I’d like to point out how great a quality Pilsner can be. I will use the term Pilsner loosely here to describe a style. Pilsner, properly defined, is a pale lager created in the 1800’s in Pilsen, Bohemia. This beer uses bottom fermenting yeast and is cold fermented, as it would have been in caves long ago. So, Pilsners as I talk about them, mimic this style but come from all over the world and may employ different ingredients. Saaz hops are the traditional hop for Pilsner brews, but others are used today. Enough about that, I wish to proclaim pilsners an excellent style, too often overlooked by myself and others who demand mass flavor and extreme excellence from our beer. Now is the time to give this style a try. We finally have the heat of the summer and the thirst that comes with New England humidity. I find pilsners to be highly refreshing and satisfying on the flavor front. There is no comparison to be made to your favorite IPA, but the refreshment easily makes up for a subdued flavor profile and light body. What I have realized is that good pilsners are clean beers that strive for perfection. There is nothing to hide defects in the brewing as the beer is too light. A blemish or poor ingredient choice will be the dominant flavor in such a beer so good breweries are sure to avoid this. Most of us are familiar with the American pilsner farce, brewed with corn or rice and mass marketed. I would like little or nothing to do with these. At the top of my list is Victory Prima Pils. The floral notes and the crisp finish with plenty of hops (relatively speaking of course) make for a wonderful session, especially on a hot afternoon. Post yard work, what could be better? Yard work getting you down? You can grab a pilsner before you’re done and not worry about an extreme abv halting your progress or making your mower leave patches of tall grass everywhere. I also highly recommend Lagunitas Pils, Oskar Blues Yella Pils and Troegs Sunshine Pils. I also enjoy the more traditional Czechvar, Starobrno, and Staropramen. The style has plenty to offer and can represent great quality. I find pilsner a welcome respite from the power of my usual favorite IPAs and Stouts as well as from the heat.
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