Pint Report: Arbeiter & Utepils Collaborative Lager Series-Italian Pilsner

Recently, the collective craft beer geniuses at Arbeiter Brewing Company and Utepils Brewing collaborated on an Italian Pilsner. This fantastic beer released on Aug. 13th in the taproom. It is available on draft at the Arbeiter Brewing taproom and to-go in crowlers. This is another iteration of the Arbeiter Collaborative Lager Series. Not only is the beer fantastically clean and crisp, it also showcases a style that is gaining in popularity both locally and regionally.

So, What Makes A Pilsner Italian?

Don’t worry, an Italian Pilsner is not blended with Barolo and aged Parmesan, although, I bet that would pair fantastic with linguine al forno. In fact, from what I have gathered, Italian Pilsner is just a pilsner that is aggressively dry-hopped with noble hops. Kate Bernot writes an extensive piece explaining the origins of this style and how Italian Pilsners came to be. What I didn’t realize is that Italian Pilsner has been a thing for a while, we just didn’t know it. According to Bernot, Firestone Walker’s Pivo Pils is based on an Italian Pilsner recipe.

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

When we think about craft beer luminaries in our local Minnesota craft beer scene, Aaron Herman and Eric Harper are on that list. Herman and Harper are two of the most humble and intelligent people I have had the pleasure of speaking to about beer. They both are vociferously passionate about lagers, and it shows in this recent collaboration. I imagine that the beer nerd levels were astronomically high when these two Head Brewers were talking about this recipe. What I appreciate the most about the brewing philosophies that Herman and Harper share is the attention to balance. The beers at Arbeiter and Utepils are all wonderfully balanced and let each ingredient shine in its own spotlight.

Italian Pilsner Specs

The Italian Pilsner collaboration is kettle and dry-hopped with noble German Tettnang hops. They also used Weyermann Italian-grown Eraclea Pilsner malt to really make this go to 11. When I heard that the Collaborative Lager Series-Italian Pilsner was on tap, I beelined it to the brewery to have it on draft.

Immediately, I am enchanted with the herbal and citrus aromas of the Tettnang hops. The beer is extremely clean and crisp. There is a little honey sweetness for balance and I love how effervescent the beer is. The beer is 5.5% ABV and 36 IBU. It pairs well with good people, fun times, and any of the Super Mario Bros. franchise video games or with online betting watching Football Australia. This one will go fast, so make sure you get to Arbeiter to try it on tap and grab crowlers to go! Prost!

Dan Beaubien has been involved with Beerploma since 2014 although his passion for craft beer dates back to 2006 when he started traveling for beer.  Dan mostly covers craft beer events, festivals, brewery openings/releases, and beer reviews. Dan has a soft spot in his heart for authentic British Style ales, IPAs, and all things barrel-aged.  If you have any questions or comments about this article feel free to email Dan at dan.beaubien@beerploma.com .