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Penn Pilsner - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

368 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 368
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: 368 | Reviews: 230 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of proc


4.22/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out to a reddish-amber in the glass with a large head. Aroma is that of malt and bread dough. The taste here is very good -- no make that excellent. The Pilsner style is so underdone by American micros, that this was such a pleasant surprise. Malt is prevelant, with a light citrus touch, giving way to a hoppy, but not overly done finish.

Easy to drink. This is a very good pils.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2004 18:32:48 | More by proc
Photo of BruceBeerman


4.47/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had Penn Pilsner in bottles many times but when I bought a keg, I was stunned by the freshness and much hoppier flavor. This adds to the overall score. If you can get it on tap...do it!

Amber color is strange to true pilsner style. I always thought pilsners were meant to be straw in color. However, with the added hop and crisp taste, I guess it fits the style other than color.

A very dinkable beer (especially on tap) and I had the pleasure of getting very fresh in Pittsburgh. The head retention is very good with nice streams of carbonation going up the sides. not as nice as the true Czech Pilsner's, but definately like the German Pils. This is a German style up and down. But I don't remember too many amber pils in Germany. I'll be sure to look harder next time I am in Frankfurt.

All-in-all a very nice beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2004 03:21:25 | More by BruceBeerman
Photo of crookedhalo


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

Pours a deep golden pilsener color with a big thicket of off-white colored head. Bready, biscuity and grainy pilsener malt profile with a bit of floral-like hops thrown in to balance. Tastes mostly malty sweet with a small hop finish that is pretty crisp. Good for a U.S. brewed German style pils, but pretty average when compared to it's European counterparts. Enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2004 18:50:48 | More by crookedhalo
Photo of RedwoodGeorge


3.6/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured to look like a very promising brew - a medium amber color with a minimal head but heavy lacing. The reddish tones were surprising and promised an interesting experience...

The smell was pretty typical of a pils, semi-sweet malt nicely balanced with a grassy hop note. The taste followed suit - the malt had some very nice fruity notes of orange and peach while the hops were very refined - just enough to really 'crisp up' the finish of the sip without being 'pucker up' dry.

Mouthfeel was pleasantly complex - rather thick on the tongue with some real body but light enough to leave a clean palate.

This is a very drinkable brew and I'd certainly recommend it... I'd have given a higher ranking for both taste and mouthfeel but I felt I had to deduct points for deviating from the style. When I drink a pilsner, I expect a more carbonated, light-bodied beer with a pretty light taste and a crisp finish. If you had handed me an unmarked glass of this brew I would have guessed it was an amber ale and would have said lots of very complimentary things about it - it's a complex, well-balanced brew. But it's not what I'm looking for when I open up a Pilsner.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2004 19:59:16 | More by RedwoodGeorge
Photo of TheOtherMike


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

Another good find while traveling through Erie, PA. I picked this up in one of Erie's "six-pack" stores.

Appearance - dark golden color with a slight head.

Smell - both malts and hops are evident, fairly well-balanced.

Taste - light bodied with distict malt flavor and a bit of hops to round it out. Somewhat bread- or cracker-like.

Drinkability - a good beer that could be enjoyed on any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2004 16:32:21 | More by TheOtherMike
Photo of Suds


3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer (and it's advertizements) seem to be everywhere in Pittsburgh. On a recent trip, I had pleanty of bottles, and was suprized at how drinkable the beer is. It's golden and clear, with a thick, bubbly head. Moderate carbonation and a nice flowery hop aroma. It's initially sweeth and malty, with little breadiness. Very soft and extremely drinkable. I didn't expect much, but the beer was fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2004 01:29:34 | More by Suds
Photo of JackTheRipper


4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a medium amber color. Head is a thin layer of off white clingy foam.

Smell: Malty aromas predominate, there's also a nice floral hop background.

Taste: Very well balanced levels of a malty sweet taste and a slight hoppy bitterness. No aftertaste noticed.

Mouthfeel: Not very dry, carbonation level is dead on, feel overall is crisp and clean.

D&N: A very nice beer from a local (to me, at least) brewery. Alcohol level isn't too high, smells and flavor are very nice. I'd recommend this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2004 14:04:08 | More by JackTheRipper
Photo of merlin48


4.25/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, medium gold with a one inch beige head that has good retention. Sheets of lacing follow. Nice aroma of sweet caramel malt, lemony ctrus, and a touch of pine. Taste is extremely pleasant. The sweet malt backbone is well balanced by the bittering and aromatic Hallertau hops which lend considerable bittering. This one finishes clean and dry. This may be the best Pilsner I've ever sampled. Certainly, the best American pilsner I've had. This is only my second brew from Penn, but I've been very impressed with the quality of these Pittsburgh brews.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2004 03:33:10 | More by merlin48
Photo of Jables


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

Dark gold to copper color with an inch of white head that dissipates to a thin sheet. Clingy lace.

Aroma is sweet malt and grains.

Tastes sweet with rock candy sugars and grains. Finish is dry.

Pretty good pilsner, maybe a tad too sweet. Kind of boring but not offensive, not an everyday beer but interesting to try.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2004 18:43:51 | More by Jables
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a darker golden,darker than most pilsners I have had,aroma is malty and bready not to sweet.Taste is a nice malt accented crisp as a cracker with some zesty hop in there but this more of crisp,dry malt accented brew.A little more heavy I thought than most of the style but still a appetizing beer none the less.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2003 20:26:28 | More by oberon
Photo of goindownsouth


4.2/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will not mince words on this one. This Pilsner ranks up there with domestic micros like Scrimshaw and imports like Jever, in my humble estimation. This brew oozed from the 12 ounce bottle a wonderful glowing golden color and left a respectable head for admiring - albeit a temporary thing. The aroma was bready, earthy and ever so slightly spicy. A great attribute of the German pilsner style. The flavor gives you something rarely found...a solid tasting German-style pilsner. If you can get your hands on this one, you will not be disappointed.


Serving type: bottle

12-26-2003 22:53:44 | More by goindownsouth
Photo of Shiloh

Ontario (Canada)

2.65/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I am not impressed by this brew...is short of my expectations of what a true pilsner should be.
Maybe I have a bad one here but I don't think that's it.
Medium dark golden colour with a light white crown which departs quickly.
Body medium/full.
Carbonation very light.
Aroma has a light sweetness to it...bready.
Taste is malt heavy to begin and continues to the end. Evidence of hops midway thru but lacking.
High points for this brew are the "smell' & "mouthfeel"
How sad is that?

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2003 04:20:59 | More by Shiloh
Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe


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

Translucent amber-to-bronze in color with light carbonation; about one finger of white head, small to medium-sized bubbles, after a vigorous pour. Head becomes spotty and quickly fades; clings slightly before sliding down edges of glass. Aroma has a soft, cookielike malt basis--shortbread?--with slightly fruity hops rounding out. Good, clean lager flavor, although as the color would suggest, a bit bolder and nearer to a pale lager than most of the other pilseners I've had. Flavors are nicely balanced, though: bread-and-buttery maltiness finishing with slightly lemony hops. Mouthfeel not quite as light and refreshing as other pilseners--again, a pilsener leaning towards pale lager; still, this has a smooth, medium fullness to the body which is consistent from start to finish. Highly drinkable; mellow flavor combined with satisfying body. One of my staple beers... a good beer for everyday drinking.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2003 18:40:38 | More by NearerMyBeerToMe
Photo of beerguy101


3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Medium amber color. Small head. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. A medium bodied pilsner. Darker colored and very malty and hoppy for a pilsner. Perhaps it supposed to be a cross between a Pilsner and an amber? Malts are nutty and slightly sweet. Hops are citrusy. Touch of orangish flavor in the taste. I'm not sure what this beer is supposed to be, it not a pilsner and not an amber or Vienna. Its somewhere between the two and gets sort of lost somewhere along the way. Its drinkable but lacks any sort of identity. Mouthfeel is round. Finish is dry. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2003 00:44:16 | More by beerguy101
Photo of RBorsato


3.98/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled version contracted brewed by Frederick Brewing Co., Frederick, MD.

Slight haze, light gold with a low off-white head, low carbonation, and no lace. Malty (almost nutty) aroma with little hop character. Malt flavor dominates along the lines of a light Oktoberfest beer. Good balance and not sweet. Light-medium bodied with a malty dry finish.

I remember this being better on tap years ago at the brewpub in the 'Burgh.

Per label: "2 row barley malt, Hallertau hops"

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2003 16:50:50 | More by RBorsato
Photo of cretemixer


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

Pours a hazy orange-gold in color with a thick, large bubbled off-white head. It settles to a 1/2 inch fed by strong carbonation.
Malty aroma. Earthy and a bit smoky. There is a mineral edge and a sweetness too the taste. A nice balance of hop bitterness and smooth malts. Finishes with a mild lingering bitterness.
Prickling carbonation and a medium-light body. Overall a pretty nice beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2003 01:50:49 | More by cretemixer
Photo of Brent


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

Had this on draft in Pittsburgh. Nice golden copper color - very lively in the glass with tingly carbonation on the tongue. Solid body for the style, with some big malt at the front, that finished up a bit dry. Something about the beer suggested a touch of mineral, like a hopped-up Bass. Very drinkable and pleasant.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2003 20:18:01 | More by Brent
Photo of pio


3.73/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the head comes on big and dies in a half a minute to a lacy blanket and left next to no trace on the glass. clear orange with yellow tinture and a bubbling body. what a great malt this beer has, a wonderful bitter pinch of hops on the mid palate and a floral scent lingering on in the mouth and nose. outstanding scent for a pilsner, not a bit skunky or bland. an earthy quality also is notable with a flavor evoking the early fall by the three rivers. (you don't have to drink iron city to enjoy the steelers without getting beat up.) this is very drinkable if a bit watery. beautiful light beer, loaded with beer. thanks for reading my review.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2003 22:04:14 | More by pio
Photo of beergeek279


4.43/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served as a 12 oz. bottle. The color was a golden brown, with good head. The smell was malty, with a bit of hops to it.. The taste was also very malty, but with an excellent hop backing as well. The mouthfeel was smooth, with great carbonation. Drinkability-wise, this is an excellent beer to session on.

This was probably the first micro I ever had in my life, and err, some years later, it's still one that I enjoy quite a bit. It's a shame this isn't a nationally distributed beer..........but hey.......more for us in the Burgh!

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2003 16:47:49 | More by beergeek279
Photo of francisweizen


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

This beer pours a darker than average gold colour with a small, white head. The aromas are of malts and faint hops in good balance and the taste is more of the same. A very malty, refreshing pilsner beer that is smoother than your average pils. This pils lacks the crispness that one may be accustomed to in a pilsner. The mouthfeel was a bit smooth and the drinkability was nice as well.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2003 13:53:17 | More by francisweizen
Photo of ZAP


2.93/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

An easy drinking, relatively malty pilsner that lacks some of the qualities I expect in a Pilsner....I want a Pilsner to look clean, and clear, and special....this is a dark gold hazy color....the haziness is a turnoff right away...On the nose I want some spiciness...with this I get fruitiness like apples....On the finsih I want a crisp spicy hop bite...On this I get pretty much nothing except lingering sweetness....On the plus side, this isn't a bad tasting beer. It's easy drinking with some good maltiness on the taste but overall I find it lacking in many areas....I suppose I could have a bad bottle but it doesn't taste spoiled or old...Nothing special here in my opinion...

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2003 21:22:14 | More by ZAP
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

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

Appears an amber gold in color with an off white cram colored head. Leaves rings of lace as the glass empties. Aroma consists of caramel like malts with mild floral hallertau hops kicking in the background with a sweet buttery nose. Very sweet taste at the forefront with a mildly syrup like flavor that is balanced by the delicate hop bitterness this beer will live on as a true classic from the Pittsburgh area. Mouthfeel is medium to light in body, but the sweet malt rolls over the palate sticking to the tongue as each sip is swallowed down. As for drinkability the flagship beer of the Penn brewery is one of the most refreshing/satisfying session beers around.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2003 17:35:16 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of PhantomVodoo


3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown hued golden color. Off-white head.
Aroma of hops and sweet pale malts. Good hop presence in the aroma without the Pilsner Urquell type pungent smell I don't care for.

Taste shows a good, crisp hop bite. Good malt body contributes nicely to the flavor. Balanced. Pretty clean. Doesn't noticeably worsen as it warms like many lagers.

Mouthfeel has a textured fullness to it.
Good drinkability, although I'm not a huge pilsner fan.

Overall a good beer. One pilsner I wouldn't mind drinking a few of.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2003 08:28:45 | More by PhantomVodoo
Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
81 out of 100 based on 368 ratings.