Style snapshot: A guide to the snappy, herbal Italian Pilsner


Left Field’s Glorioso Italian Pilsner is a local take on the emerging style. Supplied photo

WHAT IS IT?

A twist on German-style pilsners, Italian pilsners are dry hopped with a big bouquet of Old World varieties. The result is a crisp lager with dialled-up, deeply aromatic layers. Expect flavours of garden herbs like mint and sage, or peppery arugula riding on a lush, lightly bready body.

STYLE STATS*:

ABV: 4.5-5.5%

Colour: Straw to pale gold

Body: Medium light

Bubbles: Medium high

*Loose guidelines as this evolving style has not been officially defined by a brewing body.

RECIPE CORNERSTONE:

The hops. They gotta’ be a mix of German varietals like:

• Hallertau

• Mittlefrüh

• Spalt

• Saphir

• Tettnanger

• Polaris

ORIGIN STORY:

It began with a single beer: Birrifico Italiano’s Tipopils brewed in the town of Limido, Comasco, Italy in 1996. In 2010, taste-making American breweries Firestone Walker and Oxbow made their own “Italian pilsners” in tribute to Tipopils. The style broke out of beer geek circles when Birrifico Italiano sent Tipopils to Firestone Walker’s Invitational Beer Festival, where brewers from around the globe go to find new inspiration. Many went back to their tanks on a mission to brew an Italian pilsner of their own.

ZEN OUT:

Agostino Arioli, brewmaster behind Tipopils, has described Italian pilsners as “birra da meditazione”—or meditation beers. Because when you drink one, you really think about the flavours, and what they remind you of, from geraniums,

to your Nona’s cooking.

DRINK WITH: 

• Cubanos & BLTs

• Mezze Platter

• Thai dishes

• Pesto bruschetta

• Fish tacos

• Bratwurst

BUYING:

Try these made-in-Ontario versions:

• Borraccia Italian Lager, Fixed Gear Brewing

• Glorioso Italian Pilsner, Left Field Brewery

• Marco Polo, Indie Alehouse Brewing

• The Myth of Permanence, Henderson Brewing

Benchmark beers to seek out

• Tipopils, Birrifico Italiano, Italy

• Pivo Pilsner, Firestone Walker Brewing, California

• Lupulo, Oxbow Brewing, Maine

TASTE ONTARIO’S ITALIAN-APPROVED PILS:


Supplied photoWhen Indie Alehouse designed “Bionda” Italian Pilsner for Birroteca, its brewpub at Eataly Toronto, the lager got the kiss of approval by staffers at Birrifico Italiano and Eataly to label it an “Italian pilsner.” Grab it with third-party takeout apps from Eataly, and soon via the restaurant’s own delivery service.

The post Style snapshot: A guide to the snappy, herbal Italian Pilsner appeared first on The Growler – Ontario’s CRAFT BEER GUIDE | ON Craft Breweries | Breweries In ON | ON Craft Beer.

* Originally published here

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