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The Tastiest Lagers On Earth, According To Brewers


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If you follow craft brewing closely, you’ll see milkshake IPAs, barrel-aged stouts, and all kinds of sour beers trending. But when it comes to world beer, there’s no bigger style than lager (pale lagers make up around 90 percent of the beer imbibed globally). If you’re a fan of bold flavors and unique ingredients this might surprise you, but the lager is one of the simplest styles on the market and widely beloved.

These light, refreshing brews are also perfectly suited for spring and summer drinking. What would you rather crush on a hot day, a pilsner, pale lager, or a heavy, rich stout? We’ll take the lager 9=nine times out of ten. When brewers aren’t making over-the-top, barrel-aged imperial stouts and limited-edition offerings, you can bet they’re drinking lagers.

That’s why we asked some of our favorite brewers to tell us their favorite lagers, excluding those they make themselves.

Pilsner Urquell

Patrick Broderick, brewmaster at North Coast Brewing Company

“I’d have to go with the original pilsner, Pilsner Urquell brewed by the Pilsner Urquell Brewery in Plzeň, Czech Republic. Pilsner is such an iconic style, so much so that ⅔ of all beer produced in the world is a representation of it. The best pilsners are thirst-quenching, full-bodied and beautifully clear with a subtle noble-hop character. That’s how I would describe Pilsner Urquell.”

Bierstadt Helles

Ross Koenigs, research & development brewer at New Belgium

“I’ve been drinking a lot of Bierstadt Helles lately. It’s damn near perfect in every way you want a Helles to be. It’s balanced, refreshing and built to drink in comically large glasses.”

Founders Solid Gold

Tim Faith, brewer at Goose Island Beer Co.

“I’m going to say that I find Schwartz Bier or Black Lager, in general, an incredible style. I do make an effort to try these beers whenever possible, but I don’t think there is a brewery leading their beer portfolio with this style, which is one reason I can’t think of one off the top of my head. However, Founder’s Solid Gold is pretty stellar.”

Firestone Walker Lager

Mike Stoneburg, brewmaster at Blue Point Brewing

“Firestone Walker Lager, it’s just a perfect beer. Also, it’s year-round, I can find it, and it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.”

Keesman Pils

Bill Covaleski – Co-founder of Victory Brewing Company

“I’m in the mood for a Keesman Pils from Bamberg, Germany at this moment because it is clean and iconic in its hoppy appeal.”

Schönramer Hell

Andy Ingram, brewmaster/co-founder at Four Peaks Brewing Co.

“Schönramer Hell. It is, in my opinion, one of the best Bavarian Helles lagers in the world. It’s made in a small brewery in a small town near Salzburg (on the German side), called Schönram. Oddly enough, this perfect example of a German classic is made by an American ex-pat named Eric Toft. An excellent brewer and an all-around nice guy.”

Victory Prima Pils

Josh Waldman, brewmaster at Elysian Brewing Company

“What’s my favorite lager I don’t make yourself? I haven’t had a Prima Pils (Victory Brewing) in a long time, and I’d like one. I’d like one a lot.”

Southbound Mountain Jam

Jason Santamaria, brewer/co-owner of Second Self Beer Co

“Southbound’s Mountain Jam. It’s everything I want in a lager: crisp, clean, fresh, and made by some excellent folks in Savannah.”

Tank La Playita

Rhett Dougherty, head brewer of Veza Sur Brewing Co.

“The Tank Brewing Company, right here in Miami makes a tremendous lager, La Playita. This clean, easy drinking, 5.1% lager is a breath of fresh air with its crisp taste and drinkability. This lager is a testament to the elite level of brewing quality that breweries are striving for here in Miami.”

Augustiner Helles

Victor Novak, brewmaster at Golden Road Brewing

“I could drink Augustiner Helles every day and never get palate fatigue. We make our own version at Golden Road using all German malts and their yeast. Needless to say, I drink the hell out of it.”

Russian River STS Pils

Mark Safarik, brewmaster at Dogfish Head

“STS Pils from Russian River. It’s wonderfully balanced and crisp with lots of spicy hop character. So damn delicious.”

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