Five Must-try Local Pilsners
Why They are Rare
Most craft breweries stick to ales for a couple of reasons. One of them being that lagers take a lot longer to be ready to release and most craft breweries do not have the time or space to waste. Another is that there are less intense flavours in a lager to hide faults behind meaning if you mess up, it is going to be obvious and unforgiving. For the last few years we really only had a couple locally made Pilsners to choose from but that has all changed in the past year or so.
As we know, craft beer drinkers love their options and we are at a point in Halifax where we actually have a decent choice in our Pilsners! I recommend everyone to still respect the classics like Pilsner Urquell but right now we all need to take advantage of all the local pilsners being available at the same time ranging from Bohemian, German, Unfiltered Pils, and even new releases like New Zealand-style and Dry-Hopped American.
My Top 5 (in no particular order:)
1. Propeller Pilsner has been my go-to thirst quencher for a few years now, the Bohemian style pilsner with snappy bitterness and that beautiful grassy hop character has been a staple in my Friday night beer haul. There is something magical about the bready, full malt balanced by the assertive Czech Saaz hop bitterness dancing between the steady stream of bubbles. Available in single tall cans or a 6-pack at their Gottingen and Windmill bottle shops.
2. Second up is Waltz, a German-style Pilsner from 2 Crows Brewing. Waltz was released right before Christmas and I immediately picked up eight cans. It has a beautifully complex doughy malt character that is supported by an assertive hop bitterness and herbaceous hop aromatics. This beer was a labour of love spending eight weeks lagering and using a complex mash-in but I really hope it will remain a steadily available beer. Available in single tall cans now at their Brunswick street HQ.
3. Next I need to mention is Sparrow Pilsner from North Brewing. Sparrow is another German-style pilsner originally released in October 2018; these tend to be drier than their Bohemian counterparts which contributes to the more assertive perceived bitterness. The hop profile is classic pilsner with floral and spicy notes bursting out of the milky, white foam. Available at their brand new Portland street location and their Battery Park bottle shop.
4. While most Pilsners are clear in nature more modern American takes have been made unfiltered. Stillwell Brewing's first ever beer released was Stilly Pils a well-hopped, unfiltered Pils who's recipe is constantly being refined. This is a beautifully aromatic Pils with less sharpness than the German-style counterparts and a soft carbonation to support the creamy, meringue like head that has captured Halifax hearts.
5. New kids on the block the Church Brewing came out with a German-style Pils as part of their staple beers named Congregation Pilsener. Their take on the style is another vibrant, floral, earthy crispy boy that is super clean! This guy is currently the only one on the list available in my favourite format at the NSLC, a six pack of 355ml cans!
What is your favourite Pilsner you have ever had? Let me know in the comments!