Beer Squared #5: Pilsners

Posted: March 17, 2011 in Beer Squared, Beer: Pilsners
Tags: , , ,

The considered.

This time around we decided to try some lighter beers for a change. We have been doing ales, IPAs and those strange misfit beers.  So we’re checking out pilsners, an American favorite.

These have always been among my personal favorites. In honor of the pilsners, we even used pilsner glasses instead of our familiar glassware.

“A modern pilsener has a very light, clear colour from pale to golden yellow, and a distinct hop aroma and flavour. Czech pilseners tend toward a lighter flavour (good examples being Pilsner Urquell and Staropramen), while those in a German style can be more bitter (particularly in the north, e.g. Jever) or even “earthy” in flavour.” (Source)

NOTE: all pilsners are lagers, but not all lagers are pilsners. Pilsner is distinguished by its use of soft water and noble (usually Saaz) hops in brewing.

Pilsner Urquell (ABV 4.4%)

The original Pislner.

Nik: When I poured this into the glass, I was amazed at the clarity and aroma of this beer. I couldn’t see any imperfections in this beer and it just smelled wonderful. The malt and hops do wonders for the head and the flavor.  It had been a very long time since I’d had this beer, and I was amazed at how full bodied the flavor was. It was just the perfect pilsner.

Bob: Urquell means original, and this is the prototype pilsner, actually brewed in Pils! We poured it to a pilsner glass, of course, where it yielded an extremely nice creamy, long-lasting head and beautiful clear golden color. Wonderfully pleasing hop aroma from noble (Saaz?) hops. Taste has a mild bitterness and surpising maltiness for a mere lager. This is probably everything a lager could ever aspire to! Very rich and filling.

Stella Artois (ABV 5.2%)

Stella Artois

Nik: I was surprised to see the clear white foam, and that foam lasted until I finished my glass. This was a very clear and pale lager. Its taste was also very pale as well. There was basically no aftertaste with this beer. It had a very strong bitterness for a lager, but overall it had a weak taste.

Bob: Although it’s not strictly a pilsner,  we think of it as one, for it usually tastes quite rich whenever we have it on tap at a pub or restaurant. So we grouped it with two other pilsners for comparison tasting. It poured out with quite a bit paler head and liquid color than Pilsner Urquell. There were larger bubbles in the head, although it was very long-lasting. Taste, aroma, body and bitterness were much lighter overall than Urquell, too, reminding more of the best American lagers than of a pilsner. At about the same price per six-pack as Pilsner Urquell, I have to say I much prefer the latter when I want a really nice lager.

Skyscraper by Tin Mill (ABV 5.2%)


Nik: This is another beer from Missouri. I like having the local additions to the tastings. Skyscraper has a very clear amber color to it. After pouring it, there was a great, foamy head. It has a strong, smooth, flavor. This has a very strong and complex flavor for a pilsner. I thought this was the best of bunch this time.

Bob: Tin Mill is local Missouri microbrewery whose offerings we seem to consistently like. This pilsner is no exception, pouring to a beautiful small-bubble head and clear golden color in the glass. Very little aroma, though, which was a letdown. Good aftertaste with distinctively pleasant bitterness. Rich tasting. Worth drinking whenever I can get it for a good price ($1 a bottle or less.)

  1. Chickenhead says:

    My current favorite pilsners are New Belgium’s Blue Paddle and Paulaner’s Premium Pils. You should give those two a try.

    • The 13 Blog says:

      I’m always looking for great pislners! Especially with the weather warming up nicely…some nice pale beers will be wonderful during tailgates. I should do a photo spread on just Louligan beers…

  2. UncleBunky says:

    Tin Mill has come a long way from their early days. Not many people know that it’s basically a Dierberg’s family funded brewery (which is why it is making it in tiny Hermann, MO).

    Stella Artois is considered a pilsner by style.

  3. […] Mill’s beers. I have yet to try one of their beers that I didn’t like and in our first pilsner tasting, they were my favorite.  It was very foamy and again quickly dissipating. It didn’t have the […]

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