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Cushwa Brewing Company | Flow Deluxe West Coast Pilsner

Cushwa Flow Deluxe
Jason Murphy

PorchDrinking recently had the opportunity to sample various beer styles from Williamsport, Maryland-based Cushwa Brewing Company. While we enjoyed each beer we tried, we fell in love with one particular beer. We’re delighted to share our experience with Cushwa’s twist on an emerging style.

Cushwa Brewing Company

Before we get to the beer, we wanted to take a moment to talk a bit about the brewery itself. Cushwa Brewing Company was founded by three friends, Garrett Chambers, Scott Coleman and Marcus Thomas.

“We chose to open a brewery very close to where we all grew up because we wanted to bring something to the area that was new and exciting,” said Chambers, adding that they also felt the need to create something that was different from the other options at the time.

It must be working well, as they’ve since added a second taproom in Columbia, Maryland, with their partner company, Rad Pies. Chambers noted the collaboration has gone well for both parties involved. Cushwa just celebrated its seven-year anniversary in January.

“This has truly been a blood, sweat and tears venture and we’re very proud of that,” said Chambers.

West Coast Pilsner

The particular beer the PorchDrinking team became enamored of is Flow Deluxe, a West Coast Pilsner. While there are some similarities between a West Coast Pilsner and Cushwa’s Cold IPA, Chambers noted there are still a few clear differences.

“Both of these styles are fairly new in the grand scheme of things, and neither is recognized by the [Beer Judge Certification Program],” Chambers said. Because of that, both styles are evolving and as brewers adapt them, they take a lot of liberties to change things and make them their own.

“Overall, I would say that a West Coast Pilsner will usually be lower in ABV, have a lower finishing gravity and will be more focused on clarity,” explained Chambers. Because there are no strict rules governing either style, this is Chambers’ interpretation and he noted that some people might disagree with him.

“I’m positive you can find examples of each that contradict what I just said, but I think that’s one of the defining characteristics of craft beer in general,” he said.

A New Beer is Born

Chambers was introduced to the West Coast Pilsner style when he was in San Diego to celebrate another brewery’s anniversary. The brewery makes a West Coast Pilsner that is absolutely phenomenal, Chambers said.

“After that trip, I was determined to make a West Coast Pilsner of our own,” he said.

Chambers and the Cushwa crew teamed up with Highland Park Brewery in Los Angeles and Sapwood Cellars in Columbia, Maryland, to make a collaborative version of the style. Chambers noted that Bob Kunz from Highland Park was more than generous in sharing Highland Park’s West Coast Pilsner secret sauce, which they used as the foundation for the collaboration. The collaboration was such a big hit, they decided to brew one on their own—Flow Deluxe.

Flow Deluxe

Flow Deluxe is a hoppy and crispy gem of a beer. It’s like the best of both worlds and it can be enjoyed by craft beer nerds (like us) and casual craft beer drinker alike.

The hops really pop upon the first sip of the beer. It’s not one of those overly hoppy sensations either, it’s prevalent but not overkill. Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo create a symphony of citrus and floral notes. The finish is slightly dry and subtly crispy, enough to let you know you are enjoying a Pilsner style of beer.

Image provided by Jason Murphy

Flow Deluxe is damn near perfect, and the PorchDrinking team is thankful we were able to experience such a treat. Sometimes you want an IPA but aren’t in the mood for something too hoppy, or you might want a Pilsner but looking for something with a little more kick. Flow Deluxe is not only the perfect beer for this scenario, but basically anytime you are looking for a cold, refreshing beer. So yeah, just about any day of the week will do.


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