How to add Italian pilsners to the database

Discussion in 'BeerAdvocate Talk' started by unlikelyspiderperson, Sep 29, 2020.

  1. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    I know the subject has come up before but I think the last style updates thread is locked. I really think there's a hole in the database around pilsners. I just added a beer, Chiappone Italian Pilsner, from a local brewery that is definitely not striving to be a Czech or a German pilsner. But at 4.8% it can hardly be called an "Imperial" pilsner.

    I get the apprehension to tag another country (Italian) in this style but what about a "modern pilsner" style? This is definitely a thing in the US, these riffs on the pilsner that really emphasize the aromatic hops, sometimes using modern hop varieties. And i don't think its going anywhere. I'm definitely not sure what the name of it should be but its a more common style than imperial pilsner at this point I think
     
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  2. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,776) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    Remember when American stout meant hoppy stout? I suppose an American pilsner would equate to AAL.
     
  3. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    They generally should just be added as German pilsners (for the most part they are just dry hopped German pilsners) and then submit a notes update where you can note any additional information.
     
  4. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    I added it under that, and I don't really think that "Italian pilsner" is the right name (even though the beer that inspired this is designated that) but I'm more talking about the use of modern hops and modern hopping schedules. Highland park crosbo comes to mind as well.

    I think that just calling these German pilsners is going to ultimately result in the best of "German pilsners" on ba being a bunch of us brewed pilsners using modern aroma hops. That seems like a failing of the database. I have a lot of love for both styles but I feel like this will just muddy the waters and make the German (or Czech, depending on what people ultimately decide to place these under) category a little less useful
     
  5. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Miller lite is the style baseline
     
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  6. SierraNevallagash

    SierraNevallagash Meyvn (1,099) Sep 23, 2018 Maine
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    I've had a difficult time adding certain pilsners to the database, often to the point where I just don't add them. Per the site's style descriptions, I've often even debated adding some under the "American Lager" category. I would like to see an "American Pilsner" category to mirror the "American Lager" category, as I feel this would make the most sense, and it would help accurate log certain offerings that don't really fit anywhere else.

    There are definitely a few superfluous styles proposed that I would perhaps question the need for, but I think American Pilsner is fair. Just my opinion though.
     
  7. dennisthreeninefiveone

    dennisthreeninefiveone Initiate (44) Aug 11, 2020 New Jersey

    I would just call it a Pilsner style American Lager.
     
  8. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,696) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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  9. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,092) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    I’m fine to keep it as American Lager as a catch all. Sometimes they are similar crafty AALs, sometimes more like an IPL, sometimes more like a German Pilsner, maybe like an Italian pilsner. So how about the German pilsners using Belgian yeast (Ommegang and Allagash)? That’s a pretty interesting thing going on, but I’m still fine to just keep it under an existing lager category, as the nuance differences are fairly subtle.
     
  10. Jack_14

    Jack_14 Initiate (82) Nov 2, 2019 Italy
    Trader

    Ok, now I'm on my work break.
    I wanted to say that there is a difference between the Italian Pils compared to the classic, "historical", Bohemian and German Pils, and should be distinguished as happens, for example, an English Porter and an American Porter and so on.
    In my opinion, in fact, the "Italian Pils" family is an evolution* of the historical styles that the fathers of our fathers knew before us.

    *(it is an important term! And it must be understood as "gradual development", not as a departure from a beginning and then a new creation)

    What characterizes the Italian Pils?
    The perfect adherence to the original style and the use of dry hopping, to accentuate the component of "continental hops" with its gustatory reflection in the mouth and the increase in IBU in the beer.
    Precisely the increase of the IBU and the alcohol content that was reflected in some of the most winning Italian Pils at the International Festivals in which they participated in the Pils category, were elements that the BJCP judge (Derek Walsh), in a consultancy requested on the opportunity or less than making a formal request for the recognition of a style in its own right at the Beer Judge Certification Program, he considered too far from the rigid parameters that identify such a "rigid" historical style as that of PIls.
    At the same time, Wlash in his consultancy stated that the dry hopping technique was not a sufficient trait to identify a substyle of the BJCP.
    So Italian Pils is not an officially recognized style.
    This failure to submit the application to the BJCP, however, must mean that the variations made by our brewers (who have been very successful for their taste at many festivals and have become an inspiration for many breweries who have tried their hand at producing Italianb Pils) are so much appreciated as to be recognized by those of the business, as they are difficult to pigeonhole in such a rigid style for production and organoleptic characteristics.
    For me, like many, it is a necessary distinction because if I want to drink a Pils I expect certain characteristics, which should not be confused with the Italian reading, interpretation, "evolution" of style.
     
  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,696) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Well, that is quite a treatise you posted there. A number of topics to unpack:

    Dry Hopping

    You stated: “…Wlash in his consultancy stated that the dry hopping technique was not a sufficient trait to identify a substyle of the BJCP.” That is indeed factually correct since other breweries have dry hopped their Pilsners (and other Lager styles) prior to an Italian brewer deciding to do so. The archetype of the alleged sub-style “Italian Pilsner” is Tipopils which was first brewed by Agostino Arioli (Birrificio Italiano) in 1996. Pilsners have indeed been brewed using dry hopping prior to that date.

    More about Tipopils

    Tipopils is a tasty German Pilsner. I discussed this beer in a past New Beer Sunday (NBS) thread:

    https://www.beeradvocate.com/community/threads/new-beer-sunday-week-707.587481/#post-6168846

    [​IMG]

    A short blurb from the Birrificio Italiano website:

    “Produced by infusion with Caramunich- and Pilsner-type barley malts, brewed with a popular German bottom-fermenting yeast. German bittering and aromatic hops used both in warm and cold hopping (dry hopping). It is coarsely filtered to remove some of the yeast.”

    Yup, that beer does indeed ‘read’ like a German Pilsner. A quite tasty German Pilsner.

    IBUs

    Agostino Arioli very kindly provided a recipe for Tipopils in the Craft Beer & Brewing magazine (see link below). The stats for this beer copied below:

    “OG: 1.049

    FG: 1.010

    IBUs: 32

    ABV: 5.2%”

    https://beerandbrewing.com/recipe-birrificio-italiano-tipopils/

    I also detailed the taste of Tipopils in my NBS post:

    “Taste:

    The flavor follows the nose. The first few sips are a tasty combination of bready Pilsner malt flavor & floral/citrusy hop flavors. As the beer warms/open ups another flavor profile presents itself: a herbal flavor from the hops (still accompanied by bready Pilsner malt. Over time this is almost like two beers in one. There is a moderate bitterness throughout.”

    As can be readily seen, for the archetype of the alleged “Italian Pilsner” sub-style there is a moderate (32 IBUs) bitterness to this beer.

    So, what style of beer is Tipopils?

    The short answer: German Pilsner.

    Cheers!
     
  12. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    And I know @honkey has discussed this before (Jack H. you probably remember this from our prior conversations on this topic), but dry hopping pilsners is something German breweries had done even before any of the "Italian" versions. Although not super common, it did happen.
     
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  13. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    This is why I think calling the new (theoretical) ba style "Italian pilsner" would be a mistake (and the thread title is not my original, so don't blame me). Perhaps the American Lager style could be broken down more to have some subcategories? I've been told to put hazy ipls in there, put light lagers and adjunct lagers in there, put these heavily hopped and modern hopped pilsners in there, it just seems like its becoming a bit of a mish mash.

    Maybe just adding a generic "pilsner" category? Although I'm sure that would end up getting some classic German or Czech style offerings tossed in from time to time.
     
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  14. REVZEB

    REVZEB Poo-Bah (7,946) Mar 28, 2013 Illinois
    Society

    I hear you in Table Beer, Milkshake IPA, Gratzer, and all of those hybrid offshoots of styles. What can I say, I'm type A, the more specific the better in my book
     
  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,696) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    ?

    A beer like Miller Lite is in the Light Lager category.

    A beer like Budweiser is in the Adjunct Lager category?

    Any beer that is labeled as "Pilsner" by the brewery but is hopped with American/New World aroma hops should be placed in the American Lager category.

    Cheers!
     
  16. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,286) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Italian Pilsner is pretty much just German Pilsner. Italian Pilsner needs dry-hopping, whereas German, and even Czech pilsner may have dry hopping. Italian pilsner is based on one brewery's interpretation of the style. It's been copied a lot, but what they make isn't enough to make a style out of.

    A slight change in procedure is not enough to warrant a new style. I'd actually be more willing to have a California, New Zealand, or New American Pilsner style (those that use New World hops), over Italian.
     
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  17. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    Yes I realized my mistake with the adjunct lager, and I wrote light when I meant "pale".
     
  18. unlikelyspiderperson

    unlikelyspiderperson Poo-Bah (1,567) Mar 12, 2013 California
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    This is my thought as well (again, I never proposed adding Italian pilsner) and I think avoiding geographic names in this case would be better. Modern pilsner or new world pilsner are the best terms I've come up with
     
  19. purephase

    purephase Initiate (150) Feb 23, 2008 Connecticut
    Trader

    I agree with this. I'd be happy to have a pilsner category that includes both those that are hopped at heavier rates like the current Italian pilsner trend and those that are hopped with newer varieties. It might be an amalgamation, but it's far less of an unwieldy mishmash than the current American Lager category and would make that one less so.
     
  20. Jack_14

    Jack_14 Initiate (82) Nov 2, 2019 Italy
    Trader


    Ok. Maybe the translator works badly, because I don't think the term "to unpack" has been translated well.
    Given that, as mentioned, mine are only opinions and are dictated by personal experience as a drinker, I do not feel the bearer of the absolute truth.
    I can say that most people who order a Pils and are served a Tipopils would notice the difference. Even those who have never heard of Italian Pils. Here people are used to German Pils / Kellerpils (and Bohemian Pils too) and I guarantee you that differentiation for reasons above all of flavor is necessary.
    Then honestly Tipopils is the first Dry-hopped Pils I ever drank, including drinks made in Germany, Holland, Czech Republic ... Tipopils first ever.
    Perhaps it would be fair to ask whether they had reached "evolutionary" * levels of the same balance? What if they were qualitatively comparable products?
    If you, halfway round the world, were lucky enough to taste some european Dry hopping Pils before Tipopils but of the same level, please let me know that I will try to have it.

    * go to reread above with which exception this term is intended.

    Therefore, regardless of the different way between us of how we grew up as drinkers, for obvious and infinite reasons ... FOR MY OPINION if a classic Kellerpils is tasted and then a Tipopils (or Grigna di Lariano or Magut di Lambrate ... ), if someone tells me that they are two beers so similar that they are not differentiated from each other...not an idea, but personal taste divides us.
    STOP.
    Then if you wanted to discuss the actual usefulness of a rigid classification of each beer in a rigid style ... this is another matter.
     
  21. cryptichead

    cryptichead Poo-Bah (1,581) Jul 3, 2014 Illinois
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    Can't it just be categorized as American Lager or even Euro Pale Lager?
     
  22. ManBearPat

    ManBearPat Devotee (496) Dec 2, 2014 Colorado

    I’m surprised @Domingo isnt ALL OVER this
     
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  23. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,696) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    The verbiage of "to unpack" means that there are a number of considerations involved so I took them one by one (e.g., the topic of dry hopping, the topic of bitterness, the topic of...).
    I personally do not feel comfortable to speak for "most people" but for my palate Tipopils tastes just like a German Pilsner.
    I am well familiar with those beers and I will add one more to your list: Classic American Pilsner.
    In contrast I have consumed many others including my homebrewed Pilsners where I choose to dry hop those beers.

    There is nothing "evolutionary" about dry hopping lagers (including Pilsners). This practice has been occurring for a very long time.

    Cheers!
     
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  24. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,776) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    New England IPA has its own style here and it's merely a small change in process. But I agree it shouldn't be its own thing anyway
     
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  25. jonphisher

    jonphisher Disciple (347) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
    Trader

    I agree it’s small in some ways but also not a small change on the NEIPA side. Shifting all the hops from one end to another and taking it to a bigger quantity. The yeast also is different usually too. So I still say NEIPA is more than a small change in process. It also completes a very different beer.

    I agree on the italian pils one, the process stays mostly the same with an added dry hop, to me key word is added nothing really changes that much. So to me it’s basically still just a German Pilsner with that small added step. To me that doesn’t warrant a new style I guess. I would say this makes a different beer too but in no way as drastic a change from American IPA to NEIPA.
     
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  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,696) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    The other difference is that Juicy/Hazy IPAs have a notable portion of their grain bill with grains that add 'extra' proteins (e.g., Flaked Wheat, Flaked Oats, Wheat Malt, etc.).

    Cheers!
     
  27. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,776) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    Hop bursting has been around for a long time. Lagunitas has always used an English yeast. Ijs.
     
  28. jonphisher

    jonphisher Disciple (347) Aug 9, 2015 New Jersey
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    Haven’t listened in a while but when I saw it was Matt Brynildson was on most recent steal this beer podcast I wanted to listen to see if they talked pivo. They did and sort of talked about whether they thought italian pilsner is a made up style or not. They talked about it the last 7-8 minutes or so Id say for anyone interested...edit: don’t quote me on exact times but it was towards the end of the podcast.
     
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  29. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,286) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    As @JackHorzempa and @jonphisher pointed out, NEIPA is very different from the standard American IPA, even taking the West Coast to old school East Coast spectrum into account. Mouthfeel and impression of bitterness are very different. I'd say that the average Haze Bro would be very turned off by Hop Stoopid (if they even make that anymore).
     
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  30. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,776) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    I'm very familiar with both styles. Melvin and comrade among other breweries use similar hopping techniques on their west coast ipas as most east coast do with their NEIPA. Yeast and water treatment are the only thing different. These are minimal differences really. They have a large impact on the final product. My point is dry hopping a pilsner doesn't make it a new style. If we are splitting hairs a pils dry hopped with American hops would more likely be an American pale lager.
     
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  31. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,286) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    This is correct.
     
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  32. bubseymour

    bubseymour Poo-Bah (3,092) Oct 30, 2010 Maryland
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    So all this talk about this potential new Pilsner style, give me a few examples I can walk in and grab in a bottle shop somewhere (mid Atlantic)? FW Pivo is nowhere to be found these days...been several years since it was distributed here. Oxbow distributes in my area, so I’ll look for that Particular one. Others?
     
  33. MrOH

    MrOH Meyvn (1,286) Jul 5, 2010 Maryland

    Same could also be said for the spectrum of saisons versus helles and pilsner, or even hefeweizen.

    FWIW, I don't really enjoy NE, juicy, hazy, or whatever folks call them IPAs. But they are different enough from what American IPA was to warrant a new category.

    Sorta like why there's a difference between Kolsch, Dortmunder, Helles, German Pils, and Czech Pils. It's all about process and water, maybe a little difference in how hops are used, but pretty much all the same ingredients and strength.
     
    #33 MrOH, Sep 30, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
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  34. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,833) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    Conflicting sentences? (I'm your old grammar school teacher from hell. :wink:)
     
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  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,696) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Troegs recently made their seasonal: Trail Day Dry-hopped Pilsner.

    Cheers!
     
  36. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,776) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    I was just talking out loud. This is the dilemma we encounter when everything must be pigeonholed in our consumer culture. I am surprised there have not been any lawsuits brought against brewers who defy labels.
     
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  37. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,222) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Trader

    If I had to bet, I'd guess that people won't be talking about "Italian" Pilsners in a year... or at least not using that name.
     
  38. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    On the flipside the OG Italian pilsner has been around for 25 years now ... and its only recently inspired traction here. Because its essentially a just a dry hopped pilsner its going to already have a decent audience unlike say the short lived (and generally terrible) brut IPAs ...
     
    #38 FBarber, Sep 30, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2020
  39. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,927) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
    Moderator Society Trader

    To bring this back around to @unlikelyspiderperson's original question about adding an Italian pilsner to the database. People should do their best with the information the brewer provides. If its a pilsner that sticks closely to the guidelines @Jack_14 pointed out - German malts, continental hops - then its probably best to add it under the German pilsner style here on BA. Again, the notes section exist for a reason - you can submit notes indicating the brewer calls its an Italian pilsner for the Mod team to add to the beer profile page.

    If on the other hand, its an "Italian pilsner" that say, uses American hops, I'd probably add it as a Lager-American.

    If you come across one of these beers that you think is misclassified, feel free to submit a change style request, and provide the reasoning, then the Mod team will review it and make changes if appropriate.
     
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  40. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,938) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota
    Society

    Maybe we ought to split all styles between traditionally hopped and dry hopped.

    Then we could have twice as many styles as we have now.

    One benefit of this is it would give those who want to tick off a beer from each style, or the top beer of each style, more beers to seek out. Might be a nice boost to beer sales! :grin::stuck_out_tongue: