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Penn Pilsner - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

366 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 366
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 3.59
pDev: 15.04%
Wants: 16
Gots: 11 | 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: 366 | Reviews: 230 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Phatz


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

This is a very approachable Vienna Lager. Like SA Boston Lager it would make a good transition beer. Very easy to drink.

Appearance: It pours an appealing golden amber color with a huge white head and some lacing.

Smell: It is a sweet malt aroma that has plenty of grains and bread filling the nose. A bit buttery, and the hop character came through as salty, to me.

Taste: There is a bit of toastyness to the malts. I also got a pleasant drop of sweetness like a splash of honey. Very nice. There is a bready smooth grain flavor that is followed by an assertive but gentle hop bite, that seemed to present itself as a salty attribute. (butter & salt; I can't help wanting some pop-corn:)

Mouthfeel: This is a very malty smooth pilsner that maintains its hop crispness in the slightly bitter, dry, lingering finish.

Drinkability: This is an easy drinking beer that will satisfy year round and at nearly any event. It is a drinking beer for party. The style is not generally very complex and this beer falls in suit. I suggest taking this to your next part with Macro-Drinking friends and I'll guess it'll go over very well.

Hope this is helpful.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2006 19:29:37 | More by Phatz
Photo of Drew966


3.68/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Penn Pilsner pours a yellow color with a nice white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is somewhat hoppy with a bit of sweetness. The taste is nicely hoppy, but not overpowering, it doesn't hit you over the head and steal your wallet like some of the double IPA's out there do. There is a bit of sweetness, but it finishes with hops so it doesn't seem too sweet. Nice sessionable pilsner, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2006 04:02:56 | More by Drew966
Photo of goschool


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

I got a six pack of this stuff for $4 at Beverage Warehouse in Marina Del Rey. I guess they aren't going be distributing in LA anymore (I didn't know that they had been).

It looks good before the head disappears, but it's too dark to be a pilsner. It smells nice, but it's too sweet and bready to be a pilsner. The taste? It's a Vienna lager, with all of the malty, toffee and caramel flavor that you'd expect from Sam Adam's Boston Lager and the like. I was expecting, and looking forward to, the crisp, spicy hop flavor profile of a pilsner, so I'm disappointed, but a solid Vienna Lager for $4 is still worthwhile.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2006 12:21:11 | More by goschool
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

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

Gold body, light carbonation, topped by a big scoop of pure white froth. Some nice lace.

Rich fresh bread nose. Very inviting.

Smooth caramel start, not overly sweet. Big splash of noble hops deliver a crisp, refreshing hop snap, before a very clean finish.

Tingly ligh mouthfeel. Very good drinkability.

Another fine traditional german-style beer from Penn Brewing.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2006 22:09:50 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of sloejams


3.33/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sunday afternoon, Super Bowl to be celebrated with my good friends from Pittsburgh and 15 of their Terrible Towel wavingest friends – what beer would be best? Iron City. , except you can’t get that in Los Angeles (you won’t hear me complaining). Second best choice (and more importantly available)? Penn!!!

$3.99 a six at Beverage Warehouse in West LA, can’t really balk at that price. Were I just shopping for me, I would have certainly stepped to the Penn Dark, but this was more appropriate for the "Bus" beer.

It pours a hazy orange color, emanating a malty tone with a slight sweetness. Very different from what I expected, beefier than a regular pilsner. Taste was malty too, grainy almost malty. To me it tasted like a watery Sammy Boston Laaagaaah. It went well with the fan-fucking-tastic Superbowl chili I made though.

Yeah my chili is goood.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2006 01:17:51 | More by sloejams
Photo of DuqTroops


2.58/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsner glass. Reviewed January 15th.

Orange / Amber in color. Some head formed, but it went away rather quickly. Unsure if this is normal.

Not too great of a beer; will drink again, but only because there are 4 left in the pack.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2006 01:59:37 | More by DuqTroops
Photo of asabreed

New York

3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Bubbly head into the glass quickly dissipates. Decent carbonation floating up to the top from the bottom of the glass, and it's got a long way to go. Hardly any lacing. Color's a mild yellow with slight brown hues.

Smell: Malt, mildly sweet, and some alcohol. Hops come in toward the end for some bittering in the nose. Average but nothing great.

Taste: Good combination of the sweetness of the malt and the bitterness of the hops. Finish is slightly sweet at first, then becomes dry, with hops lingering well on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Thicker than I expected for a Pils. Moderate carbonation combines well for a full mouthfeel, with a spritz of carbonation at the end.

Drinkability: A solid Pils, and one I'll definitely drink again. I'm sure there are better out there, but for a pretty tasty session beer when you don't want something super complex, this is definitely good for that.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 21:56:29 | More by asabreed
Photo of DogFood11


2.45/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hey for a lager this is inviting. almost copper, nice head with decent lacing. Vienna lager for certain.

This is one of those pils that makes such an effort to bring in the malts that it forgets it needs some balance. Hops are mellow and thats all good and fine for the style but introduce them somewhere. Sweet and light, borderline watered. Some toasted wheat bread comes through to save it. I know my review sounds bad but in the end its about average in my sometimes overly critical opinion.

Notes: Not for me thats for sure. I love a good pils but this one falls a few yards short.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2005 01:26:35 | More by DogFood11
Photo of AltBock


3.35/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle that I got in the Penn Brewery variety pack. Another bottle with no date. It didn't even have the month letters on the side.

Poured a clear light brown color with a 1 inch head of white foam and plenty of carbonation bubbles through out the entire Pilsner glass. There wasn't much of an aroma with this one. Mostly some sour hops and with little malt in the background. Not too pleasant. The taste was like the smell except it wasn't sour, Mostly hops with just a little malt in the background. The mouthfeel was a bit too watery and thin. There also some bitter hops in the aftertaste. It did make for a nice above average Pilsner beer, but it isn't my favorite from Penn Brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2005 19:05:52 | More by AltBock
Photo of SwillinBrew


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

The second of the Penn brews i've tasted.

Had it in a pils glass. Was a clear honey color leaning towards golden with a finger of good white head. The bouquet was biscuity and on the grain side which is a good seguey to the taste. That of toast and bread crust on the dry side. Good balance and carbonation on the crisp side. I wasnt wowed but the brew was good. I'm new to the Pils style so i'll revisit this brew after i have more of the style under my belt.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2005 07:07:22 | More by SwillinBrew
Photo of cooncat


3.08/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Serving was from a chilled bottle (not too chilled, mind you).

With a fairly vigorous pour, only a small 1/2 inch head developed, which quickly disappeared. Very minimal lacing left behind on the glass as I swirled it it help discover the nose. The nose is pleasantly hoppy, and that was (perhaps) this beer's most endearing characteristic.

The mouth feel was decidedly thin, yet crisp and citrusy. I would say this would definitely be a refreshing beer for hot, lazy afternoons. There was little malty background notes, which I guess is to be expected. The finish is dry, with a light hop after taste.

From *my* perspective, I would rate Victory's Prima Pils a 5, Pilsner Urquell a 4, and this Penn Pilsner a "struggling" 3. Your tastes might vary, but I think this a fair appraisal.


Serving type: bottle

10-09-2005 11:11:30 | More by cooncat
Photo of jakester


3.88/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is from a sampler case I got at Shangy's. I drank it in a pilsner glass. No date on the case, bottle, or label.

Pours a slightly hazy light orange with a one finger head of off-white foam. Ample carbonation is evident. Splotches of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is of clean toffee malt and spicy hops. Pleasant. Is toffee supposed to be there?

Taste is very light caramel candy/toffee, with a spicy hop background. Just enough hop bittering to be tasted. Are you sure this is a pilsner? It seems more like a Vienna, like Dos Equis or something. Crisp and refreshing, but with a noticeable level of residual sugar. It's a very good lager, anyway. Aftertaste is clean, slightly sweet, but crisp, if that makes sense.

Mouthfeel is semi-sweet, with a little zing from carbonation. Well balanced. Finish is sort of short and clean sweetness?

I would get this again. I'm not sure it's in the right style; I think it should be a Vienna. It's pretty damn good, whatever it is.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2005 20:20:06 | More by jakester
Photo of Zorro


3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark golden brew looks good.

Smell is biscuit malt and spicy citrus hops. Quite strong scented for a Pilsner.

Taste is light malt and fairly spicy hop flavor. There is a fair bit of citrus flavor here. The bitterness builds as you drink this one and the initial impression that this was sweet goes away.

Mouthfeel is good.

An OK drinkable beer but this did not wow me.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2005 02:59:30 | More by Zorro
Photo of tgbljb


3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

label states "brewed and bottled for Penn Brewing by Frederick Brewing Co". Poured a dark amber color with slightly off-white head that lasted throughout the glass. Smell is malty and a bit sweet. Taste follows through with the maltiness and a nice finishing dryness. A nice tasting easy beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2005 00:35:27 | More by tgbljb
Photo of beermanbrian


3.83/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear gold in color. A little darker than you would normally expect from a pils. Thick lumpy white head that dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing. Smell is mostly malts with a slight hops citrus. Malt taste that is balanced nicely by the hops. Just a touch of hops bitterness at the end. Nice drinkable beer. As a friend of mine said it's Yuengling Lager without the skunk.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2005 17:21:38 | More by beermanbrian
Photo of ski271


3.48/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Medium-orange-amber with a large, white, frothy head with good retention. Good lacing, too.

Smell: Quite mild. Fairly sweet and nutty, with a little grain.

Taste: Very bready. Nutty, grainy, grassy. The honey sweetness is strongest up front but stays around for a while until giving way to a slight hop bitterness on the short finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body, slightly creamy texture, moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I have had this in bottle before, and I didn’t remember this being so malty. I think it’s so malty that it really doesn’t taste like a pilsner, more of an American lager. Still, it was enjoyable and very drinkable. But I did have to dock it some points for not being a good representation of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2005 12:14:10 | More by ski271
Photo of Billolick

New York

3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2005 06:03:09 | More by Billolick
Photo of BuckSpin


3.78/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A surprisingly warm/reddish gold in color with a 1/2" white head of tight foam that clung surprisingly tight for a beer this light. Nose was difficult, no real discernable aromas other than one might expect from a beer.

Smooth for a pilsner, more malt than hops, with a (theres that word again) surprising caramel peak right on the tongue, which slides into a slightly more hops than malt finish. This was...well, that word...for a pilsner, not bitter at all. Very drinkable. This could easily be mistaken for a lager in a blind test. While not spectacular or a roller coaster ride of taste, its certainly better than everything else that was on tap here in PA, with the possible exception of Yuengling. Certainly worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2005 01:59:17 | More by BuckSpin
Photo of tomthumbsblues


3.43/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A small foamy head is produced from pouring this dark golden, almost amber beer. The smell is light malt and a hint of hops with a sort of metal/oily aroma lurking in the background. The taste is malty, reminiscent of corn and yields to light hopping with slight spice in the back. This beer sits well on the tongue, but might be a bit too watery, however, I say that about a lot of beers. I mean, water is the main ingredient in beer, so.... Anyway, this was a good beer, but for a Pilsner it lacked the sharper hops quality I have come to expect. I'd have a Prima Pils before this one, no contest.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2005 00:23:13 | More by tomthumbsblues
Photo of freed


3.13/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Somewhat classy logo, pours a rather hazy golden which is kind of surprising for a pilsner. Nice carbonation though, which compliments the style.

The aroma is nearly absent. Simple pale or pilsner malt, no hop, and not much for the nose.

Taste is similarly plain. Rather common malt flavor and placid flavors doesn't completely turn me off, but its nothing too intersting. A seeming lack of bitterness leaves crispness, a preferred attribute in pils missing. Its not bad, but just not very good.

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2005 03:27:52 | More by freed
Photo of mentor


4.1/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Francisweizen for this one. No freshness date. Pours a light apricot in color with some haze. Very thin head that quickly settled to a ring of teensie bubbles around the glass. No lacing. Smells of honey, apples, and hops (Saaz?). Tastes malty. Sweet with some vienna character. Noticable hop, not bitter, just tasty. Probably not Saaz as I guess in the smell, it's more likely Hallertauer. A hint of frutiy, which isn't to style, rides along with the chalky character of the Vienna malt. Mediuim mouthefeel, a nice example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2005 05:47:03 | More by mentor
Photo of BitteBier


3.7/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Totally clear golden pour with a bit of carbonation and minimal head. Surprisingly thick, sweet smell of malts with a whiff of hop bitterness. Sweet, bready taste that might be overly cloying were it not for hoppy flavors that balance the malts throughout. Uncommonly thick, smooth texture is a real treat and makes this a very drinkable pilsner.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2005 00:42:51 | More by BitteBier
Photo of tcromwell

West Virginia

3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When poured into a pilsner glass you can really get a look at the rich golden color. This beer is an easy drink with a good aftertaste. Unfortunately, I have to cross the border to PA because they do not sell this beer in my hometown. One of my regulars.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 19:54:49 | More by tcromwell
Photo of santoslhalper


3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Had on tap at Bruno's in Indiana, PA. Pours a clear amber with little to no head. Smells very balanced with nothing but malts and hops. Taste quite bready and malty at first, with the hops shining through at the end. On tap it tastes much hoppier than out of the bottle. The carbonation is great. Got a little bored with the brew near the bottom of the glass. Overall this is a nice pilsner, a little above average, but nothing complex or special.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2004 23:57:11 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of heidelbeerg


4.18/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This has long been one of my favorites. It's what I used to keep in the fridge all the time. I took a little break from it though and just had one on tap and am rating it for the first time. The appearance in good. A little more amber color than a pilsner usually is, but it just looks delicious in the glass. The smell is staightforward malt and hops. Taste is outstanding. Perfect balance to my taste. Bready malt flavor balanced nicely with hops that are not overpowering, bitter or dry. Just right. Mouthfeel is good. Not thin, not thick. Carbonation is right on. Very, very, very drinkable. I will be buying a case of the bottles very soon.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2004 02:42:03 | More by heidelbeerg
Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 366 ratings.