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SheenaGreena

Favorite Pilsners?

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I've been into German style pilsners lately and I was wondering what are some of your favorites?? I am trying to steer away from Belgian's because I have been into them and nothing else for a long time now.

The only pilsner that I regularly purchase is Schwelmer...are there any other that taste similar?

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I've been into German style pilsners lately and I was wondering what are some of your favorites??  I am trying to steer away from Belgian's because I have been into them and nothing else for a long time now. 

The only pilsner that I regularly purchase is Schwelmer...are there any other that taste similar?

I like a number of the American micro brewed Pilsners - Victory Prima Pils, Brooklyn Pilsner and Tupper's Hop Pocket Pils.

If you want to venture into Czech Pilsners, I also like Herold.

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Bitburger

Pilsner Urquell

also a fan of Brooklyn Pilsner, although not as readily available as some of their other beers

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I've been into German style pilsners lately and I was wondering what are some of your favorites??

Jever is my favorite German pilsner BUT (and it's a big "but") you MUST buy it by the case (or, depending on your retailer) a six pack taken out of a full sealed case, since, being very pale and very hoppy and in green glass, it is prone to be light struck (skunked) if you buy it off the shelf or from behind a cooler's glass door. Also, try to buy it as fresh as possible (both the case and the bottle label are marked with an expiration date of one year from bottling, so HOPEFULLY you can find some that's only a few months old). Fresh, non-light struck Jever is great stuff.

This time of year, I tend to drink a bit "lighter" and when confronted with a bad selection in some store, I will still pick up Pilsner Urquell and, tho' "not the same as it was" it is still a very good pilsner (and tends to be fresher than in the old days of Communist ownership and cork lined caps) and refreshing on a warm day and decidedly "drinkable" ( as in, cleaning up the area the next morning, "...where did all these empty P.U. bottles come from? I couldn't have drank all these beers...").

For domestics, I second Victory's Prima Pils -again, look for the freshest- I *think* they only give the beer 3 months (or is it 6?) as a "best by" (take that LITERALLY), but in NJ I can often find it only a week or two from bottling date . Also, new to my state is another PA's brewers offerings, one of the handful of micros that are canning their beers and I'm quite impressed with Sly Fox's Pikeland Pils. Maybe it's just the novelty of good beer coming out of a can, but even poured into a glass (which, of course, all beers should be) it's a nice pils.

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For domestics, I second Victory's Prima Pils -again, look for the freshest- I *think* they only give the beer 3 months (or is it 6?)  as a "best by" (take that LITERALLY), but in NJ I can often find it only a week or two from bottling date .  Also, new to my state is another PA's brewers offerings, one of the handful of micros that are canning their beers and I'm quite impressed with Sly Fox's Pikeland Pils.  Maybe it's just the novelty of good beer coming out of a can, but even poured into a glass (which, of course, all beers should be) it's a nice pils.

The Pikeland Pils is better than nice, way better. I haven't yet done a side-by-side, but after a case and a half I have decided that it is even better than the Prima with a bit more finesse. (Now I'm hoping that I can even tell them apart after saying that :wink: ) My #1 choice right now- keep an eye out for it, folks. I only hope they can keep up with demand. My local guy can only get it in stock sporadically right now.

I will still pick up Pilsner Urquell and, tho' "not the same as it was" it is still a very good pilsner (and tends to be fresher than in the old days of Communist ownership and cork lined caps)

Exactamundo- it may have been a better beer back then, but you really had to do your homework just to get a decent sample. I enjoy it a lot more these days, even though it has lost a bit of zip on its fastball. Actually, back in the 90's Bitburger was my Pilsener of choice mostly due to the amber bottles, but I kinda like its in-your-face aggressive bitterness without even the pretense of a malty balance.

I like the recent development of the enclosed 12-packs for green bottled beers like PU and also Dinkel-Acker. That one always seems to get overlooked but has served me well for decades (the same caveats about freshness apply, though.)

The only pilsner that I regularly purchase is Schwelmer...are there any other that taste similar?

I've had the Schwelmer- there's a nice balance about it and isn't too bitter. The closest thing mentioned so far is probably the Brooklyn so I'd probably start there.

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Hey Sheena,

If you have'nt tried these Eastern European Pilsners..

My favorite Pilsner of all(and cheap to buy) is Radegast from czech. I prefer it to Urquel and Budvar. To me its a cross between budvar and Leffe. Delicious

Or try Golden Pheasant(i think thats what it was called) from Slovakia. Make sure you get a fresh bottle tho.

Billy

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The best pilsner I ever had was the Pilsissimus at the ForschungsBrauerei in Munich. I enjoy Czech Pilsners on draft but find they aren't nearly so wonderful in the bottles that make it to the US. Radegast is my favorite, being the heartiest of the bunch, but I enjoy Kozel and Staropromen quite a bit, too. Both Urquell and Budvar have changed for the worst in my view, but still go down quite easily. I like the Pilsners made by Baron Brewing and by Alpine Brewing in Washington as well. Unfortunately they aren't widely available.

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I love Czech Pilsners. For the longest time, only Pilsner Urquell was available in my area. Still one of the best, and I've found that the beer tastes fresher with the current distributor (they switched a few years ago). Czechvar is good, but a little mild for my taste. There are 2 that I like even better than Pilsner Urquell. Rebel, which is excellent; and my favorite, which I can't spell, but goes something like Vyskovske. Expensive, but worth it.

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A St. Paul, MN regional beer, Summit Grand is a good Pilsner.

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If you can find it (only available in Canada) Steam Whistle is an excellent pilsner. The brewery makes just one beer and is constantly fine tuning it. Actually, I'm going to a Steam Whistle beer tasting, at the brewery, this week. Should be interesting.

If you are ever in Toronto, take a tour of the brewery.

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I've been meaning to try the Pinkus Unfiltered Organic Ur-Pils for a while now, so I took the nudge from this thread to give it a try.

It's a bit expensive at around $3 for a 500ml bottle.

However, it is one of the nicer pils I can remember having recently.

Hazy yellow color and medium carbonation. Very clean taste, with just a touch of initial hops. My wife thought the flavor reminded her a bit of bread or tortillas.

A great example of this style of beer. Perfect for a hot summer day. It would be a fantastic session beer. If it were a little cheaper I would fill my refrigerator with it and never look back.

edit - had price wrong.


Edited by eje (log)

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thanks for all the suggestions

I know what you mean when you all say "get a fresh bottle". Ive had a lot of hit or misses with some pilsners like zyweic, jever, etc.

victory prima pils is a great choice, but I feel it is a bit heavy for a pilsner (but that is just my own opinion). Brooklyn pilsner okay, but it tastes like a slightly better version than pilsner urquell.

I will definitely try some of the beers that you guys recommended

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I finally was able to try a micro brewed craft German Pilsner I have been seeking for some time - Tröegs Sunshine Pils

Very pleased by the flavor profile of the beer. While it didn't have a strong noble hops aroma and had an unusual peach/melon profile up front, I really enjoyed it and recommend it to those in the middle Atlantic who have access to this brewery's beers.


Edited by BrentKulman (log)

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Pilsner is one style of beer that has never struck a chord with me. What is it that people look for in a pils? Everybody says "clean, crisp, blah blah blah", and I wouldn't know the flavor of either clean or crisp in a beer if it hit me over the head.

I find the pils I've had to be either bitter and grassy or sweet and grassy, without any interesting esters or phenols or such that come in ales. Pils always feels heavy to me as well... I couldn't drink a bunch of them.

So, what is it about pilsners that gets folks excited?

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Fermented beers, British Ales, Pilsners..its what makes you happy..I like them all, but on a scorching days like we've had in London this week, it can't get better than a good cold Pilsner can it?

The Czech Pilsners are, for me the more interesting(fuller flavoured), though they can vary in quality from batch to batch. Polish Pilsners are also now popular in the UK

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Pilsner is one style of beer that has never struck a chord with me. What is it that people look for in a pils? Everybody says "clean, crisp, blah blah blah", and I wouldn't know the flavor of either clean or crisp in a beer if it hit me over the head.

I find the pils I've had to be either bitter and grassy or sweet and grassy, without any interesting esters or phenols or such that come in ales. Pils always feels heavy to me as well... I couldn't drink a bunch of them.

So, what is it about pilsners that gets folks excited?

Jeez, I would say sweet and ricey, if that is even a real word

I know it sounds weird, but when I look for a pilsner I try to note how much it tastes like toasted rice

ps: I broke down last night and bought warsteiner and pilsner urquell at the grocery store :sad:

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For me, a pilsener tastes really similar to the wheat it was brewed from (and no, I do not recognize the form with 3 consonants in a row). It should have a flavor that comes on quickly, and very little aftertaste. After you swallow, there shouldn't be any flavor of the beer left in your mouth.

What it reminds of is the flavor of chewing on a piece of straw hay.

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Radegast is very nice, as is Golden Pheasant (very simiilar to Urquell)

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I find the pils I've had to be either bitter and grassy or sweet and grassy, without any interesting esters or phenols or such that come in ales. 

  Everybody says "clean, crisp, blah blah blah", and I wouldn't know the flavor of either clean or crisp in a beer if it hit me over the head. 

So, I'd say you DO know what "clean" tastes like, it's the lack of those same "esters and phenols or such". :wink:

Pils always feels heavy to me as well... I couldn't drink a bunch of them.

Well, that I'd don't understand at all. My problem with pilsner is that it's TOO "drinkable", especially in hot weather, so that even if they tend to be on the low end of alcohol level, if I don't watch it, I've had too many. (If I note that's happening, I switch to a real hoppy IPA to "slow down").

Was working in the garden today and had picked up a 12 pack of cans of SLY FOX's Pickland Pils in the morning and gotta say again, that's NICE stuff and, if it was readily available, it might just replace Victory Prima Pils as my "summer beer". Me in my bib overalls, a cold can of Pikeland in a gloved hand and a hoe and my sweat soaked hat in the other- woulda make an excellent "retro" ad.

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One thing that always confuses me about Pilseners, is they are usually described as being strongly hopped.

Perhaps, 30 years ago these beers would have been considered strongly hopped; but, as a modern beer drinker living in the US, they end up being some of the least hopped beers I consume.

I was going to try to paraphrase what I've read about Pilsener, however I found this fantastic and well researched article about the history of Pilsener style beer with more information than even the most fanatic beer geek might require:

The History and Brewing Methods of Pilsener Urquell

The first Pilsener, brewed in 1842 Bohemia, was a lager unlike any other. Its brilliant clarity, golden color, and light body made it an instant success in a world that was accustomed only to dark, heavy, cloudy beers. Its popularity soared. Within a couple of decades it was being exported around the world.

Being fairly lightly hopped, they also do not keep all that well. Sometimes it seems like 9 out of 10 pilseners I consume are skunked.


Edited by eje (log)

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One thing that always confuses me about Pilseners, is they are usually described as being strongly hopped.

Perhaps, 30 years ago these beers would have been considered strongly hopped; but, as a modern beer drinker living in the US, they end up being some of the least hopped beers I consume.

Well, it certainly depends on the pilsner (and how true it is to the style). I'd say Jever, Prima and Pikeland and "well hopped" (if not "strongly" hopped), more noticable since there's not a lot of strong malt flavor to balance it. Certainly most Euro and Micro pilsners are hopped more than the typical US macro beers which "evolved" ("devolved" maybe?) from the style.

But, yeah, 30 years ago, before the micro-inspired "HOP arms race escalation" there weren't many beers with a noticable hop profile outside of Ballantine India Pale Ale (most people wouldn't finish a bottle) and, later, Anchor's Liberty Ale.

Being fairly lightly hopped, they also do not keep all that well.  Sometimes it seems like 9 out of 10 pilseners I consume are skunked.

No, you got it wrong. Hops are the REASON beers in clear or green glass GETS skunked. "Light" bodied European pilsners (which, insanely, tend to be bottled in green glass- "Tradition", you know...) don't have a lot of other things going on to HIDE the skunkiness.

( http://beeradvocate.com/news/stories_read/527/ )

I NEVER buy beer in green bottles unless I'm buying a full, closed & sealed case (or, in the case of some beers like Pilsner Urquell) a sealed 12 pack. I've been doing that since Ballantine XXX Ale was my regular "house" beer (and, man, that stuff was good, especially in deposit bottles [for whatever reason], even after Falstaff took over and brewed in Rhode Island and, later, Fort Wayne, Indiana. The current stuff from Miller is a mere shadow of what it used to be).

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OK. So it's the hops which are breaking down due to the light?

Fair enough.

From the linked article.

"What you might call skunked due to lack of knowledge could be a tasty German-style Pils to another."

But, I dunno about that statement, though. Perhaps it's just the condescending attitude, though.

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Pilsner is one style of beer that has never struck a chord with me.  What is it that people look for in a pils?  Everybody says "clean, crisp, blah blah blah", and I wouldn't know the flavor of either clean or crisp in a beer if it hit me over the head. 

I find the pils I've had to be either bitter and grassy or sweet and grassy, without any interesting esters or phenols or such that come in ales.  Pils always feels heavy to me as well... I couldn't drink a bunch of them.

So, what is it about pilsners that gets folks excited?

To pick up a little bit from what jesskidden said, clean and crisp do have a bit more meaning than mere marketing-speak. The lack of any intended fermentation byproducts makes for a beer that is a pure expression of the malt and hops that it is made from, and in that regard those ingredients had better be quality ones. As to the 'crispness', that is derived from two main differences between lagers and ales: (1) s.uvarum will consume more sugars than s.cerivasie (melibiose and raffinose, plus commercial ales are generally completed and packaged before the yeast can really do much work on the maltotriose) so their level of apparent attenuation is generally higher and (2) proteins are more thoroughly broken down during the mash process making for a relatively 'thinner' body.

Hops are definitely the defining characteristic of a Pilsener, as opposed to say a Munich Helles or a Dortmunder Export, and they are usually of the 'grassy' (or hay) or 'spicy' variety. If you don't like those qualities than it may just not be your thing.

Bill Poster:

The Czech Pilsners are, for me the more interesting(fuller flavoured), though they can vary in quality from batch to batch. Polish Pilsners are also now popular in the UK

About that difference between a Czech Pils and any other type- they are definitely maltier than their cousins due to the fact that the Czech yeast strain is a uniquely low attenuator, even compared to some ale strains, meaning that there are more residual sugars in the final product.

------

ETA:

OK, I'll yield on the word NICE, jesskidden. Just getting a bit enthusiastic, that's all...

SheenaGreena and jsolomon- no rice or wheat, fwiw. Not to cast any aspersions on those ingredients, but part of what differentiates a Pils from a generic pale lager is that there are no adjuncts involved, just pure barley malt. Actually, Sheena, you may enjoy a Kolsch such as Riessdorf in addition to those Pilseners. Technically it is an ale, but it is cold conditioned for a while, and it includes some wheat in the grist- sort of like an ale in lager clothing.


Edited by TongoRad (log)

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"What you might call skunked due to lack of knowledge could be a tasty German-style Pils to another."

But, I dunno about that statement, though.  Perhaps it's just the condescending attitude, though.

I agree with your problem with the article's "attitude" -I was actually looking for a different article which I *thought* was by beer writer Lew Bryson which was the best, in-depth article on light-stuck beer I'd seen but couldn't find it after a quick Google, so the Beer Advocate article was an easy (yet difficult) default. The facts are there but I, too, don't care for some of BA's methods.

I *will* say that "skunked" is a term that is often mis-used to mean any off-taste in a beer, often attributing it to age- beer that's past it's "best by" date- or mis-handled. True "skunking" can occur with minutes- ever have a nice hoppy ale in a glass, outdoors on a sunny day? Doesn't much matter if it came out of a brown bottle, aluminum can or keg, or from the brewery the day before, it can get lightstrunk that quick.

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ETA:

OK, I'll yield on the word NICE, jesskidden. Just getting a bit enthusiastic, that's all...

Catch that, did ya, Tongo :laugh: It was meant just for you. May I note that all my favorite beers are usually filed under "Good Stuff", so "Nice" is pretty high up there for me- some more exuberant folks might say "FAN-F*CKIN-TASTIC" for the same opinion.

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