Gradl Leups is well-known for their Bayrischer Anstich Dunkel (from gravity barrel), which you could spend an entire day sipping on at the gasthof, and only see other folks doing the same. But Gradl also serves this exemplary Pilsner from tap.
The intense Hallertau hop aroma manifests as lemon oil, persimmon, honeysuckle, and dandelion. Malt manifests as crusty baked French baguette, and the mineral water quality is remarkably expressive, maybe the strongest and most enjoyable mineral character that can be found in Upper Franconia.
Medium-light bodied and moderately sweet and perfectly balanced by bitterness, it’s oily and juicy hop oils linger in the mouth, and the baguette malt quality even translates into a sort of intoxicating saltiness after a few pulls.
This is world-beater Pilsner, easily one of the best in Franconia and the world as a whole, and may be the best mineral and noble hop expression I’ve ever experienced. Both the Dunkel and Pils are world class examples of Franconian character and Franconian brewing precision, and unlike so many other breweries in Oberfranken, the bottles actually compare very well to tap in terms of quality. No visitor should pass up either beer on tap, though both are available in bottle at the brewery and at getränkemarkts in the nearby town of Pegnitz.