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Penn Gold - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn GoldPenn Gold

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

129 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 129
Hads: 222
Avg: 3.8
pDev: 15.26%
Wants: 20
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Munich Helles Lager |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-17-2002

Nationally acclaimed as the best Munich-style beer made in America. Penn Gold is a light-colored, medium bodied lager beer with a delicate hop aroma.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Penn Gold Alström Bros
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Reviews: 129 | Hads: 222
Photo of IronLover
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Golden yellow in color with light haze. Poured with a short, soapy, bright white foam. Medium-low head retention. Medium- high spicy aromas with medium low malt aromas and medium fruity notes and phenolics. No hop aromas. Medium bodied with high, assertive, yet soft carbonation. Medium high peppery spicyness. phenolic flavors are high followed by medium citrus hop flavors through the middle and medium low bitterness toward the end. Finished semi-dryly with a light hop bite and lingering astringency. The balance certainly leaned toward the spicy side which seemed to overwhelm the hop aromas and flavor. The lingering astringency at the finish hurts the drinkability.

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Photo of metter98
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit/bready malts are present in the nose along with notes of grassy hops, the latter of which becomes a little more apparent as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and the grassy hops offer a light amount of accompanying bitterness.
M: It feels a bit more than being light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very good American representation of a Munich Helles Lager, although it seems a bit lighter compared to some of the German counterparts. In that aspect, it is very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of EFitzsimmons
3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Very clear light gold, good light ivory head, with light carbonation.

Smell: Slight smell of malt and a good earthiness to it.

Taste: Like is smells with a nice light sweetness to it, although it seemed to have a slightly skunky aftertaste.

Feel: Light and very easy to drink with good carbonation

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Photo of hopflyer
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours light gold. High clarity. Minimal head.

Smells of hay, straw, German malt. Grassy and some spice.

Taste follows with grassy earthy overtones with bready malt and some sweetness. Some lemony citrus flavor to balance out the malt profile. Low bitterness but just enough. All put together well.

Very light body and medium carbonation. A touch of aftertaste but doesn't ruin anything. Refreshing.

Wasn't having high expectations since German lagers haven't hit my taste to well. Bit this one is different. It packs a lot of flavor in a low abv. and very good balance. Well crafted for sure. I'll grab some more of these, especially for daytime summer drinking.

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Photo of RVigz
4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Clear golden yellow with a white as snow head.

Smell: A sweet malty aroma.

Taste: Similar to the nose, a rather sweet initial taste of malts that bitters out on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Super super smooth and drinkable.

Overall: I was very impressed with this beer for how smooth it was. VERY drinkable. It tasted similar to boddingtons or john smiths, i enjoyed this a lot.

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Photo of dungledauf
2.16/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Pint glass on draft at the brewery.

Appearance: Bright, golden color. Very clear. Low carbonation with thin lacing.

Smell: Little to no smell. Expected to smell all-grain malt. The beer may have been served to cold.

Taste: Malt flavor lingers with strong aftertaste. Really expected this to balance quickly

Mouthfeel: Crisp with a medium body.

Notes: Every time I try this style on draft at the brewery it is different. I have had better in the past from Penn Brewery.

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Photo of Foam
3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a "gourmet selection" variety case of Penn Brewery's and there's a few Penn Golds in it . It's off the top, very thin/light ... session beer but leaves me desiring more substance/soul/density/thickness ... Penn's answer to Coors Light / Miller Lite / etc etc.
non-threatening 'safe' beer for the masses .
would be good on very hot humid Summer days . wouldn't dehydrate you too much with it's very low 4% abv .
not one i'd buy outright but not terrible .

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed medium golden colored beer with one finger of foamy white head. The head fades over about a 5 min time period, leaving a good level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is wheaty and grainy smelling with a little bit of a citrus and grassy hop aroma mixed within.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice bready and doughy flavor with a decent amount of a sweet caramel flavor. These flavors create a nice smooth base for the brew, lasting till the end. Along with the aforementioned flavors, some flavors of yeast and lighter fruit flavors join the tongue. Toward the end a bit of a lemon taste as well as some light hop flavors of an herbal nature join the tongue. With just a hint of graininess and pepper joining the tongue at the very end a nice crisp yet smooth sweet and malty flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side with a carbonation that is rather high. Both are fantastic for the mix of bread, sweet, and hop, creating a very refreshing and quite drinkable brew.

Overall -This one is nice and refreshing a great session style brew. One I will certainly get again.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz.

Pours a light clear lemony gold, white lacing.

Light grassy nose with some hints of citrus and hops.

Flavor is lightly sweet, honey and floral notes, with some subtle hop balance and grassy malts to base it all on.

Light body with a mild sting of carbonation.

An infinitely sessionable and wonderfully nuanced lager, maybe the best offering from Penn in terms of session candidates. Pairs great with a wide range of foods but tastes good enough to drink on its own too. Excellent balance. Definitely a beer I will return to.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.89/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on 2012-12-25 in Columbia, PA

A - Midly-hazy with a 1.5 finger white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves mild lacing.

S - Bread dough, lemon, flowery hops, light yeast.

T - Pale malt, grass, biscuit, lemon, hop spice, light white pepper, good medium-lived tart citrus and bittering finish.

M - Light-medium body and medium-high carbonation. Crisp, sprightly and refreshing.

O - A very well-done Helles with plenty of quality aromas and taste in a session beer. Well done.

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Photo of ThePaleRider
4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Light yellow, fresh straw color. Bright white head, with a variety of bubble sizes, that disappears quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Light fruits, bitter hops, and pilsner malts. Nice scent for the style. Very earthy, like fress fall leaves.

T - Crisp, almost apple cider taste. Malts come in nicely. Pretty amazing flavor and bitter bite for a lager. Takes notes on this one guys, who knew a lager could have such an array of fruity esters and bitter bite.

M - Clean and crisp. Nice carbonation and light bodied.

O - Great lager, nice to drink a good lager every once in a while and this one is really nice.

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Photo of jifigz
4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a...well, what do you know, beautiful gold color with a head that doesn't last all that long. The head didn't leave any real lacing as it disappeared. The beer looks very carbonated by the amount of bubbles rising towards the surface. It looks like a pretty standard Helles. The aroma smells mostly clean and crisp with a little bit of "skunk" thrown in there. It smells a lot like an American macro Pilsner but with less grainy sweetness and a little more hop aroma. The flavor is pretty much what I expect out of a Helles lager. The initial flavor has that distinct Helles flavor that I can't really describe, then it fades to some sweetness, then the sweetness mingles with the hops, and then the sweetness kind of takes back over for the rest of the aftertaste. The MF is very light and just what I expect for the style. It finishes dry.

This is a very solid Helles Lager. The beer is crisp, dry, flavorful, and very easy drinking without being boring. Well done Pennsylvania Brewing Co. and thanks for representing my home state with the name of your wonderful brewery.

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into pint glass. Freshness date marked on bottle.

Lovely golden color. Left a nice head and lacing.

Fresh delicious clean beer smell.

Wow! Perfect balance of hops, malts, and refreshing drinkability.

Clean and crisp. Excellent refreshing finish.

This is what beer is supposed to be. A straight up no pretense beer. Damn good. Put this up there with Victory Lager in terms of a pure beer. Some of the best beers in the world come out of Pennsylvania.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, a sweet malt and fresh lager notes. In the taste, a small sweet lager notes, quite fresh and a bit watery. A very small bite, but mainly smooth, and a light bodied mouthfeel, with a small and dry graininess in the aftertaste. Quite fresh, yet a bit sweet, nice, but just about average.

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Photo of king75
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Light gold color, almost transparent. Descent head retention, descent lacing. Nothing to special, almost looks a little watery.

S- Can pick up hints of grain, light maltiness presence, and fragrance of hops is present.

T-Has a great crispness, has a grain flavor that is equally balanced by the hop flavor present. Very light across the palate but yet extremely flavorful.

Wow! this one way surpassed my expectations. When I first poured it I expected it to have a macro watery taste but I was truly blow away by the flavor of this beer. This beer is able to be extremely light across the palate and yet has a great flavor. Quite possibly the most drinkable beer I have ever had due to being overall light in body, full in flavor and low in alcohol percentage.

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Photo of NardiByNature
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

White head builds and falls quickly but leaves a decent cap for the style: a few small islands and a collar. Remarkably clear and light golden golden. Bright? Yes.

The aroma from this is subtly earthy with some fresh grassiness.

Light toasted malts meld nicely with the mildly peppery-bitter hops.

Finishes clean and clear, the carbonation provides a well-placed crispness to divide subtle bitterness from the malt.

VERY sessionable beer in one of my favorite styles. I’m lucky enough at the moment to live in Pittsburgh where Germanic and East European heritage has rubbed off on local breweries like the Pennsylvania Brewing Company and Church Brew Works: they both make nice German-style lagers. I hope to see more lagers from American craft companies.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another beer I had on tap at the Restaurant at Penn Brewery.

A - A clear bright golden colored beer with a very sweet half inch of creamy white head. A simple swirl easily brings it back so nicely carbonated.

S - Slight bittering hops, bit of buttered popcorn, and bread with a touch of honey.

T - A very stellar Helles Lager. You get sweet honey like malts, then a surprising bit of bittering hops mild but present, and a finish of buttered bread.

M - It was medium bodied since I was stuffed on the food but it was very drinkable.

Overall one of the best I have ever encountered: good flavor, medium bodied, and sessionable. Would consider trying it again in the bottle to see if it's as good.

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Photo of mwa423
3.27/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On recommendation from a guy at church brew works, I moseyed on down the street to Penn

A - Pours a vry light straw color with minimal head and no lacing.

S - Aroma is light with a bit of grainy malt but little overall.

T - Taste was typical for a helles lager with light malty notes but very little flavor overall.

M/D - Mouthfeel is very light and smooth but watery. Very drinkable in the same way all very light beers are drinkable. Would be a good substitute for a bmc.

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Photo of Kanyon22
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a sixer of these on my trip, visiting the family back in OH. Poured in to my Murphy's tulip tumbler glass.

A: Pours a dull goldish color with a white very fading head, with tons of little bubbles riding up the glass. Pretty much on point for style just wished head lasted longer then 20 seconds.

S: As a sweet raw dough smell with a hint of spiciness. Has that typical German beer funk smell I always get in these kinda beers. Has a nice clean smell nothing out of the ordinary

T: Starts out sweet and doughy. The middle it has a spicy kick from the hops and ends with a tart sourish finish. That might sound bad but it all combine for a very pleasant helles. This beer is probably what all the German helles taste like, but unfortunately I've probably never had one this fresh before.

M: Its surprisingly on the medium side which is amazing considering it comes in at 4% abv. Carbonation is high and it has a tart bready flavor that coats the throat a bit.

D: Super high at only 4.00% abv. also very cheap got a sixer for $7.99 and thy go down nice and easy and still has enough flavor to keep you satisfied, what more could you want.

Not an absolute behemoth beer and not one to get all excited about by beer geeks, but truly a wonderful take on the helles style lager.

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Photo of mralphabet
3.2/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Clear and slightly darker than yellow. Good 1 1/2 head that settled to a ring with very little lacing

S: Very mild, mix of sweet malt, citrus hops and a little yeast.

T: Bready, biscuit like, with a sweetness, followed quickly by so tart citrus hops with just a bit of tartness. Finish is clean with no bitterness...

M: Light bodied with good carbonation. Crisp & Clean.

D: Very easy drinking beer, well balanced low ABV, you could drink quite a few of these... but there is just not enough here for me to buy again and again. Good but not fantastic.

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Photo of krausenman
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-This beer pours a golden color with a white head the fades leaving a lacy ring around the glass. The beer is very lightly hazy.

S-The beer has a very faint malty sweet smell with a very faint herbal/spicy hop aroma.

T-Initially, you can taste the sweetness of the malt but this is then balanced by the low to moderate hop bitterness.

M-Penn Gold has a lighter body that with a moderate carbonation.

D-The beer is balanced and has a good flavor reminiscent of the established german Munich Helles beers. Its lighter body and good balance of flavor makes is a very good session beer.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.48/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A kind of run of the mill lager, certainly many notches above anything macro, but hardly memorable.

Hazy brownish yellow with some good foam, active carbonation. Malty/grainy smell, not distinctive.

Taste is a cleanish malty blend with a light hop throughout. Even keeled and consistent. Appropriately carbonated.

Drinkable, and at 4 ABV, easy to pack away a few. A good brew, no complaints.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Penn Gold is that beer that most micro breweries feel that they need to produce to make the local American Adjunct Lager drinkers proud. It's fruity notes make the beer seem more like a Blonde Ale or Cream Ale.

A solid golden color shows a lot of carbonation. Froathy white foam rises and falls rather quickly. No lacing.

A malty/grainy aroma swirls in the glass and struggle to hide the scents of corn sulfurs, fruity esters, and grassy hops.

Flavors also show the part-malt, part-grain flavors. A bit too sweet, but the hops have an earthy-grassy flavor and a bit weak in the balance. Light acidity reminds me of green apples and lemon peel (kinda shandy-like). Still the sulfurs leave the lingering taste of corn and matches.

Sweetness clings to the mouth early but the aggressive carbonation scrubs the malts and grains off of the tongue. The acidity helps with the crispness along with the carbonation. But that co2 and sulfur texture scratches a bit in the end.

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Photo of kegger22
3.9/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Penn Gold was a clear yellow in color with a half inch, white head that remained as a splotchy skin covering.

The aroma was malt and grainy, pleasant and inoffensive.

The taste was sweet and grainy too, although there were some hops present in the after taste.

The mouth feel was light bodied and amply carbonated.

Drinkability was good. Penn Gold has a pleasing flavor and a very low ABV; you could drink these all day.

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Photo of stakem
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very clear golden color with a thin white head. Slight hop spiced aroma blends with some maltiness and a touch of butter. It is a subtle nose but quite pleasant. Very drinkable beer with a crisp finish. Tastes include grain, malt and slight bitter hops to balance it out. Medium feel and moderate to light carb. It is simple yet good enough to want and sit down and have a few of.

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Penn Gold from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 129 ratings.