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Penn Pilsner - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

236 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 236
Hads: 434
Avg: 3.61
pDev: 20.22%
Wants: 16
Gots: 48 | 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: 434
Photo of OtherShoe2
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

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Photo of horshack7
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
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.

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Photo of ActonBrewer
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
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.

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Photo of DerekP
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.2/5  rDev -11.4%
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.

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Photo of weller1js
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of smcolw
3.3/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of jlindros
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of tigg924
2.97/5  rDev -17.7%
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.

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Photo of cooch69
4.2/5  rDev +16.3%
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!!!

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Photo of david18
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was surprised, almost disappointed to see this beer on draft at my local beer bar as I usually think of Pennsylvania Brewing Company as almost a macro brewery. However, I tried it when it was on and was surprisingly please with the fresh and good flavor.

Color was a very light straw. The beer was quite clear and the carbonation was active throughout.

Aroma was a little low but i don't expect much more of a beer of this style.

Taste, again, was interesting, nice and very refreshing.

Overall, I enjoyed it and would have it again when in the mood for a pilsner/light lager.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3.46/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer pous a golden color with a small long lasting head. The smell was weak and watery. The taste is light and a bit sweet. Very easy to drink and very nicely caronated, could use more flavor. Overall not bad could be better, like a watered down sam adams.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A bottle left over from the variety pack I bought for Superbowl weekend. Poured into my Prima Pils glass.

A: With a gentle pour this beer appears golden to light copper in color with one finger head of white foam. Gentle carbonation sifts upwards though the tall pilsner glass.

S: At first, a little nutty from the malts. No hops. Rather clean smelling after putting the German malt aromas aside.

T: Nutty, toasty, and bready malt flavors. Slight hop taste comes afterwards - likely of the noble hop family.

M: A light tasting, slightly bitter beer with an even balance between the malt & hops.

O: Not a bad beer by any means. Not great, yet not subpar by any means. Having lived in Pittsburgh for a number of years, I'll come back to this one if nothing other than supporting a PA brewery. Cheers!

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Photo of garuda
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pale gold with a one inch white head that has fairly good retention and lacing down the glass. A slight cloudiness to the body is the only detriment.

S - Crisp, lemon grass hop aromas with some caramel and bread like malts in the background. A little weak overall, but nice.

T - Bread maltiness, then a touch of caramel and finishing with a slightly bitter hop finish.

M - Light side of a medium body with lively carbonation, mostly clean on the finish with a touch of residual sweetness.

D - A good representation of the style, but nothing in particular that would make me come back to it.

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Photo of rings
3.39/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Their Penn Pilsner has been considered their flagship brand from the beginning and it took home a Gold Medal in 2001 from the National Beverage Tasting Institute.

The first thing I noticed in pouring the beer was the bright, copper color, which is obviously a little darker than one might expect to see in a typical pilsner. It also loses its head rather quickly, even if the glass does manage to maintain its lacing. A true pilsner, it is said, should take seven minutes to pour, as the slowly evaporating head will not allow it to be poured more quickly.

The first taste is surprisingly sweet and it's apparent the brewers are pursuing a more Bavarian-style pilsner (as opposed to the paler and crisper Bohemian versions or the drier Northern German varieties). With a hoppy Hallertau bite that's rather more of a nibble, this brew could easily be considered a Vienna lager, rather than a true pils. Still, it's a very nice, drinkable brew that would serve its consumer well over the course of an evening.

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Photo of mwa423
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - a light golden color with a white head that leaves some lacing.

S - Aroma is light but mostly grainy and sweet malts.

T - Taste is decent for the style, full flavored with a perfect light hop bite.

M/D - mouthfeel is a itthin but not bad, leaves a pleasant hop aftertaste. Reasonably drinkable but I think the flavor profile might get to me after a few.

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Photo of chefoz
4.45/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An amber Vienna-style lager beer that is smooth, mellow and full bodied, with delicate hop aroma. A session beer head and shoulders above most in this style. I have this beer on tap in my man cave, it is easy drinking, great tasting and priced perfectly. A must try for someone who wants to get into drinking craft brews.

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Photo of Jayli
4.3/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 11/9 at Regatta in the Pittsburgh Marriot
Served in a pint glass

A: This beer pours a nice, clear, copper color with a 1/4 inch of white head that recedes immediately. Spots of lacing are left on the glass.

S: Nose is grainy, hearty bready malts and a hint of sweet caramel malt.

T: Taste starts with a bit grain lending to a caramel and grassy hops flavoring. A hearty bready malt fills out the middle with a finish that brings up some pale malts, a resurgence of grain and grassy earthy tones.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, clean and crisp.

D: Goes down easily, very tasty, mild kick, nice representation of style. This beer completely hit the spot. One to drink for a while.

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Photo of muskiecf
4.73/5  rDev +31%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Although this is titled a pilsner it is fact a Vienna Lager. It's a traditional German recipe that's dead on for the style according to the homebrewing bible- Brewing the Classic Styles. extremely smooth and slightly sweet with a dry finish. Low carbonation makes them easy to drink and adds smoothness.I love this beer.

The original owner recently came out of retirement and bought the brewery back. He was upset that his labor of passion was run into the ground and eventually closed and contracted the brewing out of the area. Well Penn Brewery is back and is now brewing on site again and it shows. This is the Penn Brew we loved not that other stuff that just had their name on it. This is what Pennsylvania German craft beer is all about my friends. Thanks to Tom Pastorius for bringing traditonal German craft beer back to Pittsburgh. Try it. It's a great lager. Cheers!

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Photo of bigrzman
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep golden color head disapates quick. Smells grassy and of saaz hops pretty clean. Tastes like a pilsner with a clean hop crispness and a nice flowery aftertaste with some grassy notes with some pilsner malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is drying and thin just how a pils should be. Very drinkable. It hit the style on the head even though BA has called this a Vienna Lager it is a pilsner. Prost!

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
4.4/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle into Great Lakes pint glass.

Very nice golden, sun at dusk color. Nice white foam.

Great beery, malty aroma. Very clean.

Amazing balance of hops, malts. Honey like sweetness, but not over the top.

Very smooth and still. Just the right amount of carbonation. Refreshing finish with the perfect amount of dryness.

Awesome beer that goes well with anything.

This beer reinforces the fact that some of America's best beer comes from the beautiful state of Pennsylvania. A total winner from Steel City. Drink it.

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Photo of Stigs
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, served in a standard pint glass.

A - about a quarter inch of loose bubbly slightly off white foam disperses to a thin film within a couple minutes. the beer is crystal clear, gold colored.

S - very sweet roasted malts, some brown sugar, and cinnamon. underlying and subtle grass and earthy hops. some fruit and doughiness as well.

T - starts off lightly fruity, with some berries and pear mingling with lightly toasted grains. Lingering grassy hops finishes the show.

M - medium body and very slick, oily. carbonation is active and present, somewhat refreshing.

D - nostalgia for me, one of if not the first craft beer i ever had. did me very well back in my college days. this is easy drinking all night.

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Photo of JamesS
2.88/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very yellow/golden (not anywhere near amber) color, but with some nice head and lacing, along with a lot of carbonation. Very malty and lager-ish aroma, more of a macro "skunk" lager aroma than having a clean and crisp scent. Decent taste, a nice crisp maltiness, and just a slight bit of noble hoppishness at the end. Goes down fairly well, but a bit over-carbonated.

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Photo of deereless
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Impressive head which has stuck around for several minutes and leaves some sticky spots down the side of the glass, medium gold in color with a slight copper hue, lots of active and visible carbonation - 4.25, S: There's a pronounced doughy sweetness to the nose as well as some caramel and possibly pear - 4.00, D: Mild to moderate hop bitterness especially at the tail of the taste, quite herbal and grainy, subdued but noticeable sweetness - 3.50, M: Smooth and medium bodied - 3.50, D: A respectable pilsner, very quaffable - 3.75

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