1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Freestyle Pilsner - Santa Fe Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Freestyle PilsnerFreestyle Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
84
good

108 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 108
Reviews: 39
rAvg: 3.74
pDev: 10.16%
Wants: 3
Gots: 4 | 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:
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 added by: Wolfsdenbrew on 05-14-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 108 | Reviews: 39 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of StonedTrippin
StonedTrippin

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%

definitely one of the more exciting pilseners ive had in awhile. this simple looking can of beer is anything but. it pours a darker shade of pale (if you will), with a frothy white head that lasts. it smells more like an american pale ale than a german pils, with robust malting and way more hops than almost any beer ive had from this genre. the flavor is well balanced but big, and the hops are all the way throughout the flavor, not just in the finish. its not bitter at all, but rather smooth and round from the sturdy malt support. i taste more english style than german malts in this, but to be fair i was putting these down at a pretty alarming rate due to its wonderfully refreshing mouthfeel and the unseasonably hot temperatures lately. medium body (if not more for a pils), and average carbonation. this is a surprise and a half from santa fe, i really like it.

09-26-2012 00:28:19 | More by StonedTrippin
Photo of EyePeeAyBryan
EyePeeAyBryan

Arizona

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

09-07-2012 18:01:39 | More by EyePeeAyBryan
Photo of russpowell
russpowell

Oklahoma

4.48/5  rDev +19.8%

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

08-29-2012 00:32:42 | More by russpowell
Photo of busternuggz
busternuggz

California

4.33/5  rDev +15.8%

Poured from a can into a pilsner glass. No visible freshness/bottling date.

Saaz hops are foremost in the smell, spicy and floral, a little grassy. Pronounced.

The taste follows with spicy, floral, and grassy notes. More hoppy than I expected, but well balanced with a touch of malt sweetness. A bit of a soft lemony note. Has a very nice subtle aftertaste of herbs, grass, and honey. Refreshing, engaging.

Light bodied with a slightly creamy texture that ends light and fairly dry, with just a little lingering malt clinging on.

I am a big pilsner fan, and this was a nice surprise. Well balanced with a pronounced hop character and some complexity. Definitely the best beer I've had from Santa Fe Brewing. Great summer beer, or any time.

08-10-2012 05:03:53 | More by busternuggz
Photo of Beermazter310
Beermazter310

Nevada

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

08-03-2012 19:34:25 | More by Beermazter310
Photo of bump8628
bump8628

Oklahoma

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

Filtered gold with a thin cap of foam that falls to a broken ring of bubbles in a few minutes. Clean with a light grainy doughiness. Hops aren't as potent as advertised on the can. Subtle grass and lemon notes with a black pepper hit as it warms. Bitterness is subdued. A bit weak all around becoming almost watery through the middle. This one needs a little tweaking.

07-24-2012 18:05:35 | More by bump8628
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +16.3%

Crystal clear, pale straw yellow body with a bubbly yet substantial white head. Soft floral hop aroma with a hint of light biscuit aroma. Light, delicate malt flavor, nicely paired with a subtle hop bitterness. Soft, clean, dry finish.

Quite the find for a German pils, better still something like this in a can. Easy drinking may be an understatement for this beer! Delicate flavors with a decent all-around bitterness. Fresh and delicious, well-balanced and a credit to the beer style...

07-24-2012 02:07:07 | More by beergoot
Photo of chocosushi
chocosushi

Oklahoma

3.25/5  rDev -13.1%

07-18-2012 02:11:56 | More by chocosushi
Photo of Ispeakforthetrees
Ispeakforthetrees

Colorado

3.5/5  rDev -6.4%

07-11-2012 15:38:44 | More by Ispeakforthetrees
Photo of Adele2012
Adele2012


4.25/5  rDev +13.6%

06-30-2012 23:29:52 | More by Adele2012
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

3.15/5  rDev -15.8%

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.

03-26-2012 22:00:21 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of TheBishopco
TheBishopco

Tennessee

4/5  rDev +7%

11-27-2011 06:15:16 | More by TheBishopco
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%

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.

10-18-2011 18:16:24 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of kgotcher
kgotcher

Colorado

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%

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.

10-10-2011 21:58:22 | More by kgotcher
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%

A craft Pils in a can, now this is something I am always looking for. It claims to be an extra hoppy Pils too, and with the hop cone on the front of the can I am expecting it to be. Pale yellow color, only a slight chill haze, with slow looking carbonation. The head is pretty thin and dissipates quickly. The smell has a nice lemony zest, though the hops aren't much more potent than any average American version of the style.

I'm actually more impressed by the bready malt character than any supposed extra hoppiness. It's just a nice, clean and refreshing example of the style. The mouthfeel has a decently sharp carbonation, and is light but not too thin.

It's nice to have another decent Pilsener available to me locally, but unfortunately this is nothing amazing. For a hoppier, American style Pils I think of Sly Fox Pikeland Pils, and this is not quite at that level. If it's a good price though, I will not hesitate to grab a 6-pack of this in the future...

08-26-2011 06:15:32 | More by bennetj17
Photo of pkeigs
pkeigs

Colorado

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%

I love the Santa Fe cans, none of them have disappointed me. This style seems to belong.

One of the cleanest Pilsners I have had to date. This has been a go to beer for me lately. Smells of german noble hops and nice pilsner malt. Little biscuity, very refreshing. Over all just a clean drinkable beer. I wish I could get Pilsner Urquell in can near me to try side by side with this one.

08-02-2011 13:48:46 | More by pkeigs
Photo of djeucalyptus
djeucalyptus

Oregon

3.93/5  rDev +5.1%

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.

07-18-2011 02:06:07 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of chugalug06
chugalug06

Colorado

4.1/5  rDev +9.6%

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.

07-10-2011 00:30:33 | More by chugalug06
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.18/5  rDev -15%

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.

07-07-2011 05:00:35 | More by mactrail
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

3.95/5  rDev +5.6%

Freestyle enters one of my favorite pils glasses with a brilliant gold color. A dense and soapy white head has nice retention and leaves bits of lace.

Noble hops and a honey sweetness dominate the nose. In the mouth, the beer feels rather dense for the style. The vigorous carbonation is about right. Moving onto flavors, the beer is well balanced. Dry grains and a light sweetness are out front. Bitterness is mild and carries a lemon and pepper kick. The beer finishes rather clean.

Overall, this is a nice Pils. A slightly lighter body would put it over the top.

07-02-2011 20:15:50 | More by Rayek
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

3/5  rDev -19.8%

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.

06-30-2011 01:03:20 | More by Beaver13
Photo of rawfish
rawfish

California

3.7/5  rDev -1.1%

Pours a straw color with a soapy 2 finger head with poor retention and little spots of lacing. Held up to the light it's the same color as mountain dew.

Yeast and hops. Malt is completely swallowed in earthy yeast and grassy and herbal hop aroma. Slightly dank with a touch of lime but hoppier than most other lagers.

Sweet grain and pale malt unobtrusive and spicy and floral hops sprinkled through the middle of the drink. Finishes drying and clean.

I felt this one was nicer when warmer, subdued carbonation with a nice light body.

Noble hop profile with an extra kick of spice, smooth and drinkable, a Prima Pils from the high desert.

06-29-2011 00:48:41 | More by rawfish
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +16.3%

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

06-19-2011 03:55:04 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of ArrogantB
ArrogantB

Colorado

3.68/5  rDev -1.6%

12oz can poured into a pint glass. Bright clear yellow with a little lace on the sides of the glass. Smells earthy with a twinge of alcohol. Tastes like a pilsener, not much mineral flavor and not a very strong flavor. Very easy to drink and I'd probably have one on a hot day sitting on the porch.

05-22-2011 04:09:29 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

3.9/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

05-20-2011 22:59:14 | More by emmasdad
Freestyle Pilsner from Santa Fe Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 108 ratings.