The famous Pilsner, also called ‘pilsener’ or ‘pils’, is a type of pale lager taking its name from the Bohemian city of Plzeñ (Pilsen). Pilsners can date back all the way to the 1300’s, although the modern-day pilsner was first produced in the mid-1800’s.
These modern day Pilsner beers were made with a special recipe created by Josef Groll, the head brewer of Plzeñ brewery, combining soft water, malty barley and Saaz hops, which gives the Pilsner its spicy hops flavouring. This ‘light lager’ is known for its amazing balanced flavour and highly sessionable character, with pale golden colouring and a crispness that is perfect for any occasion!
The main two styles of the pilsner are the German-style and the Czech-style, which are quite similar in brewing process, apart from specific distinguishing of hops use. While Czech style uses the traditional Saaz hops of the original Plzeñ recipe, German-style tends to use more general hops under the branch of Noble hops.
At Craft Cartel, we love the Pilsner and all the spicy, refreshing and bubbly tastes it provides. We have a great range of pilsners, with an especially large category of Australian Pilsner creations. This beer is a great starting point for any craft beer amateur, and of course, a dearly loved style of beer for all the craft beer connoisseurs out there.
This beer is the perfect addition to any barbeque, picnic or easy afternoon session, with its light and crisp flavour profile and easy sessionable taste! With moderate to low bitterness and medium levels in malt and fruitiness, the Pilsner can be heralded as the king of chill. This beer is so cool and easy, with a crispiness that is perfect to quench your thirst and a mouthfeel that is neither thick nor thin, allowing for easy swallow and excellent drinkability.
The Pilsner is known as the lighter, more bubbly version of a lager (although it is made the same way as a lager), and can pair very well with almost any kind of food pairing. Most beer connoisseurs prefer lighter salads, white meat dishes and mild flavours to match the light-weight feeling created by this amazing craft beer.
PILSNER VS LAGER
While the Pilsner beer is actually a style of lager, it is considered quite different in its taste profile due to a more hop-forward flavour and the use of different yeast in the brewing process. A good pilsner has a fairly dry finish and is spicy and hoppy, a harmonic link between the old and the new world.
TYPES OF PILSNERS
A German pilsner has a bitter and earthy taste, and is very pale in colour. Light to medium bodied, this craft beer has a malt sweetness to it that is balanced out by a high amount of hoppy bitterness. A classic german pils is great for light salads and white meat dishes due to its herbal flavour and dry, bitter finish. Think of a light lunch with this beer, a refreshing pick-me-up for the upcoming heaviness of a winter afternoon.
A Czech-style or Bohemian pilsner is quite similar to its German counterpart, but with a much darker colouring and spicier flavour profile. The spice derives from the use of Saaz hops, which give off a distinct spiciness and floral aroma. With a thick mouthfeel and a moderate amount of carbonation, this beer is considered the classic pilsner. A slightly sweet flavouring of sweet bread and biscuits combined with the spicy Saaz hops make the perfect sessionable beer.
At Craft Cartel, we have a great Aussie version of the Czech-style pilsner, from the Yarra Valley. The Matilda Bay Yarra Valley Pils has a spicy floral aroma and uses the soft spring water from the Yarra ranges to create a great Australian adaptation to the original recipe of the Plzeñ pilsner!
The slightly sweet taste of a Bohemian pilsner is repeated in the European-style pilsner. A more general version of the German and Czech styles, the European pilsner is remarkably crisp and clean, with amazing balance from the malt and hops. Delicious with any kind of food, this beer is perfect for an afternoon session or a day at the pub.
The American pilsner is crisp, clean with notes of both citrus and stone fruits. Standard for most Americanised versions of craft beer, the added American hops are a great experimentation and offer new bold flavours in the creation of an American pilsner. The traditional Pilsner malt flavour of slightly sweet is also quite mild within the American pilsner, as they use less malt to create their own version of the pilsner.
At Craft Cartel, the amazing Garage Project Air Drop NZ Hopped Pilsner is on offer. A modern twist on the original American pilsner, Garage Project brought hops all the way from New Zealand back to their Pennsylvanian brewery to create the ultimate hoppy American pilsner, with super levels of aromatics and a crispness that will leave you wanting more!
WHAT IS IBU?
Bitterness levels are measured through a scale that is aptly named International Bitterness Units, or IBU. These units measure the level of hop and alpha acids in beer through the use of a formula. For most Pilsners, the IBU is usually between 20-50, which is moderate, indicating less bitterness and more smooth, rich flavouring.
WHAT IS ABV?
ABV stands for alcohol by volume and represents the percentage of alcohol in the beer. The amount of alcohol in the brew can actually affect the taste of the beer. Beers with a higher ABV have a more bitter flavour. Brewers use ABV to achieve balance between sweetness and bitterness, so with the Pilsner the ABV usually sits in the average range, between 4-6%, making for a very sessionable beer style.
At Craft Cartel, the Pilsner is quite select in our products. We have many iterations of traditional styles of pilsners as made by Australian brewing companies, which is a great starting point for any Pilsner amateur. Try out Freshwater Brewing Freshie Pils for an Aussie take on the bubbliness and spiciness found in Czech style Pilsners, or have a taste of the Garage Project Air Drop NZ Hopped Pilsner for an American-made Pilsner with the addition of delicious New Zealand hops! And the Badlands Pilsner ‘New World’ cannot be missed, with its New Zealand hops and Czech-style brewing process, this version of the Pilsner is the perfect spritzy, slightly bitter pilsner. Best with seafood, bbq and fresh air, this pilsner is a must-have for all.
Just as we pride ourselves on our range, we also know when to specialise and specify when it comes to good beer and good times! While we do not have a specific gift box for our amazing Pilsners, through a subscription or membership, your pilsner craving will be filled each month with a delivery straight to your door! Within our Craft Cartel memberships, there are a ridiculous amount of benefits, such as access to limited releases and 10% off of all our online products! For more information on our Craft Beer Subscriptions, click here!