5 on 5: Brewers Recommend Their Favorite Lagers

From light Pilsners to proper helles, schwarzbiers, and more, we asked brewers and industry folks from around the country to share the type of lager they would most like in their glass.

John Holl Sep 9, 2019 - 3 min read

5 on 5: Brewers Recommend Their Favorite Lagers Primary Image

Heater Allen Brewing Pils

Blake Tyers, Wood Cellar & Specialty Brand Manager at Creature Comforts Brewing Co. in Athens, Georgia
“Rick and Lisa Allen, the formidable father-daughter duo of Heater Allen Brewing (McMinnville, Oregon), have devoted their craft to making fine lagers since 2007. Their Pilsner is one of my favorite beers (not just Pilsners) in the country. With a grain-to-glass minimum of 2 months, a traditional step mash, and classic Saaz hops, it is an absolute beauty that defines the style. It’s so good that I usually measure the time of my visits in how many Pilsners I’ll have while I’m there. Yes, it’s that good.”

Victory Brewing Company Prima Pilsner

Tim Weber, Owner and Head Brewer at Twin Leaf Brewery in Asheville, North Carolina
“After drinking my first German Pilsner, Prima Pils from Victory Brewing (Downingtown, Pennsylvania), I was hooked. With its crisp, clean, slight floral notes accentuated by a large helping of Saaz hops and higher carbonation, Prima has become a favorite style of mine—not to mention it pairs amazingly with spicy foods and Chinese food. Another recent Pils that blew me away was Haüs Pilz brewed by Mike Karnowski of Zebulon Artisan Ales (Weaverville, North Carolina). It’s a perfect example of the style.”

Cigar City Brewing Tampa-Style Lager

Byron Burroughs, Owner of Proof Brewing Company in Tallahassee, Florida
“We’re a huge fan of the lagers coming out of Florida right now. Cigar City Brewing (Tampa, Florida) is making their Tampa-Style Lager. It’s bright, clean, balanced, and full of flavor—a perfect pairing with the Florida outdoor lifestyle.”

De Brabandere Bavik Super Pils

Kevin Debs, Head Brewer at Hop River Brewing Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana 
“I love turning other beer drinkers onto Bavik Super Pils by Belgian brewery De Brabandere, better known in the United States for their Wittekerke. Super Pils is extra pale in color, with a bouncy white head and clean well-balanced classic Pilsner flavor—but this beer earns the ‘super’ name with its enthusiastic aroma. I smell a rich mix of raw grainy bread and delicate floral Saaz hops. Super Pils has me hovering over my glass while I pour out the can, trying to inhale every effervescent bit.”

Union Craft Brewing Company Blackwing Schwarzbier

Rich Michaels, Brewmaster at Frog Alley Brewing Co. in Schenectady, New York
“Union Craft Brewing (Baltimore, Maryland) makes a wonderful schwarzbier that I really enjoy when I get down that way. Blackwing Schwarzbier is a great beer with nice dark-malt notes and a nice classic-lager flavor. Blackwing is refreshing, full-flavored, and very drinkable; Kevin Blodger does a great job with this style.”

John Holl is the author of Drink Beer, Think Beer: Getting to the Bottom of Every Pint, and has worked for both Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine® and All About Beer Magazine.