Best widely available Pilsner in Mid-Atlantic?

Discussion in 'Mid-Atlantic' started by EastHarris, May 12, 2019.

  1. EastHarris

    EastHarris Initiate (45) Jan 9, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I’ve been riding the hop train all winter long and now that grilling season is here, I’m ready to cleanse the palate by switching over to a easy drinking crisp Pilsner for the warm summer months.

    What’s your vote for the best Pilsner that’s readily available in the mid-Atlantic region?
  2. EastHarris

    EastHarris Initiate (45) Jan 9, 2012 Pennsylvania

    Note of clarification...bonus points if it’s brewed in the mid-Atlantic, but I’m just looking for something that’s easy to come by and great in our region.
  3. EnthusedAboutBeer

    EnthusedAboutBeer Zealot (575) May 13, 2013 New Jersey

    Threes Vliet
    Von Trapp Bohemian Pilsner
    Industrial Arts Metric
  4. BeastOfTheNortheast

    BeastOfTheNortheast Disciple (357) Dec 26, 2009 Pennsylvania

  5. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,947) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Lately, my favorite year-round Pilsner brewed in SEPA has been Root Down Pilsner which is canned (but only available for sale at the brewery to the best of my knowledge).

    There is a plethora of locally brewed high quality Pilsners available at beer retailers: Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Neshaminy Creek Trauger Pils, Stoudt’s Pils, Victory Hip Czech, Double Nickle Pilsner, Troegs Sunshine Pils,…

    Yesterday I purchased a 6-pack of Love City Deep Cut Pilsner but I haven’t tried it yet.

    I discussed the ‘new’ Victory Prima Pils in today’s New Beer Sunday thead:

    Lots of choices for high quality Pilsners brewed locally.

  6. hillind

    hillind Aspirant (246) Apr 24, 2010 Pennsylvania

    In addition to all the great PA pils @JackHorzempa mentioned above, I’d throw in SN Summerfest as far as availability goes.
  7. dennis3951

    dennis3951 Champion (882) Mar 6, 2008 New Jersey

    Sierra Nevada Summerfest calls it self a hoppy lager these day but it is still a Pilsner and a great one.
  8. MattInBklyn

    MattInBklyn Initiate (24) Dec 27, 2017 New York

    Was just in PA and the Wegmans had a pretty good selection of Jacks Abby. Also, while they don’t make “true pilsners,” Peak and Allagash make good lawnmower beers.
    Sheppard and tzieser like this.
  9. BoardwalkBock

    BoardwalkBock Zealot (509) Aug 18, 2012 New York

    I second Vliet. If you can find it, I absolutely recommend it.
  10. patmcd

    patmcd Aspirant (226) Jul 5, 2008 New York

    Always enjoyed Sixpoint The Crisp...was able to find that on every corner store in NYC.
  11. PapasDelicateCondition

    PapasDelicateCondition Initiate (77) Sep 7, 2016 New York

    Peak's Fresh Cut is everywhere and underrated.
  12. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,029) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Stoudt’s if you can find it fresh (not an easy task)
  13. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,746) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey

    Those all sound good to me :grin: If I see 'em on the shelves and I have my reading glasses with me, I check the dates and, if they pass, to the register they go... (Sadly, that means in NJ I leave a lot of Trauger, Prima and Double Nickel on the shelves, seldom see Pikeland or Stoudt's anymore, and Sunshine? Damn, that stuff went year-round and disappeared...).

    I'd add Brooklyn Pilsner - kinda a sleeper in their portfolio - to the list, and waiting to find some Jack's Abby pilsners on the shelves. I'm paying around $10 for 6/16 oz. for their House Lager - I'd be happy if that price is the same for their Post Shift.

    Yeah, I notice that this year's Summerfest is labeled "CRISP SUMMER LAGER" but the rear label still refers to it as "Czech-style" lager.

    And SN's newly-revised (i.e., "You can no longer easily find what you're looking for...") page for Summerfest still refers to it as being a "nod" to the Pilsener style:
    #13 jesskidden, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  14. drtth

    drtth Poo-Bah (3,820) Nov 25, 2007 Pennsylvania

    Yeah, and that freshness problem I do not understand. There are times when I'm almost willing to drive to Adamstown to pick up a case on site.
    tzieser likes this.
  15. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Crusader (766) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia

    Von Trapp Pilsner
    Bell's Lager of the Lakes
  16. IGaveYouPower

    IGaveYouPower Initiate (138) Dec 2, 2010 New York

    Jack's Abby Post-Shift Pils or House Lager.
  17. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,331) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I went through the same palate shift a few weeks ago and was looking for the same thing. I have a tap in my basement so I wanted a pils keg and ended up with Sunshine Pils. I really wanted Root Down as @JackHorzempa said, but I couldn't find one so I settled for Sunshine which is solid. I won't spoil Jacks thread, but I really like the "new" Prima too.

    I still think if you can ever find it fresh, Stoudts Pils is one of the best as @tzieser said.
  18. Sheppard

    Sheppard Savant (971) Mar 16, 2013 Virginia

    In DC proper, I'm fond of Manor Hill's pils as far as what's available in stores (Whole Foods). DC Brau's is a solid one that you'll see on tap. In NoVA, my go to has been Ardent Pilsner, which I've loved so much, it's become my fridge beer. I can get it at Whole Foods and my local bottle shop. I haven't seen it on tap, but I also don't really respect most of the beer lists at places around me. Being from New England, Von Trapp is another to go option that I enjoy.

    It'd be great if Jack's Abby started distributing down here. Their price point, quality, and format are too good to pass up.
  19. RKP1967

    RKP1967 Aspirant (245) Sep 26, 2010 Virginia

    What's wrong with a hoppy beer in the summer time? It's not like an IPA is an imperial stout. Still very refreshing. I'd rather drink cold water than a pilsner.
  20. rozzom

    rozzom Champion (803) Jan 22, 2011 New York

    Because personal preference/tastes? People that prefer water to pilsners probably not going to be of much help to the OP anyway
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  21. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,947) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Keith, did you try buying a keg (sixtel) directly from Root Down (e.g., Mike Hamara)?

    Kadonny likes this.
  22. jmdrpi

    jmdrpi Poo-Bah (5,975) Dec 11, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I get that's how the OP phrased it, but would you not consider most of the beers being discussed as still being "hoppy"? Just not American IPA levels or hop varieties.

    The IBU range of most of these beers are in the upper 40's, so it's not like we're talking about Miller Lite types of "pilsners" here.
    TongoRad likes this.
  23. IGaveYouPower

    IGaveYouPower Initiate (138) Dec 2, 2010 New York

    Imagine bragging about this as if it's not a character flaw.
  24. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Crusader (766) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia

    Pilsners are hoppy beers.
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  25. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,315) Oct 25, 2003 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    Is this a recent problem Keith? Along with some of the Victory Braumeister pils, the stoudts pils was always a favorite of mine when I lived in Baltimore (not since 2012 now, hard as that is for me to believe). While I would often stop by the brewery for a pint on drives back from Exton, I don't recall ever having a problem finding fresh pils at my local store in Baltimore back in the day. Have a lot of fond memories of their pils from back in the day... just seems incomprehensible that it's become so difficult to find fresh Stoudt pils these days.
    Kadonny likes this.
  26. tzieser

    tzieser Meyvn (1,029) Nov 21, 2006 New Jersey

    Agreed. I also have a bit of a soft spot for Nashaminy Trauger Pils, which also isn't very easy to find fresh as of late (I usually just get a case from the brewery since it's not too far away)
    Mrstiffington and Kadonny like this.
  27. Bcrowe224

    Bcrowe224 Initiate (48) Jul 2, 2013 New York

    I picked up the pipeworks pilsner.. it was probably my favorite shelf pils. super impressed..

    that and as others have mentioned.. von trapp
  28. jcos

    jcos Devotee (476) Nov 23, 2009 Maryland

    I'd rather drink a well made Pilsner in the summer instead of the 99% of "hazy" or "juicy" or whatever they are IPAs that aren't very good being brewed today.
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  29. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,331) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I didn't. I know Mike, but have not seen him in a few years so I thought it would be kind of forward of me to just walk in and ask him for one. I also heard from Greg at Exton that Root Down has limited sixtel cooperage. If I ever see Mike at the brewery, no doubt I'll ask him for future reference. Funny though, I sat and talked to Mike's wife a few weeks ago at Rebel Hill. I didn't know who I was talking to until she introduced herself. We chuckled a bit as I told her I've known Mike for 10 years plus.


    It is lately John, especially finding anything draft from them. I've discussed this with a few people in the industry and it seems fairly rampant. I also heard Carol is stepping back in more trying to get things back on I've been told. I don't know, if I had to bet on things with their lack of marketing and all, I might bet they go the route of Weyerbacher some day soon. Just my observation, I really know nothing, just guessing.
    #29 Kadonny, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  30. Rhettroactive

    Rhettroactive Meyvn (1,471) Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Pittsburgh's Penn Brewing absolutely kills it with their Kaiser Pils. It's got quite the local cult following, and I probably drink more of it than any other beer.
    Spade likes this.
  31. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,947) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Keith, FWIW I am friends with a gentleman that used to be the Philly area Sales Rep for Stoudts. He served in this position for less than a year. He was frustrated in that the brands that Stoudts produces were (are) not the in demand beer styles. He had a very tough time getting Stoudts beers on tap and his ability to sell Stoudts packaged products were not an easy task either.

    I am not proud to admit that I am part of the problem in that in 2018 I think I purchased only one 6-pack of Stoudts beer – the Oktoberfest.

    I am uncertain what marketing strategy could be employed here but I wish Carol Stoudt the best of luck here.
    Last Friday I attended a Weyerbacher beer event at Capone's. I got a chance to speak to the area Sales Rep for 20-30 minutes. He related that things were real bleak at Weyerbacher last fall but that folks are more optimistic for 2019. They will be contract brewing two Funk beer brands and they are in discussion to contract brew for another SEPA brewery. With the new Private Investment group in place they are now properly funded to have a more productive 2019. He stated that 'regular' SMS will be available in 2020 at reasonable quantities.

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  32. BoardwalkBock

    BoardwalkBock Zealot (509) Aug 18, 2012 New York

    Haven’t had BK Pilsner in awhile but always loved it. Going to have to revisit this week.
  33. FatBoyGotSwagger

    FatBoyGotSwagger Meyvn (1,235) Apr 4, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Just recently picked up Oxbows Luppolo dry hopped pilsner and it is glorious. Now sure how wide the distribution is on it but it is fresh.
  34. Brian_Lynch

    Brian_Lynch Initiate (112) Nov 18, 2014 New York

    Agreed, they also did a Bunker pils collab, Endless Summer.....very good.

    I'll also second Bells Lager of Lakes mentioned above.
    FatBoyGotSwagger likes this.
  35. John_M

    John_M Poo-Bah (6,315) Oct 25, 2003 France
    Moderator Society Trader

    Interesting. How old is Carol now? I first met her years ago at the GABF in 91, and she wasn't exactly a spring chicken back then. She was great to talk to and a wonderful advocate for Stoudts beer, but surely she has to be in her 70's at least at this point.
    Kadonny likes this.
  36. jacincm

    jacincm Initiate (47) Mar 29, 2018 Pennsylvania

    Not widely available, but is readily available. I like Tired Hands Trendler Pils

    I'm a big fan of Home Grown Lager
    hillind likes this.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,947) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I do not know the answer to your question but I saw her last month at the Yards Real Ale beer festival. She looked real spry at this event. Maybe she is chronologically a mature individual but she appears to be much younger in action.

    Kadonny likes this.
  38. Kadonny

    Kadonny Meyvn (1,331) Sep 5, 2007 Pennsylvania

    I really do wish her well, she it a true founding mother in the industry. I think they really need a rebranding and some new beers. Does anyone know if they have had the same brewer? Wouldn't you think he would be wanting to introdue new beers and experimenting on new stuff?

    Anyway, your info @JackHorzempa is spot on with my feelings too. I will tell you though, I would have bought a keg of Stoudts Pils had it been available and fresh, but alsas it was not.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (3,947) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Do you think that Carol and Ed would provide latitude here? My guess is that the Stoudts product portfolio is a due to the decisions of ownership.

  40. jacewg

    jacewg Zealot (592) Jan 7, 2012 District of Columbia

    If you ever find yourself in Northern Virginia, Ocelot Sunnyside Dweller is outstanding.
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