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10 Beer Experts Tell Us The One Lager They Always Drink

10 Beer Experts Tell Us The One Lager They Always Drink

There are currently over 9,000 breweries in the United States cranking out seemingly countless IPAs, stouts, pale ales, wheat beers, lagers, and every other style under the sun. And that’s not to mention the many (many) incredible breweries in other countries. While each brewery typically has a specialty and flavor preferences vary depending on what part of the country or world you’re in, there’s no denying the timeless appeal of a well-made, easy drinking lager.

Finding the best lagers–whether it’s a helles, pilsner, bock, dunkel, whatever–is no easy task. You have to come to the fact that there are so many amazing lagers that you’ll never even try. Luckily, beer experts are willing to weigh in. From brewers to cicerones and other beer experts, these are their picks for their favorite lagers that you must make a point to try.

Pilsner Urquell

Pilsner Urquell

“If I could only drink one lager for the rest of my life, it would forever and always be Pilsner Urquell. We’ve been known to bring this into the hood because it’s just so damned good. Thick and creamy head, golden and bright biscuity goodness with a small kiss of citrusy bitterness.” – Latiesha Cook, CEO, cofounder, and president of Beer Kulture in Saint Petersburg, Florida

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Death and Taxes

Moonlight Death & Taxes

“A good Dark Lager is pure voodoo. Light bodied and crisp but delivering solid impact from roasted malt and a complexity of flavors, it’s just something that doesn’t seem to respect the ordinary laws of the universe. Moonlight has somehow hacked reality to deliver their flagship Death & Taxes and it’s a beer that you can spend a lifetime contemplating and still not completely understand. Death & Taxes for the win.” – Kevin McGee, president of Anderson Valley Brewing Co. in Boonville, California

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Rothaus Tannenzäpfle Pils

“An exquisite, sparkling, word-class example of the German pilsner style, Rothaus Tannenzäpfle Pils from Badische Staatsbrauerei Rothaus has time and time again caught my attention. Snappy, clean, and crisp, but not overly bitter, as some German pilsners can be, the soft water used to brew this beer is noticeable and impressive. Nestled in the southern part of Germany’s Black Forest lies Rothaus Brewery, the highest brewery by elevation in the country; where Tannenzapfle Pils is crafted using water sourced from seven natural springs in the heart of the forest. Malted barley from the terroir’s highlands and valleys blended with the best local aroma hops from Tettnang and Hallertau result in a lager beer of simply unmatched quality. On the nose, expect to be greeted with hints of meadow herbs that lead into a uniquely crisp, balanced, and perfectly refreshing finish – an invitation into Black Forest itself. An incredibly special beer built upon stories and traditions, Tannenzäpfle Pils is best enjoyed in the warm company of good friends and family.” – Suzanne Schalow, CEO of Craft Beer Cellar in Waterbury, Vermont

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Montucky Cold Snacks

“Montucky Cold Snacks is my go-to. It’s a fantastically well-rounded lager, and it doesn’t hurt that they are a very cool company, giving back to their community and supporting pride month every year since their founding. It’s a great contrast of crisp with a slight sweetness, making it extra crushable.” – Neil Willcoxson, head brewer at 8Bit Brewing Company in Murrieta, California

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Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier

“If I could only drink one lager for the rest of my life, it would have to be Aecht Schlenkerla Helles Lagerbier. Brewing in Bamberg, Germany, Schlenkerla is known for their distinctive Rauchbier, or smoked beer. While that may sound crazy, the Helles from them is one of the most enjoyable lager experiences you can have. Light and crisp for the daytime activities, deep and complex for the nights around the campfire. Schlenkerla Helles pairs perfectly with so many foods, from fruit and salads to barbecue and burgers in the summer, to fish and pasta in the spring, even roasts and turkey in the fall. I dare you to get through a glass and tell me you don’t want another.” – James Bruner, certified cicerone and brewing supervisor at Irwindale Brew Yard in Irwindale, California

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pFriem Pils

“Every time we are in the Pacific Northwest it’s what we try to drink the most of. It’s incredibly clean and nicely hopped and I have yet to get tired of it. This 4.9 percent ABV pilsner is brewed with Gambrinus & Weyermann German pilsner malt, Cara Foam malt, and Acidulated malt. It’s hopped with Saphir, Tettnang, and Spalt Select hops, giving it the feel of an authentic German pilsner.” –Jan Chodkowski, head brewer and coowner at Our Mutual Friend Brewing in Denver

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Native Texan

Native Texan Pilsner

“After a few great trips to Austin, Texas, if forced to choose, I would drink Native Texan Pilsner for the rest of my life. A perfect bridge from American Lager to craft beer, it is light enough to not overpower the palate, but enough flavor to remind you that you are drinking a beer. Clean, slightly grassy, a touch of struck match sulfur — all the things a great pilsner should be, this beer doesn’t disappoint.” – Bryan Donaldson, brewing innovation manager at Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma, California

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Human Robot Hallertau Pils Mit Krausen

“In a previous survey I sang praises about 16 ounce cans HR’s Hallertau Pils. Sadly, that beer has been dethroned. HR owner Kenny Corell slipped me a 500ml bottle of that very brew, but krausened. Krausening carbonates the beer by adding young, still fermenting beer to the finished beer. This is a more traditional approach than the modern injection of carbonating gas. The bottom line is brewer Andrew Foss has taken my favorite pilsner and made it better. It’s softer, with an almost velvety texture. Perfectly showcasing the crisp pilsner malt character and the floral vapors of Hallertau hops. Hard to find, but well worth the quest.” – George Hummel, grain master of My Local Brew Works in Philadelphia

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Bierstadt Lagerhaus Slow Pour Pils

“This beer transports you to Germany every time you drink it and as Bill and Ashleigh always do, it’s executed to perfection on each batch. The traditional recipe paired with diehard traditional lager brewing techniques is a win every time. They never cut any corners and like us at CTA they’re their worst critics. That type of personality makes the best beer in my opinion! For the record and as a brewer in Colorado, Coors Original was a close second.” – Fred Rizzo, lead brewer for Call to Arms Brewing in Denver

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Dovetail Helles Lager

“Dovetail’s Helles Lager would be my choice for the rest of my life. It’s right up there with Bierstadt’s helles lager. It’s just malty enough to give it a keen sweetness without being heavy and the floral notes are so simply refreshing. The hop bite is just right, too.” – Garth Beyer, certified cicerone and owner of Garth’s Brew Bar in Madison, Wisconsin

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