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Beer Styles

More Resources: Tasting Sheet Study Guide

German-Style Pilsner

Quite possibly the most iconic beer style in modern history, the pilsner — also spelled pilsener — captured the attention of beer drinkers across the world and inspired a myriad of regional imitations. This lightly colored, exquisitely balanced lager remains one of the most loved beers to enjoy, and one of the most challenging for the brewer to create. Pilsners are characteristically light in color and have a very short finish. The world over, pilsner-style lagers have become the standard beer for many reasons, and American craft brewers have worked hard to put their own unique spin on this classic German beer.

German-Style Pilsner Beer

A classic German-style pilsner is straw to pale in color with a malty sweetness that can be perceived in aroma and flavor. Perception of hop bitterness is medium to high. Noble-type hop aroma and flavor are moderate and quite obvious. Distinctly different from the Bohemian-style pilsner, this style is lighter in color and body and has a lower perceived hop bitterness.

German Pilsner Lager in America

German pilsner lagers have a rich history in the United States. Some of the first breweries in the United States were started in the 1800s by German immigrants and specialized in brewing pilsner beer. Since then, American craft brewers have continued to experiment with the classic style pils. Like other German beers, pilsner lager’s crisp finish makes for a refreshing beer during the warmer months of the year. We want to help you find the next pilsner beer to keep you refreshed on a hot summer day.

Helping You Find Your Next Pilsner Beer

American craft brewers have worked hard to create their own versions of pilsner beers over the years. If you are a big fan of pilsner, we want to help you find nearby breweries where you can try all the new pilsner beers on the craft scene. Our “Find a Brewery” tool is designed to lead you to breweries and brewpubs near you that carry the beer variety you desire. By entering your precise location, searching for a brewery, or searching by state, we can help you find your next favorite place to grab a pilsner or another German beer.

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Food Pairings

  • Shellfish, Chicken, Salads
  • White Cheddar
  • Shortbread Cookies

Glassware & Serving Temperature

Flute
40-45 °F

Commercial Examples

Commercial Examples

Appearance

Color

Straw to Pale

Clarity

Brilliant

Carbonation (Visual)

Medium to Fast Rising Bubbles

Flavor/Aroma

Alcohol

Not Detectable

Hop

Hop flavor is moderate and quite obvious, deriving from late hopping (not dry-hopping) with noble-type hops. Hop bitterness is medium to high

Malt

A sweet, malty residual aroma can be perceived

Esters

Not common to style.

Phenols

Not common to style

Fermentation By-Products

Very low levels of DMS aroma may be present, usually below most beer drinkers’ taste thresholds and not detectable except to the trained or sensitive palate

Sensations

Body

Soft

Carbonation

Medium to High

Finish Length

Short

Attenuation

Medium - High

Ingredients

Hops

German Noble

Malt

Pilsner

Water

Varies

Yeast

Lager

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