136 of the Best Lagers, Blind-Tasted and Ranked

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Samuel Adams Noble Pils (80)

Moderate biscuit and subtle bread-like malt flavors. Low noble hops flavors that are much in the background. Slightly sticky mouth-coating finish that is more malt than hops. The citrus hops add an unexpected complexity.

Lagunitas Brewing Night Pils (80)

More citrus in the flavor up front with lemongrass and herbal hops. The malt is fairly light, and there’s background chocolate and rich malt. Moderate sweetness up front into high bitterness in the finish that’s quite astringent. There’s a low alcohol warmth in the finish as well.

Ballast Point Lager (81)

"A beer for those who want to forget the beer they're drinking. Playing a short stack with definition and character, it limps in and folds quickly."

Burial Beer Shadowclock Pilsner (82)

Malt-forward with bread, cracker, and biscuit notes. There’s an almost ‘peanut butter–like’ sweetness. Bitterness is slightly high, but it doesn’t linger, and it does help to cut the sweetness of the malt well. Floral hops notes carry into the finish. The carbonation makes it fluffy before giving way to the bitterness.

Widmer Brothers PDX Pils (82)

Crisp and refreshing though light-bodied. The malt sweetness is delicate with bread-like sweetness. The hops give complexity of some spice and floral notes but not overpowering. A bit of bitterness, but balanced with the delicateness of this beer.

Birds Fly South Ale Project Fat Ma (83)

"A bit of corn and barley on the nose with a touch of light lager sweetness, while the sip falls into the sweet/vaguely citrusy/soapy and floral camp."

Shmaltz Pastrami Pilsner (84)

The blend of phenolics and herbs carries into the palate. Also, a strong smoky and salty character gives the impression of meat. Nice spiced malt sweetness with rye notes that dries out quickly, leaving one to break down the lingering flavors of olive pit, peppercorns, mushroom, umami. Finishes fairly dry and slightly bitter.

Transmitter Brewing NY6 Pilsner (84)

"An ester- and phenol-filled saison-like smoky nose is a head-scratcher for a beer that purports to be a Pilsner. Light fruit on the sip and minimal malt further the fermentation-forward effect, which while drinkable and enjoyable may not be what those accustomed to Pilsner are seeking."

Alvarado Street Peninsula Pilsner (85)

Similar to the aroma, with moderate-to-high perfume and sweet spicy hops flavors. Just enough biscuit and bready malt to keep the balance in check. The spiciness from the hops dances off of the medium carbonation to help lighten what feels like a higher gravity beer.

Firestone Walker Firestone Lager (2018) (85)

A little sweet in the start with a fair amount of bitterness on the finish. In the middle, it’s light clean malt, bread notes, and subtle sweetness. The hops bitterness is restrained.

Summit Brewing Keller Pils (85)

Clean Pils malt throughout. Falls slightly sweet on the palate, but the finish is crisp and carries enough bitterness to cut through. Floral and spicy hops notes play well with the malt and bring a nice complexity. Finishes fairly dry with a slight grain-husk tannic bitterness.

Against the Grain Bloody Show (85)

Fairly clean lager character throughout with a touch of malt sweetness up front that transitions into a some pithy bitterness. A subtle lingering citrus character competes with a slight hops bite.

Uinta Brewing Baba Black Lager (86)

More toasty popcorn kernel and chocolate malt in the flavor with much less smoke. Moderate sweetness into moderate bitterness in the flavor. Clean lager profile. Finish is slightly bitter with a hint of smoke or peat that lingers. Good balance on the sweetness.

Burial Beer Hellstar (86)

Roasted malt, caramel, biscuit, bread. Clean noble-hops flavors. Slightly complex malty sweet balances the hops. Clean and palate-cleansing. The light hand with bittering hops is good because the roast malt provides complementary bitterness. Light caramel in the aftertaste.

pFrriem Family Brewers Pilsner (86)

"Classic noble-hops nose is reassuring and comforting. The body is light and bright with a weightless feel that heightens the drinkability. Dangerously compelling."

Night Shift Brewing Pfaffenheck (87)

More malt character than most Pilsners, with a prominent biscuit note and a touch of bread crust. Hops bitterness is pronounced and lingers, which mutes any hops flavors, but some pine and cattiness come through. Finish is slightly sweet and malty for the style, but there’s also a grainy bite to balance.

Uinta Mango Lime Pilsner (87)

Base beer seems pretty clean, but there’s so much lime and mango in this ‘beer’ that it is hard to tell. Once the singular fruit flavors fade, there isn’t anything left, no malt body and little to no sweetness. Would benefit from some acidity.

South County 851 Helles (87)

The medium-sweet backbone is a surprise. Fresh malt, a touch of alcohol, light pine hops aroma. Balancing bitterness, but the impression is more sweet than bitter. More body than some of the others in this style. The aftertaste showcases the hops flavor.

FX Matt Brewing Utica Club (87)

Simple clean malt profile with a delicate balance of floral and sweet, spicy hops flavors. Carbonation is pretty high, giving it a fluffy mouthfeel but also a fairly sharp carbonic bite. The finish is a bit sweet.

Two Roads Ol' Factory Pils (87)

Rich bready sweetness up front with a lingering toast note, reminiscent of dessert bread. Spicy hops character adds complexity, and a well-balanced bitterness persists through the finish, with a hint of pine and pithy citrus.

Great Lakes Turntable Pils (87)

Slightly pine-like and resinous hops flavors that become more perfumy and herbaceous as they linger. A slight ‘papery’ or cardboard-like flavor that isn’t quite oxidization. Subtle sweet malt flavors or sweet bread and biscuit. Finishes fairly dry and lightly bitter. A very subtle metallic characteristic on the finish.

Bitburger Premium Pilsner (87)

Skunkiness up front, followed by malty biscuit, honey, and cracker. Floral hops bring on some spice and bitterness, along with some lime. Good body and high carbonation create a nice bite at the end.

Creature Comforts Bibo (88)

Super bright and crisp Pilsner malt character. Cracker-like malt sweetness hits up front. Hops come through with some floral and spice and mild bitterness through the taste. Finishes very dry with a lingering bitterness. Somewhat bright/effervescent mouthfeel.

Four Peaks Golden Lager (89)

Light spicy hops, soft bready malt. Low bitterness, but it builds a little in the finish. Spicy hops are quite nice, but the sweet balance is tasty but out of style.

August Schell Fort Road Helles (89)

Bready malt, spicy pine hops flavor, pleasant balancing bitterness that builds into an almost tartness. Still, some bready and caramel notes that are well-balanced with the other flavors. Some might find this a bit sweet for style.

Sketchbook Pinky Sweater (89)

Clean and light with a complexity from the rice not normally found in craft Pilsner. Hops are restrained but still bring a nice floral note. Finish is dry with a touch of the rice sweetness.

Societe The Heiress (89)

A firm bitterness lingers pleasantly throughout. Moderate malt, bready and toasty. Fairly light on the hops flavor. The hops bitterness is a bit pronounced for the style, but it balances the sweetness.

New Belgium Brewing 1554 (89)

Sweet melanoidin malt character up front, middle roast notes. Decent amount of body to support the flavors. Slight floral and soapy noble-hops flavors. Sweet dark bready malt, toffee, and coffee.

Dust Bowl Brewing Hobo Pilsner (2019) (89)

"A sharp and angular nose hints at orange blossom and fern, but a firm bitterness hits early in the sip and distracts slightly."

Two Roads Brewing Cruise Control (89)

"A very soft wildflower honey sweetness on the nose leads to a soft and persistent carbonation over a mildly sweet body. Finishes crisp and weightless."

Jack's Abby House Lager (2019) (89)

"Cracker malt on the nose teases a sweetness that (thankfully) never materializes, as a gently pointed carb levitates that light but characterful malt right over the tongue."

Schlafly Pilsner (90)

Malt sweetness hits up front with biscuity character. Medium body is nice and holds up the beer well. A little lemon. Some soft floral notes and spice add complexity. Low on bitterness, but enough to balance the sweetness. Restrained bitterness lets the malt and hops flavor complexity linger on the finish.

Silver City COLD ONE (90)

There is a nice sweetness through the taste. Cracker, a little lemon. The hops are delicate with notes of floral hops and a little bit of spice. A bit grassy. The bitterness is low. The beer blends well throughout the taste with a very pleasant finish—not overly dry, bitterness balances very well, and there’s a lingering earthy, lemon hops character.

New Belgium Pilsener (90)

The flavor carries with a biscuit malt sweetness throughout the taste. The hops provide some nice subtlety, but the taste carries the sweetness through the finish. Nice medium body and carbonation. Smooth finish.

Penn Brewery Penn Gold (90)

Thin bodied. Almost Kölsch-like. Light esters, very mild hops flavor. Light bitterness is stronger than the hops flavor. Incredibly mild flavor. Faint malt sweetness and still a touch of that apple flavor. Some grain-husk character, but it’s not excessive. Nice hops flavor and bitterness in the finish.

Three Taverns Prince of Pilsen (90)

Light fruit and candy sugar up front, though not particularly sweet on the finish. There’s a nice lingering cracker dryness. And it’s slightly chewy. Tropical-fruit hops character comes across again, but balances nicely with the underlying beer. Not much bitterness, lingering fruity, earthy hops character.

Live Oak Brewing Pilz (90)

"An orchid-greenhouse nose conveys some grassy character. On the body, soft and rolling with a light malt character and a clean finish."

Moksa Brewing Rocklin Lager (90)

"Light malt and sulfur on the nose yells Pils, and a light and smooth body is uncomplicated yet enjoyable."

Melvin Brewing Pilsgnar (90)

"Strong floral nose is distracting but not unpleasant. On the body, more hops- forward floralness with some citrus as well. A modern American take on the Pilsner for hopheads. Far from classic, but enjoyable."

Perennial Artisan Ales Pils (90)

"Citrus oil or citronella nose sits on a modestly carbonated body of thin malt that lets the light lime and grapefruit notes push forward. Would love a bit more body and malt character in this."

Highland Brewing Pilsner (91)

Pronounced malt notes, graham crackers, light bread crust, sweet Pilsner malt character. Some peppery hops notes with complementing generic floral notes. Bitterness is a little restrained for the amount of malt sweetness, making it slightly off- balance for the style. Finish is clean and carries a hint of sweetness to cut the crispness.

Sixpoint Brewery Alpenflo (91)

The flavor is much drier than the nose hints at. Clean bready malt immediately joined by biscuits and a pleasant spicy hops flavor. Bitterness is perfectly balanced during the sip, but builds a little in the aftertaste, strengthening the bitter impression. Very clean ferment. Enough body to carry the flavors all the way through.

Coronado Seacoast Pilsner (91)

Moderate sweet biscuit and bread-like malt flavors that quickly give way to bright floral and perfume-like hops flavors that are definitely predominant. Dry finish that leaves a distinct floral hops flavor behind.

Cigar City Gasparilla Music Fest (91)

Clean and crisp. There is a nice light cracker-like sweetness up front with some floral hops notes that carry through the taste. The bitterness helps to even out the sweetness, and it is not overly bitter. Refreshing on the finish. Lighter in body and nice carbonation.

Lagunitas PILS (91)

The complement of the citrus hops notes and the malt sweetness give a candy sweetness, almost like a muted Smarties or Skittles. Frosted- Flakes–flavored skim milk after all the cereal is eaten but the milk remains. Bitterness is a bit restrained, but any more would probably upset the unique malt and hops combination.

Carton Brewing This Town (91)

Balanced: toasty malt with a touch of caramel partnered with a pleasant floral hops character. Hops deliver both a spicy flavor and pleasant bitterness. Caramel pushes this into sweet territory mid-palate. Some lemon appears at the finish, but it’s clean all the way through.

Prison City Work Work Work (91)

As on the aroma, the malt plays a backup role to the hops. Floral and spicy notes at first, but pine and lemon shine through quickly. Pronounced hops character that seems to bring some perceived sweetness to help the clean Pils malt balance the fairly high bitterness. Malt flavors of biscuit and bread hide somewhat in the background but are just enough to not let the complex and prominent hops flavors get out of control.

Perennial Pils (92)

Big spicy piney hops flavors at first bring a wash of medium bitterness afterward. There’s a malt body with light bready or saltine-cracker flavor.

KC Bier Co Pils (92)

Light bodied with a dry malt husk-like sweetness. Cracker-like. Some floral and spicy notes come from the hops and bring some bitterness to the taste, but it’s not overpowering. Well-balanced with a dry and slightly bitter finish.

WeldWerks Cereal Keller (92)

Slight malt sweetness up front (cracker, bread). Moderate spicy, earthy hops flavor is quite pleasant. Mild but persistent bitterness. The soft yeastiness in the finish is likeable.

Maui Brewing Co. Bikini Blonde (92)

Slightly sweet in the start. A touch of bitterness in the finish. Very mild spicy hops in the middle, with a slight tartness, bready malt, and a character verging on corn.

Maui Brewing Pau Hana (92)

Similar to the aroma, impressively clean, yet hits all the check marks one would look for in a classic Pilsner. Spicy and fruity floral hops flavors that balance well with a solid sweet biscuit malt backbone. The bitterness imparted by the hops really dries out the finish. A slight peppery phenolic-like flavor as it warms.

Jack's Abby Post Shift Pilsner (92)

The sweetness from the aroma carries strongly into the flavor. The Pilsner malt character is clean, and the floral hops bring just enough bitterness to balance. Well-balanced bready, biscuit malt flavors with clean noble hops flavors. Very crisp and clean drinking.

Summit Brewing Dakota Soul (92)

Nice light malt flavor. Just a touch of sweetness that is well-balanced in the finish with the soft hops bitterness. Hints of hops spiciness, but low hops flavor for the style. More of the Saaz hops profile would be good.

Jack's Abby Smoke & Dagger (92)

More smoke with underlying toasty malt. Nice malt flavors. Some toasty chocolate notes. A touch of sweetness in the start that is well- balanced out in the finish.

Jack's Abby Red Tape (92)

Toasty rich malt (like toasted bread or graham cracker), but not overly sweet or thick on the palate. Nice clean, crisp, drying finish, almost husky, with some hops bitterness to balance as well.

The Brewer's Table Theseus (92)

"Very light, highly hopped, with a prominent citrus and leafy character. The body disappears after the nose with a moderate carbonation and minimal malt note that pushes the hops character ever more forward."

Sweetwater Brewery Guide Beer (92)

Light bready grain and floral hops in the nose gives this light lager more character than some, but on the tongue it's as easy drinking as easy drinking gets. An unchallenging yet well-constructed beer that disappears in your glass, both figuratively and literally.

Drake's Brewing Flyway Pils (93)

Simple malt, bready with a lingering grainy sweetness that has a somewhat tannic lingering astringency. Strong floral hops character with hints of rose and a grassy note on the finish. Bitterness is fairly restrained and nicely balanced.

Burial Beer Pinnacle of Dreams (93)

Good rye malt blends with the base malt to add some spicy interest to the mix. Malty, but relatively dry. Moderate noble hops flavor but a bit of citrus, too. Medium bitterness. Finish is primarily the hops flavor with a touch of the rye malt. Fairly full bodied.

Mikerphone Helles Lager My Old Friend (93)

Rich tropical-fruit blend with a superclean malt backbone. Subtle biscuit, bready malt flavors that quickly give way to dry citrus hops notes of lemongrass, orange peel, and grapefruit. Finishes with a smooth fruity bitterness that lingers pleasantly with a slight stickiness.

Samuel Adams Fresh as Helles (93)

Like the nose, the focus is on the floral. The sweet balance makes it even more like orange-blossom honey. Light bitterness and a pleasantly dry finish.

Ska Brewing Rue B. Soho (93)

Broad spectrum grapefruit flavors, from the zest to flesh to juice to even a touch of tartness. Could be used for a kick-ass Paloma recipe. Finishes somewhat tart and a bit sweet with some citrus bite.

Deschutes/Bell's Schwarzbier (93)

Moderately strong milk chocolate in the flavor with toast and rich malt behind it. A moderate sweetness slowly fades and is a touch cloying in the finish. Bitterness is very low. Other than the lingering sweetness, the finish is clean with a light lasting dark malt flavor.

Heavy Seas Schnee Boot (93)

A pronounced sweetness that slowly fades and is balanced by fairly strong alcohol. Bourbon-barrel oak, toffee, bready malt, stewed plums, big dose of hot alcohol, very drying. Alcohol spiciness is probably enhanced with noble hops. Finishes like a boozy Belgian dark strong or a candy bar.

Surly Brewing Co Hell (93)

"Faint wildflowers and a touch of honey sweetness on the nose. The sip is carbonic and light with an ever-so-slight and palate-cleansing bitterness that makes for a perfect ending."

Atlanta Brewing Company Homestand (93)

"Generically citrus and stone-fruit nose leads to a very moderate body that lacks a definable character. It's soft, almost to a fault."

Maplewood Pulaski Pils (94)

Delicate malt flavors, light matzo-cracker notes, sweet biscuit and bread flavors that are cut through by moderate floral hops bitterness. Low sulfur, as on aroma. Slight lemon flavor that grows through the finish. Bitterness doesn’t linger.

Fiction Beer Alternate Present (94)

More rich and toasty malts with hints of coffee, smoke, and bitter chocolate. Moderate sweetness morphs into a moderately low bitterness.

Creature Comforts The Silent World (94)

Upfront roast with notes of coffee and charred malt with no astringency or unneeded lingering. Toasted bread crust. Very crushable. Peat smoke and bready malt lead to a smooth and balanced finish that is remarkably clean and refreshing.

Enegren Brewing Lagertha (94)

"Progressively hopped nose melds PNW hops flair with a firm Pils base. It's colorful and vivacious while properly grounded."

Burial Beer Ritual Anonymity (94)

"Past meets future in this gorgeous fruit-forward yet cleanly executed modern Pilsner. The engaging juicy fruit nose would seem out of place without the slight sulfur note and the bright malt body. It's weird, and it works."

Creature Comforts Brewing Bibo (94)

"Classic from start to finish. The balance is so well constructed that individual notes are subsumed into one ongoing experience of the whole. Delightful."

Enegren Brewing The Lightest One (94)

"Subtle hops on the nose suggest rose with a hint of cardamom. The sip is well-structured for such a light beer, with hops flavor and a crisp malt character braced by lively and tight carbonation."

Bierstadt Lagerhaus Helles (95)

Light spicy hops flavor with a touch of wood and bready malt. There’s a light bitterness, but a touch more would increase the crispness. Nice dry finish.

Ballast Point Longfin Lager (95)

Grainy but still crisp and fairly dry. Emphasis on hops is slightly pronounced. Slightly bitter. Nice bread and light Pilsner malt flavor. Medium-light mouthfeel.

Chapman Crafted Pils (95)

"The head dissipates quickly and a graham-cracker sweetness approaches with a touch of sour milk. On the sip, it's a bit less structured than some."

Firestone Walker Firestone Lager (2019) (95)

"Light wildflower and hay on the nose, like a mountain pasture braced by a subtle mineral note. The sip is effortless and bright with a hint of lime, and it finishes as light as it starts."

O'Connor Brewing Proper Lager (95)

"A touch of pleasant sulfur on the nose yields to a soft touch of biscuity malt. On the sip, it's initially crisp and light with a touch of Melba toast selling a sweet/savory mix, but it finishes with a touch of sour milk and a bit of lingering bitterness."

Finback Brewery Telephone Lines (96)

Smooth mouthfeel and body. Some nice cracker-like malt sweetness followed by some citrus-fruit character. Some lemon. Some spice notes add complexity. Bitterness balances well throughout the taste. Fruity. The carbonation adds to the taste. Refreshing and crisp. Restrained bitterness on the finish leaves you with lingering light fruit and spice character.

August Schell Citra Blanc (96)

The subtlety of the caramel in the malt bill really helps the citrus and tropical-fruit character shine through. Bitterness is present but not overpowering. Finishes with a slightly sweet fruitiness and hint of sugar bread.

Dust Bowl Hobo Pilsner (96)

The hops character isn’t as pronounced as it is on the aroma. Clean Pilsner malt presents first with moderate citrus and a touch of peppercorn spice in tow. Balance is slightly bitter, which lingers into the dry finish pleasantly.

Alvarado Street Brewery Palio (96)

"A light fruity hops note on the nose is the entrée to this Pilsner that's soft without being Czech soft, with some fruitiness in the flavor that eschews a purely German approach. Imminently drinkable."

Samuel Adams Black Lager (97)

Rich bread-crust melanoidin malt character comes through more in the flavor, which has moderate sweetness and low bitterness. Low levels of herbal and grassy hops also come through in the flavor. Molasses, peat smoke, chocolate-coated orange, bread crust, and stewed prunes. Clean lager fermentation characteristics give it a clean finish with a hint of roasted malt and smoke without being harsh and smoky or peaty. Light body overall.

Jack's Abby Post Shift (98)

"Soft grain aroma, light spiciness on the palate reinforced by a healthy carbonation. Refreshingly simple and straightforward."

Oskar Blues Mama's Little Yella Pils (2019) (98)

"A bright lemony lemongrass nose and prickly carbonation sell a structured bitterness with a touch of crackery malt character."

Russian River Brewing STS Pils (98)

"A noble floral nose is classic and enveloping while the slightly spicy body exudes mild bitterness with soft structure."

Foothills Brewing Torch Pilsner (99)

"A bright mineral nose and light body produce a vivacious and energetic sip. It's bold yet light and characterful with a strong but restrained hops character. Balanced on the light side."