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North Coast Scrimshaw
Where Spotted: Dodge City, 917 U St. NW
Price: $6 per pint
Get the Hell Into Dodge: It’s a perfect scene: Eight of us are crowded around a small, candlelit table at Dodge City, as a downbeat-jazz version of Wu-Tang Clan’s “C.R.E.A.M.” tinkles in the background. Flickers of light illuminate the golden cylinders of liquid captured in our pint glasses. I’m hardly thinking about the tasty, if ordinary, pilsner in front of me, which gives you a small glimpse of how bars can be: a decent beer in every glass, even when it’s not the topic of conversation.
Pilsner Pusher: Monster breweries have no respect for pilsners, treating the classic Bohemian-style beer as if it were merely yellow water. True pilsners are hoppier than other lagers, but not with the resinous, flowery aromas you find with American pale ales. They’re made with noble hops, a family of central European varieties that smell spicier and grassier, with less bitterness than their U.S. counterparts. They also don’t handle overseas shipping well; Czech pilsners pour fresh in Prague but better to go with an American beer in Dodge.