“[Escutcheon brewmaster] John Hovermale may have created a Pilsner that will put a fork in the road of the Pilsner Parkway,” Riggins said in a release. “4th and 1 Pilsner may be the road less traveled, but most enjoyed.”
Hovermale and Art Major, who is also the president of 44 Outdoors, the TV production company behind Riggins’s outdoors show “Riggo on the Range,” opened Escutcheon Brewing Co. in June. Soon after, Riggins approached Major with the idea of brewing a signature pilsner.
“My ancestry is Czech, and I think it may be instinctual, but I’ve always gravitated toward pilsners, even during this great craze of IPAs,” Riggins said Wednesday.
Major and Hovermale assigned Riggins some homework. He was to taste all the different pilsners he could find on the market and report back about which ones he liked most.
“I’ve been doing homework for 40 or 50 years,” joked Riggins, who sampled about a dozen pilsners and determined he liked ones with a “nice crisp finish that doesn’t linger very long.” Hovermale went to work.
The name and label of Riggins’s beer is a tribute to his 43-yard touchdown run on fourth and inches with the Redskins trailing the Dolphins, 17-13, in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XVII. Washington went on to win, 27-17. Riggins initially suggested Pylon Pilsner, but that name was nixed. “Loosen Up,” which is also featured on the label, is a nod to an inebriated Riggins’s infamous advice to Supreme Court justice Sandra Day O’Connor at a Washington Press Club event in January 1985.
“We consider our partnership with John Riggins to be a real game-changer, and we’re excited as hell about this beer,” Major said in the release. “Any excuse to spend time drinking beer with John is a good excuse – and making a beer for him is a really good excuse.”
As of Monday, Riggins’s 4th and 1 Pilsner was available on draft at the following locations:
Greene Turtle (Verizon Center)
The Big Board
Max’s on Broadway (Baltimore)
JoJo’s Taproom (Frederick)
Brew’d Pub (Frederick)
Hempen Hill BBQ (Hagerstown)
Spacebar (Falls Church)
Galaxy Hut (Arlington)
World of Beer (Arlington)
Greene Turtle (Sterling and Leesburg)
Monk’s BBQ (Purcellville)
De Fles Winkle (Glen Allen)
The Caboose (Richmond)
Cans will be available in the spring.
This post was updated with comments from Riggins on Dec. 10.