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A Bitter Pil: our Tasting Panel reviews six BC Pilsners

Ah, the angels are calling you to join them in a glass of perfectly fluffy, foamy světlý ležák, which is to say, Czech light lager. It is so fragile to transport that to fully appreciate it, you have to visit the former Bohemia to taste it fresh.

If the lager is from the main brewery in the town of Plzeň, (a town the Germans call”Pilsen”), then it’s in the original (“Urquell”) style created in 1842 by Josef Groll, bittered with the famous hops of Žatec (aka “Saaz”). All drinks called Pilsener or Pilsner are named in direct or indirect homage.

Pilsners came to dominate the world of beer due to their light but rich gold color, full-bodied maltiness yet a distinct bitterness from generous Saaz hopping, generally 30 IBU or more. German varieties, often spelled Pilsener, might be lighter in body and semi-sweet to off-dry. Accept no substitutes.


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