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Blue Paddle Pilsner - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Blue Paddle PilsnerBlue Paddle Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,088 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,088
Reviews: 387
rAvg: 3.54
pDev: 12.71%
Wants: 20
Gots: 83 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing visit their website
Colorado, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-18-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,088 | Reviews: 387 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours brilliant golden with a decent pure white head that fades to a thin ring but leaves some spotty lacing as well. Very light hop aroma with some earthy crisp notes and a touch of lager yeast in the aroma, but that's about it. taste is about the same. It lacks the crispness and bitterness of a true German Pilsner, and the finish is especially soft. There are some spicy hp notes, but its fairly one dimensional. Even so, it is still pretty refreshing on a hot spring afternoon. Some more noble hop bite and crispness would make it more so.

Georgiabeer, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of Jadjunk
3.38/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blue Paddle Pilsner is brewed in the Czech Pilsner style. While Blue Paddle Pilsner is considered a year-round release, it is a challenge to find this in any local stores in the Atlanta area. The first time I got a bottle of this was in the summer Folly Pack, and I haven't seen it packaged locally since. Fortunately I saved a bottle, and am reviewing it, slightly aged, for the transition from summer months to the wonderful fall. The bottle is dated 16 September 2012, so it's a little past age, but no big deal.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pilsner glass. Served at 39.5º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thick, frothy white cream tone head with ample lacing and very good retention. The body color is a vivid golden straw yellow, mildly hazy clarity with rampant active carbonation. Appearance is nearly perfect for the style and all aspects are visually attractive. 4.5

(Smell) A combination of grassy, musty citrusy and spicy hop essence (in that order) over a substantial pale malt body with just a touch of perky sweetness on the high notes. Smells clean and crisp although a bit of murkiness may have come with time but it lends itself well to the beer nonetheless. Light and pleasing aromatics have a medium potency, the balance is quite nice and the aroma is enjoyable overall. 4

(Taste) Flavors are a touch muted in the taste, especially hop characters, which are not nearly as bright and flavorful as they were in the nose. A pale malty base is followed through with a mild grassy hop blend for a very mild flavor- the mustiness, while an integral part of the aroma is all but a whisper in the flavor of the finish. Bitterness is low but prevails slightly in the finish. Finish is expectedly clean for the style. Hop character could be brighter flavored and have a touch more dimension but as a standard Czech pilsner it isn't terrible, just not awfully original nor exciting. 3

(Mouthfeel) Mild texture, slightly dry and chalky finish. Carbonation is mild, could increase a notch or two for a more vivid texture. Alcohol presence is mild, body is light/medium for a pilsner and light overall. The textures of the beer and the carbonation were admittedly muted overall, with lots more to be desired in the overall texture than what we get here. 3.5

(Overall) Blue paddle presents itself to be a lot more bold than the taste reveals it to be. The aroma and appearance are great- bold, bright and colorful, but the flavors are very average by comparison, and half of what was expected was difficult, if not impossible to find in the resulting simple recipe. I was hoping for more than what I got, but drinkability remains high and the beer, while not a star amongst Czech pilsners, does do some things right, and is probably worth a try should you be a fan of the pilsner style. 3.5

New Belgium Brewing's
Blue Paddle Pilsner

Jadjunk, Oct 25, 2012
Photo of rkarimi
3.39/5  rDev -4.2%

rkarimi, Jun 09, 2012
Photo of mfnmbvp
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with enjoy by date of November 02, 2014 printed on the label. A new beer to me from New Belgium, acquired as part of the folly pack.

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass.

A - Pours the typical clear dark lager gold colored body with just under two fingers of thick rocky white head. Some fat bubbly lacing, but none sticks. Looks pretty good for the style.

S - The smell is typical of the style also - dry, grainy, papery, corny / wheaty. Some musty / earthy yeast content, and just a hint of fruity hop presence. It possesses a note of that gnarly off-putting grainy horseradish type aroma that I have come to hate, though.

T - The taste is of clean grains / wheat / corn, some grass, light citric hop character, earthy yeast, and bready sourdough tasting malts.

M - Feel is crisp & clean, goes down smooth, and leaves a dry papery grainy finish. Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation.

Overall, a standard example of the style. Nothing more and nothing less in my opinion. A nice option to have, but it wouldn't be my first choice from New Belgium.

New Belgium Blue Paddle Pilsener ---3.5/5

mfnmbvp, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of TheSarge
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours perfectly with a three finger thick head of a bright white color. The body is ultra clear and bright gold.

Aroma wise it has an arid lemony hops tone, and a grainy huskiness.

Has a blunt grainy taste to it. Not much in the way of hops. This is the weakest category for the brew.

Has a crisp clean feel to it and leaves the palate satisfied.

TheSarge, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of TCMike
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It pours a light golden color, and produced a 2 finger white head.

The aroma was decent...of biscuit, light malt, almost lager like.

The taste was similar, but with a faint hop bitterness. The mouth-feel was light, and carbonation was a little above the medium range.

Easy drinking. The beer is decent, but leaves room for improvement.

TCMike, Jul 02, 2012
Photo of GreenCard
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on 10/9/02 (old notes)...

Appearance: light straw color, good clarity, low head retention but I guess that can be OK for this style

Aroma: nice floral hop nose, sweetly scented, a touch of alcohol, a bit grainy

Flavor: slight hop kick up front, builds well, good hop flavor at a nice level for this style, clean finish, no lingering aftertaste, not very malty though

Mouthfeel: appropriate carbonation, slight warming, dry and smooth

Overall impression: A quite smooth and drinkable beer. Refreshing. No overpowering flavors.

GreenCard, Jul 10, 2003
Photo of Epheister
3.4/5  rDev -4%

Epheister, Aug 29, 2014
Photo of vette2006c5r
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Blue Paddle pours a golden straw color with a very small lacing head. There is a pale straw like aroma; very weak. The taste is crisp, light, good pale malt backbone. Nice flavors, stronger then others, but weak aftertaste. Overall its a very nice pils.

vette2006c5r, May 11, 2014
Photo of Florida9
3.4/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear gold in color. Forms a moderate sized white head. Good retention, though it eventually falls to a stable surface coating and a large ring around the edge. Lots of lacing.

S: Aroma is about what is to be expected, some lighter pale malts, some pilsner malt, and a moderate dose of grassy/herbal noble hops.

T: Taste is more of the same. Light pale malt, some pilsner to keep things interesting, and then some light herbal noble hops. However, the beer does seem to finish a bit watery.

M: On the lighter side of things, but with more body than your average American brew. Mild bitterness. Moderate carbonation. Mildly dry.

O: As with many New Belgium beers, I get the impression this one is brewed for the cross-over drinker and, while it is clearly a step up from the American Adjunct Lager, it is also clearly brewed with a heavy dose of restraint. Certainly drinkable, but nothing too exciting either.

Florida9, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of Gmann
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear straw color with hints on honey. Big soapy pure white head that settles into a puffy cap.

The aroma is of a crackery pils malt with some grainy notes. A bit of a spicy hop but quite subtle. I prefer not to have that strong of a grainy aroma.

The taste is light and crisp. Dry crackery malt mixes with a grassy/peppery/spicy hop to give the beer that pils flavor. Light metallic notes in the finish.

The feel is light, almost watery. Plenty of fizzy carbonation to add to the crispness of the beer. Finishes fairly clean with a light hoppy bitterness in the finish. Overall it is a bit lacking on the feel.

A decent pils but has too much of a grainy flavor and the body is a bit watery.

Gmann, Sep 20, 2014
Photo of taylocd
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12-ounce bottle into pilsner glass. Best-by date of April 24, 2011.

An exceptional pilsner is hard to find. Blue Paddle is a pretty good beer, but not great. Even so, I would certainly reach for this one if it were more readily available in the area.

A - very light straw color with loads of bubbling into a white head that remained for the entire session and left solid lacing

S - little aroma, but there was a bready scent with a hint of corn(??)

T - crisp, though slightly weak cereal/bread flavor with a faint metallic finish

M - high carbonation gives Blue Paddle a texture perfect for style

D - very easy drinker, but a stronger grain flavor without the metallic hint would move drinkability to 4.5 or 5.0

taylocd, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of SamN
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Very nice golden color, clear, giant frothy head with wonderful lace leavings. Tons of carbonation, a very classic looking German pils.

S- Hops forward smell, slight malt background, honey. A certain creaminess to this beer. This is actually more balanced than I thought. Biscuit malts and full hops, just a slight adjunct notes. Pretty good smelling.

T- Lots of movement of flavors. Starts rather dry and metallic, swells to a big bushel of rough hops, than fades out with a more balanced flavor, finishing with a lingering hops tinge. Too many shades of bitter, not enough malt smoothness. Not really my cup of tea. Or beer.

M- Decent mouthfeel. Pretty thin, very light body, and some carbonation burn at the edges.

D- Too hops forward, not my type of pilsner. But it's definitely not a bad beer at all, I wouldn't complain if this was all there was to drink.

SamN, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of amatuerbeerguy
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out golden/yellow in color witha white head. Some lacing, witha moderate head retention.

Aromas grain, hops, bready, and some sulfur.

Taste of hops, some malt character, bread, along with some lemon and orange.

Mouthfeel is some what light, with good carbonation, yet smooth, with some spicyness in the finish.

Overall a nice interpretation of a quality pilsner. Very drinkable, light, nice flavors and aroma. Should hold up to a variety of foods and situations.

amatuerbeerguy, Apr 24, 2006
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear gold. Head goes about one finger and falls fairly quickly and leaves a lot of lacing on the way. As far as appearances go, it'd be a good beer to shoot pictures of. Mouth-feel is thick and frothy when you first down it and as you keep going it lingers for a bit and leaves a lasting impact on the palate. Overall I'd say this is a decent brew, but not powerfully done.

RblWthACoz, Dec 30, 2007
Photo of Johnny83
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%

Johnny83, Aug 27, 2014
Photo of gpogo
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Clear golden yellow body with a small white head. No lacing.

A- Pale crisp pilsner malt. Grassy herbal hop notes.

T- Pleasant bitterness throughout. Light crisp pilsner malt flavor. Dry finish. A bit on the hoppier side.

M- Light body, moderate carbonation. Crisp and enjoyable.

D- Pleasant warm day beer.

gpogo, Jul 27, 2013
Photo of Honeybourne
3.44/5  rDev -2.8%

Honeybourne, Nov 05, 2014
Photo of BeerZack
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden color with bright white bubbly head.

Very grainy with some mineral or metallic notes in the nose.

Grainy malt flavor thats slightly sweet with a little hop bitterness on the finish to give it some crispness.

For a New Belgian product this is actually not bad stuff- in my opinion, of course, its not nearly hoppy enough for all that grain. Easy to drink.

BeerZack, Jun 07, 2007
Photo of Misfit138
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

A- Golden color with huge foamy head that left lacing

S-Grassy malt and floral sweetness

T- Initially sweet malt followed by a lasting bitterness-its not overwhelming by any means but does linger

M- Light in body and fairly carbonated

D- Its OK, I wouldn't go outta my way for it. Decent, but I like the Victory Pils better also the Sam Adams summer pils is better.

Misfit138, Aug 15, 2010
Photo of JamesMN
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Honey colored and nearly translucent. Lots of visible effervescence and a one finger cap of off-white foam.

Aroma: Pilsen grain right of the bat. An earthy suggestion of hops. Not too much there but clean.

Taste: New Belgium tends to stay pretty much within style guidelines with their offerings and Blue Paddle Pilsner is no exception. Starting with a light hop bitterness and transitioning into a crackery/grainy malt blend, while striking a refreshing balance, this is a beer that delivers what is expected. The finish is decently crisp and there is a light lingering bitterness. Although it is difficult to truly impress my palate with a Pilsener, this one definitely comes close. At 4.8% ABV it is right near that sessioning range.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with lots of carbonation as is usual for the style. Easily drinkable and refreshing.

Final Thoughts: A well made Pilsner that will probably impress your BMC friends. As a hop head I'd love to see a version of this beer that uses the same malt base with some West Coast hops. That would be a beer that could turn some heads. For now though, Blue Paddle is a drinker-friendly and enjoyable take on a classic. Would I drink it again? Sure.

JamesMN, Jun 10, 2013
Photo of shererjt
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a brilliantly sparkling, clear, strawish yellow. Head was nice and thick. Aroma was clean and malty with some biscuit/toastiness. Hops are maybe a bit too mild in the nose. Light-to-medium body with a flavor that's dominated by the malt but was pleasantly bitter as well. Would describe the taste as busy but still good. Mouthfeel was a little thin but has a noticeable bitterness that lingers. Drinkability was above average.

A solid effort. There are better pilseners out there, but there are also far worse.

shererjt, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of lawman834
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Very clear, pale and yellow. Head breaks down quickly with very little lacing.

S: Somewhat weak and malty. Can't really smell the hops.

T: Pretty good. Fortunately more hoppy than the aroma suggests.

M: Light and crisp in the mouth with a surpisingly buttery finsh.

D: Easy to drink. A good choice if you want to knock back a few without resulting to an American Macro.

lawman834, Aug 11, 2007
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.45/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into a Samuel Smith pint glass.

A: Pours a lighter straw color with fabulous clarity. The head is a three finger white color with thick bubbles, frothy texture, and underwhelming retention. Lacing is pretty decent for a pilsner.

S: Features a typical noble hop aroma: grassy, earthy, zesty and slightly dank. There's also a slight hint of sweet malt lagging behind. Pilsners never impress me in terms of aroma, but that's rarely the beers fault, just mine.

T: Mellow, mild, and simple - but great drinkability. Touches of lemongrass and earth initially appear, before giving way to light bready malt tone. Mild zestiness on the finish. This is the kind of pilsner I go for, though perhaps it could use a little more flavor depth.

M: Very light texture with only a hint of tongue drying on the finish. Well carbonated. Basic but effective mouthfeel overall.

O: Not a world beater, in fact it's pretty middle of the road (like most things New Belgium), but this is something little 170 lb. me could kill a six pack of on a hot summer day, without feeling like I'm drinking a water facsimile. In that regard, it earns high marks in drinkability/overall score.

ThisWangsChung, May 27, 2012
Photo of schoolboy
3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pilsners from great brewers are often way better than you might expect. Unfortunately, this one is not exceptional.

It looks nice in the glass, clear and foamy. The aroma is the first let down. It's nice, but it is very weak.

The taste is good but also undistinguished, more like an American adjunct, but much more drinkable. The aftertaste is nothing.

I had this with some good pizza and the beer fit nicely but did not power up to the good za.

schoolboy, Jun 28, 2014
Blue Paddle Pilsner from New Belgium Brewing
81 out of 100 based on 1,088 ratings.