The Power of Pilsner

In these Halcyon days of Craft Beer in Metro Vancouver we are spoiled for weird, obscure, and delicious beers. Glacial Mammoth Extinction a Barrel Aged 25% beer from Storm Brewing went on sale today. We recently had about 30 sour kegs at the BC beer festival, A style that was near impossible to find locally 3 years ago, and breweries now regularly brew beers that they don’t intend to sell for years down the road. With all this choice my palate is getting tired, and I noticed a funny thing when I was getting my growler filled… I was getting it filled with Pilsner.

Pilsner is a pale lager, often made with a single malt-Pilsner malt and hopped sparingly with Noble Hops- often Saaz. This simple drink dominates much of the marker world wide but isn’t often considered a great example of craft here. Here in BC we seem obsessed with creating “ISA’s” light beers with big flavour… wait isn’t that a contradiction? While some have made some delicious beers in the ISA box the fact remains high flavour is the anti-thesis of sessionable. So why not give in and look back in time to the (you know like 10 years) to the Pilsner, because when its done right its amazing.


Done Wrong-Not Amazing.

So who is doing a good traditional Pilsner? Honestly they are nearly non-existent in Craft at the moment and that maybe a result of the relative cost to produce them. When you consider that ideally they should sit in takes for 6 weeks next to ales that often take as little as 3 you can see why brewers would shy away. In any case here are a few i know of and recommend:

Ridge Brewing Pilsner (Sources Aged for 3 Months!)

Twin Sails Pilsner (The #PoMoPilsner is the Flag Ship of Twin Sails)

Main Street Pilsner (The Original Vancouver Pilsner)

Steamworks Pilsner (Available in BC Place Stadium… Seriously)

These aren’t all the pilsner on the market, these are just the ones made year round I think are worth pointing you towards. Keep in mind Pilsner is a fickle beast the differences between them can often be paper thin, and the difference between a good and bad one only slightly thicker, so when you find one that suits your needs grab hold and don’t ever let go.


4 thoughts on “The Power of Pilsner

  1. mikescraftbeer December 5, 2015 / 11:01 pm

    A session beer should be full flavour. Session tells you the beer is below 5% alcohol so you can drink more of it without getting drunk. If a session beer is low flavour it might as well be a macro light beer. Basically the same shit with less corn or rice. Glad you enjoy the pilsners as somone needs to drink them but it sure won’t be me.


  2. cturton December 5, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    Ah, this is an interesting point something that probably would have been good to discuss in the article itself. But i inherently disagree with the idea sessionable=low alcohol. Flavour’s (like sweetness and bitterness) inherently have the ability to wear out ones palate and thus make beer unsessionable thus i have always believed that the best session beers will always be well balanced too.


    • mikescraftbeer December 5, 2015 / 11:46 pm

      Ok we definitely disagree here for sure then. A low flavour beer does not get my money period. I look at it like if I want to spend my money on a low flavour beer I might as well spend it on the cheap crap. If I wanted low flavour I would go for water. Not a fan of low flavour beer at all.


  3. cturton December 6, 2015 / 12:09 am

    But there is so much nuance in a low flavour beer that is difficult to impossible to detect in a high flavour one, i would suspect its a great way to train the palate. 🙂


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