Meet the lager family: Hoppy pils

Adrian Tierney-Jones

Adrian Tierney-Jones

29 October 2019

The epitome of lad culture, lager is sometimes seen as a one-dimensional beer style. But there are more characters and personalities in the world of lager than you and your customers might think. Adrian Tierney-Jones introduces us to them in this six-part series


Hoppy pils

Family member: The cool uncle

The hoppy pils is a traditional member of the family who has given himself a bit of a fashionable makeover to become, if he does it right, a cool uncle (rather than an embarrassing dancing dad). This lager style began in the USA and over in the UK is best exemplified by the likes of Fourpure and Vocation.

Keeping it in the family

Definitely golden in colour, but often hazy. Firm snap of citrus or tropical fruit on the nose, with a grainy note in the background. On the palate it’s crisp, showing citrus or tropically fruit flavours and a dry and bittersweet finish.

Some of uncle’s friends

Lost and Grounded Keller Pils
Sprightly and sparkling, this is one of the finest hoppy pils in the UK at the moment.
4.8% abv, £82.95/30-litre keg, Pig’s Ears

Vocation Dirty Pilsner
Unfiltered and assertively dry-hopped, this is fruity, spicy and bittersweet.
6.5% abv, £19.07/12x330ml, Pivovar Orders

Favourite story

The tale of hoppy pils is very much rooted in the hop-loving community of American breweries, which then passed over the Atlantic and planted itself amongst the wave of UK craft brewers of the past few years. This is very much a hybrid, a new style that doesn’t have decades of tradition behind it. It’s a bit like that cool uncle who keeps reinventing himself.

Gets on well with

Hoppy pils is a sociable and garrulous creature with a good line in colourful stories, that feature such hop names as Saaz, Mittelfrüh and Hallertauer with ease and abandonment. The cool uncle likes to break the rules sometimes with the use of exotic hops from America and/ or New Zealand.

Related articles

Beer & Cider

Meet the lager family: Helles

Lager is a diverse family of beer styles and just like a family, these beers are varied. Time to meet some of the lager family members to see how they can fit in at your bar.

Beer & Cider

Meet the lager family: Oktoberfestbier

Lager is a diverse family of beer styles and just like a family, these beers are varied. Time to meet some of the lager family members to see how they can fit in at your bar.

Beer & Cider

Meet the lager family: Bock

Lager is a diverse family of beer styles and just like a family, these beers are varied. Time to meet some of the lager family members to see how they can fit in at your bar.

Beer & Cider

Krombacher launches alcohol-free pils at Imbibe Live

Krombacher Pils Alkoholfrei 0.0% is making its UK debut at Imbibe Live.