When it comes to the story behind our Debut#4: Czech Keller Pils, it’s really about the story of Pilsners. The Pilsner style was created in Pilsen (Plzen) in modern day Czech Republic. Due to the very soft water in Pilsen, it was possible to create a very lightly colored beer. At the time, the brewers were not very aware of water chemistry, therefore many styles were determined by their local water source (Stouts in Dublin, Pale Ales in Burton, etc.).
Now we come to differences between Pilsners – German and Czech. While each has country has its particular nuances, they are generally very similar beers. One major factor that does set them apart is the use of raw materials from the country of origin. Czech Pilsners utilize Czech ingredients – the most famous being the Saaz hop variety. Saaz is a very low alpha acid variety with a strong noble hop aroma.
Czech Pilsner’s also vary slightly from general German pilsners in the mouthfeel. German pilsners being more bitter and drier than their Czech counterparts and in some regions, Czech pilsners can be quite sweet. Generally speaking it is raw materials and bitterness that set these two apart.
For Starr Hill’s take on a Czech Pilsner, we have gone with a traditional malt bill using Pilsner malt and carafoam. We use only Czech Saaz hops in this beer for bittering, flavor and aroma additions. Due to the low alpha acid of this hop variety, this beer does not have a lot of bitterness, instead it has a strong noble hop flavor with a clean malt profile. We also chose to lager this beer for an extended period (4 weeks) and not filter it. This beer is designated a Keller Pils, which means we did not filter this beer which provides another layer of depth.
I hope you enjoy this latest addition to the Debut Series, pouring now in the brewery Tap Room. It’s a great summer beer with a crisp taste that’s very sessionable.
Cheers and thanks for the support,
Robbie O’Cain, Brewmaster