“Öko-Test” tested a total of 50 Pils beers together with a laboratory and sensory experts. Many well-known brands are convincing, in other Pilsner brands the experts find the controversial herbicide glyphosate. More about this here.

A firm head of foam, a slightly bitter taste and a fine note of hops – that’s how a nice Pils should be. And indeed, these expectations of the most popular type of beer in Germany are apparently rarely disappointed, as an analysis by “Öko-Test” (issue 6/2022) suggests. The magazine analyzed pilsners from 50 brands and had them taste tested by beer-tested sensory experts.

The result: 45 products completed the test with the grade “good” or “very good”. In addition to well-known brands such as Neumarkter Lammsbräu, Bitburger, Hasseröder and Veltins, the best also include a cheap beer from Edeka for just EUR 0.39 per 500 ml Pils.

Three other products scored “satisfactorily” in the test. However, two other brands do not pass the test: one fails with “poor”, the other is only “unsatisfactory” according to the testers.

However, the testers found traces of the weed killer glyphosate, which is suspected of causing cancer, in twelve beers from well-known brands. The values ​​are well below the maximum permitted in the European Union for malting barley. For reasons of preventive consumer protection, “Öko-Test” still awards grades. After all, all tested organic pils beers are free of the controversial herbicide.

In terms of original wort content and head retention, no Pils fails. The test drinkers also have little to complain about. In ten beers, however, the experts taste off-notes that are untypical for pilsners.

They attest to the bottom of the field, an organic pilsner, “a contamination taste with buttery notes”. The reason: the laboratory has proven contamination with pediococci. Although the lactic acid bacteria are not harmful to humans, they cause a significant reduction in quality, according to “Öko-Test”. Affected here is the Pinkus Pils (Bioland) from the brewery Brauerei Pinkus Müller and scores “inadequate” (grade 6).

Even a pilsner from a discounter is not convincing and fails with the rating “poor” (grade 5): The Kaiserkrone Pilsner from Norma cannot convince the testers in terms of taste.

You can read the detailed test with all the results for free at “Öko-Test”.

The original of this post “Beer in the test: How to cut Veltins, Bitburger