Beer Trends: Pilsner Strikes Back
Posted: April 11, 2015
The Pilsner style is rooted in tradition, with a history spanning Germany and the Czech Republic. But that isn't stopping the greatest craft brewers in America from making the style their own. With more Pilsners than ever, and more thirsty drinkers picking up six packs, we're seeing explosive growth in the category. These new craft styles stick with tradition... to a point. Some have more hop character than their continental counterparts while staying true to the crisp and quenching character. As craft drinkers demand more complex and varied styles, it all adds up to a thrilling new trend steeped in an old tradition.
Victory Prima Pils $9.99 6 Pack of 12oz Bottles Leading the pack is Prima Pils, a relatively old-timer on this list. PA craft veteran Victory has a reputation for using high-quality, traditional German ingredients. With pronounced noble German hop character, Prima is a faithful recreation of the clean, crisp, old world-style. Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pils $9.99 6 Pack of 12oz Bottles Pale masquerading as Pilsner? Lager with IPA aspirations? Firestone Walker's addition to the craft Pilsner scene couples clean Pilsner refreshment with a hoppiness usually associated with IPA, framing what we'll call the American Pilsner style. We aren't alone in our love for Pivo it consistently earns top marks from critical reviews, too. Sierra Nevada Nooner $9.99 6 Pack of 12oz Bottles Maybe it's Sierra Nevada's devotion to whole cone hops. Maybe it's just their reputation for making some of the best examples of any style they try. Either way, Nooner is a welcome new arrival on Binny's shelves. Nooner's spicy and floral hoppiness leads the charge in their take on the original session style. 5 Rabbit Gringolandia Super Pils $9.99 6 Pack of 12oz Bottles Just over a year ago, Chicago-based, Latin-inspired, 5 Rabbit Cerveceria launched the Gringolandia series to offer their take on more typical US styles. A little maltier than many others on this list think biscuity malt and a more pronounced citrus hop profile. It's just as trendy as it sounds. Also just as drinkable, and that's the whole point. Half Acre Pony $9.99 4 Pack of 16oz Cans Hard to believe it's already been two years since Chicago's own Half Acre launched Pony Pils, their take on the German Pilsner style. Their signature style deliciously grassy, herbal hops over bright grains makes for a crisp quencher geared for the masses. All this, and it comes in big one pint cans. As you know, we're fans of cans. Lagunitas Pils $9.99 6 Pack of 12oz Bottles Lagunitas takes aim at the Czech end of the Pilsner spectrum with this, their only lager. Of course, Lagunitas can't help being Lagunitas, and the addition of a load of Saaz hops, gives Pils plenty of grassy, floral character. New for 2015, you can now get Lagunitas Pils in 12 packs! Boulevard KC Pils Boulevard KC Pils Coming Soon 6 Packs of 12oz Bottles Coming soon to Chicago, exclusively at Binny's! A hit in Kansas City for years, this "Genuine American Lager" was the highlight of any trip to America's BBQ capital. Boulevard wasn't sure Chicago was interested in craft Pilsner, but we convinced them to send us a sizeable shipment. Prove us right, Chicago, and keep an eye out for KC Pils soon. Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils Reg. $9.99 $8.99 w/Binny's Card 6 Pack of 12oz Cans Honorable mention goes to Oskar Blues for their Czech-style Pilsner. All malt, Saaz hops, a reasonable 5.3% ABV (reasonable in the Oskar Blues lineup, that is) make for an easy drinking refresher. The beer is great on its own, but here's another reason to pick up a six pack: Can'd Aid is the do-good side of Oskar Blues. What started in 2013 as a local fundraiser grew to a nationwide foundation contributing funds to great causes. Current programs include The Crush it Crusade, helping establish recycling programs in communities that need both recycling and jobs, and Camps for Kids, supporting outdoor and music summer camp activities for underprivileged youth. A portion of every case of Oskar Blues sold in the month of April will go to support these great causes. We aren't saying they're superheroes, but they did discover a way to do well and do good at the same time. Binny's is toasting this great cause by knocking a buck off Oskar Blues six pack cans. Check out our Beer Buzz for more beer updates, news and events.