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Penn Pilsner - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

351 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 351
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.04%

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: 351 | Reviews: 230 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of jlindros


3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 21:18:23 | More by jlindros
Photo of tigg924


2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2011 15:43:35 | More by tigg924
Photo of cooch69


4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
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!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2011 04:11:53 | More by cooch69
Photo of david18

New York

3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2011 03:25:00 | More by david18
Photo of vette2006c5r


3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2011 02:32:58 | More by vette2006c5r
Photo of jwhancher


3.63/5  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!

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2011 19:41:40 | More by jwhancher
Photo of garuda


3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 22:08:02 | More by garuda
Photo of rings


3.4/5  rDev -5.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 20:58:13 | More by rings
Photo of mwa423


3.45/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2010 01:45:33 | More by mwa423
Photo of chefoz

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +24.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2010 13:39:52 | More by chefoz
Photo of Jayli


4.33/5  rDev +20.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-14-2010 18:56:27 | More by Jayli
Photo of muskiecf


4.78/5  rDev +33.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2010 16:24:44 | More by muskiecf
Photo of bigrzman


4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2010 00:13:14 | More by bigrzman
Photo of MirkoCroCough

Croatia (Hrvatska)

4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2010 03:43:00 | More by MirkoCroCough
Photo of Stigs


3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 00:49:53 | More by Stigs
Photo of JamesS


2.9/5  rDev -19.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 19:58:51 | More by JamesS
Photo of deereless


3.73/5  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

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2010 01:21:02 | More by deereless
Photo of schoolboy


4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit that I didn't Think this beer would be any good. A domestic pilsiner? Not usually something good. So what I found was a surprise. An extremely well balanced beer. Not at all lacking in character yet true to the style, being very light.

My concern is that I am simply enjoying this as a first beer of the evening and that if I had more maybe it wouldn't still sit so well. It's sitting well enough now that I will have to seek some out. Another problem may be finding this around here.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 04:16:20 | More by schoolboy
Photo of cpetrone84


4.05/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-golden yellow in color, completely tranlucent, bubbles rising to the top, pure white head, a little bubbly but not much, dissipates quickly and no lace.

S-the nose is close to good. it brings caramel and pale malts, notes of citrus hops, and a bit of grain.

T/M-nice mouthfeel, smooth and creamy, well carbonated, caramel malts up front with a good amount of hops taking over. pineapple and apricot. crisp clean finish with some grainy malt.

D-very easy drinking and has big flavor for such a low alcohol content beer. definitely a great session beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 03:41:42 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of stakem


3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2010 00:06:21 | More by stakem
Photo of Axic10

New Jersey

3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint.

Appearance: Pours light with minimal head that faded fast.

Smell: Fresh cut hay, bitey on the nose.

Taste: Biscuit and bready tasting. Nothing offensive, yet nothing exceptional.

Mouthfeel: Light and a bitey after taste.

Drinkability: Very sessionable, nothing that I would seek out, yet wouldn't turn down if I were offered.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 01:35:41 | More by Axic10
Photo of rhinos00


3.38/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

A- Pours a golden maize color. Perfectly Clear. Produced a fingers width of white head that dissipated pretty quickly. Left minimal lacing as the beer was consumed.

S- Pretty generic. Picking up wheat, barley aromas. There is a hint of sweetness from the caramel malts, but it is masked pretty well.

T- Much like the aroma. Definitely picking up barley and wheat at the front of the taste. The hops add just enough bitterness to counter the flavors up front. I really enjoyed the caramel sweetness that came out at the end of each sip...it became more pronounced as the beer warmed.

M- Clean, crisp and light bodied. Well carbonated.

D- I could drink the crap out of this all day. Almost goes down like water, but the flavors tell you otherwise.

Overall, not the tastiest of all the session beers I have had, but this one is not too bad. Definitely recommended if you just want to kick back and have a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2009 00:15:34 | More by rhinos00
Photo of Mardukk


4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an amber color with a little bit of off white head and limited lacing.

Not much of a smell possibly a bit of grain.

The taste is of caramel malt and a hint of hops. A mostly grainy taste with a hint of sweetness and hint of hops to balance. There is little to no lingering aftertaste which aids in this being a nice malty crisp vienna lager. Just enough body to make this not seem like you're drinking a 4% beer.

This isn't really a pilsner, not as hoppy as most, but I still really enjoy this as a fantastic session beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2009 01:53:27 | More by Mardukk
Photo of bamadog


3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growing up in Pennsylvania, one would think I would have had plenty of this, but alas, I think I spent most of my time there just drinking Yuengling. Anyway, pour was from the tap to a pint glass.

Appearance: Straw yellow/gold on the pour; comes with a one finger head that is perfectly white and looks like merengue; body is clear and shows light carbonation; as head fades quickly, it leaves a light curtain of lacing and then eventually just spotty bits along the sides of the glass.

Smell: Very faint if anything at all. Picked up a mild graininess, but that's it. Sigh.

Taste: Nice and grainy, almost like a light barley and wheaty bread; strong presence of yeast on the palate leaves it tasting a bit sweet and balances out the grains quite nicely; light, crisp and refreshing overall - I was pleased.

Mouthfeel: Body is "wet," nicely carbonated and very smooth - not sharp at all; leaves a mildly sticky coating on the roof of the mouth, and it's pretty much what I'd expect from a pilsner in terms of the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: High as heaven with this one - very tasty beer and nice light body that went well with the food (Italian, if you're wondering); not heavy in the least and this would be an easy beer to drink in a session with that really low 4% ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2009 02:30:51 | More by bamadog
Photo of mooseisloose


3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle smell is a little skunky, hope the taste can prevail. Pours to a golden yellow with a medium bubble head that recedes but leaves lacing. Taste is malty and dry with traces of bitter hoppiness in the finish. Very light and crisp yet flavorful. This tastes like a distinctly German brew without a doubt. Good flavor for the lightness of the style. A very refreshing brew for hot weather. A high class" lawnmower brew" or a great brew for BMC breaking into craft. A tasty example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2009 22:49:10 | More by mooseisloose
Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 351 ratings.