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German-Style Pilsener

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Location: European
Category: Lager
BJCP Comparable Category: 5D - German Pils

Style Description

This is the description of how the German-Style Pilsener style of beer should taste, feel and look. However, there may be perfectly fine beers in this style that fall outside of these ranges and descriptions. This information is just to show the most commonly accepted ranges for the German-Style Pilsener beer style.

The head should be dense, pure white and persistent.

  • Color: Straw to pale
  • Body: Low to medium-low
  • Malt Flavors & Aromas: A malty sweet aroma and flavor should be present at low levels. Bready or light biscuity attributes may be present.
  • Hop Flavors & Aromas: Hop aroma and flavor is moderate and pronounced, derived from late hopping (not dry hopping) with noble-type hops.
  • IBUs/Bitterness: Medium to high
  • Fermentation Characteristics: Fruity-ester and DMS should not be present. These are well attenuated beers.
  • Common Ingredients: Continental Pilsner malt, German hop varieties (especially Saazer-type varieties such as Tettnanger, Hallertauer, and Spalt for taste and aroma; Saaz is less common), German lager yeast.
  • Commercial Examples: König Pilsener, Left Hand Polestar Pils, Paulaner Premium Pils, Schönramer Pils, Stoudt Pils, Tröegs Sunshine Pils, Trumer Pils

Brewing Properties of German-Style Pilsener

These are the functional brewing properties of German-Style Pilsener beers, as descided by the Brewers Association. These guidelines reflect, as accurately as possible, the historical significance, authenticity or a common profile in the current commercial beer market.

The alcohol by volume is shows the amount of alcohol this style of beer should have.
4.6 - 5.3%
The International Bittering Units (IBU) scale is used to approximately quantify the actual (not perceived) bitterness of beer.
25 - 50 IBUs
SRM is a scale for measuring the color intensity of a beer. Low SRM grains impart a pale straw color while higher values mean it will add a darker color to the wort. Learn more »
3 - 4 SRM
(6 - 8 EBC)
Original Gravity
Original Gravity (OG) is a measure of the sugar content in the wort before alcoholic fermentation has started to produce the beer.
1.044 - 1.052
Final Gravity
The Final Gravity (FG) is how much sugar is left over in the beer when fermentation is complete.
1.006 - 1.012

If you see an error in our data, please let us know!

Based on Brewers Association 2020 Beer Style Guidelines with changes. Used with permission of Brewers Association.