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German Pilsner


The German Pilsner (also known as Pilsen or Pils) is one of the most popular kinds of Pale Lager in Germany. Pilsner History starts in the mid 1800s in Pilsen, Bohemia; a German-speaking region of the then-Austrian Empire. This Pilsner Beer became the first Blonde Lager created under the trademark ‘Pilsner Urquell’. Today brewers in Germany have created their own versions but the Pilsner Urquell continues to be made in the region.

These pale lagers are light golden in color with an abiding head that is often described as a smooth, dense and creamy. German Pils are also impressively clear with a medium-light body and carbonation. They have distinct flowery or spicy noble hops aromas which accompany a subtle, almost Graham cracker-malt character. Predominantly bitter, the semi-sweet malt flavors add a crisp and clean element to the beer that is carried into a dry finish. Although the noble German hops’ bitter and earthy qualities largely dominate, they complement the aromas nicely and create a refreshing beer to be enjoyed throughout the year.

Modern Pilsners are usually brewed with a light quality and have an ABV typically between 4.5 - 5% with IBU’s around 25 - 45. If a Pilsner is brewed stronger, it is not uncommon to see the word “Export” on the label.

In our beer of the month club we have featured numerous German Pilsners including a ‘Kaiser Pils’ from Pittsburgh’s oldest and largest brewery, Penn Brewery, who has been home to award-winning, German-style beers since 1986.