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Kaiser Pils - Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kaiser PilsKaiser Pils

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

87 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 178
rAvg: 3.82
pDev: 13.35%
Wants: 4
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: aaronh on 02-03-2003

A German-style Pils with pale gold color and good body, this crisp, clean and very bitter beer has pronounced hop aroma and is made with the famous Hallertau hops. Kaiser Pils is brewed with triple decoction mashing. A beer worthy of an Emporer.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 87 | Hads: 178
Photo of bonbini26
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of the BOTMC

Pours a yellow clear color, with medium carbonation, two-finger white head that fades quickly. Bready, grain some comes through with a tine of lemongrass. Crisp malty taste with some sweet bread flavors and light hops. The finish is semi-dry with some bitterness. Pretty smooth and clean, which makes it pretty drinkable. For the style its a solid brew, def. sessionable (389 characters)

Photo of bsp77
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Received in the May shipment of my Beer of the Month Club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pale, clear gold with some head and lacing. Expected look for a Pils, but needed more head retention.

Smell: Bready malts and some noble hops. Smells fresh but a little too mild.

Taste: Slightly sweet bready malts countered by a nice touch of spice bitterness. Bitterness is pretty low overall, but has a metallic bite to it. Very crisp and perfectly balanced - fantastic. Maybe this is more like a Southern German Pils (Bavaria), as I am used to the lighter, drier, more bitter Northern German Pils.

Feel: Moderately high carbonation, medium body (fuller than I expect for a German Pils), somewhat dry finish.

Drinkability: Perhaps the most drinkable Pilsner I have had, likely due to the perfect balance.

Note: this beer was shipped with the Penn Pilsner label (their flagship beer, which is actually a Vienna Lager). I emailed the BOTM company as I had expected the Kaiser Pils. They said the labels weren't ready yet for the Kaiser so they slapped the Vienna label on there instead. Idiotic. That's okay, the beer is so good that all is forgiven. (1,183 characters)

Photo of bonkers
3.8/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I received this as part of a BOTMC. The brew is a pale gold in color with a moderate white head. The aroma is bready and grassy. The flavor is crisp and pleasantly bitter, with a lingering after taste. The beer is easy drinking, light bodied, and has moderate carbonation. IMO a fine pilsner. (292 characters)

Photo of BeerIsland
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (583 characters)

Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.01/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler from Bierkraft in Brooklyn poured into American shaker pint.

A--Yellowish-gold body the color of apple juice or some weak-ass brandy. Head is two fingers of white fizz that die quickly and leave more skim than I've ever seen in a lager. Bubble curtain remains throughout tasting even in a non-nucleated glass.

S--Bready, lots of dough and whole grain huskiness going on. Some muted diacetyls going on that I don't mind but shouldn't be there. A bit of grass and tangy lemon or orange coming through on the nose as well.

T--More malt. Beautiful barley spectrum represented here as this has been very carefully attenuated. Lots of breadcrust, whole grain, and cracker, even a little sweetish but mostly deeper bread flavors w/o being Marzen-like and getting all honey and caramel about it. Hops is pronounced in the medium-dry finish as a bittering agent, with a little tang from that nose coming through flavorwise, but mostly this is European-styled hopping. Very nice--super smooth and clean, with not a trace of DMS. Only beef is that those diacetyls pop up and make this taste a little too buttered popcorny, like a botched hefe. Not a big deal, and certainly not prominent, but not the best thing about this beer.

M--Excellent. Spritzy, scrubbing bubbles scour your palate each sip. And that's not just the alliteration talking. Super refreshing lager that's crisp without being watery.

D--Another winner in this category. You could drink this as soon as it got warm, or at a tailgate party, or just sitting in the living room no matter the weather outside. If you like your Pilsner a little more on the malt side rather than the spicy hopped-out side, as I do, then pick this up over Victory's Harvest or Prima pils. (1,734 characters)

Photo of hopdog
3.42/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml, foiled, bottle.

Poured a medium golden color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of wet grass, some breadiness, doughy, and grains. Tastes of grass, straw, spices, and a lighter breadiness. At 4%, would make a decent hot summer beer for sure. (257 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear yellow with a nice white head. Nose is sweet grains with a minor grass. Flavor is bringing a lot of grain tones as well. Nearly inky taste on the backside. Definite earthy aftertaste. Feel is smooth on liquid and carries a vibrant carbonation. Easy to drink. If you like earthy and inky pilsners, this is for you. (327 characters)

Photo of ffejherb
3.47/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Local 44 on 3/7/09 during Philly Beer Week.

A - Clear pale golden, sparsely carbonated body with a slim, creamy white head that receded into a patchy film and scant amount of lace, but popped back up with each swirl of the glass.

S - Grassy and herbal hops with a subtle citrus character paired with bready malt and some sweet caramel.

T - Grassy hops dominate the initial flavor, followed by a mild herbal hop bite and some citrus/lemon notes. Malt is a little sweet with a hint of caramel and some bready, grainy characteristics. Finish is moderately bitter and actually just a tad tart.

M - Medium bodied and a bit oily with moderate carbonation on the palate. Finish is mildly bitter on the tongue.

D - Solid effort from Penn. Is it the best pils I've had? No. Is it easy to quaff? Sure. (808 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.79/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/20/08. Bottle. Pours a clear very pale yellow with a foamy white head that leaves nice lacing. Aroma of light sweet fruits, wheat malt, and grassy hops. Flavor is much of the same--wheat malt, grassy and floral hops. Nice light fruity sweetness with a tinge of hops. Nice refreshing pilsener.
8/3/8/4/14 (3.7/5) (326 characters)

Photo of number1bum
4.27/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (984 characters)

Photo of Domingo
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a bright yellow color that isn't quite golden, but still bolder than a helles or euro macro. The head on this is pretty wild and rocky. Lacing is second to none.
The characteristics of a traditional German pils are there in full force. It starts off with a bit of sweet malt, but then you get a pretty strong hit of noble (saaz I'm guessing) hops and a bone dry finish. No buttery creamy notes, just straight forward malt followed by a dry hop finish. Clean, tasty, and spot-on compared to the German originals.
It's easy to drink and if price/availability weren't an issue this would be a great session lager. Definitely one of the best examples of this style brewed in the US.

It's a really good German Pils, but I'm not sure it needed to be in a bomber or priced where it is. That shouldn't make it earn a lesser score, but it's something to keep in mind. It's tough to justify a $9 bomber for a beer that really isn't designed as a sipper. The whole concept just seemed odd for an everyday style. (1,007 characters)

Photo of timtim
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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. (415 characters)

Photo of akorsak
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The one special Penn offering that I neglected (at least to date) to track down in bottle form. That may change...

A: The pils is a pale straw color, brilliant and unremarkable. A decent sized white head insulates the body of the beer.

S: The aroma is primarily grainy, lighter malts. The aroma is highlighted by a spicy herbal noble hop aroma.

T: The body is a strong continuation of the nose, showing off a bready malt side that has a peppery finish. The hops are crisp, cutting through the malts with a noble, grassy herbal taste.

M: The mouthfeel runs thin at times but generally is robust with malt flavors throughout.

D: The beer is not as strong as it would let on, so I can envision polishing off a bottle. (720 characters)

Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Capones. Pours a clear yellow. Thin head with nice lacing. Fairly hoppy smell. Nice bite in taste. Mouthfeel is smooth & very drinkable. I would put this a notch below Sly Fox/Victory/Troegs but a quality pils overall. Recommended.

Cheers. (253 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at the Penn Brewery.

Clear white body with a big white fluffly head that has good retention and leaves some nice sticky lacing on my glass.

Smells of nice floral hop notes and a light, pilsner style malty body.

Hoppy up front, a little piney and citrusy. Finishes out like a normal pilsner with light maltiness. I like this beer, it reminds me a lot of Troeg's Sunshine Pils, another pilsner I enjoy in the summertime. Mouthfeel is light and effervescent.

Pretty drinkable, light and balanced. (504 characters)

Photo of Deuane
2.56/5  rDev -33%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Golden yellow body with thin white head that disappears quickly and leaves a thin ring of lace.

S-Sweet maltiness and the smallest wafting of hops.

T-Instant corn-like taste to me. Others say they have tasted hops in this brew but not me...maybe my hop threshold is too damn high anymore!? This is a very disappointing brew to me.

M-Medium-ight body and bit sticky with a slightly sour finish.

D-Not really into this one. Drinkable but barely. I want more crispness and hops....less of that damn corn flavour...quick, someone get me a Two-hearted! (554 characters)

Photo of bigdeuce
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A pretty good beer, got this at the actual Penn Brewery restraunt this past weekend. Oddly flavored, a german beer with some hops. Pours a nice head, a medium body, very light color. Smells of piney hops, but just seemed average to me. Did not seem to be a style I can point to. I will try it again but not the best beer I have had. Never seen this in a bottle, like mentioned, had this at the brewery. (402 characters)

Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy medium straw hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a light grainy malt and a smattering of noble hops.

The taste was well balanced and all around light. Some hop spice creeps in toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a standard no frills pils. Fresh taste was key. (396 characters)

Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.07/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Light transparent straw yellow body with thin head that disappears quickly. Little lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Smells of light refreshing hops.

T- Initial taste is somewhat bland. Almost like there is nothing there. Then the hops start to appear. The finish is all hops and a bitter hop aftertaste remains on the palate.

M- Light body and medium carbonation. Not watery.

D- This is a great refreshing brew on a hot summer day. Its very light and refreshingly hoppy. Good summer session beer. (517 characters)

Photo of jcdiflorio
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Penn Brewery in a pint glass filled to the rim with just a coating of white foam,Clear,golden color fair amount of carbination with some strings of tiny bubbles.

Moderate hop aromas Perfumy/floral with a light sweet maltiness with a bit of nuttiness and some fruityness. Clean and inviting aromas.

Toasty with light sweet malt tastes,grassy,tart,finishes with a clean,crisp cirtus rind feel.

Light body with some rough,grainyness. Very drinkable and refreshing. A great beer for summertime. (520 characters)

Photo of jhicks12
3.93/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft at the brewery. Poured into a special kaiser pils glass. Appearance was a nice straw yellow coler with a strong white head, about a 3 finger head. Nice smell good hop presence. This beer has a nice balanced taste and mouthfeel with a nice hop aroma and aftertaste in the end. Nice pilsner...if i was big on pilsners i would get this a lot. (359 characters)

Photo of JoeMagarac
4.7/5  rDev +23%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (1,963 characters)

Photo of xzqrut
4.18/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured out a nice light golden color, with good carbonation. Beer gave a very nice head, with excellent retention, and great lacing. Smell was mild, with malt and hops aromas. The taste of this beer was what won me over, an excellent bitterness to it that really stuck out. Very crisp and clean mouthfeel, probably could have sat at the bar and had a multitude of these. Highly recommend it if you enjoy a nice bitter pils. (428 characters)

Photo of rabsten
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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. (797 characters)

Photo of jdmorgan
3.9/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a light yellow appearence that still appeared to have a bit of body to it along with a nice medium white head. The smell was of light malt with a bit of hop aroma as well. The taste was light with a slight malt aftertaste that illustrated that amount of flavor that was present in this beer despite its color. The hop flavor was well-balanced with a medium bitterness. The mouthfeel was good with a crisp and clean taste along wtih a medium carbonation. Although I don't normally drink pilseners, this beer had a good flavor and hop characteristic that I found enjoyable. If you enjoy lighter beers or pilseners, this is definately worth a try. (658 characters)

Kaiser Pils from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.