Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

The freshest pilsners to drink this spring

This crisp, refreshing style is perfect for the warm season

Beer foaming over the glass
engin akyurt / Unsplash

Winter is firmly in the rear-view mirror and we’re zooming toward summer like a beer-fueled Winnebago. The season of barrel-aged stouts, imperial porters, and other dark, malty, high-ABV beers is over. It’s time for the lighter beer to get their time in the proverbial sun.

Spring is a time for light, refreshing beers like IPAs, wheat beers, and of course, crisp, thirst-quenching pilsners. While we love all crushable, sessionable beers during the season of rejuvenation, we especially love the latter.

What makes a pilsner?

Pouring beer with chips in the background
Gerrie van der Walt / Unsplash

Pilsners are bottom-fermented beers brewed with pilsner malt and lager yeast. They originated in the Czech Republic and got their name from the Bohemian city of Plzeň (or Pilsen in German). If you’re a Pilsner fan, you likely know the first-ever pale lager and have had a bottle or two over the years. This is because Pilsner Urquell was first brewed in 1842. It was the first pilsner, and it’s still brewed and enjoyed worldwide.

Pilsner flavors

Two glasses of beer
Timothy Dykes / Unsplash

When you pour a pilsner into a pint glass, you’ll first notice the amber-like, golden hue. Nosing the beer will give you some cereal grains, corn, citrus, honey, floral, and herbal hops. The palate is known for its sweet, malty backbone, honey, citrus, and floral flavors. It’s known for its crisp, refreshing body and dry finish.

There’s a reason people love pilsners during the warmer months (or any time of year). When made well, it offers a crisp, thirst-quenching, crushable, and well-balanced flavor. It’s the kind of beer you’ll sip after a long day at work, following an afternoon of mowing the lawn, or as an accompaniment to yard games.

The 5 freshest pilsners to drink this spring

Close-up of beer in a glass
Timothy Dykes / Unsplash

A great pilsner is clean, refreshing, crisp, floral, well balanced, and most of all, fresh. To help you find the best examples, we did the work for you. We found five of the best, freshest pilsners to drink this spring. Keep scrolling to see them all so you can stock up your fridge.

Troegs Sunshine

Troegs Sunshine

With a name like Troegs Sunshine, you should have a pretty good idea about what’s in store for you when crack open one of these beers. This year-round 4.5% ABV pilsner is brewed with pilsner malt, lager yeast, and Hersbrucker and Saaz hops. The result is a clean, refreshing, crisp pilsner with biscuit-like malts, citrus peels, honey, and floral hops.

Firestone Walker Pivo Pils

Firestone Walker Pivo
Firestone Walker

Firestone Walker Pivo Pils is anything but a traditional pilsner, and we couldn’t love that more. This 5.3% ABV pilsner is brewed with pilsner and carafoam malts. Saphir, Spalter Select, and Tradition hops are added in the kettle, and it’s dry-hopped with more Saphir hops. This results in a beer that bridges the gap between traditional European and American craft lagers. It’s crisp, very hoppy, thirst quenching, and loaded with spicy, floral flavors.

Jack’s Abby Post Shift Pilsner

Jack’s Abby Post Shift Pilsner
Jack’s Abby

With a name like Post Shift Pilsner, you know this is the kind of beer you toss back after a long day of work. This year-round, Bavarian-style pilsner is brewed with hops from the Seitz Family Hops in Hallertau, Germany. It’s known for its clean, crisp, refreshing flavor profile featuring cracker-like malts, citrus peels, honey, and herbal, floral hops. Even if you didn’t put in a hard day’s work, you can still tip back a few of these bad boys on an unseasonably warm spring night.

Pilsner Urquell

Pilsner Urquell
Pilsner Urquell

No fresh pilsner list is complete without the beer that started it all. For more than 180 years, this award-winning, beloved beer has been brewed the same way. Simple and elegant, it’s brewed with water, grain, yeast, and Saaz hops. This creates a crisp, thirst-quenching, quaffable pilsner featuring notes of cracker malts, honey, citrus peels, and earthy, floral hops. The finish is crisp, hoppy, dry, and pleasantly bitter. Overall, this is a great beer.

Victory Prima Pils

Victory Prima Pils

One of the highest-rated pilsners available almost anywhere, Victory Prima Pils is as authentic as American-made pilsners can be. Brewed with pilsner malt and Tettnang, Hallertau, Spalt, and Saaz hops, it’s known for its balanced flavor profile featuring notes of sweet malts, lemon peels, and floral, gently spicy hops. It’s crisp, crushable, and perfect for a spring day.

Bottom line

Beer tap pouring beer
Amie Johnson / Unsplash

Sure, you can stock up your fridge with all these beers and we’d be all for that. Or you can pick one at random and give it a try. But if you want to get on the pilsner bandwagon this spring, we suggest starting with the OG from Pilsner Urquell.

Christopher Osburn
Christopher Osburn is a food and drinks writer located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York. He's been writing professional
Lost Andy Warhol painting inspires an Absolut Vodka limited edition
Warhol painted a bottle for the brand's iconic ad campain in 1985
absolut vodka warhol 0bc48de8 dd43 4fbd bfbe a85d839f6fec 1220x686 jpg

Swedish brand Absolut is a mainstay of the vodka market and is one of our picks for best budget vodka bottles, giving decent quality for its relatively low price. If you're looking to pick up a classic vodka for mixed drinks like a screwdriver or a vodka and coke, then Absolut is an easy go-to -- and as well as its quality vodka, the brand is also known for its fun and creative packaging. Absolut generally comes in bottles of the same shape and size, but there are colorful options for different flavored vodkas, and also striking and unique bottle designs for special releases and limited editions.

Now, the brand is debuting a new limited edition bottle, inspired by the work of Andy Warhol.  Warhol was commissioned to paint an Absolut bottle in 1985, creating an iconic image for the Absolut Warhol ad campaign. But while working on that image, Warhol also created a second painting called Absolut Blue, which was only recently rediscovered.

Read more
What exactly is a latte? All about this beloved drink
What makes a latte so delicious?

Everywhere you turn -- from Starbucks to Dunkin' -- lattes are being advertised. Classic, iced, mocha or even seasonal flavors like the pumpkin spice latte showcase this delicious espresso drink in endless varieties. Yet, in its basic form, a latte is a delicious classic crafted espresso drink that never goes out of style. While many of us enjoy ordering our favorite lattes, few stop to appreciate what ingredients make up this drink and how the unique art of crafting one plays into the final result. Before you order your next latte, we'll answer all of your "what is a latte" questions and explore the creation process. Whether you make lattes at home or order them while on the go, you'll soon have a newfound appreciation for this beloved espresso drink.
What is a latte?

Called a latte here in the U.S., this drink originated in Italy as the caffé latte. Made with espresso and steamed milk, a latte requires only two ingredients in its basic form. Of course, modern adaptations of the drink, such as a Pistachio Latte, require additional flavorings and ingredients. Part of what makes a latte unique is the ratio between steamed milk and espresso. In most standard lattes, a 1:3 ratio is used, meaning one part espresso is used to three parts steamed milk. However, the ratio between steamed milk and espresso can vary depending on the size of the latte and who makes it.

Read more
Burgers and Champagne? A chef explains why this unusual pairing really works
Executive Chef Sebastien Chaoui of The Chester teaches us about burgers and Veuve Clicquot champagne.
burger in yellow takeout box

The Chester Burger. 8 ounce Angus patty, Veuve Clicquot caramalized red onion, plum tomato confit, Veuve Clicquot tempura onion ring, Swiss cheese. Liz Clayman / Veuve Clicquot

A frosty beer might be the most obvious pairing for grilled burgers, but for a next-level drink pairing, champagne is an excellent choice. To understand the flavors and techniques of this pairing, we spoke to Executive Chef Sebastien Chaoui of The Chester, the patio restaurant of the Gansevoort Hotel in New York. Chef Chaoui has created two burgers at The Chester for this pairing: The Chester Burger and The Ratatouille Burger, all with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label.

Read more