PENNdemonium - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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102 Ratings
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Ratings: 102
Reviews: 75
rAvg: 3.73
pDev: 12.87%
Wants: 7
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Maibock / Helles Bock |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: PittBeerGirl on 05-20-2007

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 75
Reviews by thecheapies:
Photo of thecheapies
3.89/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light coppery cider amber color with a dense cap.

Apple-y malts, treacle, helles bock golden grain, light mustiness, stone fruit, and some earthy Noble hops. Very aromatic.

Follows the nose with pomme bang and apricot candy. Sturdy barley malts with a zesty and spicy hop presence. Treacle finish with a Euro throw.

Drinks smoothly, but alcohol is a nuisance. Alcohol hype, all getting in the way when I wanna slug.

Solid maibock. Recommended.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Billolick
4.22/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle, clear medium honey amber, initially lifts a large near white head, it quickly clears out to a skimpy film, leaves nice looking fine and scattered lacing. Candy apple and grass clippings in the nose. Sweet, tasty, clean and strong brew...strong lager lovers rejoice...this one is dangerously easy drinking...alcohol well hidden, notes of vanilla, honey, clean, smooth malts...nice creation by Penn, highly recommended

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.23/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Capone's in a 22 ounce bomber. Pours a golden color with a one cm head. The smell is light but sweet and malty. Flavor is nice mix of sweetness/breadiness with a bite of bitterness. Mouthfeel is way too smooth for an ABV of 10% which makes this a dangerous beer. I enjoy bocks in general & this is a very good bock.


Photo of jcdiflorio
4.63/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

picked up for me by tccromwell at 3 Sons. poured from a 22oz brown bomber into a large 22oz pilsner glass.

Clear,medium to light amber/copper color. White,frothy,rocky head adjust to pour. Excellent retention leaving clunpy lacing atop and sticky webby lacing down the glass. Very lively beer almost like watching a lava lamp except for the size of the bubbles. Everything going on as far as carbination goes. Just enjoy watching this beer.

Fresh,clean nose,very fruity, tangerine with bannanna notes. Sweet maltyness,fresh bread,with a slight hint of alcohol. Very pleasing and enjoyable aroma.

Sweet malty first tastes,a taste of grains,toasty, a pleasing tropical fruityness. Clean,slightly tart finish with a slight note of alcohol very well hidden. Well balanced, a taste treat for the palate.

Suprizingly light mouthfeel,slightly grainy leaving a juicy feel that makes me scream for more. Don't get much drinkable for this style. Get this one while you can. Wish i bought more. Hope they make this again next year. It will be on my draft system if they do.
Dangerous beer would never guess this is a 10% beer. Right up there with St Nicholas Bock. Great Beer !!!

Photo of ohmybock
3.76/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I would say this beer fits more into the Helles Bock category rather than the Maibock-style. However, there's probably some disagreement as to if there's a difference between the two. From my experience, helles bock is my least favorite bock style (and is the lightest in color and taste), but I must admit this Penn brew is VERY good for the style. If you blind-folded me and fed me this beer, I would have sworn it was brewed in Germany. This is one well-brewed lager...way to go Penn Brewing! It is so smooth and drinkable. Is this really 10%???? I never would have guessed it was that strong. It drinks like a much leaner/drier beer and does not have the heavy maltiness I normally associate with a 10% or greater bock beer. This is a much different brew from other high-alc bocks like EKU 28, Kulmbacher Eisbock, or Eggenberg Eisbock. Even though I don't like it as much as those other German bock beers, I have to admit the Penn brew might have a greater drinkability. That's especailly good considering the PENNdemonium comes in a 22oz bomber.

Note: My ratings on this brew are pretty high and might be higher than some other brews I like better than this one. Like I said before, I'm not normally a huge fan of helles bocks, but this Penn brew is especially good when comparing it to others in the style, so I'm going to rate it fairly high.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.73/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After enjoying this brew quite a few times from the taps around the Burgh, I have decided to snag a 22ozer and see how the bottle version has held up since the release.

Pours out a perfectly clear honey golden hue with lively carbonation dense off white foam head rises well above the rim of my Fathead's pint and dwindles pretty urgently. Ueven specks of lacing remain stuck to the glass no fine delicate lacing pretty spotty with no regular pattern going on.

Aromatics, tart apple and some mild tropical fruit notes slight mineral character very light herbal grass hop nose overall pretty clean. That apple is what us beergeeks usually dub acetyladehyde. Those mineral notes really start to become metallic with a mild rusty flow but the pure amount of fermentable sugars are still noticeable with alcohol lingering in there and sugary sweetness from the pale malts.

Penn marketed this as a mistake when brewing the Maibock where the brewer's went wild and there was pure Penndemonium or something like that. Either way what we have here is bascially an Uber Maibock bordering some malt liquor characteristics with the somewhat bitey alcohol and apple, tropical fruit, and mild cooked veggie combonation. Crisp and clean for the most part with that touch of mineral water and herbal grassy hop finish blending into the loads of pale malt sweetness.

My palate senses a crisp carbonation a bit prickly with some sticky residual sugars adhesion going on dry alcohol soothing burn with light medicinal merits as well.

Gotta be honest I preferred this one on tap the bottle with a few months of aging doesn't go down as smooth as those pints at Fathead's, Smokin' Joe's, and Bocktown did in the past. Basically if you have this on hand or plan to try it do so as soon as possible. It's not turning but it's not getting any better.

Photo of FleeVT
3.38/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown glass bomber, no date.

A: Dull golden nectar with the faintest hint of cloudiness, and a white frothy head. Leaves a nice lacing on the glass.
S: Malt aromas dominate this one. There is a subdued creaminess that balances the malt.
T: Again, the malts dominate the palate. They do not hide or cover up the the 10% ABV, as you get all of it at the end. This beer just didn't do it for me. There didn't seem to be a good balance between the malts and alcohol; something was missing to bridge the two.
M: Medium bodied and creamy with a crisp finish. Heavier than I expected.
D: Definitely not session beer; some beers hide their alcohol, and this is not one of them. Not my favorite, but I'm glad I tried it.

Photo of IntriqKen
3.85/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, wow...I've never seen anything so crystal clear as this.
Golden orange with a nice half finger head that disappears immediately..and I mean immediately...nothing left after a few seconds.

Aromas remind me of sweet amber malts and lager yeasts...lots of fruit aromas as it warms on the tail end.

Light malt sweetness...almost first...fruity hint of the high alcohol until you swallow...wait a moment...then feel the warmth.

Everything about this seems light although not thin at all..mouthfeel is creamy and sort of sugary. Clean aftertaste, however.

Interesting style..pleasant drink.

Photo of tempest
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber and served next to a festive jambalaya burrito. Aside from complimenting the spicy burrito, I'm struck by two things with this beer: First, the flavor is too subtle for an 8% beer. Second, this beer is incredibly drinkable. I feel more like I'm drinking some weird German bock hybrid of the English bitter. All the flavors, the grassy hops, bready malt, and sharp bock fruit ester are all a touch muted. At the same time, this beer feels exceedingly creamy in a great way and my bottle is empty in no time. While it's a shame this beer isn't richer, it will also sneak up on you.

Photo of DerekP
3.55/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Notes from 3/8/13

1 pint 6 fl oz bottle purchased for $6 at Guntown Beer in Canonsburg, PA.

Grassy nose from the bottle. In a pilsner glass, lots of carbonation bubbles rising to the top. Frothy white head with lacing sticking to the glass. The body is a light bronze color with hints of amber-orange under the light. The head is beginning to recede.

A caramely, spicy hops flavor blend up front during the first taste. Bread crust, crackers, pepper, booze and ginger ale. A cough syrup-esque, waxy, even chalky film has begun to form on my tongue (subsides later on).

Spicy in the nose with a little sweetness. Lively yeast aroma, pepper mint and wet grass. Herbal, savory and warm.

Some might say syrupy, but I find this to be very smooth in the finish.


Photo of Gmann
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. Pours a hazy golden color with a small white head that dissipated into a light ring. The aroma is of a musty doughy malt, and a touch of spicy hop The taste has a honey/doughy malt sweetness, some light lemon, a bit grainy, and a peppery/bitter hop balance. Nice helles flavors, though a bit hot from the booze. Moderate body with fizzy carbonation, fairly balanced. The high ABV kills the drinkability but the brew has nice flavors.

Photo of shbobdb
4.18/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks MuenchenerKindl -- you know what I likes.

This is a great beer for a warm spring day that has transitioned into a cold spring night!

There isn't much to say, really. Everything that you'd expect from a maibock is pretty much there. The color is a shade darker than many German versions (but still to style) and the alcohol is a good deal higher, but they manage to make it work. The sulfur bite I associate with maibocks is absent and has been replaced by a very sweet middle, but the finish is good clean. The head retention is so-so, but for a beer of this potency, that is expected.

Overall, it is very nice. It tastes just like a super-sized version of their pilsner, which is precisely what a well-brewed maibock ought taste like. Imagine Penn Gold, just much, much bigger. It's great.

If I lived within the distribution area, I could see myself drinking this a lot this spring . . .

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
4.03/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber to a pint glass the liquid is bright gold and labors up a 2 finger white head

The smell seems to be a cross between a maibock and a strong Belgian. Yeast and sweet sugar.

The taste is better, rich thick bready malty, and a pepery finish.

The mouthfeel is thick and sticky.

I love the idea behind this brew and the brewers at Penn did a nice job. Prosit Mk

Photo of beerthulhu
3.1/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a light golden orange color, moderate rocky white head.

S: Sweet oranges and malt on nose.

T: Some tart oranges for flavor, doesn't exactly drink like a bock or look like one. Some floral hopping and a sweet malty body that is thin to start. Some sour oranges in the finish with flowery hops.

M: moderatly light and smooth,

D: Average brew overall per style, wouldn't have seconds.

Photo of akorsak
3.88/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 750 mL capped bottle purchased at Vidalia's in Lansdale, PA.

A: The maibock is coppery orange color, paler trending to yellow at the edges of the glass. Each of the three pours from the bottle resulted in 2 or so fingers of head that has laced in thin patches around the glass. Holding the glass up, this one is crystal clear and quite a pleasant sight.

S: Aroma-wise, the lagerbier is grainy sweet with a fortified kick of alcohol. The aroma has green grapes and raisns percolating throughout.

T: Lots of malts throughout this one. The graininess is concentrated and has more of the fruitiness that came through in the nose: grapes and raisins. The maltiness is quite robust, flavorful with just a touch of boozy warmth. A vegetal grain and cereal taste, slightly green but very bready, lingers on the palate. The beer is a very lively, refreshing drink for a warm spring/summer day.

M: The beer is very grainy, thick with fruits and cereal. The strength of the malts is calming, helping to settle me down before bedtime.

D: The alcohol is a little too high. That coupled with the dinner bottle makes this a one and done. The Brewer's Reserve series is proving to be a nice line-up.

Photo of BeerSox
3.6/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber into pilsner glass.

Comes in as a crystal clear gold, which is actually a little darker than the average Maibock. The one finger head settles to a thin fizzy cap at a moderate pace. Strings of lacing here and there down the glass.

Sweet malts with just a touch of caramel. The hops are well perceived, but nothing sharp or citrusy. The alcohol shows up pretty well.

Grainy malt that feels a little thick for the style (not necessarily a bad thing), and still has some spritzy carbonation. The hops add a balancing bitterness, which sticks around for a while. A bit of alcohol is in there as well, lowering the drinkability a bit.

Pretty much an extreme Maibock. Double Maibock. Imperial Maibock. Well, maybe not as the hops are kept in check. But it is higher on the %ABV side, and it's a little thick (dextrins?). It's enjoyable and certainly worth a try. Recommended.

Photo of mikesgroove
3/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked this one up in a trade a while back and had been sitting on it in the cellar. I have been doing a bit of cellar cleaning lately and this one was next on the list. Served at cellar temperature in a snifter. Consumed on 09/02/2008.

The pour was rather decent, well rather is subjective. Dirty amber color was presented in front of me with a rather smallish head that just barely covered the top of the glass. No retention at all left an essentially bare top after about a minute. No visible carbonation,

THe aroma was rather odd, not your typical Maibock by any means. Sugary, almost with hints of jello in it. Light grapes, pears, maybe apple, but really bland and somewhat a mess. The flavor was more of the same, nothing mind blowing here by any means, in fact rather the opposite, lots of malt, little variety. Some light fruits, lots of sugar, just rather average. The feel was decent, medium bodied with an ok amount of carbonation, smooth, easily covering up the 10 percent, however I just did not see myself diving into this one for any great lenthgh of time as it was just well, rather off.

Overall it was average, way too much alcohol in it to be considered really good for the style. I just think this was one extreme beer that could have been well served toned down a few notchs.

Photo of franksnbeans
4/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with a copper hue. A finger of pearl head that dies quick to little lacing. Smells of fresh bread, minute citrus. Taste is doughey with malt and a crisp carbonation. The mouthfeel is light to medium. Where is the 10% ABV? Seriously, this is probably the most dangerous beer I have had. Drinks like a Spaten which I could easily finish a 6 pack of but is leaving me cross eyed with this bomber. Not my favorite style but if its yours you better give this a try.

Photo of scooter231
3.63/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, copper color with little head, no lacing. Very, very clear. Rusty. Looks very, very innocent. But oh, it is not.

Smells...odd. Hopsy, earthy, metallic, and... sagey? It's different. Maybe I haven't had enough experience with Maibocks. It's not unappealing, just... different. Taste is similar. It sort of tastes like a meal. Chicken, rice, hops, bitter, biscuit. Every sip is different. This has been my maibock experience. It's not good, it's not bad. It's its own world, and it's addictive.

Mouthfeel is sadly thin, but bubbles save it from being awful. Overall... I'm not sure it's highly drinkable. But it's different, and the alcohol content is SUPER sneaky. For 5ish bucks? I'd get it again. Hooray for this find! I am pleased.

Photo of weeare138
3.98/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appears a hazy, light gold with tons of CO2 pumping to the top. A huge white head slowly fades into a fluffy cap that leaves plenty of lacing around the glass.
Smell is crisp, full of wheat, fresh dough, light citrus, and fruity phenols with a mild note of bananas.
Taste echoes the aromas with a decent balance and the doughy lager yeast standing out amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, chewy, and doughy with a stickiness left on the roof of the mouth, along with a distinct dryness.
Very enjoyable.

Photo of DrDemento456
3.83/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

According to fatheads this is an "Imperial Pilsner"

A - Pours a dark amber with a nice foamy white head.

S - Mostly hops and slight wheat base with aggressive grain. Very light smell.

T - For some reason the caramel malt speaks to me in this one, hops aside, ABV aside, it's all just grain and caramel.

M - Medium to heavy. I found myself sipping on this for at least a half an hour.

Overall I got to recommend this to someone who likes pilsners and it was OK for him. Just glad I got to try this for 3.00 than 8 bucks a 22oz.

Photo of sweethome
3.18/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden color. The nose is not at all what I expect from a Maibock. Smells of corn, and more of a macro...yeah, smells like a malt liquor.

Some up front german/noble hop flavors - then alcohol and sweetness take over. Full german malt or hop flavors never deliver.

Just a hint of smoke in here too - but not so much smoked malts - but more of a cigarette smoke...not pleasing. This beer was very disappointing to me. I love Penn beers. This just seems like a malt liquor. Then I read here that it is 10% alcohol - should a true maibock be 10%? I think not. Lacks depth and character.

Photo of DaveFL1976
3.58/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I saw this beer on a recent visit to Pittsburgh, but unfortunately widn't get a chance to sample it. Low and behold, the beer showed up at my local beer store in Melbourne, Florida. Let's give it a go!

It pours a crystal clear golden yellow, very similar to one of my favorite Pennsylvania beers, Golden Monkey. It starts out with a fluffy white head which recedes into the beer, resulting with speckles of white atop a golden base.

The smell is sweet, with some alcohol notes in the nose. Hops aren't perceptible. Smells like it is going to be a sticky, malty, full-mouthed beer.

Taste is a little tarter than I expected, but quite good. Again, it sort of reminds me of a Golden Monkey. It almost tastes spiced. A tasty brew, for sure. But a BIG beer.

Mouthfeel is thick and carbonation is just about perfect. Tingly on the tongue without being too much.

Drinkability isn't fantastic. This is a sipper beer, and on a hot Florida day likt this, I wouldn't choose this again in the heat of the day. Great for a cool night, though!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.65/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Acquired from DrJay courtesy of Birthday Club 2, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him. Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a mug glass.

A: The beer is a bright orange/gold color with a medium white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is very sweet with banana, honey, some spice, light malts and a touch of hops.

T: The taste is likewise quite sweet with flavors of honey, banana and lager yeast. Some might consider it too sweet, but I like it a lot. The malt character is hearty and brings a nice breadiness to the taste as well as disguises the 10.00% ABV. There’s a mild but complementary hops presence that provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean finish for a beer with this much sweetness.

D: Very tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, excellent representation of style and then takes the style to the next level which isn’t done very often with Mai Bocks much less this well. A could see myself drinking a couple of these in an evening and enjoying them quite a bit. At that point however, either the ABV may catch-up with me or I might be too full to drink much more. Either way this is an excellent beer that I enjoyed a great deal.

Photo of Atlas1
3.64/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

For the first day of July, why not try some Penndemonium! That's what I said to myself this morning. The label on the bottle says I've been warned. Warned about what???

Pours a pale light golden amber color with a frothy white head. Nothing spectacular about the appearance at all, and I was a bit bummed that the head faded relatively fast and left behind no lace. Oh well, so it goes. The aroma is a nice banana nut and clove scent, with some pepper and a faint strawberry/pear smell off in the distance. A slightly boozy, floral aroma, but the alcohol is masked well enough on the whole by the banana clove scent. Not bad. This beer tastes okay. A decent enough blend of slightly sweet and slightly spicey. Again, that peppery banana nut bread flavor is prominent. And the cloves settle in again as well. Light fruit flavors, although nothing really rises up to clarify. Crisp dry finish from a smooth mouthfeel. I'm not sure I would go so far as to call this a highly drinkable beer, but I'm glad I tried it. It's an interesting, potent (10% ABV) maibock, and it would pair nicely, I think, with a fruit salad, or some fruit-related dessert (like a pound cake with fresh strawberries on top). Definitely worth a try.

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PENNdemonium from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.