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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: 21
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
Reviews: 129 | Hads: 222
Photo of PatrickJR
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Brilliant, clear, pale golden. A finger of white head rises with moderate retention. Some lace. Looks as good as any helles.

S - Great biscuit aroma. Decent amount of grainy sweetness with a honey-like edge. A touch of grassy-ness is noted as well.

T - Sweet and biscuity. Mid palate it begins drying somewhat with grainy flavors and the slightly grassy hints from the nose. Being as subtle as it is, this is always a difficult style to describe but Penn Gold is virtually without flaw.

M - Light to medium bodied with a bit of a chewy texture. Carbonation is moderate to high and gradually softens as this beer breathes and warms a bit.

D - Excellent. A wonderfully flavorful, yet modest beer without any offensive characteristics. Penn Gold is definitely something I would purchase in quantity in the future.

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Photo of righthereisay
2.78/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I purchased this in a Penn Variety pack. What a let down. You never know, maybe it was skunked or something. It tasted like cheap beer. In the same variety pack, the Penn Pilsner and Penn Dark were totally sensational.

I would like to try again, maybe on tap. Maybe I just got a bad batch or something. It wasn't old.

I see people at the beer store purchasing it. It can't be that bad. Maybe my taste buds have evolved too much?

Will never buy again. But would like to taste it again to see if it was really skunked or not.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.27/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As with all Penn Brewery beers, this is one I've tried and liked many time but never got around to writing a review for. I wanted to make sure I got it in before the brewery contracted out all of its brewing at the end of this year.

Very clear, pale yellow body with loads of carbonation bubbles moving around. The carbonation remains active throughout the entire drink. Small head that is made up of many tiny, tightly packed bubbles. The head doesn't last long, disappearing almost immediately. No lacing is left behind.

Very faint aroma on this. Some pale, sweet malts and some bitter, grassy hops. Both are faint, but the malt is more distinct.

This beer is superbly balanced. Malt sweetness and grassy/earthy hops along with a touch of bitterness blend together throughout. Very crisp, very smooth. The aftertaste leaves a definite grassy or hay taste in your mouth along with some bitterness. Very nice.

Really well carbonated and light bodied. Really active carbonation throughout the mouth, but finishing very dry. Crisp, smooth.

This beer sure is drinkable, a great session beer. Balance of the bitterness from the hops and sweetness of the malt keeps it from becoming too boring. Crisp, smooth body with a dry finish makes you want to take another sip. Great lager.

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Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: the pour into my pils glass gives a big, fluffy white head, the beer is an ultra-clear pale golden in color

s: clean, slightly sweet and doughy pale grain with a dose of grassy hops

m: medium carbonation, body light but not thin

t: grainy pale malts with a grassy hop flavor and crisp finish, has that light touch of sulfur that identifies it as a German lager, without any flaws but with nothing to really set it apart

d: very sessionable, simple and authentic, with enough character to keep it interesting

single from Whole Foods Raleigh

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Photo of Domingo
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BankerJoe for this one.
Pours a straw yellow color that isn't quite golden (which for the style is correct) with a little bit of head, but nothing overwhelming.
Smells of pale grain, a little bit of clover, and a little citrus zest.
The taste actually isn't a typical helles. It reminds me a lot of the American all-malt lagers out there as the malt is the star, and the hops really take a back-seat. In a German helles, that's somewhat true, but the hops are still a bigger player. Rather than the hops int he finish, I get more of a lemon zest. The finish has a hint of vanilla.
Goes down like water and is a session beer if there's ever been one.
I'd say this brew is reminiscent of Full Sail's Session...which might be considered and American Helles.
Not a carbon copy of the Munich originals, but possibly just as good in it's own way.

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Photo of blakesell
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a Belgian goblet.

This beer was forgotten in my cellar home and sat in a fridge under very cold conditions for a year.

Appearance- Beer pours a very light pisswater yellow with a slim half finger of head. When held to the light the beer isn't quite clear, but almost. Carbonation dies quickly and there is no lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell- The first thing I got was skunk but then that smell disappeared, never to return. There is some corn and light Germanic malts. A very sweet scent left over, smelling very grainy. So far this smells almost like a perfect helles.

Taste- Light grainy texture, moderately sweet with a lot of sweet corn flavor. Hops are present but not strong. A bit tingly on the tongue. A bit creamy, and a little overpowering on the bitterness, but a very solid beer.

Mouthfeel- Effervescent, Light bodied, highly carbonated, and smooth drinking.

Drinkability- This is a near five on drinkability. As a lawnmower beer, which it is, it has amazing "poundability" factor. Smooth and very drinkable. I would get this again and not put so much age on it next time.

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Photo of ndekke39
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle from the brewery, decanted into a pint glass. Pours a very light yellow, clear, with a small white head. Not much retention.

Smell is simple: grainy, sweet, a little bit of cooked rice.

Taste is the same: grainy and sweet. Heavy tastes of granny smith apples. A little biscuity in the center, but the flavor disappears pretty quickly in the end.

Bright effervescence. Very fizzy.

Pretty easy and drinkable. I guess a nice German lager session beer, but nothing exceptional to make me return to it.

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Photo of jdg204
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Second Penn Review as part of the 12 pack. I was honestly expecting this to be the weakest of the bunch, but was pleasantly surprised by the quality.

A: Crisp gold with a small white head that slowly dissapates. A little bit of expected lacing is left behind.

S: Nice light hoppy/ bready combo with a tinge of citrus.

T: A bit better than the aroma with some warm breadiness hidden in the taste of this malty brew.

M: Ok with some mild amounts of carbonation making for a half decent treat. There is a bit of a mettalic taste that I seem to detect that is less than desirable.

D: Another solid offering from Penn, definetly worth trying if you're nearby but not one to go out of your way for. Penn's definetly a solid brewery doing a good job providing affordable, classic style brews.

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Photo of letsgopens
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looking forward to this weekend's Oktoberfest celebration at Penn, I see it only fitting to review one of their brews. The Munich Helles pours a slightly cloudy golden wheat color with a full, frothy, snow-white head that diminishes in a reasonable fashion. Some slippery thin rings on lace remain after each sip.

Bright, slightly sweet cereal malt and some really great spicy hop character. Pronounced and appetizing with crisp, clean spice and some lightly toasted white bread.

So nice, I've had this one a million times and it's such a great representation of the style. Mild and slightly sweet with a buttered bread note ad spicy, bitey hops that provide great balance and a mild lingering floral note. Such great balance with just a hint of clover honey toward the end among the smooth malty goodness. Just a hint of a metallic/soapy character (neither of which I mean in a bad way) but clean and tasty throughout. Well balanced and full flavored for the style.

Crisp and bright but still lush and smooth on the tongue. Bright, lively carbonation and a somewhat buttery, malty feel that dries up just a bit at the end. Very nice.

Drinkability is through the roof. One of the most neutral but still flavorful session brews around. It never gets old and it goes well with pretty much anything food-wise. One of my favorite renditions of the style.

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

Poured into a glass from the 12oz bottle. Lovely, medium lasting head over a pale amber body. Smells of hops and malt in balance, neither overpowers the other and the taste is the same although the hops bitterness seems to linger at the back of the palate way after the malt taste. There's a good body, a little creaminess, perhaps with some light carbonation and a slightly dry finish. This is a good beer with or without food. An excellent drinkin' brew.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Acclaimed as the best American version of the style. Pours a classic golden with a wet, fuzzy head that lasts about seven minutes in my pilsner glass. Nose is grainy with malt and the advertised Hallertau hops.

The hops give this grainy, malty taste some needed balance, with notes of spice and medium bitterness. The texture is light and juicy and presumably quite refreshing. Overall, this is genuine, quality German style drinking beer and I would pick up a sixer if I saw one.

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

light golden color, head short lived and the size of the bubbles (as with all Penn beers i've had) is disappointingly large.
delicate maltiness, fresh grain, just a fragile touch of noble hops. just about right. straightforward and honest yet flirtatious.
starting to get very hard to find in my area.

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Photo of Redrover
3.36/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap across the street from PNC Park, it was served in a standard pint, the beer is a hazy gold with a smallish bone white head. Nice lacing.

The nose is light grains and a whisper of floral hops. Its really hard to pick-up much of anything.

The taste is a mix of slightly sweet grains balanced with mild hoping.

The beer is crisp with good carbonation and a bit of residual oiliness.

Easy drinker, if they could up the aroma a bit it would be top notch!

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Clear light yellow with a bit of head that recedes to a fine layer of lace.

S. Euro noble hops, some malt.

T. This light lager has some crystal malt prescence accented by some earthy hops.

M. Light and refreshing. What an American light beer should be.

D. Not too many ways they could make this more drinkable, possibly a bit less carbonation and a little more malt. Thats really nitpicking.

Bottoms up!

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

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date.

Poured a clear, light gold with very little head and no lacing.

I detected very little aroma even immediately after opening the bottle. Perhaps some european hops.

This was very straight forward with more hop bitterness than I anticipated with a helles style lager. Lacks the subtle flavors of other helles I have tried. There is very little sweet malt flavor normally found with this style; no hints of vanilla I normally detect in this style. The lager has a grainy flavor. It tastes more like a international pilsner style lager rather than a helles. It was very smooth and crisp.

Thin bodied with moderate carbonation.

Perhaps I am being overly critical of this beer as I have enjoyed the others I have reviewed from this brewery and expected the same with this one. This is a good beer, just not the quality I have come to expect from Penn brewing.

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Photo of therica
3.77/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= very clean light-yellow, modest head that doesn't stay long.

S= nice bouquet of malts, hops, maybe corn?

T= refreshing, somewhat light, less bold than the smell in my opinion. Light hops-bitterness in the gulp and follow. Pleasant mix of malts and hops without being overly floral or hops-biting. Slightly less-bold than I would prefer.

M= fine, clean, some flavors to savor.

D= very drinkable, would make a great on-tap session.

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Photo of IronCitySteve
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A bright yellow, very clear. A quickly dissipating foam head. No real lacing.

S: Lots of malt. Nuts, caramels, bread and a tad hint of citrus (I could be imaging that).

T: A smooth mix of bread, caramel and citrus. Seems like an odd combo, but it works, good balance.

M: A light body lager, very refreshing, clean on the palate.

D: An all-around great lager, very enjoyable in the spring and summer.

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Photo of RobH
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle.

A: Poured a cristal clear, bright yellow that immediately reminded me of the German import pilsner-style beers my dad used to drink.

S: Smell was of that same German pilsner. This was my first Helles, so I didn't know what I was getting myself into.

T: Definitely that unique, German pils type of flavor, however it finishes with a very nice sweetness that follows and mellows out the initial bitterness.

Definitely a refreshing beer, all in all, and I could recommend it for sure. It's not really my style, though, so it may be a while before I purchase another one for myself.

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Photo of splat215
3.58/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Pint Glass

A - Slightly darker then straw yellow, bubbly and lively with lots of carbonation. Rapidly dissapating head.
S - Sweet, sugary, heavy barley smell which faded. Smelled like a cheap lager coming out of the bottle, mellowed a bit.
M - High carbonation matches the appearance, a bit too much in my opinion. Watery and thin, slides down the throat.
T - Barley, bit of corn, subtle, not a lot a flavor but well balanced
O - Maybe not my first pick, but I think this beer achieves the "clean, bright" flavor associated with the style.

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Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear pale yellow in color with a one figner head that lingers around a while. Strong carbonation as the bubbles rise feverishly to the surface.

Smell: very little malt sweetness is all one can detect.

Taste: malt sweetness with a bit of grass, mild honey, and a touch of lemon zest.

Mouthfeel: lighter in body. Crisp and clean throughout.

Drinkability: another eay quaffing brew from PBC. Flavor profile is mellow but pleasant.

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Photo of JayQue
3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold with a nicely carbonated small head. Surprisingly good ladder like lacing on the glass. Light malty aroma. Light taste, a little hops bitterness but mostly smooth malt.

Mouthfeel is good. Good Helles lagers have a pillowy, soft mouthfeel and a little crispness. This one fits the bill. Drinkability is excellent. This is an ideal summertime session beer.

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Photo of scooter231
3.31/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with some frothy white head that disappears pretty quickly, leaves a little residue on top and minimal lacing. Right for the style. Smells malty and slightly sweet but it's on the faint side. Simple.

Taste has a little bit more hop character to it, and some breadyness, but again, very light, not deep. It's refreshing and light, but really... weak. I expected more.

Mouthfeel is sudsy and light, a bit thin. Overall a very refreshing brew, but not as tasty as I thought it'd be.

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Photo of tankg
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this years ago, and it seemed a little light-bodied, but my tastes must be changing, because I found this to be much better than I remembered when I got a 6 in a sampler case. Never have had a bad beer from this brewery, and their Oktoberfest event is always a lot of fun. I read that the owner is retiring, and a hearty Salud' to him, although he'd probably prefer a german toast.

Slightly cloudy appearance in a pint glass, with a very faint aroma and a very clean finish - a much better summer beer than a lot of what is out there and not so robust, so that you might be able to convince some of the light beer guzzlers to give it a try.

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

Color is golden straw and very clear. The small head is white with a fine texture and leaves a few spots of lace. Aroma is a refreshing mix of bright spicy floral 'happy' hops and toasty/musky malts. Taste mimics the smell with spicy flowers and toasty malts. Nice balance of light flavors and a solid representation of the style. Good carbonation and nice slick, semi creamy texture. Body is right and drinkability is high. Also, this happens to go excellent with salmon.

I have a feeling this beer will see many springs and summers with me.

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Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a modest head; more of a film than any aspect of lace

Smell: Bready and grainy; fresh mown grass

Taste: Bready, at first, with a rising grainy bitterness (with a hint of lemon) by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sweeter bready elements return and maintain the predominant element of flavor, although the lemon and grain aspects persist into the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with crisp carbonation

Drinkability: A fine example of the style; goes down great on a hot day

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