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Make Your Best Pre-Prohibition Lager

Meant to represent the kind of pale lagers that were brewed by the likes of John Wagner, who brewed the first lager in the United States, this is kind of like German or Czech Pilsner but includes some local variability and flair.

Josh Weikert Feb 12, 2017 - 7 min read

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Once upon a time I set out to make a great Czech Pilsner.

I failed. Dramatically. And consistently. I have exactly one bronze medal in the category, despite more than ten attempts at brewing it. It never did poorly, but it just couldn’t break through.

Not much of a story, really, but what’s interesting is what came out of it: a fantastic beer for another category. Because what was really funny was that although I did every last thing I could think of to get my Czech Pils recipe to work and start bringing in the big numbers in competitions, it always—always—outperformed like crazy when I dropped a couple of bottles of it into the Pre-Prohibition Lager (previously, Classic American Pilsner) category. It got even better when I changed up the hops to match its new New World character, dropping the Saaz and swapping in an American Hallertau cousin. The resulting recipe became one of my best-scoring and most-popular beers, with my highest average score (40.1/50) and second-highest individual score (45/50).


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