The local brewery for the team here at Man of Many, Sydney Brewery is based in Surry Hills and keeps things simple with its typical Czech-style pilsner. We love the beer’s balanced approach, with a spicy bitterness and subtle malt backbone. While it’s a little different to the more traditional options we’ve featured down below, we need to give kudos to the Aussie brewery for managing to pull off the Eastern European marvel. Not that it needs any, it was named the best beer in Australia at the Royal Queensland Food & Wine Show in 2021.
Refreshing, traditional and hands down one of the best pilsner beers out there, Rothaus Tannenzäpfle is made with natural Black Forest spring water, malted barley, Tettnang and Hallertau hops, and an exclusive Rothaus yeast culture. The purity of the ingredients used really shines through on the palate, which, combined with the hops’ uniqueness, makes this a stand-out beer in our testing.
When it comes to an introduction to pilsner it’s best to go straight to the source, which is where this beer comes into play. Perfectly balancing the sweetness from the triple-decocted malt, and the bitterness from Saaz hops, with caramel undertones, the Pilsner Urquell is known as the very first pilsner, brewed by a Czech brewery since 1842. Today, it is brewed using the same methods, using triple decoction and parallel brewing in wooden lagering barrels using 100 per cent Czech ingredients.
A classic Aussie brewer, Reschs has got the king of all pilsener tinnies under their belt. Fondly known as the ‘silver bullet’, these are iconic working-class beers that underwent a 15-year hiatus, but are now back and better than ever. The full-bodied beer has a rich hoppy flavour and is the perfect post-work cure. An Aussie and European match made in heaven, if you ask us.
A slightly lighter pilsner, and one of the best pilsner beers if you’re looking for an affordable option, this German brew is easy to drink, refreshing every time, and has a nice subtle spice thanks to the saaz hops. This is a good option for those trying pilsner for the first time.
The Jever is another German-style pilsner known for its bitter undertones. Brewed with special water that contains only a small amount of limestone, making it particularly soft, with the highest-quality hops. The end result is a stronger, hoppy beer with flavours reminiscent of bread and lemon that we can’t get enough of.
An exciting new venture for the iconic Footscray brewery, this pilsner is impressive on all accounts. Learning a number of new techniques as they went about making the beer, Hop Nation has managed to deliver a clear, refreshing beer with a fluffy head that just hits the spot. The beer was brewed using transitional Floor Malted Bohemian Pilsner Malt, partnered with Saaz and Spalt Select hops, fermented by Bluestone Yeast’s Pilsen strain. A slightly more expensive option, but it’s worth it in our minds.
If you know, you know. And now, you don’t have to make the obligatory trip to Bali that’s become a right of passage for Aussies to enjoy this quality beer. We love how crisp this pilsner is, the perfect accompaniment to a hot day at the beach, whether it’s in Bali or in while you’re sitting in your backyard reminiscing. Also, it’s one of the cheaper options by a long shot, but that doesn’t mean it comprises on taste.
One of the best pilsner beers for those with a more developed palette, Grolsch Premium Pilsner is a bottle of medium golden, crispy, malty goodness. The beer has a naturally green hop aroma and we love its bitterness, which comes from the combination of two Hallertau hops, Emerald and Magnum. Full of flavour and so good it’s hard to stop at just one.
If you’ve ever backpacked around Southeast Asia, then we feel pretty confident you’ve had your fair share of these delicious beers. Whether or not you were paying attention to the nuanced flavour of the beer, you can’t beat the silky smooth, rich, full-bodied flavour of the Pale Pilsen. In fact, San Miguel is among the biggest-selling beer brands in the world, so you can trust it’s the good stuff.
The Weihenstephan Pilsner is one of the best pilsner beers in the traditional style. The Bavarian beer is perfectly malty and has just the right amount of bitterness, balanced with the lemony, grassy, floral aromas of European Hallertauer hops. The golden, well-balanced, crisp beer is known all over the world as being the gold standard for lager brewing, an impeccable example of a traditional Bavarian Pils that you will want to keep sipping all night long.
12. The Grifter Brewing Co. Serpents Kiss Watermelon Pilsner
Grifter’s spicy, fruity take on the pilsner is a game-changer, and from our experience, you either love it or you hate it. The polarising beer is made with 100 per cent real watermelon added to the fermenter, the perfect anecdote to an Aussie summer, balanced nicely by an underlying clean, lager finish. What do we think? Well, if we see one of these on tap, we know what we’re getting.
When it comes to Man of Many’s list of the best pilsner beers money can buy, it goes without saying, that expertise is key. While we’ve tasted every beer on this list, we’ve also turned to the wider public for their overall ratings. Our list takes into account three major perspectives to determine the overall rating. In addition to our own opinions, we take into account reviews via popular alcohol retailer Dan Murphys. We then collate the information together and measure the beers via overall flavour profile, reader ratings and commercial availability, meaning one-off craft beers and special editions aren’t likely to top the list.
Whilst it’s hard to describe the sensation taste of a good pilsner, it evolves around three key flavour profiles — dry, crispy and light. Pilsners generally boast a medium or soft body and have a bitter aftertaste and light malt finish.
A pilsner is a type of lager that has more hoppy, spicier flavours (as they use a different yeast.) While a lager is a kind of beer made with a type of yeast suited to bottom-fermenting at cold temperatures, a pilsner is a type of pale lager beer, the result of carefully controlled “lagering,” an aspect of the beer brewing process that can produce other types of lagers under different circumstances. This means that while all pilsners are lagers, but not all lagers are pilsners.