new hop into the equation and increase the percentage of alcohol. This growing beast of a beer seems appropriately named and perhaps this lends to its reputation as “the beer that took over Tokyo.”
Pilzilla is a funky, fresh addition to The Bodega’s twelve rotating beer taps (they have another two dedicated to wine). Bodega is great about rotating their taps and consistently bringing in brews from some of the country’s finest breweries. The lovely and gracious bartender Kay guided us through the tap list, which included some choice beers from Single Cut and Founders. But Pilzilla’s limited distribution and unique style made it this week’s beer of choice. Gina Leone and Ben Warren own the St. Nicholas Ave bar. “In Spain bodega means ‘wine cellar,’” they said, “and here it’s slang for the corner store where you hang out, visit, buy beer, bread, twinkies, etc…We wanted to open a place where people could do the same, chill and hang, drink a beer…people need bars!” It may have a corner store name, but Bodega definitely doesn’t house corner store beer and we love them all the more for it! We’ll be coming back for more.
Voodoo Brewing Co’s Pilzilla gets 4/5 stars, 1 for keeping alive a unique and ancient style, 1 for giving it a distinct modern twist, 1 for the ever-evolving nature of the beer, and 1 for The Bodega’s excellent tap selection and friendly service that make it an excellent brew destination.
The Bodega is located at 24 Saint Nicholas Avenue (at the corner of Troutman St.). They are open Mon – Thurs 11:30am – 2am, Fri 11:30am – 3pm, Sat 11am – 3am, and Sun 11am – 2am. My Pilzilla was $6 for 12oz.
Bushwick Brews is a weekly column dedicated to the exploration of Bushwick’s finest beers written and curated by brewista Erin Wicks. Let her know what you’re drinking and where via Twitter and Instagram, hashtag #bushwickbrews.