Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Craft Beer Crosscut 2.26.19: A Flight of Inspirational Pilsners

Ron Swarner

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Czech this out! In April 2019, Peaks and Pints will host the Tournament of Beer: Northwest Pilsners. Chosen through a nomination process, the top 64 vote getters — the cream of the crispness — will compete Monday through Friday on our website, April 5-27. Through online voting, Washington and Oregon pilsner drinkers will pick daily winners until the best pilsner in the Pacific Northwest is crowned. It’s just like March Madness, only with way more Saaz hops. What is the best pilsner in the Pacific Northwest? Vote for your three favorites below before midnight Thursday, Feb. 28 here. We’ll randomly select a ballot to win a $25 Peaks and Pints gift card. To get you in the pilsner nominating mood, enjoy a flight of pilsners outside the Pacific Northwest that we call Craft Beer Crosscut 2.26.19: A Flight of Inspirational Pilsners.

Craft Beer Crosscut 2.26.19: A Flight of Inspirational Pilsners

Praga-Premium-Pils-TacomaPraga Premium Pils

4.75% ABV, 25 IBU

Using the famous Saaz hop and water pumped from 300 meters underground the Pivovar Samson Brewery in the Czech Republic, Praga Premium Pils is brewed for 55-65 days for a full-bodied beer, rich in Saaz hops and brewed following a 200 year old tradition by Czech brew masters. This is a crisp, refreshing beer with less CO2 making it less filling but packed with flavor. Expect a standard Czech pils flavor: honey sweetness, doughy accents, and a grainy finish.

Ayinger-Bavarian-Pils-TacomaAyinger Bavarian Pils

5.3% ABV, 32 IBU

About 25 kilometers from the Oktoberfest grounds in Munich, lays a little town called Aying, home to the beloved Ayinger Brewery (Brauerei Aying). This 140-year-old brewery has a deep family history, and remained almost completely unchanged until a new, updated brewery was built in 1999 in order to keep up with the growing market. Again and again Ayinger has won awards for its beers, including the World Beer Cup, and the Deutschen Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft — DLG (German Agricultural Society) gold and silver medals. Better known as Ayinger Bairisch Pils in Bavaria, Bavarian Pils grabbed a gold medal at the 2017 World Beer Championships for its flavor of a fruitful barley harvest, seasoned with noble hops — a brisk golden lager with snappy hop aroma and velvety-soft malt flavor.

Bitburger-Premium-Pils-TacomaBitburger Premium Pils

4.8% ABV, 38 IBU

Founded in 1817, seven generations of family ownership allowed Bitburger Brewery to be named number one draft beer in Germany in 1992, a position it holds to this day. Bitburger Brewery’s success has been built on the strength of their original Bitburger Premium Pils. Bright, fresh golden colors and a rich frothy head are what you first notice about this elegant pilsner. The Bitburger well water gives the beer a very clean, hoppy taste, with nutty flavors accompanying. The bitterness of the hops is balanced well with the mellow sweetness of the body of the beer. This is a delightfully refreshing beer: The body is light but not watery, and the carbonation makes quick work of cleansing the palate to enhance the beer’s dry, clean finish.

Cerveceria-y-Malteria-Quilmes-Patagonia-Bohemian-PilsenerCerveceria y Malteria Quilmes Patagonia Bohemian Pilsener

5.2% ABV

Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes is an Argentine brewery founded in 1888 in Quilmes, Buenos Aires Province, by Otto Bemberg, a German immigrant. The company quickly started growing and in the 1920s it was already the most popular beer in Buenos Aires. The company was formerly known as Cervecería Argentina. In 2002, Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes formed a strategic alliance with Ambev that became formalized with a combination in April 2006. In 2007, AB-InBev acquired the company. Anyhoo, Patagonia Bohemian Pilsener is, as the name suggests, a Bohemian pilsener, which means softer water than other pilsner styles. The flavor profile is that of mostly malted barley with a slight hint of bitterness from the hops. It has a lovely mouthfeel, definitely refreshing and vibrant.

Firestone-Walker-Pivo-Pils-TacomaFirestone Walker Pivo Pils

5.3% ABV, 40 IBU

Firestone Walker Pivo Pils is a smooth operator. It has a silky, foamier head than most other pilsners, while also sporting the lightest consistency and color, making it look a little like sparkling grape juice. Fruit scents like apple and tangerine tickle the nose, balanced by a tart, peppery detail that rounds out the sweetness nicely. After a potent aroma, the taste was deceptively subtle, balanced and clean. Pivo is astonishingly — almost dangerously — drinkable.