Kaiser Pils - Pennsylvania Brewing Company
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Ratings: 136 | Reviews: 83 | Display Reviews Only:
4.75/5 rDev +25.7%
I live about 10 minutes from the Penn Brewery, and make a point of buying most of the cases of beer I drink at home from them. For a while, I did this more out of principle than anything else: the brewery is close, the beer is good, and at $20/case (if you buy it at the brewery) you get craft-made beer for the price a local distributor might charge for mass-produced stuff. But while I liked Penn Brewery beer and was happy to have it at home, none of their varieties really made me or my guests stand up and say "wow!" the way the occasional specialty beer at a bar might do.
Until I discovered Kaiser Pils! This is simply an incredible beer, balanced yet bitter, dominant yet drinkable. It's far and away the best thing Penn makes (at least in my opinion), and is one of the best beers I've had in more than a decade of drinking. The appearance and smell are good but unremarkable -- clear straw and mild grain -- but the taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability are simply outstanding. This is in all respects a high-quality pilsner, except that every sip brings a late hop bite that is like the Mona Lisa smile: subtle, yet something to reflect on and return to again and again.
I can't for the life of me understand why Penn keeps this stuff under wraps the way it does: it's only available sporadically by the case, and then in bottles with another beer's label turned upside down ('cause they don't have any labels for Kaiser Pils yet). That tends to increase the mystique when I serve it to guests -- they wonder what I'm giving them and where I got it -- but it makes no sense to me. The last brewery staffer who sold it to me explained that it's their most popular brand among "beer drinkers" (as opposed to Coors Light drinkers?) and that a recent venture capital expansion should make the beer more common. I hope so, if only for the sake of everyone not lucky enough to live in Western Pennsylvania and within a short drive of this incredible beer.
09-03-2006 19:37:40 | More by JoeMagarac
4.69/5 rDev +24.1%
About the beer:
A- beautiful golden clear straw color.
S- Grassy, malty, and that typical spicy hallertau sharpness.
T- Bitter up-front with lots of malt character followed by a lingering bitterness that leaves your palate refreshed and wanting more.
M-Good body for a session strength beer with ample carbonation to round things out.
Overall- A classic and fantastic example of "GERMAN PILSNER". This truly is one of the best and most flavorful pilsners out there....especially in the pittsburgh area. It is extremely discouraging seeing people who give this beer a bad review and clearly don't understand what this style is supposed to be. Look at the medals its won at GABF...those judges know their styles! Overall if you're in the pittsburgh area Penn Brewery is an absolute must if you like traditional german style beer. These guys master their craft and do it day in day out.
02-15-2013 18:48:41 | More by markleyc06
4.68/5 rDev +23.8%
Appearance This guy was just gorgeous! Its a light yellow in color but not that transparent-looking piss-water color. The head was white as the driven snow and showed good retention. It never did go away and left a nice film along the inside of my pint glass.
Smell The light grain aroma is sans the nauseating sweets and creamed corn that you find with most pitiful efforts at the style. Theres not much else to this bouquet and there doesnt need to be.
Taste The grain flavor is tremendous. Its one of the best that Ive had. It's like stripping grain straight from the husk. There is actually a bit of husk flavor in this beer, which is just how I like it. Boy, you can really tell the difference between this and the Add-junk beers on the first sip.
I enjoyed the lack of sweetness here. There is just a touch; not any more than youd get from eating cooked grain, and its very mild like maybe what youd get from licking a cut green apple wedge. It is a very clean flavor that really made my day.
Mouthfeel This is actually a bit bigger than light-bodied. It is crisp and refreshing with just the right amount of quality carbonation. The finish really lingers on the palate, too, ending with a mild bitter tap.
Drinkability This is one of the best American-made Pilsners that Ive had to date. The beer just disappeared from my glass in leaps and bounds.
Comments A super-big BA thanks to skyhand for dragging this one all the way back from PA for me. Cheers!
05-22-2006 15:01:14 | More by RoyalT
4.68/5 rDev +23.8%
Of all of the Penn beers, this is the one that I get the most bready malt flavor from that I associate with good German-style lagers. I know that I am in the minority on this one, but I think the hops are just right for this style of beer. I think that some other very highly rated German style pilsners are over the top on hops for the style,i.e. Prima Pils. I like Penn beers and this one has always been a favorite of mine.
07-11-2012 20:47:44 | More by Alchemist
4.47/5 rDev +18.3%
Served on tap at Penn Brewery. The color was golden, with a good head. The smell was of hops. The taste was fairly hoppish, with more flavor than most other pilsners. Mouthfeel was well-carbonated. Drinkability-wise, could have these all day long.
Penn Pilsener is certainly a fantastic beer, but this is even better! It's a shame we only see this one from time to time, because this may be one of the top pils in the world! A great beer, and one I'll certainly be looking forward to upon its return next year.
09-23-2003 20:50:42 | More by beergeek279
4.47/5 rDev +18.3%
Kaiser Pils is a beer that is occasionally offered at the Penn Brewery on draft over their 14 year history. This bottling is limited to about 150 cases. It's listed on their website as "The Brewmaster's Private Stock".
This beer pours a brilliant golden color. The clarity is striking, as is the two finger, white, pillowy head that forms atop the beer. The head looks dense enough to float the bottle cap upon it. It displays excellent retention, as the head never fully subsides. As such it leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Steady carbonation trails can be seen from the bottom of my Munich pilsner glass. The aroma is a touch of malt with a big hop scent. Pepper and florals abound in the aroma. The taste is again very hoppy for a pilsner. The malt is barely detectable, but a strong, spicy hop flavor dominates. The finish has stong bittering which lingers through the aftertaste with a bit of a pine note and a hint of salt. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean and very refreshing. It also removes just about any other flavors that were in your mouth. This would be great with spicy food. The drinkability is excellent. I imagine this is what the German Pilsners taste like when they leave the brewery. This beer was released on January 31, tasted on February 3. Gotta love fresh beer! A great offering from Mr. Pastorius and the crew at Pennsylvania Brewing.
02-03-2003 16:46:45 | More by aaronh
4.43/5 rDev +17.2%
I enjoyed multiple servings of this at PA Flavor
A very clear golden straw color with visible carbonation and thick snowy creamy looking cap w/ tight bead. The head retention is good and lace sticks well. The aroma contains a good amount of noble hop aroma -very floral and herbal scented with mild pils malt accent and mild fruit from the yeast. The feel is good with some spice notes and mild sweetness with a high carbonation and rather dry finish.
The taste is excellent - loaded with hop flavor and only a mild level of astringency is noted, plenty of herb notes in the taste with fresh quality and gentle spice with the light toasted elements of the pils malt backing up the light acidic quality of the hops. The carbonation keeps the flavor fresh and the yeast is very clean overall with slight accent in the dry finish. I am very impressed with this pils, one of the best PA has to offer in a state where the bar for pilsners is very high already.
04-11-2011 22:13:44 | More by Slatetank
4.38/5 rDev +15.9%
I got this beer from cosmo4u. Thanks Chad!
12oz bottle served in a pilsner glass.
L - semi-hazed bright yellow color with a white head that left some trails of lacing as the beer went down.
S - bitter Euro-hop aroma.
T - bitter blast of Hallertau hops from start to finish.
F - light/medium bodied with a crisp feel.
O - a very good example of the style.
08-28-2011 23:57:32 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
4.35/5 rDev +15.1%
On tap from the Brewery itself.
First, I confess I'm more of an ale guy than a lager, and when I do go lager, it's usually a Vienna or Red. That said, this was a fine, fine beer. If all lagers were of this quality, I'd be a happy man.
Poured into its own stemmed glass (it says Kaiser Pils right on the side; I liked it so much I bought it), clear yellow-amber with white head. Good carbonation. Good lacing.
Floral hop aroma over thick malt. The malt was stong enough to suggest a scotch ale or something, but the hops held up to it.
Taste was much hoppier and less malty than expected. Balanced, smooth. Very nice.
A crisp mouthfeel, somewhat dry, but very drinkable.
The brewer came out to chat and said this is available in bottles in the fall. Good. I'll pick some up then.
07-02-2006 20:55:43 | More by rabsten
4.33/5 rDev +14.6%
Pours up a standard straw pilsener color, by the time it was served to me the head had subsided, leaving some heavy-duty lacing on the side of the pint glass. Light bready aroma with hints of biscuit and a healthy dosage of low alpha kettle hops. Man, do I like the crisp, hoppy pilseners. This one delivers- with a crisp, malty body and a nice, bitey finish. Sharp carbonation. Superbly balanced and constructed. It has been about five years or so since I last had this beer and it was five years too long. My favorite beer from Penn, I wish it was available all year.
04-23-2006 04:20:51 | More by crookedhalo
4.33/5 rDev +14.6%
This one is old school before the sale of the brewery. Probably 2008ish. Traditional Penn brewery labeling for Kaiser - an upside down Penn Pils label for the front, a Weizen label in back, and a neck label that is just a blank piece of white paper!
A: straw-colored, crisp and clean
S: not a huge amount of nose, but definite German maltiness and nice balance of hops
T: for a 5% ABV this beer held up very well, no noticeable oxidation or aging in any way, great malt with good smack of bitter hop finish -- one of the best pilsners in America, a bit more bitter hops than a high-end German pils but still very good
M & D: lively and very easy drinking, extremely smooth
06-26-2010 22:53:05 | More by wisrarebeer
4.3/5 rDev +13.8%
Served up on tap at D's, was my beer I sipped on while hunting for new beers in the beer cave, and the second one was reviewed and then lastly after the review I found it to complement my Chicago style Vienna all beef hot dog. Appearance: Crystal clear golden nice frothing white head leaves nice uneven bands of lacing. Aroma: Slightly bready with some biscuit malt, and peppery Saaz very nice pils one of my favorite all around Penn brews just a great pils I would like to get a keg of this beauty for my house here in Morgantown I think it would go over well. Taste: What a crisp and flavorful pils I wish this one would replace the Penn Pilsner, great malty backbone a beer to be enjoyed especially if you like Saaz authentic German style pils, definitely a beer to be enjoyed when available. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied very smooth great carbonation. Drinkability: Incredible definitely one of my favorite microbrewed pils of all time, doesn't match up to Victory Prima but it's awesome.
10-14-2003 13:43:26 | More by WVbeergeek
4.3/5 rDev +13.8%
Bright yellow in color with absolutely perfect clarity. Poured with a tall snowy white foam that quickly reduced to a thick cap. Earthy herbal hop bouquet with grassy, lemon, butter and sweet biscuit notes. Medium bodied with rich, refreshing carbonation and a crisp, dry finish. Malty, biscuity flavors down the middle with herbal hop flavors around the perimeter that close in through the middle. Tangy lemony hop bite from the middle to the end with biscuity notes. Finishes crisply and dryly with a lingering herbal hop bitterness.
02-16-2014 03:53:39 | More by IronLover
4.28/5 rDev +13.2%
Penn Kaiser Pils
I, too, bought (2) growlers from Bierkraft on 3 May, at around 1300. They had a lot going at that time and it took a little dexterity juggling the many growler orders coming in. The first of these was consumed right away; a delicious beer! I didn't really get a chance at it until today, Thursday 7 May 2009.
This beer is still in good shape. Very nice in the glass, decent fluffy head, smells of central European summers. Extremely flavorful and so easy going. Might have had this beer once before in a bottle,; as the recent NYT review indicated, not to be missed.
05-07-2009 18:09:46 | More by BeerIsland
4.28/5 rDev +13.2%
12 oz twist-off bottle.
It pours a somewhat bland gold, the head is very nice however forming a round white globe around the rim of my pokal.
There is a nice noble hop smell up front, it has a subtle fruitiness and a bakery like malt scent.
The taste is well balanced. It has a noticeable hop character, very nicely done, along with a leveling maltiness. It still seems a bit more hop-forward but it is pretty balanced overall. There is some metallic flavor at the beginning but it fades after the second quaff.
The mouthfeel was pretty spot on for the style, rich in body, but also with a persistent carbonation.
This pilsener is one of the few american examples that isn't a butchery of the style.
09-16-2010 23:00:56 | More by crossovert
District of Columbia
4.28/5 rDev +13.2%
fairly clear yellow with a white head that holds very well and leaves very nice lace. bread and malt and hops in nose, just like it should. very nice. well hopped, well balanced, minty hop finish with just a touch of soapiness that drags the taste rating down a bit. mint with a hint of soap really lingers in the mouth, creating a very nice and long finish. medium light body that goes down too easily. great beer.
09-12-2008 23:03:43 | More by timtim
4.25/5 rDev +12.4%
Poured into a fluted pilsener glass, it's a clear, pale golden color with three fingers of dense white head. Keeps a chunky lace and leaves quite a bit of stick on the sides.
Smell is quite hoppy, with a lot of grassy and slightly spicy noble hops. Bit of citrus fruit and some apple and pear fruitiness, as well. Also some lightly toasted grain and even a bit of malt sweetness.
Taste also has a good deal of grassy hops, and some fruit. There is a subtle noble spiciness and a moderate bitterness in the finish. Perfect level of malt sweetness. There is really no grainy bite to this at all - it's quite clean and flavorful. If anything I would say it could even be a bit hoppier, but it's very well balanced as is.
Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated and very smooth. It's extremely clean for a pilsener.
This is a really easy drinking pils. As I said before I think maybe it could be even a bit hoppier, but it's really nice as is. This is a top notch pils for sure. Pick it up.
12-12-2008 00:18:41 | More by number1bum
Kaiser Pils from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.