Pilsner. They call it the king of lagers, your Czech mate in the fridge, the crispiest boi.
They’re also a beer highly respected for dedication to craft, as much as being a refreshing beverage with a hint of spice.
First, a bitter history: Pilsner takes its name from Plzen (or Pilsen), a city in Bohemia, the westernmost region of what is the present-day Czech Republic.
The story goes that in 1838, after 36 barrels of ale were poured down the gutter due to contamination, the Bohos recruited Bavarian brewer Josef Groll to share secrets of German lagering.
Four years later, Groll had produced the first batch of what has evolved into today’s Pilsner Urquell and sparked the global spread of the style ideal for the Aussie climate.
Here are a few local iterations worth, ahem, Czeching out.
LAST DROP BREWERY PILSNER
For the past 30 years, Czech expat Jan Bruckner has made a classic Bohemian pilsner on the 30-hectolitre copper and brick brewhouse exported from Bavaria and installed in the ye olde Elizabethan-style pub in Bedfordale. While Last Drop doesn’t package its beers, it’s worth heading to one of the pubs or keeping an eye out for a tap pouring Bruckner’s old school brews.
ROCKY RIDGE PILSNER
While the team at Jindong craft farm Rocky Ridge is better known for pushing envelopes, throwing out the rulebook and generally having a lot of fun, this pilsner is a seriously smart addition to its core range. The unfiltered lager combining cracker malts and noble hops is a crisp, bread-y and faultless beer that comes in a smart black and gold tin.
WHITE LAKES BREWING PILSNER
White Lakes head brewer Sean Symons is a stickler for styles, thus the Baldivis brewery’s offering was always going to be trad. Well almost, its Bohemian Pilsener combines Czech and Kiwi hops with dark Munich malts for a bitter golden beer topped with a dense, creamy white head and finishing with passionfruit and white pepper notes. White Lakes also recently unveiled a tasty 100 Day Pilsener.
PIRATE LIFE BEST PILSNER
Super clear, crisp with that trademark hint of spice, Pirate Life pulls out all the stops on its new Best Pilsner. Brewed in collaboration with Cryer Malt, Bestmalz and Yakima Chief Hops this is a classic cleansing pils. But is it Best? Not far off. 82/100