Italian Pilsner

ABV 4.9%

IBU 35

FLAVOR PROFILE

Herbaceous, Citrus Zest, Quenching

AVAILABILITY

Limited

INGREDIENTS

Malt

Gambrinus & Weyermann German Pilsner, Cara Foam, Acidulated

Hops

Perle, Saphir, Tettnang, Spalt Select

Yeast

Lager

History

Although Pilsner has been brewed throughout Italy for some time, most people credit Agostino Arioli of Birrificio Italiano who brews Tipopils as leading what we now consider “Italian Pilsner”.

The Origins and Elements of Tipopils by Joe Strange from Craft Beer and Brewing Magazine

“Nobody was dry hopping any lager at that time,” he says. “Probably in the United States they were already dry hopping something? I don’t know, honestly. But not in Germany—not lagers in Europe, for sure.” 

Arioli’s idea to try dry hopping a pilsner didn’t come from the world of lager at all. It came from British ales. “I took my idea from the English beer tradition because they used to dry hop beer in the cask. I saw this in England, and I just thought, ‘Wow, I could do that in my beers because I love hops.’” 

His dry-hop variety of choice these days, he says, is mainly Spalter Select. 

“To be honest, I’ve tried almost every Noble hop from Germany,” Arioli says. He says he tried dry hopping with Hersbrucker, Spalter, Tettnanger, Hallertauer Mittelfrüh..., “then finally I ended up with Spalter Select. And I’ve been using it at least 15 years now. … It’s a hop that I really appreciate because it keeps a special citrusy, lemon-zest touch. I think it’s a very modern hop—despite that it’s an old one.” 

For many years, Arioli says, he was double dry hopping the Tipopils—so it got some hops in the fermentor and again during lagering. These days, all of the dry hopping occurs during lagering, at about 36°F (2°C). The method is unusual: They dissolve the hops in water and spray that fragrant green stuff onto the beer in the maturation tank. “Then we let it settle down and done. That’s it.” 

In addition, although the beer when packaged is quite bright, it is totally unfiltered. “No centrifuge, no clarifying agents, no filter, nothing at all,” Arioli says. 

Its yeast is the popular 34/70 lager strain from Weihenstephan, and Arioli says they are able to re-pitch it for as long as four months; they remove the yeast from the tank once primary fermentation is done, and it goes to the next batch. They use a Unitank system, so that fermentation, lagering, dry hopping, and carbonation all happen without transferring the beer. 

Arioli, for his part, says he loves the idea of other brewers being influenced by Tipopils. “We call them tipo-Tipopils. Because Tipopils means, ‘a kind of pils.’ And tipo-Tipopils means, ‘a kind of a kind of pils.’ So it’s a joke we always do.”

“We love it,” Arioli says. “I’ve been doing it for 14 years now. I collect the best beers that I know. And always, there’s only one rule: You can’t use any aromatic, fruity hops - only traditional German hops. So, you’re not allowed to pour a pils that is hopped with, let’s say, Cascade. Those hops are not allowed—not because we don’t like them, of course. Everybody likes American hops—or Mandarina Bavaria, or Galaxy—wonderful hops. But not for a pils! 

“We want to keep the ‘pils’ word like the only small island where these kinds of hops are not allowed,” Arioli says. “Otherwise, we will have, in any style, the same aromatic profile.”

Our Italian Pilsner at pFriem plays tribute to the lovely, very aromatic, and flavorful Tipopils. We use classic German brewing techniques, high quality pilsner malt, and dry hop the beer with Spalt Select and Saphir hops from Germany. Saute!

Tasting Notes

Fluffy white foam on top of light golden body with a touch of haze. Floral aromas of citrus zest, lavender, lemon balm, dandelions, white pepper, juniper, and spring bloom. Pungent and perfumy flavors of citrus rind, herbs, menthol, black tea, dill, basil, and orange zest. Finishes round, resinous, floral, clean, hoppy, and quenching. 

Food Pairings

Fatty meats in curry sauce and jerk chicken. Excellent with seafood: fish, shellfish, turbot calamari, crab, clams, sole, shrimp, oysters and lobster. Oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and herring. Sausages including chorizo, andouille, and merguez bacon, sausage, and any other breakfast meats work wonderfully.