Overview for the German Pilsner

The German Pilsner is an adaptation of the Czech Pilsner that was first brewed in the 1870s. Its color ranges from straw to pale gold and should exhibit very good clarity. The aroma and palate should have a light grainy-sweet malt scent of cracker and honey. Should have pronounced noble hop notes that can be floral, spicy, and herbal. The palate should have moderate to high bitterness that lingers into the finish. Its feel should be medium-light with moderate to high carbonation. Its alcohol strength straddles sessionable and moderate. Comparatively, the German Pils is lighter in body and color, drier, crisper with higher attenuation and carbonation than the Czech style. It’s hoppier with more malt flavor higher bitterness than International Pale Lagers. The Pils has more hop flavor and bitterness than the Munich Helles.

Style Expectations

A light-bodied, highly-attenuated, gold-colored, bottom-fermented bitter German beer showing excellent head retention and an elegant, floral hop aroma. Crisp, clean, and refreshing, a German Pils showcases the finest quality German malt and hops.


Straw to light gold, brilliant to very clear, with a creamy, long-lasting white head.


Medium-low to low grainy-sweet-rich malt character (often with a light honey and slightly toasted cracker quality) and distinctive flowery, spicy, or herbal hops. Clean fermentation profile. May optionally have a very light sulfury note that comes from water as much as yeast. The hops are moderately-low to moderately-high, but should not totally dominate the malt presence. One-dimensional examples are inferior to the more complex qualities when all ingredients are sensed. May have a very low background note of DMS.


Medium to high hop bitterness dominates the palate and lingers into the aftertaste. Moderate to moderately-low grainy-sweet malt character supports the hop bitterness. Low to high floral, spicy, or herbal hop flavor. Clean fermentation profile. Dry to medium-dry, crisp, well-attenuated finish with a bitter aftertaste and light malt flavor. Examples made with water with higher sulfate levels often will have a low sulfury flavor that accentuates the dryness and lengthens the finish; this is acceptable but not mandatory. Some versions have a soft finish with more of a malt flavor, but still with noticeable hop bitterness and flavor, with the balance still towards bitterness.


Medium-light body. Medium to high carbonation.



German Pilsener  •  MIA Beer Co.

Domino is a German-style Pilsener brewed by MIA Beer Co. that balances floral and spicy noble hops with cracker and honey. Read More

Independent Pilsner

German Pilsner  •  Coppertail Brewing Co.

Independent Pilsner is a German-style Pilsner by Coppertail Brewing Co. that balances peppery and floral hops with cracker malt. Read More


German Pilsner  •  Civil Society Brewing Co.

Signs is a German-style Pilsner by Civil Society Brewing Co. that blends cracker malt and a touch of honey with spicy and floral noble hops. Read More

The Crisp

German Pilsner  •  Sixpoint Brewery

The Crisp is a German-style Pilsner by Sixpoint Brewery that’s light and refreshing with peppery hops, lemon citrus, cracker, and honey. Read More

Cruzcampo Pilsener

German Pilsener  •  Grupo Cruzcampo SA

Cruzcampo Pilsener is a German-style Pilsener by Grupo Cruzcampo SA that tastes of thin white bread spiced with noble hops. Read More

Southern Tier Pilsner

Pilsener  •  Southern Tier Brewing Co.

Southern Tier Pilsner is a German-style Pilsener by Southern Tier Brewing Co. that blends noble hops with a lightly sweetened wheat base. Read More

Yellow Snow Pilsner

German Pilsner  •  Rogue Ales

Yellow Snow Pilsner is a German-style Pilsner by Rogue Ales that blends malty sweet vanilla, bubblegum with peppery hops and spruce. Read More

Prima Pils

German Pilsner  •  Victory Brewing Company

Prima Pils is a German-style Pilsener by Victory Brewing Company that blasts biscuit malt with spicy, herbal hops. Read More

Pounder Pils

German Pilsner  •  Heavy Seas Beer

Pounder Pils is a German-style Pilsner by Heavy Seas Beer whose palate is powered by noble hops and balanced with lightly sweet malt. Read More


Check Out Other Beer Styles