Penn Pilsner - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

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BA SCORE
81
good

399 Ratings
THE BROS
88
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 399
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 15.08%
Wants: 13
Gots: 26 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Vienna Lager |  4.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Our flagship brand! An amber Vienna-style lager beer that is smooth, mellow and full bodied, with delicate hop aroma. Uses two-row barley malt and caramel-roasted malt. Based on founder Tom Pastorius' favorite German bier.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 399 | Reviews: 230 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A medium bodied vienna with a dry and sweet finish. Now, knowing the style as a vienna I understand its malty aroma and malty taste. Satisfying, not offensive nor interesting. Corn and carmel too, a macro brew replacement. Apparently not made by the brewery.

Photo of djrn2
3.25/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

G: Pilsner Urquell pilsener glass.

A: Dark gold with plenty of carbonation and a rather large head. Quite transparent.

S: Pale malts with a field-ish smell. Slightly sweet.

T: Slightly sweet with some grainy flavors. Slight hint of bubble gum. Slight hop presence. Slightly hefeweizen-esque.

M: Very light mouthfeel with minimal carbonation and no alcohol presence. Very smooth.

D: Exceedingly drinkable. Definitely looking forward to these over the summer. Fiancee thinks its "okay."

Photo of brentk56
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with a modest head that declines to a ringlet and rarely deposits any lacing on the glass

Smell: Not much aroma; what there is has a touch of dried grain

Taste: Starts with a grainy touch; the middle has a bit of malty caramel sweetness - so far so good - but the finish falls apart with a bitter grainy flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium to light body with plenty of carbonation

Drinkability: Overall, not bad but the finish detracts from what would otherwise be a decent session beer

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.78/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished gold with a significant contribution from orange. The ivory colored cap has a better than average look. Its gently rocky surface sticks to the glass in spots, leaving behind tattered sheets of lace as it descends.

The nose is capable enough without being a standout. I'd like more of a toasted maltiness than is present. There really isn't much of a contribution from the malt at all. Only the Hallertau hops are noticeable and they don't exactly bowl me over with their brilliance.

Thankfully, things improve quite a bit on the taste buds. If the nose is a disappointment, the flavor is a more than pleasant suprise. A brewery's 'flagship' beer had better be good, or there's no hope for them at all.

Pilsner's best feature is the interplay between a lightly toasted, cracker-like, malt sweetness and a perfectly counterbalancing herbal, spicy, German hop bitterness. This is one of those beers whose list of ingredients doesn't excite (me at least), but that is much more delicious than the sum of its parts. I could drink a lot of this stuff. Solo... with meals... tailgating... you name it.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly full for the style. Maybe it's the carbonation deficit, but I like the way it lingers on the tongue and allows one to focus on all the various flavors in turn. The malt sugars keep it from being crisp and clean, which is more than fine with me.

After the smell test, I was concerned that Penn Pilsner would be nothing more than another forgettable, Euro-style lager. It's much more than that, though. It's a very good example of a style that too few American craft brewers will tackle. Even though I've only had two beers from these guys (St. Nick Bock), I'm mightily impressed so far.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, golden-amber body with a slim, brief, white head.

Smell: Grainy, doughy nose with aromatic hop notes scented of grated spices.

Taste: Pilsner maltiness rounded with a smooth breadiness and lightly sweet accents. Very subtle fruitiness. Restrained German hop spiciness with just enough bitterness to balance things out. However, the spiciness, alongside the grainy pils quality dials up a bit before the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Served itself well as an aperitif before heating up some sad, old leftovers. Thanks, Penn Pilsner, thank you for that.

Photo of oberon
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker golden,darker than most pilsners I have had,aroma is malty and bready not to sweet.Taste is a nice malt accented crisp as a cracker with some zesty hop in there but this more of crisp,dry malt accented brew.A little more heavy I thought than most of the style but still a appetizing beer none the less.

Photo of Jason
3.9/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long-neck bottle with a blurb about the beer on the back ... freshness date notched on the back label.

Appearance: Very clear golden straw with a fluffy rocky white head that sticks all around the glass.

Smell: Slightly sweet with a trace raw honey like nose from the grain with a fresh mowed hay like hop aroma.

Taste: Smooth with a dreamy textured mouth feel. Lots of grain on the tongue with a palate cleansing vaguely herbal hop bitterness. Touch of sweetness up front but all and all on the dry side throughout. Hops stay assertive even into the finish to keep thing dry along with the grainy flavour.

Notes: Hmmm ... tastes like it was freshly shipped over from Germany. Not bad at all, a good find for any pilsner geek or even a macro brewery Beck's (or similar) drinker.

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears an amber gold in color with an off white cram colored head. Leaves rings of lace as the glass empties. Aroma consists of caramel like malts with mild floral hallertau hops kicking in the background with a sweet buttery nose. Very sweet taste at the forefront with a mildly syrup like flavor that is balanced by the delicate hop bitterness this beer will live on as a true classic from the Pittsburgh area. Mouthfeel is medium to light in body, but the sweet malt rolls over the palate sticking to the tongue as each sip is swallowed down. As for drinkability the flagship beer of the Penn brewery is one of the most refreshing/satisfying session beers around.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, caramelized malts and some of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild sweetness from flavors of caramel, honey and fruit followed by a strong breadiness from lager yeast and a thin but hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber with a decent off white head that does not really stick around too long. Nose is a bit woody with a slight perfume to it. Flavor is much more robust than I was expecting. Thick tree character with a stringent sweet edge that has an overall thick caramel tone to it. Feel is smooth on the liquid with a fairly low carbonation. Very drinkable. A very well made brew with a lot of body and character to it. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fizzy head reaches the top of the SA PP glass but fades semi quickly over brilliantly clear tan wheat slight golden brown yellowish color.

Nose has some light lagers, light wheat, hint of toasted malts, a slight DME like aroma, touch of sweet malts, all that is pretty light too.

Taste is lager like, a semi sweet and very light fruity lager, but a hint of bad lager too (light skunk like or bad DME like), some light wheats and toasted malts, hints of grassy hops and slight bitterness, little mint, light fruit. Finishes slightly drier, more mint and grassy hops, bit of bitterness, light lager flavors.

Mouth is lighter bodied with good carb.

Overall not bad, a nice easy drinking summer beer, hops are an interesting character, the light DME like aroma and flavor takes away from it a bit, but it's not that strong.

Photo of Slatetank
3.74/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I purchased this at the Giant Beer Garden & Eatery in York. Enjoyed chilled from the brown 12oz in a pils glass.
The color is pale golden with thick white head with frothy look and lace sticks well. The smell is very malty with an appropriate level of sweet pils malt aroma but low in yeast scent which is also apropos for a lager. The feel is somewhat light but still has a nice toasted texture with mild bitterness and sweetness with a moderate amount of carbonation and semi-dry finish.

The flavor is more helles than vienna to me but still could pass for either -there is a lot of pils taste for the low abv with mild floral hop accents and subtle yeast flavor which adds some depth with a gentle mineral note. The overall impression is it is pretty decent for a german style lager pretty expressive and very full of flavor but I consider it more helles so it doesn't fit the style to a T in my opinion...but very drinkable nonetheless.

Photo of russpowell
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent apricot with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Apricot, pears & grassy hops

T: Grassy & herbal hops, along with breadyness & grainyness up front. Slight traces of honey, along with bready notes, plus herbal hops as this warms. Finishes semi-crisp with nice fruityness & honey malt notes. Almsot pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium boded with soft carbonation & nice balance

Drank very easy a Vienna lager that matches most I had over in Germany

Photo of oline73
3/5  rDev -16.2%

Photo of smcolw
3.28/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good starting head, although the bubbles are little large. Dark gold color with a minor haze.

Crisp lighter malt aroma with a pleasant floral hop smell. Slightly sour nose.

Richer body than I would expect. Comes across like a pale ale. The hop is less flowery than the Czech versions of pils. Fairly typical malt base.

Photo of InspectorBob
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of wrightst
3.75/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Gavage
3.88/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear orange in color with a 1/2" head that falls quickly. Some spotty lace develops during the session.

Smell: light fruit sweetness is all that is detectable.

Taste: mild grainy malt profile. Mild fruit sweetness, soft bitterness and a hint of honey round it out.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start and smoother at the finish. Little Aftertaste. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: very easy to drink lager and much better than the usual macro offerings. Worth picking some of this up for some easy to drink beer.

Photo of orangesol
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of stakem
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden color with a finger of white head. Fair amount of lace clinging on the glass. Aroma is light in malt and a bit of citrus hops. Has a lingering aftertaste that is somewhat grainy with a lingering sweetness that is offset by a bit of hop bitterness. As it warms, a bit of caramel comes out in the nose. Medium to light feel with mild amount of carb. Overall not bad, I would drink it again.

Photo of Billolick
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ouncer sampled, no freshness dating to be found. Pours cloudy orangy amber, with a white head, leaving nice, fine lacing. Nose is of slightly burnt crayons. Not all that fond of this one, lacks the typical clean crisp hopping of the finer pilsners that I've come to enjoy. this is mostly malty thru the midsection, and not as snappy in the finish as would be expected from the top notch examples of the style. Prima Pils, I agree, would be the choice of Pennsylvania Pilsners

Photo of LXIXME
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%

Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think there's some identity confusion between the "pilsner" on the label and actual style, but it's still a good beer regardless. It doesn't have the rich caramel malt of a SA Boston Lager, but there's still a smooth sweetness with a touch of esters. A crisp, grassy hops note finishes out the beer to make it a nice, clean lager with character.

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Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 399 ratings.