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Penn Pilsner - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

395 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 395
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.04%
Wants: 14
Gots: 24 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Penn Pilsner Alström Bros
Ratings: 395 | Reviews: 230 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of cdkrenz
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thank Bill

A - Golden yellow with a thin, half inch white head. Looks to have a bunch of carbonation too.

S - Grainy soap aroma with a bready fill.

T - Malty start with a bitter end and an even more bitter after-taste.

M - The feel is somewhat coarse in the finish. Prior to that it's watery and somewhat uneventful.

~ Other than the looks I'd have to say this is one you might wanna pass on. I will say this though, I like the photo of the old man on the label. Now if only the beer had that kind of character.

cdkrenz, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of scoobybrew
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pilsner flute.

A - very clear golden color with a thick head that settles into a thin collar, leaves nice lacing

S - grainy malt aroma, faint trace of hops

T - clean malty taste with a crisp hop finish

M - medium to light body, moderately high carbonation

D - This is a very nice Vienna-style lager. It's clean and malty and very well balanced. It's very sessionable also.

scoobybrew, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of CHickman
3.25/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer of the Month Club arrival that poured a gold/orange color, with a small white head that smelled malty with a whiff of orange. Malt and yeast flavor combo up front, with a crisp earthy finish that has a hint of spice; medium to heavy carbonation makes it a crisp beer that goes down smooth. Overall a bit dull, but it's an OK to good pilsner based on the slight spice taste. After drinking 3 of them I conclude it's a little boring for my liking, and I wouldn't seek it out at a bar.

CHickman, Jun 06, 2009
Photo of BeerCon5
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a decent amount of white fluffy head.

The scent is just some light grain.

The taste is dominated by the grain, also a slight honey taste, somewhat bitter finish.

Light bodied, smooth and crisp feel, good carbonation.

Very drinkable. Pretty refreshing, I wouldn't mind having a few of these.

BeerCon5, Jun 05, 2009
Photo of WJVII
4.53/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BOM May 2009
Of the May BOM brews this was my favorite. Poured into a pilsner glass this brew is a golden wheat color with a clean white head that left no lacing but settled in a nice cap. The aroma is very doughy with some sweet floral notes. The taste is crisp and had a bread taste but there was a faint floral balance and a mild bitter bite in the finish. This was moderate in body and a little higher in carbonation. All around solid brew. The taste was so fresh, crisp, and refreshing. I wish I had more to share (but the cost for an extra 12 pack is just too much). I guess I will need to keep my eyes open if in Pennsylvania.

WJVII, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A dark golden hue, almost an amber color, which is a little dark for the style. A two finger off-white head slowly settles to a thin cap.

Very sweet malt aromas along with some slightly sharp hop aromas.

Light and very delicate sweet grains, raising the drinkability a lot. The hops aren't quite as sharp as they are in the aroma, but still add a touch of bitterness to the finish. Full bodied.

Maybe on the sweeter and darker side of the Pilsner spectrum, but definitely refreshing. Recommended.

BeerSox, May 22, 2009
Photo of NJpadreFan
3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Penn Pilsner

A- Light clear golden orange with a small filmy white head, no lacing.
S- Light sweet wheat, grass, and bread crust graininess.
T- Sweet grainy malt. Bread crust, caramel malt, earthy grassy hops.
M- Sweet and malty up front with a good dry earthy hop backend. Finishes off with a thick grainy malt.

Overall- A simple easy drinker.

NJpadreFan, May 16, 2009
Photo of FrothyBeverage
3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a rich golden amber color with hues of autum orange. Virtually no head or lace. It has a somewhat sour yeasty smell, not that appealing. The taste is very bready and yeasty with some hints of carmel. Leaves a nice tingling sensation throughout the mouth. If find this beer quite drinkable. Pairs well with wings.

FrothyBeverage, May 15, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky pale golden color with some medium white head.
Smells a bit flowery, the hop aroma is there, maybe some grain.
Tastes very average, some hop and bready flavor here.
Finish is crisp, but the after-taste is unremarkable.
Very drinkable.

ThaBobfather, May 06, 2009
Photo of mjw06
3.93/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a true copper color, not amber or dark golden, but purely copper. mild transparency and a nice sized head with excellent retention and leaves a good lacing.

a descent sweet smell of caramel malts.

a remarkably well balanced brew of sweet caramel malt, that finishes with a mild hoppiness that includes some light floral notes.

medium bodied with perfect carbonation that is unnoticeable. what does that mean? well the only way you would notice the carbonation in this brew is if you went looking for it. wasnt too much and wasnt too little... just enough compliment taste and drinkability.

this has easily become one of my favorites, just wish it was more available.

mjw06, May 03, 2009
Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.15/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date poured into American shaker pint.

A--Orange and honey-toned body with a fizzy one finger head that dies immediately without lacing--even the skim is faint and ringed.

S--Heluva nose for a subtly hopped lager. Really an accomplishment: I get grassy brightness followed by crackery, husky malt, and even a bit of lemon tang in the back, at the very end of the sniff. Definite interplay between the malt and the hops that is both straightforward and totally satisfying. Wow, couldn't ask for much more and still stay authentic.

T--Very close to the nose, especially the husks and the breadcrusty and crackery character of the malt--very pronounced and complex barley presence, which also contains caramel aspects. Hops are noble and quite present at the end of the tasting, lending bitterness if not that dry-hopped puckering (or even the citric elements of a Boston Lager's finish). No off sulfur flavors, and the hops are so delicate that you even get a bit of that lemon tang from the nose carried over into the mouth.

M--A bit watery, but that might just be me being bitchy and nit-picky. Carbonation is spot-on and inviting for another big swallow. Definitely embodies the lager gulpability principle, as this ain't no sippin beer.

D--See above--gulpability is more appropriate. I'd love a few of these in the summer over a barbecue or just sitting out in the sun. Refreshing and full-flavored. The gold or the kaiser pils might be better for dog days weather, but right up to then this sucker would work great. It also is extremely versatile with food, as different aspects of its profile come out depending if you are eating something sweet, spicy, bitter, etc.

If you like SA Boston Lager or Brooklyn Lager, I'd say give this one a try. Doesn't have the same hop character--American style hopping is truly unique--but is much fresher than a similar-styled beer coming from Germany. Not a pilsner, so the name's stupid, but just forget that once you pour it into a glass!

TheycallmeTim, Apr 16, 2009
Photo of Thorpe429
3.9/5  rDev +8.6%
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."

Thorpe429, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of Kolsch
3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kegged date 2.22.09. Home tap system.

Having had this beer many times, I know to call this a "Pilsner" is not describing it correctly. This is closer to a Vienna Lager as described by BA or even a Marzen as far as style goes.

Appearance is light amber with a small cusp of head that remains throughout.

Smell is of slight biscuit dough.

Taste is pretty smooth. Touch of sweetness upfront, then bittering hops in the background. This reminds me a lot of Victory's Octoberfest, which is not a bad thing.

Overall, this is really a good beer, just don't call it a Pilsner. Very sessionable at 5%.

Kolsch, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of PatrickJR
3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into pilsner glass.

Though the bottle calls it a pilsner, BA has this listed as a Vienna lager. I'm not really sure which this beer is shooting for.

A - Dark golden/light amber, completely clear. Quarter inch of head forms upon pouring but disappears almost immediately. No lace.

S - Definitely a presence of grassy and spicy hops. As the brew warms a little some light caramel and biscuit malt comes through.

T - Fairly bland, whichever style this is trying to be. A quick grassy notes dances atop some semi-dry, bready, bland malt. Late palate sees the entrance of slightly peppery hops with an underlying earthy bitterness.

M - Light to medium bodied with a moderate carbonation.

D - An easy drinking beer, if only because it's bland. An average beer, but it misses the mark of both a pilsner and Vienna lager.

PatrickJR, Jan 14, 2009
Photo of mikereaser
3.15/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Pours a medium copper color with a little bit of foam that disappeared into light bubbles and lacing through the glass

S - sweet grain and honey aromas

T - fresh grain flavor with just a bit of yeastiness with a nice hop bite at the end

M/D - not a whole lot to this one in my opinion. I don't think I'd search it out again.

mikereaser, Dec 12, 2008
Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: into a pils glass, one-finger white head over a rich golden-amber beer with a very slight chill haze, spotty lacing

s: light metallic note runs underneath a clean pilsner malt body with currents of nutty malt, clean nobles give a generally benign hop aroma

m: crisp and clean but not overly thin or carbonated, refreshing

t: clean pilsner malt body with a low sweetness, just a touch of nutty munich or vienna, a crisp, grassy noble hop flavor pops out after the swallow, light bitterness, great balance

d: sessionable, my single is quickly gone, a simple but thoughtfully crafted lager

single from Whole Foods Raleigh

blackie, Nov 21, 2008
Photo of joeysmokedporter
3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 12 oz bottle in a sam adams glass.

A: pours golden orange, straw-like; slight haze that dissipates as the beer warms. fluffy white head is substantial, good lacing.

S: sweet grain and honey, slight hint of herbal hop aroma

T: dominated by a sweet malt profile, grainy, bread-like, slightly honey, finishes with a dry herbal hop flavor still mixed with the sweet grain. drinks a lot more like a helles than a pilsner, but still very good.

M: medium feel, sweetness adds a viscous feel to the beer. carbonation a bit on the low side, which seems to help bring the flavor out more.

D: very enjoyable lager; would definitely make this a go-to beer. Good local when looking for something in the pilsner or vienna lager genre.

joeysmokedporter, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark yellow with a quickly receeding two finger soapy head and leaves some lace patches. A mix of grassy, earthy hops and some sweet malts like caramel or honey. This beer is real smooth, smoother than most pils I've had and has a more pronounced hop/malt balance. Good and dry on the tongue with a crisp finish, this medium-bodied beer also is a little creamy and a tad sweet. I'll have this again anytime.

clayrock81, Nov 02, 2008
Photo of MP72
4.13/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Nice clear light amber color with a white head that didnt last too long.

S- A little grassy with some breadiness and mild hops.

T-Very smooth and not overly complex I am usually an Ale drinker but I really like the malt sweetness and hop balance. Tastes crisp and dry throughout.

M- Smooth and medium bodied

D-Very drinkable , a great session brew and luckily brewed 20 minutes from me and always available.

MP72, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of Domingo
4.08/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pretty interesting brew. It's not quite a Pilsner, not a helles, not an export, and not really a Vienna either.
If anything, I'd say this is similar to a Spezial, the new Festbier style, or maybe even a kicked up south German Pils.
Pours a pretty deep golden color. Definitely a little darker than a typical Pils, but not outrageously so.
Noble hops and malt in perfect harmony make up the nose.
The flavor starts off really malty and bold, but finishes dry and ultra clean with the hops. I don't know if I've ever had a cleaner finish on anything. You'll want to go back for more immediately.
Styles be damned, this is really good. That malty flavor keeps you coming back and the finish makes you want more. It also makes food pairings rather easy.
I like it. The US needs more brewers taking the German styles and giving them a twist like this.

Domingo, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of JoshW
2.68/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a medium brown, small head. Hazy in appearance, odd for a pils. Not a real strong presence of anything to me in the aroma of this beer, hoppy, grassy, and a light hint of sweet apple.. I don't know if it's because it's 10 am in the morning, but I smell an undertone of bready Guinness in this one for some reason. Tasted bread notes, grainy and malty.. Started out a little sweet and finishes a little bitter, nothing outstanding in the taste either. Mouthfeel is thin and light, drinkability is pretty average to me.. Overall not a bad brew for something from my own state.

JoshW, Oct 11, 2008
Photo of jdg204
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Last of the offerings from the Penn 12 pack, others were all solid offerings so I was excited for this last one as well.

A: Warm copper body full of color with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a thick film of off-white that last most of the beer as a thick ring.

S: Fresh dry pale malt smell to it with a slight biscuit quality to it. The metal smell is slightly sweet and actually pleasant.

T: Dry raw fresh grain flavor with a light yeast hint and a soft sweetness that is quickly overcome by a soft green hop note at the finish.

M: Light mouthfeel with a dry texture and a tight fizz finish that keeps it crisp.

D: Another solid offering from Penn, PA should be proud to have a well rounded, classic style brewer like this sharing it's name. Don't go too far out of your way for this one, but if your in Western PA, pick one up.

jdg204, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of ndekke39
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My brother and sister-in-law brought back a bottle of this from brewery. Decanted into a pilsner glass. Pours a clear orangish color with a thin white head. Good clean smells and tastes. A bit biscuity. Kind of your standard pilsner. Loose mouthfeel - a little bit of fizz. Overall good although not exceptional.

ndekke39, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of saradad
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured this into a 12 oz glass from a 12 oz bottle. The color is a light to medium straw color with some visible carbonation and a small amount of head that disipates quickly. The taste and smell are rather bland, some hops are evident but not much else. There's a nice crisp taste to this beer, nothing spectacular but it's a decent beer. It's not my favorite so I can't see keeping it on hand except that it comes as part of the brewery's Gourmet Selection. Hey...it's a good lawnmowing brew!!!

saradad, Sep 06, 2008
Photo of GoodKnight1220
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle to a glass.

Poured a good golden yellow, with little to no head and had plenty of bubles racing to the top throughout.

Smell was a bit yeasty.

Taste and mouthfeel had a hint of yeast and lots of malt, but really had a sweet bready taste. Slight hop flavor came in at the end, crisp upfront and a very dry finish.

Could drink this often.

GoodKnight1220, Sep 05, 2008
Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 395 ratings.