Pair these Pittsburgh-brewed Pilsners with Thanksgiving dinner

We rounded up 8 easy drinking pilsners you can find at Pittsburgh-area breweries. These crisp, clear beers pair exceptionally well with food.

by Aadam Soorma
November 24, 2020

ABV is our weekly series that highlights a different beer from a local Pittsburgh brewery every week. Check out our past picks here.

After walking through a handful of dark beers a few weeks ago, it only makes sense to complete the circuit.

On the recommendation of my colleague Dominic, we decided to roundup a selection of LIGHT, crispy beers found right here in Pittsburgh.

What’s a Pilsner?

By definition, pilsners are a type of pale lager taking their name from the Czech city of Pilsen. First produced in 1842, fans of pilsners often point to Pilsner Urquell – the world’s first pale lager (pilsner) which, to this day, continues to be made in Pilsen.

Pilsners pour in a golden, light straw color and carry a refreshing, palate-cleansing flavor. The addition of Saaz hops can add a subtle, muted kick that’s pronounces itself as a light spiciness that’s never meant to be overpowering.

Read on for a look at eight approachable, pilsner-style beers brewed in Pittsburgh and available for takeout right now.

Sampling a couple of pilsners. Photo: Pat Hogan

ABV, Volume XCV

Burgh’ers Brewing

Coltivare // 5.2% ABV

Neighborhood: Lawrenceville

Know Before You Go: To be fair, Burgh’ers actually has two pilsners on right now. Deutschtown Pils is a German-style pilsner. Coltivare is an Italian-style pilsner and this is expected to be the first of Burgh’ers’ two pilsners to roll off their canning line.

I had Coltivare last week and it’s an absolute treat. Per the Burgh’ers website, Coltivare offers delicate floral and perfume notes to the nose and delivers a substantial yet pleasant bitterness on the palate.

Like DJ Khaled, I followed up my Coltivare with ANOTHER ONE. Highly recommend this one.

Cinderlands Beer Co

Tracks Again // 5.2% ABV

Neighborhood: Strip District

Know Before You Go: The house (unfiltered) pilsner at Cinderlands, Tracks Again is ALWAYS in the cooler. You can scoop up a 4-pack of cans to enjoy at home all year round.

Per Cinderlands, Tracks Again is punctuated with Spalter Select and matured in horizontal lager tanks. Pair this one with a hearty helping of turkey dinner; or wash down some stuffing with this crisp, refreshing easy drinker.

Grist House

Outrun Nobility // 5% ABV

Neighborhood: Millvale and Collier

Know Before You Go: Folks who follow Grist House on social media know they were slowed down a bit this past week with a canning line issue.

Welp, game on! Per Grist House, the canning line is repaired and Outrun Nobility is expected to be available for takeout beginning Tue, Nov 24 (in the evening). Hit their web store to check on price and availability.

Per Grist House, Outrun Nobility is a Keller Pilsner that deserves a crown. Brewed with the Noble hops German Tettnang and Czech Saaz, this unfiltered pilsner is straw-colored and crisp, with subtle hop flavor adding cool complexity.

Penn Brewery

Penn Pilsner // 5% ABV

Neighborhood: Northside

Know Before You Go: A year-rounder at Penn Brewery, the Penn Pilsner is a timeless classic. Per Penn, this flagship beer is amber-colored with a malty nose and a touch of Noble hops. Expect to catch caramel and toffee notes as well as toasted, nutty hints in this well-rounded, balanced, flavorful beer.

East End Brewing

New Homestead // 4.5% ABV

Neighborhood: Larimer

Know Before You Go: As part of East End’s ‘You Are Here: Neighborhood’ series of beers, you can scoop a 4-pack of New Homestead, an unfiltered, dry-hopped pilsner. While this beer still falls in the pilsner category, expect to catch some series hop notes on both the aroma and taste.

Per East End, “think classic Pilsner, but with an extra touch of herbal hoppiness flavor & aroma, making this beer a real pleasure to drink (over and over again).”

For folks unfamiliar, dry hopping refers to an addition of hops in the LATER stages of brewing. You’ll note the hop-forward flavors and aromas as they pronounce themselves in your glass (or can).


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Church Brew Works

Saaz Monster // 6.25% ABV

Neighborhood: Lawrenceville – Bloomfield

Know Before You Go: Per Church Brew, this crisp, hoppy pilsner is available now in single cans or six-packs for takeout.

Hop Farm Brewing

Czech Out Larry’s Lager // 4.6% ABV

Neighborhood: Upper Lawrenceville

Know Before You Go: Hop Farm’s pale lager – Czech Out Larry’s Lager – follows a Pilsner description. Refreshing, clean and crisp with notes of fresh baked banquette with noble spicy hop (Saaz) on the finish.

Riverside Brewing Co

RBC Pilsner // Unknown ABV

Neighborhood: Cambridge Springs, PA (about 2 hours north of Pittsburgh)

Know Before You Go: Before putting this write up together, we put some feelers out to get a sense of folks brewing pilsners; apparently these guys a bit north of Pittsburgh have a pilsner on right now. I’m very unfamiliar with the beer (and the brewery) so if you’re up that way, maybe grab some takeout beers and let us know what you think!

Header Photo courtesy of Burgh’ers Brewing

In 2012, Aadam moved to Pittsburgh. He's currently parked (sans chair) in Lawrenceville and plans to stay a while. On the weekends, you'll find him driving a small green bus (Porter Tours) as he leads tours at local breweries. Got a fun story idea? DMs are open: @asoorma.

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