10.27.2007

What is a Pilsner?

After the Battle of the Pils last week, and in keeping with my series on style profiles, I am going to discuss what makes a Pilsner today.

Pilsner was originally made in the Bohemain Czech town of Plzen, and so it was called Pilsner. It is light colored, but has plenty of hops and a strong malt flavor in there. These may take some by surprise, since it can easily look like it would taste like Bud Miller Coors. In fact, Miller Lite claims to be a "True Pilsner Beer", and maybe the others do, too. But Bud Miller Coors are about as authentic Pilsner as Taco Bell is authentic Mexican food.

German Pilsners are found to be more hoppy and a bit more rough around the edges. American Pilsners may lean on American hops more than the noble hops favored by their European cousins. And there is, of course, Imperial Pilsner. Some good domestic Pilsners are Live Oak Brewery’s Live Oak Pilz, Buzzard’s Bay Brewing Co.’s Buzzards Bay Pilsner, and New Glarus Brewing Company’s Home Town Blonde. Go out and try a Pilsner today!

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