I maintain that nothing perks a person up after a hard day at work like a beautiful golden pilsner. But, as pilsner/lager fans know, it’s much easier to find just about any variety of ale than it is to find a good pils.


Perhaps there is nowhere to hide when making lagers.

But whenever I do find a good one, I like to pass it on.

Sierra Nevada Nooner Pilsner is a German-style pils – a style the company calls “one of the original session beers.”

Nooner is brewed with four malts – two-row pale, pilsner, Munich and acidulated (which is also known as Sauermalz, or sour malt, and most often used in Berliner Weisse and Gose) – and four hop varieties – German Perle for bittering and Saphir, Tettnanger and Strisselspalt for finishing.

It comes across as crisp and refreshing, with just a bit of the hop bite that you would expect from a German pils, as opposed to the softer, maltier Czech pils.

Let me also add a plug for Goose Island’s Lolita, which was my favorite among the many beers I tried at a recent beer festival. Lots of sours were on hand at the fest, but Lolita stood head and shoulders above them all. This is a Belgian-style pale ale fermented with wild yeast and aged on raspberries in wine barrels.

After the first sip, to steal a line from Vladimir Nabokov, “I knew I had fallen in love with Lolita forever…”