Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine and get 12 issues / year of fresh beer content delivered to your door each month.

Already subscribe? to manage your subscription.

Penn Pilsner - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

236 Reviews
THE BROS
87
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 236
Hads: 432
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 13.81%
Wants: 17
Gots: 46 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Penn Pilsner Alström Bros
Reviews: 236 | Hads: 432
Photo of Slatetank
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (942 characters)

Photo of Cylinsier
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a clear amber gold with white suds for a head.

Has a coppery and caramel malt smell.

Flavor is of coppery caramel malts and very mild hops with some bready undertones.

Medium to light body with a stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A solid drinkable pilsner which goes down smooth and pairs well with average food like a burger or a chicken sandwich. Doesn't try to do much more than that. Just a solid lager, worth having. (453 characters)

Photo of searsclone
3.81/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle into a pint glass

clear honey color with little head and no lace

smell is white grape and sweet grains

taste is sweet grape with a good hop balance and a quick metallic aftertaste

moutfeel is thin but nicely carbonated

easy to drink and worth a try (260 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
3.48/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2012-11-23 in Pittsburgh, PA

A - Moderately clear dark gold with a 1-finger white head. Good lacing.

S - Lightly toasted malt, very mild caramel, white bread and a touch of lemon. Not real strong.

T - A moderate amount of malt presence (toasted grain and mild caramel) for such a low ABV brew. Touch of lemon citrus but nowhere near their Kaiser Pils. Touch of grass and a bit of metallic spice. Finishes clean.

M - Light body and light-medium carbonation. Watery.

O - Pretty decent for a 4% brew. More malt-focused than crisp/bitter hops. Had this in a Pilsnerpalooza tasting with their Kaiser Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils, Victory Prima Pils, Church Breworks Celestial Gold Pils. and Victory-Fat Heads collaboration "United" Pils. This Penn Pilsner finished below all the above although it shouldn't be discounted to the point of ignoring it. It certainly gets props for being sessionable and decent-tasting. (926 characters)

Photo of dungledauf
1/5  rDev -72.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pour into pint glass from 12 ounce bottle. Case said drink by date is February 8, 2013. Case stated amber-style Vienna lager with smooth, mellow, full-bodied taste and delicate hop aroma. 2-row barley and caramel roasted malt used.

Appearance: Slight head with disappered quickly and no lacing on the glass on the way down, straw-colored, little to zero carbonation, lifeless, dull, and very cloudy which seems unusual for a lager.

Smell: Beyond belief because there was no smell expecially no hop aroma whatsoever. This did not even smell like a beer.

Taste: Little yeast and malt flavor especially in the after taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy with a medium body.

Overall: This was not a Vienna-lager. Whatever style it represented it was awful. I am confident to say this because I have enjoyed this beer for over 15 years. This was not even comparable to Sam Adams Boston Lager or the Great Lakes Eliot Ness. This brewery does not consistently produce this product well. I am not sure why this beer is totally different than in the past, but I will never order it again. (1,080 characters)

Photo of ChuckGeramita
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great alternative to the mainstream beers for social gatherings, tailgates, etc. when quantity is an issue. You can drink it and drink it and keep going.

Not for the beer snob who wants to have 1 or 2 for something spectacular.

Moderately overpriced but crushes tha mainstream Miller, Coors, and Budweisers of the world. (322 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (783 characters)

Photo of Buggies
3.47/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure what style I would place this one in. Definitely not a pilsner though. Otherwise, a great little flagship.

Smells a little sweet with slight notes of corn. A little fruitiness in the nose as well. Tastes just as good. You get the corn and slight fruitiness, but it is also slightly malty with hints of caramel and a little citrus or fruit.

It is also balanced quite nicely. A noticeable bitterness cuts of all that other jazz and leaves the finish slightly dry.

Get this as it is good. Very drinkable! But keep in mind this isn't a traditional pilsner as the label suggests. (590 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev +0.3%
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. (693 characters)

Photo of keeganfrank
4.05/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frosty gold beer with a thin, soapy head. Has a bready, fruity aroma with hints of spice and orange. Flavors of fruit, oats, light spice; the taste is very crisp and dry. Has a good body without seeming heavy-this is certainly something I'd drink again. (253 characters)

Photo of thecheapies
3.86/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Majestic dark gold in the pint glass. Nice head retention. Dark for a pilsner, and I like that.

Sweet and bright aroma. Hoppy zings amidst a lightly toasted malt. That German yeast strain is showing off a bit.

Mild hop bitterness blends into the brew with a floral quality. Big sourdough kind of flavor from the grain bill. Husky, a little spicy; the yeast is certainly contributing. Nice mineral quality worth noting.

Medium body with medium-high carbonation that blanches the tongue. Love a pilsner with something to it.

Flagship beer with flagship taste. (561 characters)

Photo of Ryan011235
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an A-B flute on 1/5/12

Pours a rather hazy, medium dark gold. Foam is ample to say the least - three fingers worth (the top of which muffin-topping over the glass). The head deflates slowly. Impressive lace.

Toasty grains and some bread are at the fore of the aroma, which also finds grassy notes and a metallic hop twinge. Some fluffy yeast overtones, too. The feel is light and leans toward the watery side, while massive carbonation stands if for where flavor should be. While that's something of an exaggeration, I would prefer a more robust grain presence to flesh things out. Grassy hops kick of their own accord and are inclined to at least arm wrestle the carbonation. Save for a slightly dusty yeast back end, the finish is pretty clean.

This is ok (though I finds it's much better as it warms). That said, I have fond memories of visiting Penn Brewing a few years ago and I reckon I have a soft spot for several of their beers. (952 characters)

Photo of DrDemento456
3.55/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One of the very few beers I haven't had yet from this brewery. Poured into my Samuel smith British pint.

A - A bit darker than expected more of a deep yellow similar to a pale ale. A nice inch of fluffy wheat head with mild sticky lacing.

S - Smells of mild grassy hops and sweet pilsner malts.

T - Muddled grain flavors mash with touches of bitter hops and butter. Slightly sour. Kind of bleh.

M - Light to medium pretty smooth.

Overall this is their flagship beer and I must say I don't like it as much as the gold or dark. Ow well can't love them all. (559 characters)

Photo of devinoconnor
3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at a wedding near Pittsburgh. Pleasantly surprised.

Poured a light brown, dark orange muddy color with plenty of head and carbonation.

Smell was malty and hoppy. More hops than you'd expect from a beer labeled "pilsner" or "Vienna lager."

Taste is very well-balanced between the malt and hops. Full-bodied yet easy-drinking. Sweet and smooth, caramel and chocolate notes as well.

Nice beer. (406 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours medium gold with a towering thick head. No lace, but really pretty beer.

Lots of grain in the nose, some bready notes, and some floral hops.

Grain and bread up front, with a good sharp twang of bitterness from the hops. Some green gassy notes as well, but these turn a bit sour as the palate clears, and this is a factor that I don't like. Finishes crisp with good firm hop bitterness.

Medium body, good carbonation.

Ok brew. The tart edge threw me, and is really a distraction and a negative trait. A bit of a raw beer. (530 characters)

Photo of horshack7
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Weel this one has a pale amber color with about a fingers worth of head that thins out a little quick but leaves behind a little lacing.

Aroma: Hops are present with a mix of citurs and floral hop. Hints of honey in the middle. At the end is a decent sweetness from the malt.

Taste: A crisp mouthfeel to start with a grainy and a little bit biscuity texture. Malts have a caramel sweetness with a touch of toffee. Hops are present with a good bite on the floral side.

Notes: A very drinkable Lager overall. Cheers. (529 characters)

Photo of ActonBrewer
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A -Unfortunately the appearance was the best part. Nice head and a beautiful golden lager

S - Almost reminds me of a sweaty sock. Not sure what I was picking up, but the smell bothered me.

T - Lemony and grassy. The smell strongly effected my ability to taste this beer.

M - Decent carb and body.

O - Not my kind of beer. Nothing special going on overall. The smell ruined it for me. (388 characters)

Photo of DerekP
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paired my last Penn Pilsner (from a six-pack) with a filet of steelhead trout, spiced rice and beans (gifted leftovers) and stale bread. I pan-fried the trout and poured the beer in a Czech pilsner glass like a pro. As tasty as the meal was, let's focus on the brew.

Penn Pilsner looks golden-copper with a frothy, thin white head. Carbonation bubbles rising to the top.

Smells of light, golden malts. Some floral notes from hops. An underlying sweetness, but very balanced.

Dry flashes, a malted body, and a prickly finish. A dash of caramel malts sweetens the delivery and follows through to the finish.

Some days this hits the spot and other days, not so much. Today happens to be a good one. Sessionable at what, 4% ABV? Have mercy. (740 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clean orange-ish to yellow color with an off white head. In the aroma, saaz hops and a small caramel like roast. In the taste, saaz hops, a caramel like roast, quite crisp and a nice dryer end. A hop bite and lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry pils hop in the aftertaste. Big hop presence and mellow overall. (318 characters)

Photo of weller1js
3.45/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

appearance: pours a healthy brownish-amber, moderately carbonated with white creamy/bubbly foam, similar lacing.

smell: light, fresh malts, very mellow.

taste: begins clean, malts are medium-bodied with a slight earthiness, hops have a expectable, crisp bitterness that lingers into the finish.

overall: premium lager-pilsner, all the attributes are there, nothing to rave about, but nothing to knock about it either. (420 characters)

Photo of sulldaddy
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on draft at Brass Rail Beverage while shopping for mixed 6 packs.
The beer is cold in a pint glass and arrives with a clear copper hue and minimal beige edge layer of head.
Aroma is some grainy malt and a bit of toffee. There are some spicy hops but overall the aroma is mild.
First sip reveals an average to light body with fine yet prickly carbonation. The beer does go down very easy and is a nice refreshing brew on a hot day.
Flavor is similar to the nose advertises with grainy malt and a little toffee, actually just a bit of general malt sweetness. There are a bit of spicy hops but not huge flavor contribution. I enjoy this beer but was thrown by ordering a pilsner and getting a vienna lager. (719 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
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. (321 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
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. (825 characters)

Photo of tigg924
2.97/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: 1/2 inch head, gold in color, clear, medium-high carbonation

Smell: big caramel and some grass

Taste: bread, grass, and some floral hops. i just do not feel the flavors come together here.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation, medium bodied, sweet start with a slightly dry bitter middle.

Overall: A disappointment for me. This smelled so good, but the taste fell flat as the flavors really just did not mesh well. I have had lots better in the style and will pass on this in the future. (494 characters)

Photo of cooch69
4.2/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured a light copper. It was as clear as can be and it came with only a few strings of lace on top.

Nose comes off immediatly as a Lager due to the extremely obvious clean sulfuric character. Also very clean crisp sweet bready caramelly malts.

Taste is immediatly sweet malts with a nice amount of balancing hops, mostly bittering. Malts come back and push through the finish to leave the mouth refreshed.

Many Penn beers and never a bad one yet.

Hip Hip Horay Penn Brewery!!! (494 characters)

Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.