German Pils

Glassware: Tapered pilsner
  • Germany
  • Lager
  • ABV = 4.4 – 5.2% (Normal)^
  • IBU = 22-40
  • SRM = 2-5
A light gold, bitter German lager with a dry, crisp finish and bitter aftertaste.  

Lighter in body and colour, drier, crisper, and with more of a lingering bitterness than a Czech Premium Pale Lager. More hop character and bitterness with a drier, crisper finish than a Munich Helles. More hop character, malt flavour, and bitterness than International Pale Lager.


  • Colour^ = Straw to light gold
  • Clarity = Brilliant

Key Aromas & Flavours:

  • Malt = Low to moderate; grainy-sweet (often with a light honey and slightly toasted cracker quality)
  • Yeast = None (clean)
  • Hops = Moderate; floral, spicy or herbal
  • Malt = Moderate; grainy-sweet
  • Yeast = None (clean)
  • Hops = Low to high; floral, spicy or herbal
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Pronounced
  • Balance = Towards bitterness, with malt in support

Dry, crisp finish with a bitter aftertaste and light malt flavour


  • Body = Medium-light
  • Carbonation = Medium to high

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Pilsner malt
  • Yeast = German lager yeast
  • Hops = German hop varietals

Historical Development:

Adapted from Czech Pilsner (aka Czech Premium Pale Lager) to suit the brewing conditions in Germany: water with higher mineral content and domestic hop varietals. First brewed in Germany in the early 1870s. Became more popular after WWII.

Along with its sister beer, Czech Pilsner, it is the ancestor of the most widely produced beers today: pale Pilsner-style lagers. The use of the term ‘Pils’ is more common in Germany to differentiate it from the Czech version.

Commercial Examples:

König Pilsener, Paulaner Premium Pils, Trumer Pils

^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.

Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.

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