Drop the Budweiser and Crush these 10 Craft Pilsners Instead!

If you really want to know how good a brewery is, you HAVE to try their Pilsner.

With no adjuncts to hide behind and less hop character than many other styles on the market, this simple, clean beer can reveal any faults or mistakes made along the way. 

And sure, you probably have a few macro Pils stuffed into your fridge, but those chilly blue mountains and self-proclaimed “King” ain’t got nothin’ on these 10 craft Pilsners.

pFriem Pilsner - pFriem Family Brewers

Location: Hood River, OR

If you’re looking for a wicked good Pils, try this one from the folks at pFriem.

The brewers use classic German Pilsner Malts and every sip practically overflows with those crackery, biscuity, lemongrass-soaked flavors that Pilsner fans know and love.

In fact, it’s so good, HopCulture calls it out as one of the 30 Best Pilsners in the Country! Which isn’t surprising considering this family owned operation is one of the most decorated breweries in the Northwest with more GABF, World Beer Cup, and Sip Northwest awards than you can possibly count! (We’ve tried!)

Perennial Pils - Perennial Artisan Ales

Location: St. Louis, MO

Sure, these guys are more known for their dark and delicious Abraxas Imperial Stout and Barrel Aged Abraxas Imperial Stout.

But their ability to craft a crisp, clean, dry-hopped Pils put them on Paste Magazine’s list of the 50 Best Breweries of the 2010s!

Stuffed with 100% German malts and hops, every drop swims in splashes of lemon, black pepper, and a touch of noble hop bitterness that lingers on the palate before a light and dry finish.

Pils - Fair State Brewing Coop

Location: Minneapolis, MN

If you could pick one beer to take to a desert island, what would it be? Well, for Fair State head brewer Niko Tonks, it’s the brewery’s light and crushable Pils. 

And Midwest craft fans agree — Fair State was named the Best Brewery in the Twin City by City Pages!

Bohemian Pilsner Malts and Hallertau Mittelfruh Hops keep Pils steeped in layers of citrus zest, herbal grass, and just enough hop bitterness to keep things interesting.

Premium Pilsner - Pipeworks Brewing Company

Location: Chicago, IL

“It’s beer you can drink.”

That’s how the folks at Pipeworks — named one of the Best Breweries in Chicago by Thrillist — describes this easy drinkin’ Pils. And frankly, that’s a pretty accurate way to put it.

Using classic German malts and hops, this clean and dry brew showcases layers of orange peel and caramel on top of a crisp, crackery backbone.

Pine Mountain Pils - Deschutes Brewery

Location: Bend, OR

Deschutes is a craft legend. And you don’t rise to that level unless you approach every beer with care, precision, and dedication. 

Heck, you don’t become one of the best breweries in the country — with hundreds of medals from GABF, World Beer Cup, Brussels Beer Challenge, and Australian International Beer Festival (to name a few) — unless you care a lot about what goes into every recipe. 

And their PNW-inspired Pils is no exception. Brewed with the finest Pilsner malts, Hallertau Mittelfruh Hops, and German Lager yeast, every sip is equal parts crisp, crushable, and hoppy.

Cereal Keller - WeldWerks Brewing Company

Location: Greeley, CO

If you’re a fan of corn-infused Macro brews, then this WeldWerks Pils is the beer for you!

The brewers dialed back the hops and brewed this unfiltered Pils with 15% corn for extra smoothness and endless drinkability. Which means, you can enjoy every drop of floral, peppery, grassy goodness until the cows come home!

And you can revel in the mastery that comes from earning the top spot as USA Today’s Best New Brewery in the Country in 2016. That’s the kind of skill it takes to craft a Pils with this kind of crushable complexity.

Breakside Pils - Breakside Brewery

Location: Portland, OR

When it comes to Oregon breweries, Breakside is one of the best, and they have a shiny “Brewery of the Year” medal from the 2020 Oregon Beer Awards to prove it

They don’t shy away from any style — whether it’s juicy hazebombs like their Wanderlust IPA or their barrel aged treasures like the Oligarch Russian Imperial Stout. But the best way to experience these masters at work is to taste their Breakside Pils.

They use a combo of Hallertau, Liberty, and Mittelfruh Hops against a backbone of Pilsner Malts to ensure every pint brims with notes of tangerine peel, crackery biscuit, and a touch of herbal spice. 

Trail Puncheon Pilsner - Tree House Brewing Company

Location: Charlton, MA

Sure, you probably know these East Coast legends by way of Julius IPA or its boozy older brother, King Julius.

But these guys are more than just a 2-trick pony. In fact, their foray into crushable, easy-going beers like their Trail Puncheon Pilsner makes them a favorite of craft beer drinkers across the country. And it helped earn them a spot as one of Zymurgy’s 25 Best Breweries in the Country!

Using floor-malted barley and hand selected Noble Hops, the brewers then conditioned this Pils for 8 weeks in stainless steel tanks and aged it in French Oak for 8 more weeks to give it an unbeatable, sinfully sippable profile.

Polite Clap Pils - Other Half Brewing Company

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Not only are these guys widely considered to be one of the best breweries in NYC, but they’ve proven themselves on the craft scene nationwide. Heck, even VinePair listed Other Half as one of the 35 Most Important Breweries of the 2010s.

And their Polite Clap Pils stands out amongst the rest.

Laced with a combination of Hallertau, Tettanger, and Perle Hops, it’s as crisp and clean as they come. It swims in notes of citrus and orange peel with a touch of grassy earthiness and hop bitterness, giving way to a bright, clean, and classically German crispiness. 

Pils - Indeed Brewing Company

Location: Minneapolis, MN

The tagline for this GABF and European Beer Star award-winning brewery reads, “we are thirsty creatures indeed.” 

So naturally, they brewed a crisp, clean, crushable Pils to satisfy their thirst. 

Stuffed with Hallertau Mittelfruh and Mandarina Bavaria Hops and classic Pilsner Malts, Pils drips with notes of lemongrass, gooseberry, and touches of biscuit for an easy sipping, thirst defying experience.