Examples: Hard to find bottled but look to your local brewpub.
Serving Temp: 35°- 40°
Glassware: Flute, Pilsner, Seidel, Stange or Stein
Aroma: Grainy with a corn-like sweetness with a pronounced hop aroma. No fruity esters or diacetyl.
Appearance: Yellow to deep gold with a white head and crystal clear.
Flavor: Restrained malt flavors that may have a slight corn-like sweetness. The corn-like sweetness will balance the hop bitterness, however, if rice is used the beer will be crisper and drier. No fruity esters or diacetyl should be present.
Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy with a medium body. Carbonation will medium to high.
Food Pairings: Choose accordingly depending if it is more crisp like the German or maltier like the Bohemian.
HopHeadSaid: I am not a fan of the Classic American Pilsner. I don’t care for the corn-like sweetness and the smooth creamy body only accentuates that. The rice versions are more agreeable to me but I swear I can taste the rice in those beers. Rice isn’t one of my favorite flavors in a beer, either.
Unfortunately, this version of pilsner has a big hole to climb out of. It was originally brewed by German immigrants and was nearly wiped out by prohibition. After prohibition this style started to incorporate adjuncts like corn or rice to lighten the body and decrease the cost of production. This led to the “watering down” of this style. It has, however, made a comeback with the increase of craft breweries and brewpubs so be sure to try one next time you see it on tap.