Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Germany "Re-IPAtriation," or "How an American comes home from 5 years to evaluate IPAs and American Pils"

Discussion in 'Europe' started by boddhitree, Jul 3, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    It's not a sweetness like candy or refined sugar, but a malt sweetness that's just enough to let you know that the malt is good.

    As far as a wide range between Pilsners (or Kölsch), I think "wide" would have to be better defined.
  2. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    I need to get myself some of that Herren Pils.
  3. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    Good write up. I do think that German pils are way better then the American ones I believe there are a few American brewers who do German styles right. Penn brewery makes good German beer. Troegs brothers studied in Germany and have a German brew setup, I believe their German styles are good.

    The IPA just a mother IPA thing gets me. I took 40 days off on my way here and spent them all drinking away in Pittsburgh trying every beer I could and most IPAs were boring. For me a IPA kind of falls of around 2 months or so, my home brew IPAs are always the best.

    I have been in Germany for 4 months now and haven't found a pils I truly loved yet. Do you have any suggestions? I absolutely love kellerbier style and wish I would have known about that before moving here.
    boddhitree and steveh like this.
  4. einhorn

    einhorn Nov 3, 2005 California
    Beer Trader

    In Kaiserslautern you should be able to find Rothaus Tannenzäpfle - highly recommended. Otherwise, not really knowing what you like in a pilsner, it's going to be hard to suggest, but you might start by looking for some über-regional beers like Schmucker, Stuttgarter Hofbräu, Welde or Alpirsbacher. Now that I mention Stuttgarter, if you like Kellerbier you will have to search out Schwaben Bräu's unfiltered pilsner (naturtrübes Pilsner) - maybe that's your style. One on the BA list which I have not had in many years and do not remember is Neumarkter Lammsbräu.

    Good luck!
    Gutes_Bier and steveh like this.
  5. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    I have had the schwaben natural and thought it was good. The normal pils they make was too dry for me. I kinda stopped looking for Pils and fall back on wiezens when I don't see something I want. I might try searching out some pils. I will look for the Rothaus Pils
    einhorn likes this.
  6. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    2 of the better mass-produced Pilsners, and probably available everywhere, are Jever an EKU -- the EKU Pils being one of my top 5 when fresh.

    Other than those, I'd have to recommend going to smaller towns where you can find local breweries. The Brewery Bed & Breakfast listings are a great source for finding these. My experience with them, and the beers they brew, has been nothing less than fantastic for a beer lover.
  7. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Weihenstephaner Pils, Rothaus Pils/Tannenzäpfle and Alpirsbacher are the top 3 for me, but try 'em all! I'll have to revisit Neumarkter (they're usually sold in BioMarkt's).
  8. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    See if you can find St. Georgen Bräu's Kellerbier. There is a beer store in Mannheim that always has a bunch, I don't know about Kaiserslautern. I had luck e-mailing the brewery via their webpage contact and they got back to me in a few days with a list of retailers in my area. You can probably find Monchhof Kellerbier, which is OK. I didn't love Dachsenfranz but that might be available in your area. Hacker Pschorr has a good one. Otherwise I think it's mostly a Franconian thing, oder?
  9. boddhitree

    boddhitree Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    Thank you for the praise, and for agreeing with me about Pils in the USA.

    Yup, though it's spreading out to other small brewers in other parts of Germany to sometimes denote beer that's either unfiltered or just as a marketing gimmick, just like the term Landbier. Actually, someone told me Zwickel & Kellerbier are interchangeable and could mean anything.

    In Germany, you have to learn to love the internet and getting beers shipped directly to your door. I've tried the 1st 3 in the list below and can only give great recommendations for each.
    The best sites:
    1. bierzwerg.de
    2. bierkompass.de
    3. biershop-bayern.de
    4. shop.schlenkerla.de
    5. hier-gibts-bier.de/Bier-aus-Franken:::1.html (I've never tried them, so… who knows if they're ok? They specialize in beer from Franken.)
    6. biershop.bierpost.com/index.html (another one I've never tried.)
    7. mein-biershop.de (yet another one I've never tried)
    8. mybier.at (also not been tried, but if you want Austrian beers, this is the place to order them.)
    All but the Schlenkerla online shop are in German only, so if your German's not up to snuff, you might need a little help ;).
    Who else has other websites they've used with success? Also, what are your experiences with these, especially the ones I haven't tried yet?
    einhorn likes this.
  10. danfue

    danfue Sep 16, 2012 Germany

    Bierzwerg is highly recommended, quick shipping, huge selection. And € 6.90 for shipping per 24 bottles. They are also the national dealer for some new craft breweries.
    I also ordered at Mein Biershop once, had an issue with the shipping costs (it showed more than it should have), after an email that was quickly sorted out. So, recommended as well.
    boddhitree likes this.
  11. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    The internet is your friend. I have used Biershop-Bayern's sister site Biershop-Braugasthoefe.de with some mixed results, however I would recommend them. A man's gotta have his Uerige fix. I have also ordered from Schlenkerla several times with no problems (you will probably need to do a bank transfer to pay though) and Hier-Gibts-Bier once with no problem. The others I have never tried.
    boddhitree likes this.
  12. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Living in Southeastern PA, when I drink US craft brewed pilsners I first think of pilsners from Neshaminy Creek, Troegs, Manayunk Brewery, Triumph, Iron Hill, Victory (particularly their draft specialties), Sly Fox (particularly their draft pilsners), etc. so I ‘forget’ about Pennsylvania Brewing (Pittsburgh, PA). It has been a while but I remember enjoying Penn Kaiser Pilsner the last time I drank it (two years ago?). Kaiser Pils is indeed a tasty beer.

    You mention: “I have been in Germany for 4 months now and haven't found a pils I truly loved yet.” Four months is a long time; I would have thought that being unable to find a ‘good’ Pils is Germany over a timespan like that would be inconceivable. Maybe it is a regional thing like other have posted?

    I can state that I enjoy drinking Jever, Weihenstephaner Pils, Mahr’s Pilsner, and others.

    As regards Kellerbiers (Zwickel beers), for the German brewed beers I would recommend Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb and Furst Wallerstein Zwickel.

    Good luck on your search for German Pilsners and Kellerbiers that you enjoy drinking. Please reports back when you find them.

  13. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    I have ordered from the beer compass before, I will have to check out the other places. My German is week but I can usually navigate through the pages so ill be ok.
  14. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    I really just haven't been looking for a Pils I guess. It's weird cause most of the bars around here are Irish so I am drinking Irish beers or hefes. I must not be really looking for the pils I like I guess.
  15. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    There are a few good pils brewers over here in the states, but I think the time/effort/skill required to do it probably weeds a lot of people out. The same applies to UK-style cask ale and Belgian wild ales, too. While not easy to perfect, it's certainly easier to make an acceptable American IPA, amber, stout, etc.
    Kellerbier is another entity entirely. Pretty much nobody makes those. Prost serves unfiltered "keller" versions of their normal beers here and there, but true kellerbiers are almost nonexistant over here.

    Oh yeah - a sweetness from Herren Pils is definitely there. To me that's one of the things that makes it great. Herren is one of the only pilsners I've had that can match the light breadiness from the Munich beers. It's rich and malty like a helles should be, but the hops still steal the show. It's the best of both worlds. I don't think it'll be the top choice for anyone looking for an IBU monster, but if you prefer helles (like I tend to), it's the ultimate pilsner.
    boddhitree and steveh like this.
  16. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    What have I missed? I always thought a Keller was pretty much the brewery's house beer, but not filtered -- not out of laziness or trendiness, but more in line with the old-fashioned way of serving. Sort of like St. Georgen Keller. Have I missing something between a Keller and Zwickel beer?
    This is the way I always felt about Dinkel Acker Pils.
  17. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    I'd say not, on all of my trips to Germany you couldn't stumble into a Bierhall or restaurant without finding a Pils.
    Most of the bars are Irish bars? That is weird.
  18. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Lots of American military in K-town, maybe even more now that they closed down Heidelberg. HD is a relatively small town (140k?) and we have 3 Irish pubs in the tourist center. Still, I'd think you could find a pils without too much trouble.
  19. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “ …true kellerbiers are almost nonexistant over here.” Maybe I don’t know what the word “true” means in this context?

    From a BYO article entitled Kellerbier: Style Profile:

    “Authentic Kellerbier is unfiltered, unpasteurized and strongly flavored with aromatic hops (Hallertauer or Hersbrucker are traditional).”

    From the Oxford Companion to Beer on the Kellerbier:

    “Kellerbier is an unfiltered, unpasteurized, very yeasty, malty lager from Franconia ….

    An authentic Kellerbier should be strongly flavored with aromatic hops and brewed to a marzen strength of 5% to 5.3% alcohol by volume”.

    Within the past year I have had the following unfiltered and unpasteurized lagers:

    · Urban Chestnut Zwickel

    · Sly Fox Standard Pils

    · Sly Fox Keller Pils

    · Brooklyn Gold Standard Export Kellerbier

    · Victory Braumeister Pils of various ‘varieties’: featuring Saaz, Hallertauer Mittelfruh, and others.

    · Voodoo Pilzilla

    · Tired Hands Yellow & Green

    · Triumph Aldstadt Lager

    · Southampton Keller Pils (I still have several bottle of this in the refrigerator)

    · Victory CBC Tettnang Pils

    · Etc.

  20. Domingo

    Domingo Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
    Subscriber Beer Trader

    ^ Funny enough - I don't think a single one of those makes it out here or to the western half of the country :pYou're in a pretty good area for German beers to begin with, too.
    Still even of the ones I have managed to try - I can't recall any that have tasted like the German ones I've had. While the ones in Bamberg from Mahr's, Spezial, and Schlenkerla were super malty, the ones near Munich (HB, Ayinger, Paulaner) were extra hoppy and herbal.
  21. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    The local H-B pub in Chicago (looks like it's closed now, probably because they opened the big H-B bierhall in the 'burbs) used to carry a Keller version of their Helles -- damn good.

    Presumably they had all their beers imported directly from Munich, keg only, and never Pasteurized any of them (same as how beer is served in Germany).

    Now that they've opened H-B Chicago, and are brewing the beer on-site, I wonder if they're serving a Kellerbier. Stay tuned for updates!
  22. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “While the ones in Bamberg from Mahr's, Spezial, and Schlenkerla were super malty, the ones near Munich (HB, Ayinger, Paulaner) were extra hoppy and herbal.”

    I have also noticed a ‘variance’ in the US brewed Kellerbiers as well.

    One of my favorite German brewed Kellerbiers is Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb. I have had that beer many times on ‘regular’ draft, a few times on cask and a few times in bottles. That is a tasty beer; I would describe it as being malt forward with hops playing ‘second fiddle’. The Triumph Aldstadt Lager is similar to Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb in that it is a malt forward beer as well. I personally prefer the Triumph Aldstadt Lager; maybe because of freshness but I am assuming that the Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb I had on cask and ‘regular’ draft were pretty fresh.

    As I posted earlier, the Southampton Keller Pils (which is a summer seasonal) has varied pretty widely from year to year. The 2010 version was hop dominated while the 2011 was malt forward (I called this version a Franconian Kellerbier). The 2012 version was EXTREMELY balanced; the hops and malts were in perfect synergy.

    “First, a bit of history. I have been drinking Keller Pils since 2010 (the first time it was made, I believe).

    · 2010 Keller Pils: a straw colored beer that was very hoppy (which hop?). I found this beer to essentially be an unfiltered, hoppy Pilsner. This was my personal favorite version of Keller Pils but I should caveat that I am partial to hoppy Pilsners (e.g., I really like Troegs Sunshine Pils, Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, Victory Prima Pils, etc.).

    · 2011 Keller Pils: amber colored with a very noticeable malt backbone. More lightly hopped than the 2010 version (which hop?). I considered this beer to be a Franconian Kellerbier. I liked this beer but liked the 2010 version better.

    · 2012 Keller Pils: golden colored with an excellent balance of hops (which hop?) and malt. This is the ‘perfect’ Keller Pils from a balance perspective but I preferred the unbalanced 2010 version.

    · 2013: golden colored beer. This beer is brewed in a very ‘clean’ fashion with no off flavors; having stated that this beer seems to lack character. I enjoyed drinking this beer but I was continually thinking: shouldn’t there be a bit more hops and/or a bit more malt backbone? I think that SBC did a fine job but I ‘wonder’ about the recipe. I think this is the first Keller Pils brewed without Phil Markowski supervising the beer (recipe). As for the above 3 beers: which hop is used for this beer?”

  23. steveh

    steveh Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    This sounds like a good, separate thread in and of itself.
  24. Dirty25

    Dirty25 Jan 22, 2012 Germany

    Yep it seems like half the bars in K town are Irish or something other then German. I truly kind of given up looking for pils., nothing ever made me respect the style. Most seem to dry for my liking or too skunky.

    I did just get home from work and down my first monchshof original pils, it went down super smooth and quick. This might be the second Pils I ever really liked. The other day I got it from Globus and was the first time I ever saw it there.
  25. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    If Weihenstephaner's Pils is available near you, give that a try. Rothaus should be very easy for you to find - their Pils and their Tannenzäpfle are the same beer (as per their website) despite the separate listings on this website. Alpirsbacher is another good one that is heavy on the hops. My guess is the Keesman Herren Pils is not available near you.
    hopfenunmaltz likes this.
  26. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    First, I want to take this opportunity to state a BIG thank you to Tony. He very generously made the effort to bring me beer from Germany. I fully recognize that his trip to the US had a number of other considerations and the fact that he took time and effort to think of me is something I truly appreciate!

    I also want to say it was a genuine pleasure to meet Tony’s girlfriend and daughter. They was both wonderful people and I enjoyed talking to them immensely! The majority of the conversation was me and Tony talking beer so I felt very sorry for these ‘innocent bystanders’. They both handled the situation with aplomb and grace.

    As I posted previously, below is my (long awaited?) review of Rothaus Tannenzäpfle. I am performing this review in the context of a compare & contrast with Troegs Sunshine Pils.


    Sunshine Pils: Light straw color with a nice fluffy white head.

    Tannenzäpfle: Light straw color with a nice fluffy white head.


    Sunshine Pils: Aroma is dominated by very noticeable pilsner malt aroma; there is some Noble hop aroma there as well.

    Tannenzäpfle: Aroma is basically a ‘twin’ of the Sunshine Pils. I mostly perceive the pilsner malt aroma but there is some Noble hop aroma in the background.


    Sunshine Pils: Substantial flavors of pilsner malt nicely balanced by the prominent hop bitterness/flavor with herbal and floral notes provided by the Noble hops.

    Tannenzäpfle: Very similar to the flavor of the Sunshine Pils. I would venture to say that the taste is a bit more dominated by the pilsner malt but there are indeed flavors from the hops. I would say that the Sunshine Pils is a tad more balanced in the malt/hop flavors.


    Sunshine Pils: A nice ‘chewiness’ from the pilsner malt but finishes dry. Not as dry as a Jever but pleasingly dry nonetheless. Compared to the Tannenzäpfle it has a softer mouthfeel.

    Tannenzäpfle: A nice mouthfeel from the pilsner malt and on the dry side. The mouthfeel is more prickly than the Sunshine Pils but I do not think that is a liability; I like the mouthfeel. Maybe the Tannenzäpfle is a bit more highly carbonated?


    Sunshine Pils: This beer rocks on every level: Substantial pilsner malt present, substantial hop presence from the generous use of Noble hops. The 2013 version of Sunshine Pils is a WINNER! The sound bite review of this beer is: WOW!

    Tannenzäpfle: This beer rocks too! It is like a battle of the bands!?!. I really enjoyed this beer as well. If it gets distributed to the US as BA Einhorn has posted (and it is reasonably priced and not too old) I will buy Tannenzäpfle in the future. It is also a WOW beer!

    For the ‘interested reader’ below are details on these two beers as provided by the breweries on their respective websites.

    Tröegs Sunshine Pils®

    Alcohol by Volume: 4.5%

    Hop Bitterness (IBUs): 45

    Color (SRM): Straw / Golden

    Availability: Seasonal (April - August)

    Malts: Pilsner, Crystal

    Hops: Saaz, Hallertau Mitt.

    Yeast: Lager

    2012 Gold Medal Great American Beer Festival - German-Style Pilsner”

    Rothaus Tannenzäpfle

    “Das beliebteste Bier aus Rothaus ist das Rothaus Pils. Besonders beliebt ist unser Pils in der 0,33 l Flasche als Rothaus Pils Tannenzäpfle. Mit 12,4 % Stammwürze und 32 Bittereinheiten nimmt das Rothaus Pils eine herausragende Position unter den Pilsbieren ein.

    Untergärige Hefe aus eigener Reinzucht vergärt das Rothaus Pils, bevor es ca. 4 Wochen in Ruhe reift. Dabei bildet das Pils seinen kräftigen und eleganten Geschmack und seine hohe Rezenz aus. Rezenz nennt man das durch die Kohlensäure im Bier ausgelöste Frischegefühl.”

    The most popular beer from Rothaus is the Rothaus Pils. Very popular, our Pils in 0.33 l bottle as Rothaus is Pils Tannenzäpfle. With 12.4% Plato Wort and 32 IBUs, the Rothaus Pils takes an outstanding position among the Pils beers.

    Bottom-fermented yeast from your own selected ferments the Rothaus Pils, before it conditions about 4 weeks. The Pils possesses strong and elegant taste and its high Rezenz. The feeling of freshness that is triggered by the carbon dioxide in the beer called Rezenz.

    Thanks again to Tony. He is da man!


    P.S. My wife watched me as I poured the two beers for evaluation. After seeing the two full glasses she stated: looks like you have Irish handcuffs! Her next comment as she saw me writing notes after looking/smelling/tasting was: Look at you, writing stuff down. She then came over and took two sips from the two glasses. I felt compelled to ask: So, what do you think. Her reply: the Troegs is much better. Well, that is her opinion (not one that I personally agree with). My wife likes to ‘remind’ me that she is a super taster so you may want to listen to her opinion vs. mine. I will never claim to be a super taster.

    P.S.S.. I am going to save my bottle of Rothaus Pils Tannenzäpfle as a souvenir. Every time I look at it I will think of Tony.
  27. patto1ro

    patto1ro Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    That is most definitely not true. They're usually brewed to a Lagerbier or Export gravity.

    That bit must have been written by Horst Dornbusch it's such crap. 5% to 5.3% ABV isn't Märzen strength. 13º to 14º Plato (13.5º to 14º Plato in Bavaria) in Märzen gravity. They're usually 5.5% to 6% ABV.

    The most famous Kellerbier, St. Georgen, is 4.9% ABV.
    herrburgess and steveh like this.
  28. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I have no specific comment to what constitute “famous” but my favorite German brewed Kellerbier is Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb. That beer is 5.2% ABV.


    “Mahr's Ungespundet-hefetrüb - Mahrs-Bräu



    very good


    183 Ratings THE BROS




    read more » rAvg: 3.94

    pDev: 11.93%

    RBrewed by:

    Mahrs-Bräu visit their website


    Style | ABV

    Keller Bier / Zwickel Bier | 5.20% ABV

    Availability: Year-round. bottle (111), on-tap (25), cask (9).“
  29. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    Glad you liked it Jack. Rothaus is one of my faves. I wonder if your thought that Tröegs is more balanced is a culture thing, i.e., an American who is used to big, hoppy beers thinking the Rothaus needs more hops to be more balanced. I for one think Rothaus is a very balanced beer but nevertheless I'm glad you thought it was a WOW! beer. We agree on that. Perhaps Alpirsbacher, which is a much hoppier Pils than Rothaus, would be an interesting competitor to the Sunshine Pils.
  30. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “I wonder if your thought that Tröegs is more balanced is a culture thing, i.e., an American who is used to big, hoppy beers thinking the Rothaus needs more hops to be more balanced.”

    First, let me clear on one point: I do not think that Rothaus needs more hops. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking the Rothaus Pils.

    Since I tasted Rothaus side-by-side with Troegs it became evident (to me) that the Rothaus had a more prominent malt backbone as compared to the hops but not drastically so. It I had to pull numbers out of my butt I might say something like 65% of the taste is the malt and 35% of the taste is the hops. The malt taste is very yummy so I still very much enjoyed the beer! And the 35% hop flavor was very enjoyable too!

    Now the Troegs Sunshine Pils had a taste that was indeed a bit more balanced between the malt and hops. I wouldn’t state it was exactly 50/50 but it was close to that.

    Now is where personal palate and expectations on how a given beer style should taste comes in. If an individual is of the opinion that a German style pilsner should have something like a 50/50 balance of malt/hop flavors then they might prefer the Sunshine Pils. If an individual has a preference for a bigger malt backbone they might enjoy the Rothaus more.

    I am not shy in expressing my preference for hoppy pilsners. I like pilsners that are hoppy in all three aspects: bitterness, flavor and aroma.

    So, let’s discuss hop aroma a bit. Neither the Rothaus or the Troegs had much in terms of hop aroma. Despite this I enjoyed drinking both of these beers. Having stated that, I have a preference for drinking pilsners that have a bit more hop aroma. For example, I absolutely love the Victory series of Braumeister Pils series of beers; I consider these beers to be WOW-WOW (and maybe one more WOW).

    For example:

    · Braumeister Pils – Saaz: Excellent

    · Braumeister Pils – Summit: I haven’t had this one

    · Braumeister Pils – Hallertauer Mittelfruh: OUTSTANDING

    · Braumeister Pils – Spalt: Excellent

    · Braumeister Pils – Sladek: OUTSTANDING

    · Braumeister Pils – Tettnang: Very, very good

    · Braumeister Pils – Harvest Pils: Excellent

    The above variance from OUTSTANDING to very, very good is more a factor of my personal preference for the flavor/aroma of a given hop vs. varying quality of the beer. You might state that the Tettnanger is OUTSTANDING while the Sladek is ‘only’ very, very good.

    At risk of being repetitive it really does come down to the aspect of: “everybody has a differing palates and differing expectations in what they want in a beer.”

    boddhitree, Domingo and Gutes_Bier like this.
  31. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    OK, well said Jack. And thanks for giving me a good list of beers to try if I ever make my way back to Philly!
  32. herrburgess

    herrburgess Nov 4, 2009 South Carolina
    Beer Trader

    I'm wondering why you selected not to quote the BJCP (and/or other guidelines/similar metrics) in this discussion, Jack? (BJCP German Pils IBUs 25-45; Tannenzaepfle 33 IBUs, Sunshine 45 IBUs).
  33. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I would add these to your list:

    · Victory CBC Tettnang Pils which showcases Tettnang Tettnanger and Hallertau Tettnanger.hops

    · Sly Fox Standard Pils: “A keller, or unfiltered Pils, hopped exclusively with German Spalt hops.”

    · Sly Fox Keller Pils

    · Neshaminy Creek Trauger Pils

    · Victory Hip Czech Pils: “100% Saaz hops and floor-malted Bohemian pils malts faceoff to pack this all-Czech lager with a flavorful punch you would not expect from a brew with only 4.7% abv. Light and crisp, yet slightly herbal in its hoppiness, this extremely drinkable and delicious brew is sure to light the lamp”

    Also, a number of Philly area brewpubs make excellent German style Pilsners (and Czech style Pilsners too): Manayunk Bill’s Pils, Triumph German Pilsner, Triumph Bohemian Pilsner, Triumph Keller Pils, Iron Hill German Pilsner, Iron Hill Czech Pilsner, etc.

    boddhitree and Gutes_Bier like this.
  34. Gutes_Bier

    Gutes_Bier Jul 31, 2011 Germany

    I have family that lives out near an Iron Hill restaurant. Next time I visit I will try to make my way out there.
  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    As a heads up, pilsners are periodic beers at the Iron Hill Brewpubs. You should check via the website for availability. For example, the German Pilsner will be available at the West Chester location later this month (I know the headbrewer at the West Chester location very well; he is a very talented brewer). I spoke to him previously on what materials they use to brew the pilsners; they use Weyermann Pilsner Malt.

    “German Pilsner

    Release Date: 07/26/2013

    OG: 1.048 Color: 4 IBU: 40 Alc by Vol: 4.8%

    Traditional German lager with a light straw color, delicately balanced with a firm bitterness and a dry, crisp finish.”

    Gutes_Bier likes this.
  36. boddhitree

    boddhitree Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    I'd love to try all of them. Unfortunately, I've only had the Southampton's Keller Pils, which as you know I liked. Mmmmmm, I'm thinking trade? Actually, what the hell am I thinking? I live in Germany. What fool has Pils shipped to him TO Germany. But then again, shipping them here is still a helluva lot cheaper than plane/hotel fare.
    steveh likes this.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Tony, have you tried Furst Wallerstein Zwickel? I really liked that beer.

    According to Ron Pattison there is the “famous’ Kellerbier of St. Georgen; have you tried that beer?

    No sense in getting US brewed Kellerbiers when there are plenty to get from Franconia.

  38. boddhitree

    boddhitree Apr 13, 2008 Germany

    I have a few minutes to kill, so lets address this. I think Jack may have said I prefer a "balanced" Pils, and that's not always true. I feel for any beer to really good, it should have a little of all characteristics of beer to be noticeable, both malts and hops or other adjuncts. I really like when a beer emphasizes one over the other, but a complete lack of either hops or malt is flat out neglect of brewing craft; otherwise, why even put one or the other in the beer at all?

    A Pils is so hard to get right, I think, b/c as others have stated, there are 2 basic ingredients and there's no other flavor profiles to hide behind or mix with. This makes Pils often a hit or miss beer, either it's great or not. What I find fascinating in Germany is that many mainstream (by this I mean those who brew rather conventional beers for German conditions) brewers, especially the Fernsehbiere, can often produce a relatively decent product but kinda bland at the same time. Somehow, this is precisely the art they've perfected: brewing a perfectly acceptable but horrifyingly bland product that at the same time almost offends no one and doesn't excite any one either! Those are horribly "balanced" beers, which I don't terribly like. I like beers that are either hop or malt forward, especially if they're not a Pils, and balanced to me could often mean middle-of-the-road. Maybe "balanced" isn't the best word to describe what I'm looking for. A lack of one or the other flavors is where the sin lies. A lack of Pils malt and hop, whether Noble or otherwise is moot, flavor is a sign something isn't right with a beer. So… I'm not sure what descriptor to use… maybe "concordant," which means "in agreement," and "discordant," which is means they don't work well together? A hop forward beer with enough Pils malt flavor to be noticeable would be still concordant, or too much of one or the other would be discordant, and a complete lack of one or the other is obviously not just discordant, but also not what beer really is about.
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Firstly, let me go on the record and state that when I wrote: “If an individual is of the opinion that a German style pilsner should have something like a 50/50 balance of malt/hop flavors then they might prefer the Sunshine Pils.” I had absolutely no specific individual in mind.

    Unfortunately I do not have the communication skills that Tony has as regards to articulating beer qualities. Despite my lack of skills, I will still jump into this discussion.

    I agree with Tony that the word “balance” may not the best descriptor since there could indeed be some ambiguity involved. For example, let’s discuss two beers that have already been mentioned in this thread: Troegs Sunshine Pils and Southampton Keller Pils. It could be argued that both of these beers are “balanced” but these two beers taste distinctly different to me. The Sunshine Pils has a substantial pilsner malt backbone but also substantial hopping rates to ‘match’ the strong pilsner malt taste. To my palate the Southampton Keller Pils has a much more subdued malt backbone and subdued hopping level; that beer is still in balance but it has less malt and hop flavors. As a reminder this is what I stated about the 2013 version of Southampton Keller Pils:

    “2013: golden colored beer. This beer is brewed in a very ‘clean’ fashion with no off flavors; having stated that this beer seems to lack character. I enjoyed drinking this beer but I was continually thinking: shouldn’t there be a bit more hops and/or a bit more malt backbone? I think that SBC did a fine job but I ‘wonder’ about the recipe. I think this is the first Keller Pils brewed without Phil Markowski supervising the beer (recipe). As for the above 3 beers: which hop is used for this beer?”

    Now, I really don’t want to start any controversies here (since Tony is a fan of this beer) but I am using the above only to illustrate that a beer can meet the description of being “balanced” but still be lacking to an individual’s palate.

    For my palate a Pilsner is more pleasing if it has a substantial malt backbone and substantial hops flavors to balance out (‘match’) the malt flavor. If a Pilsner is balanced but has subdued malt and hop flavors, that beer is not too pleasing to me.

    So, at this point in time my communication skills are failing me (what a surprise?). The only word that is coming to mind is “more”; in other words a tasty Pilsner is a beer that has “more”.

    Hopefully Tony will utilize his wonderful communication skills and come up with something better than my feeble attempt of “more”.

  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    Another new interesting sounding US brewed Pilsner is Firestone Walker Pivo Pils. I have not tried this beer. I do not think they are exporting this beer to the east coast (yet?).


    Pivo Hoppy Pilsner

    Everything we love about classic German Pilsner with a hoppy Bohemian twist. Pils is a bright straw colored lager beer with playful carbonation topped with beautiful white foam lace. Delicate lightly toasted malt flavors underscore noble German hop character. Hallertau-grown Magnum hops deliver the lupulin foundation while generous amounts of Spalter Select hops bring floral aromatic and spicy herbal notes. As a twist on the traditional Pils, we dry hop with German Saphir for a touch of bergamot zest and lemongrass. A refreshing, light-bodied and hop-driven Pils.

    brew Notes

    style: Hoppy Pilsner

    abv: 5.3

    ibu: 40

    color: 4 SRM

    fermentation: Stainless”

    I am not familiar with German Saphir hops but the description of “we dry hop with German Saphir for a touch of bergamot zest and lemongrass” sounds intriguing to me!

    There is a video interview with the Firestone Walker headbrewer, Matt Brynildson, that you can watch here:http://www.firestonebeer.com/beers/products/pils


    P.S. You just gotta love that style name: Hoppy Pilsner!:)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!