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Freestyle Pilsner - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Freestyle PilsnerFreestyle Pilsner

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BA SCORE
84
good

127 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 42
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 3
Gots: 9 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Santa Fe Brewing Company visit their website
New Mexico, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Wolfsdenbrew on 05-14-2006

As its name suggests, this Pilsner does not like to be categorized. Inquiring whether it is a German, Czech, Bavarian, American, or any other style pilsner will result in an impatient sigh and the explanation that the whole philosophy behind this pilsner is that it does not fall into any categories. True, it is brewed with traditional ingredients (soft water, pilsner malt, saaz hops, and German yeast), but it is the way that these ingredients interact, and the characteristics of the yeast, that cause this particular pilsner to defiantly stand alone. The assertively hopped Freestyle pils exudes the flavor and the aroma of the classic Saaz hop (a tribute to “the original” pilsner), while maintaining enough body to balance but not overpower this hop’s pleasant, spicy tone. An unhurried lagering process so frequently overlooked by American craft brewers is strictly adhered to in the production of Freestyle, which makes this beer by far the most light, clean, and quenching beer in the Santa Fe Brewing Company’s line up.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 42
Reviews by russpowell:
Photo of russpowell
4.47/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent gold with 3 fingers of pearl colored head. Very good lacing & average head retention

S: Grassy & perfumy hops, plus some metallic notes, great nose

T: Grassy hops, bready & crackery notes & dryness up front. Citrussy hops come through as this warms, dryness, a touch of faint husky grain as this warms. Finishes crisp, with a slight sweet breadyness, pus some nice citrus weaved in as well

MF: Medium bodied, soft carbonation, nicely balanced

A very nice German Pils & a great canned option that drinks too easy

More User Reviews:
Photo of Beaver13
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can. Pours a clear yellow with a medium creamy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is bready malts and Saaz.

The flavor is slightly sweet bready malts with a lighter noble hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth, slightly spritzy carbonation.

Overall, a decent Pils. Nothing special, but very drinkable.

Photo of Libationguy
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy medium straw color with yellow hues. Bright white thin head with low retention.

Biscuit aroma with lemon zest, corn flakes and a light spice. There is a low ammonia note here too. Not sure where that is coming from. Some light spice.

Crisp cracker, lemon peel, green apple and a slightly toasty note.

Nice medium bodied texture. A very slight bitterness from the hops is well balanced in the beer. Crisp, clean finish.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.15/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Looks like a faint yellow beer, soapy white head, looks like your average pilsner. Aroma, comes off like a saison, a little bitter spice to it. Didn't know anything about the massive disclaimer corporate write up on here at the time, but I figured that's why they called it freestyle, to be half assed apologetic/cya about it not being completely traditional. Whatever, I don't care, I just hate pre-emptive apologies.

More of the spicy floral taste more akin to a saison than a pilsner of any kind really. Not much in the way of hopping, yet a discernable bitter presence to it. Kind of like that floral pepperiness in Cantillon Mamouche, but without the sour aspect, but the lemon and pepper are still there.

OK stuff, call me a conventional hop head, but I love their ipa, this stuff, was just kind of like a yardsale ale where you throw a bunch of shit in and see what happens, call it unconventional etc. . . its ok, but I don't see it falling into the repeat purchase category.

Photo of LXIXME
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big white head sat a top a light hazy honey colored beer.
Slight sour aroma with both grain and hops coming through.
A slight bitter grain with a light sour and some hops taste, a good blend.
A nice dry aftertaste with slight hops hints.
This is a rather enjoyable beer, Pilseners aren't usually my thing, yet I liked this one quite enough.

Photo of biboergosum
3.97/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can, and yes, procured as part of a singles sixer at the local King Soopers in Glendale, Colorado, last week.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden yellow hue, with two fingers of puffy, lazily foamy, and somewhat bubbly chalky white head, which leaves a few instances of sudsy low-lying cloud lace around the glass as it genially abates.

It smells of gritty, grainy pale malt, saltine crackers, white pepper, a touch of underripe lemon, ethereal gasohol, and earthy, leafy, and grassy hops. The taste is sharp grainy, bready pale malt, earthy yeast, lemon cookies, and spicy, leafy, and wet grassy hops - simple, and just how it should be.

The carbonation is tight in its taciturn doling out of the bubbles that gaily dance on my tongue, the body a pleasantly zaftig medium-full weight for the, ahem, 'style', and mostly smooth, these hops knowing where their bread is buttered. It finishes a tad off-dry, the malt still worthy of mention, but really it's the hops you're going to write home about.

They are right in their assertion that a Pils can be 'freestyle', which is simply a fancier way of saying that this is a mutt. Yup, a lovable, multifaceted, easy to get along with, beer-drinkin' man's best friend sort of thing. Since I keep vacillating back and forth between Czech and German proclamations (American, really?), I'm happy to just sit back and enjoy the rest of this in the manner intended.

Photo of tone77
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Another beer by way of the legendary woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a cloudy light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit floral, some grains. Taste is refreshing, malts, grains, some floral notes, very easy drinking. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a fine session beer.

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first: thanks to chugalug06 for this one! stoked to try it. second: the can art is awesome. I don't keep cans, but this one might stay.

pours a light straw hue, crystal clear with fervent bubbles that fuel a fairly thin one-finger creamy white head that fades but leaves a thin cap. minimal lacing.

aroma is clean pils style... bready malts, hints of straw, and a smidgen of hop spice.

taste is full for a pils. bready malt with a touch of light yeast. that good citrus zest note is definitely there, as well as a clean herbal hop finish.

mouth is surprisingly full with a bit of tooth to it. clean, although a touch syrupy. a clean herbal bitterness in the finish isn't bad.

all in all, one of the more interesting pils I've had, and one of the more interesting cans. everything works pretty well... it's not earth shattering, but it's damn tasty. I'd buy it regularly if it was local.

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

Santa Fe Freestyle Pilsner has a thick, white head, a mostly clear, straw, bubbly appearance, and a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sweet, pungent barley malt and grassy hops. Taste is of sweet, fairly rich, biscuit malt and grassy, slightly lemony hops. Mouthfeel is medium, and Santa Fe Freestyle Pilsner finishes crisp, clean, and refreshing. At 5.5% alcohol, this beer gives you more of what you might be looking for in a lager.

RJT

Photo of SHODriver
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%

A: poured into a Pilesner glass to a pale yellow that's a little hazy with a finger and a half of dense and soapy white head that retains well
S: smells of clean malt aromas with a little bit of spicy hop aroma
T: taste is clean and bready malt that's a little sweet, some slight hop bitterness and some spicy flavor from the Saaz. swallow is more clean maltyness, a little banana, a slight mineral taste and a slight amount of citrusy hop bitterness on the finish
M: fairly light in body with slightly prickly carbonation and a refreshing finish
O: Not a bad stab at the style. very light with decent flavors and it's definitely a good summer brew

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz can, picked up a fresh sixer of this new release while in Albuquerque. Love the simple design of the green can, hop cone with halo on one side and hop cone with devil horns on the other....very cool. Pours a crystal clear, medium yellow color with a rather ordinary cap of white foam. Retention just ok and lacing is poor.

Nose has an earthy quality to it that is unique and smells 'thicker' than most other pilseners for some reason. Maybe it is the alcohol sticking out boldly or maybe even the light touch of fruitiness.

Taste has more of the aforementioned earthy hop flavors and a grainy, biscuity malt. Has a good balance of bittering and flavoring hops, even some floral characteristics come out as it warms. Taste is pretty clean and this is a damn good first foray into the lager category by the exclusively ale producing Santa Fe Brewing Co. Very drinkable with a unique flair that makes this one worth a try or two should you ever find yourself in the high desert of the southwestern US.

Photo of JMad
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

The beer pours a very pale yellow color with a thick, soapy, white head.

It's aroma is filled with lemon and grass, along with a slight bready, malty smell.

When I took a sip I tasted lemon first, followed by dry grassy and a citrusy finish. Almost reminded me of a dandelion field in the summer.

The mouthfeel is light with lots of subtle carbonation and a dry finish.

I really enjoyed this pilsner, it's one of my favorite styles but I haven't had one in awhile.

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a fluted pilsener glass.

Look: A clear golden body holds up a white cap that recedes to an even film of white. Light random spotty lacing.

Aroma: Typical lemongrass notes, subtle grain sweetness, slightly bitter with hops.

Taste: An equal combination of hoppy bitterness, malty sweetness, and earthy lemongrass.

Mouthfeel: Medium to light, carbonated, dry.

Overall: A pretty clean, grassy, and slightly hoppy Pilsner. Nice warm weather brew.

Photo of woodychandler
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Yo, I'm gettin' ready to Freestyle, yo! The CANQuest (TM) has enabled me to freebase, freeform, freeball, exercise my freedom, freely express myself, but never Freestyle, until now! CAN you dig it?!?

Music: Yo, I'm crankin' Freeway, don't call me "Free", yo! It's Philadelphia Freeway. Don't diss me.

From the CAN: "Hoppy. Refreshing. Doing its own thing."

Man, I dig the Crack & Glug action! Here, we had a finger of foamy bone-white head with decent retention. Color was a medium golden-yellow with NE-quality clarity. Nose was full-on Saaz hops and all of a sudden, I was like Pavlov's dog - slavering at the mouth. And I just had some well-made Pilsener ... The Hops jones may be returning. Dang. Oh man, this was so soft in both mouthfeel and tang that i just wanted to lie down in it. This was like that first jolt of horse that wrapped me in its arms, made me feel loved, wanted ... no, never mind that. This was a soft beer, though. Lovely. I CAN dig the western US wanting to get onboard with the Lager program, us orientals having dominated for so long. What is the opposite of "oriental"? "Occidental"! Look it up, fool. Nice dry Noble hop finish. This is a madd nice beer for the cooler on the beach, bee-atch! You dig?

Photo of Hopswagger
4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P:  Hazy pale golden body with bubbly streams cascading towards the top. Crowned by a shirt lived white airy head that settles to a swirly wake. 

S:  Lemon zest and citrus aroma followed by honey, pilsner malt, herbal notes, lemon grass, coriander and a pinch of salt. Crisp and clean nose. 

T/M:  Tart lemon zest start with citrus, herbs and floral bitterness. Honey, light matinees and a medium coarse feel that finishes crisp with a tad of wetness. Excellent hop flavors with no overpowering bitterness.  The finish reveals apple peels, green pears and subtle phenolic presence. 

O:  This is the second beer I've has from the Santa Fe Brewing Co. But I can say I'm a fan so far. This German pilsner is well balanced and has a great slightly coarse mouthfeel. Flavors explode on the palate and leave you thirsty for more. I'm really amped to try more from this brewery. Cheers!

Photo of ZenAgnostic
3.92/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can poured into Three Philosophers snifter.

Appearance - Slightly cloudy light gold body. Thin white lace with low stick.

Smell - Honey sweet. Light.

Taste - Burst of flavor but still light and clean. Acidic.

Mouthfeel - Light-medium body. Good bite from the alcohol and hop.

Overall Drinkability - Refreshing but not boring. Great beer.

Photo of kgotcher
3.85/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a kind of hazy light straw color with a fizzy white head. The color looks very weak but as you pour and the aroma releases you can tell it is not a weak beer.

Aroma is kind of musty but in a good way like yeast. I Can pickup a good malty sweetness and enough hops to give it that german and czech pilner bite.

Taste is more hoppy than expected, Not a hop bomb like Victorys pilsner but a more earthy lemony hop that stays farily mellow. Actually lemon is a predominant flavor in this beer from the hops. Good malty sweetness helps tie everything together.

Mouthfeel is smooth with a bit more body than the appearance gives away. Good carbonation keeps everything light and refreshing.

I like this beer, different for sure and probably not fitting any particular style for a pilsner that I can think of. Maybe that is where the "freestyle" comes from.

Overall it is very drinkable while also being interesting.

Photo of garymuchow
3.61/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a friend of a friend. Lovely how such stuff happens.
Reviewed in my head before seeing the specs. I had anticipated some adjunct when I drank it- but website specs don't say so. I also thought some Am. hops-wrong again.
Pours looking like an a Am. lager. Nice white head over a golden body. Aroma was light on the hops (I see no can dating to get a guess on that). Had a touch of sourness and more of an Am. yeast quality with just a touch of the Saaz.
Bittering is nice with some definite hop flavor. The Am. hop part seemed to be light citrus flavor (lemon/lime quality) that was quite nice. The malt seemed very Am. lager with even an corn like quality.
Drank like a regular Am. lager. Not too light. Carbonated well.
Enjoyable for an every day/lawn mower beer.

Photo of mactrail
3.2/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lemony, tart lager with a touch of hops. Straw yellow in the tall glass. Reasonable foam but a good mouthfull of carbonation. Hint of citrus melts into a sharper taste and ends with some slight bitterness.

Susbtle flavors with a touch of soap. I"m not sure this is an improvement over seltzer water. But it has a cheerful beeriness that makes me think of Trader Joe's cheap Pilsner. Would be interesting to compare the two to see which comes out on top.

Photo of emmasdad
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a six pack of this one the other day. Really enjoying these Santa Fe cans. This one poured a clear golden color with a nice white head. Aromas of light malt, grassy hops and straw. On the palate, this one is very light bodied and easy drinking, with flavors of grassy hops and biscuity malt.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer. Pale golden/clean yellow pour. Bright white and foamy head. A bit of lacing in the glass but this one is pretty clean.

Soft toasted bread aroma with subtle yet spicy hops. Grassy a bit, but only if concentrating on it. Otherwise this aroma is easy to take.

Flavors are light, but good. Most of the toasted bread is up front and on the very very end. The middle is sprinkled with un-obtrusive hops. Noble hops, saaz I guess. Floral and clean. This is a great summer brew by itself, as precursor to more beers (both hoppy and malty), or with some grilled goodness.

Nice job

Photo of Domingo
4.07/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another canned brew from Santa Fe. This time it's a pilsner. While it's playfully claiming to not fall into any normal pils guidelines, it's pretty close to a south German one.
Pours a pale straw color with a massive head. Lighter than most, but falling closer to the south German pilsners...which are a little lighter.
Saaz hops and a hint of pale malt on the nose.
Sweetness hits the tongue right away, but is followed by floral bitter hops and just a hint of honey-like lager yeast.
Texture and drinkability are pretty much what you'd get from a Munich pils. I'd say that was probably their inspiration and this has turned out to be a good take on one.
A good summer beer that you can have several of and pair with something off the grill.
NM is cranking out some pretty solid beers these days!

Photo of phishsihq
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Freestyle Pilsner pours a crystal clear, pale golden color, and is capped with a soapy, white head that leaves minimal lace. A light, bready malt profile is backed up with grassy aromas and a hop spiciness. Bready and grainy husk flavors open on the pallet, and a slightly citrus, mostly spicy hop notes pull this crisp brew through to the end. Medium to medium-light in body, this pilsner is moderately low in carbonation. Happy to have stumbled on this one!

Cheers!

Photo of Wolfsdenbrew
3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear golden yellow, with a moderate white head. Lots of clinging lace.

Aroma has that typical lager yeast smell and a slight dry hop bouquet.

Taste is dry and crisp with a really nice bitterness, maybe a little more than to style, but i really enjoyed it. Definitely saaz hops here.

A light beer that is slightly lacking in malt backbone, but only slightly. Nic epilsner that is highly carbonated and very refreshing.

Photo of chugalug06
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First off: Awesome CAN!

A - Nice clear yellow with lots of white and some orange. Gentle stream of bubbles rising from the center. Head is a creamy white. Not too much lacing.

S - Very standard Pils scent with slight lemon/fruit kick.

T - Definitely above average for the style. Lots of uniqueness in this brew. Great refreshing lemon taste. Perfect for a post 14er brew.

M - Very moist. Slight bitterness. Chewy.

O - It needs to be said that Pils are typically not my favorite style, but this one definitely stands out with great uniqueness. Quite an intriguing brew. Perfect for a post hiking sip on a hot day in the mountains.

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Freestyle Pilsner from Santa Fe Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.