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Old 07-14-2013, 10:54 PM   #1
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Default Any US Brewers Make a German Lager/Pilsner Style?

Could you name any domestic breweries in the US that produce something like a sweet German lager or pilsner? The popular types of lagers and pilsners I would categorize the taste as would be: Paulaner Original Munich, Warsteiner Premium Verum, or Bitburger Premium Pils. Despite Weihenstephan offering a "Pilsner" I have not tried it, but would categorize the taste of their Vitus within my search criteria.

What I'm NOT looking for is a Czech style pilsner, particularly an Urquell knock-off. For example I would classify Left Hand Polestar Pilsner as a great interpretation of that style, but not exactly what I'm looking for. The Czech pilsners typically have a more abrasive hop taste to me. Not overpowering by any means, just grassy or dandelion-like and I'm not a big fan.

Anyway, I'd like to support domestic brewers if they have such a product. It's no big deal if they don't as the others are readily available. Thanks!

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Old 07-14-2013, 11:59 PM   #2
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From Beer Advocate, some of the best domestic Munich Helles are California Ueber Helles (Tired Hands), Thomas Hooker Munich-Style Lager (Thomas Hooker), Stoudt's Gold Lager (Stoudts), Mecklenburger Bavarian Lager (Olde Mecklenburg), Hell (Surly), Fiery Hell (Surly), Penn Gold (Pennsylvania).

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Old 07-15-2013, 12:08 AM   #3
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Metropolitan Brewing in Chicago only does lagers and they are delicious.

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Old 07-15-2013, 12:50 AM   #4
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From Beer Advocate, some of the best domestic German Pilseners are Prima Pils, Braumeister Harvest Pils, Braumeister Pils, Hersbrucker Pils (all Victory); Hometown Blonde (New Glarus); Stoudts Pils (Stoudts); Ueber Pils (Rogue); Pearl Snap Pils (Austin Beerworks); The Crisp (Sixpoint); and Hans' Pils (Real).

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Old 07-15-2013, 05:07 AM   #5
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Victory's Prima is definitely a more crisp, hop-forward interpretation of the style -- there's nothing I like better on a hot day, but it sounds like the opposite of what you're looking for. I'd expect Victory's other offerings to also trend in that direction, especially the one named after a hop varietal, but I've never seen them out here on the West Coast, so, who knows?

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Old 07-15-2013, 01:14 PM   #6
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And, since Czech style pilseners are less hop-forward than German (Left Hand Polestar is a German Pilsener), from Beer Advocate, some of the best domestic Czech Pilseners: Reality Czech (Moonlight); Braumeister Pils Saaz and Braumeister Pils Tettnang (Victory); Barmen Pilsener (SandLot); Edel Pils (New Glarus); Live Oak Pilz (Live Oak); Pescadero Pils (Ballast Point); Samuel Adams Noble Pils (Boston Beer); Rogue Farms Good Chit Pilsner (Rogue); South Peak Pilsner (La Cumbre); and Sierra Nevada Summerfest (Sierra Nevada).

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Old 07-15-2013, 02:06 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for your replies so far. I have done quite a bit of searching and found that the majority of the big names mentioned here (Victory pilsners for example) are reviewed as hoppy and dry compared to what I am looking for. Sierra Nevada Summerfest is a definite 'like'. It may not be an exact style that I'm looking for, rather one to avoid (Urquell being the classic example). Obviously trying to describe taste can be very difficult :-)

As far as Czech pilsners being less "hop-forward" than German pilsners, I haven't noticed that, or perhaps its just the type of hop or preparation that seems to make certain German beers seem sweeter and less bitter in that dandelion way, as best as I can describe it. IOW, its not the amount of hop bitterness, its the type of bitterness than I'm not a fan of in Urquell et al.

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Old 07-15-2013, 03:59 PM   #8
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Try the offerings from Stoudt's if you can get your hands on the... The Gold Lager is one I am very fond of.

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Old 07-15-2013, 04:02 PM   #9
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Devil's Backbone Vienna Lager. It's great. Rather sweet for a Vienna lager.

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Old 07-15-2013, 09:12 PM   #10
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And for good measure, and because I like Devil's Backbone, and because I'm trying to avoid working, from Beer Advocate, some of the best domestic Vienna Lagers: Great Lakes Eliot Ness (Great Lakes), Vienna Lager (Devil's Backbone), Dynamo Copper (Metropolitan), Schell's Firebrick (August Schell), Live Oak Big Bark Amber (Live Oak), Lincoln Park (Goose Island), Special Amber (Sprecher), Smoked Vienna (Bell's), P. J. W. Copper (Victory), Saranac Season's Best Nut Brown Lager (Matt), Abita Amber (Abita), and Bohemia Oscura (Cuautemoc Moctezuma).

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