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Blue Paddle Pilsner - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Blue Paddle PilsnerBlue Paddle Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
82
good

408 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 408
Hads: 1,249
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 21
Gots: 171 | 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:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 07-18-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 408 | Hads: 1,249
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at 38 Degrees in Alhambra, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and slight grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grassy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is quite drinkable and tasty. (528 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. August 2009. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a clear golden yellow color with visible carbonation and a white head. The nose is some floral and herbal hops with grain in the back. The taste is straw and grain with some light Noble hopping. Fairly light mouthfeel with high levels of carbonation. Drinks well, especially in the summer, although there are certainly better examples of the style out there. (422 characters)

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

yeah this isnt the most intriguing beer on the planet, but its a worthwhile summer sipper. it smells as german as it does czech on the malt profile, dusty and dry, sturdy but light enough to be easy drinking. the hops enter a little bit in the flavor, but its only in the finish and very subdued. this is a straight up pils, more robust than is traditional, but its not a beer for hop heads. the finish is dry after just a second, and a certain thirst quenching element is there, thankfully. it feels a little filling to me, maybe a little heavier in body than most beers from this genre, but the carbonation is good and its an easy 6pack on a late summer afternoon. no complaints with this, it just isnt getting me off ya know? (728 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours clear golden color with a fluffy head that leaves clumps of lace in my pilsner glass

Smell: Bready aroma with plenty of floral esters; slightly grassy

Taste: Starts with a clean, bready flavor that is joined, mid-palate, by the grassy, floral hops; after the swallow, the floral aspect builds and becomes almost perfume-like

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body; moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: Very nice effort from New Belgium; while not as hoppy as Prima Pils, I really like the floral elements that make it very drinkable (553 characters)

Photo of largadeer
3.16/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Extremely clear pale straw in color. The head retains well and leaves a fair amount of lace as the glass empties.

Smell: Very bready and malt-heavy. Doesn't have as much of that signature spicy/grassy hop aroma. A faint cooked vegetable aroma is noticeable but overall it's fairly clean.

Taste: As the aroma suggests, this is very light on the hops - I'm surprised they call this a pilsner. Malts are dominant and quite nice. Buttery with a mild grainy sweetness and just a touch of hops in the finish. The aftertaste is clean, making this a pretty quaffable beer, though it lacks the crispness that I look for in a good pils.

Mouthfeel: Light, but more buttery and coating than most pilsners. The carbonation is crisp without being bloating like many macro pilsners.

Drinkability: A decent session beer, but I'll stick to Trumer if I want a good domestic pils. (877 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16oz glass, at the New Belgium debut party in Alberta, at the Craft Beer Market in Calgary - I've arrived right on time, and it's already getting packed in here!

This beer pours a pale golden amber colour, with one finger of thinly foamy and puffy off-white head, which leaves a nice layered strata of weeping lace around the glass as it slowly ebbs away.

It smells of mildly crisp and grainy pale malt, dry lemon, and somewhat metallic earthy, grassy, and leafy hops. The taste is lightly funky leafy and grassy hops, gritty pale malt, a touch of crispy cracker, stale lemon, and a stony flintiness.

The carbonation is a bit tight at times, but mostly just wanly frothy, the body medium-light in weight, and a bit edgy in its smoothness. It finishes on the dry side, still kind of zingy from the obvious noble hops.

An adequate and capable old-school pilsener, a bit soft around the edges, yet more or less drinkable, and duly thirst-quenching. A pleasant start to this cornucopia of a beer experience I have ahead of me this evening. (1,039 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This bottle reminds me why I like New Belgium's packaging so much. The label is very nicely done with a colorful drawing of a canoe on a lake shore and the bottle shows off the brewery's distinctive, raised, embossed neck collar.

Bright yellow-amber with a miniscule number of fine particles swirling around in the beer. The head is a shade or two darker than bright white and is nicely stiff and sticky. It's falling slowly at the edges and is beginning to leave a good bit of lace. The nose is actually quite pleasant. It has the usual noble hop pungency and smells of lemon peel and sweet grass.

The flavor isn't quite as impressive as the nose, but it isn't bad. There's plenty of lightly toasted malt, equaled and perhaps even exceeded by the sharp bitterness of the hops. There are elements of grain and grass, while the lemoniness seems to be missing on the palate. The finish is dry and crisp with a gentle, lingering bitterness. The body is 'pils average', that is, it's neither thin nor full, and is lively thanks to the generous carbonation.

Blue Paddle Pilsner is another quality product from New Belgium. It's difficult to brew a noble hop lager that I really enjoy, but this one comes close to getting a big thumbs up from me. I have no problem recommending it since it's one of the better domestic pilseners that I've run across. (1,353 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours out a golden, yellow color with a 1-2 finger head. It leaves some lacing.

S - The is a fairly strong malt smell mixed with fruity aromas.

T - The malt and fruit flavors are complimented by a light spicy-bitterness.

M - It is crisp and light-bodied.

D - A nice pilsner. Really one of the more enjoyable American pilsners available. (344 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had not tried this one before, so last night when I was out for dinner, decided to try a bottle of it. The pour was rather standard for the style. Very nice clarity with a nice golden amber color to it. Lots of carbonation streaking toward the surface throughout the entire session. A very nice three inch high head of white foamy and fizzy lace formed on the top and hung around for a few moments before finally settling down to just a thin film across the top that lasted until the end.

The aroma was loaded down with cereal grains and a touch of light fruity yeast. The aroma of banana clearly evident as was a nice fresh grass like hoppy nose. The flavor followed right along with it, being very light in profile and feel and very highly carbonated. List grain flavors dominated with a nice earthy feel. Hints of banana and fresh grass running through it as well, with a very nice light, refreshing taste. The finish was quick, crisp, and very clean, leaving virtually no aftertaste, but leaving you looking for more.

Overall not a bad pilsner at all. Nothing really earth shattering here, but still a very solid effort. I would most certainly not turn this one down if offered it again, especially with the warm weather approaching. (1,241 characters)

Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an unexpected find at Pipe and Pint here in Greensboro today actually had it given to me it was part of the owners personal stash,anyways pours a vibrant yellow with not much head wich kept the rating at 4 I really liked the vibrant color of this brew.Aroma was like walking thru a meadow of flowers kinda sweet and grassy with a good toasted malt character.Taste was grainy and lightly sweet with a nice smacking of hops that hits nicely in the finish.One of the best American pilsners out there at least from my perspective I wish I had more! (549 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at New Belgium Hub in the Denver Airport

A: The beer pours a clear golden color with a finger of white head.

S: The aroma starts off with sweet corn and pale malts. There is a hint of perfumey citrus peel and a light floral hop character as well. A bit of lager yeast and some light fruity esters.

S: Moderately sweet with some corn, pale malts, and a bit of grain husk. A light bitterness to it, too. A light ester character, mostly apples. Floral hops and a mild citrus peel flavor on the finish.

M: Light in body with medium carbonation.

O: Though rather simple, the flavors were pleasant and the beer was easy to drink. (636 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

I prefer my paddles to be yellow or without color. This clearly inferior blue model pours a clear pale straw topped by nearly a finger of white froth. The nose comprises wheat, grass, and flowers. Quite mild. The taste adds more flowers, a touch of orange peel, and a few drops of mandarin orange juice near the finish line. The body is pretty light, with a moderate carbonation and a crisp, dry finish. Overall, a very nice pils, one of the better American versions I've come across in a while. (539 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had an odd relationship with Blue Paddle over the years. Even though I've tasted it many, many times, I simply enjoyed it without going to the effort to write a review. Maybe it was that I felt it would always be available to review later; and maybe it was because I'd thought I'd already reviewed it (I actually think I did.... maybe my review got lost due to a bad computer connection); or maybe it was because it just didn't stand up and shout "review me!"; or maybe it was just too good to put down! In the end, I think it was a little bit of all of those, but I'll put the spin on 'it was just too good to put down'!

It pours a typical golden body beneath a full head of white froth that holds well and leaves some nice lace about the glass. The nose delivers floral, grassy, and lightly spicy hops atop a straight-forward, grainy malt base. The body is medium on the light side, and it's crisp but not zesty in the mouth with a slightly restrained carbonation. The flavor is a well-balanced blend of straightforward, grainy malt; floral, grassy, and lightly spicy hops; and a firm bitterness. It's more of a southern German style, and it's well-rounded and very drinkable; but at the same time nothing really stands out.

Overall, it's a solid pils that's definitely welcome during the summer, but perfectly acceptable in any season; and also perfectly suited to almost any occasion (BBQ, wedding reception, bowling league, nightclub, late afternoon at the ski-lodge, dinner with mom & dad, fishing expedition, .... you get the idea!). Nicely done! (1,565 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.41/5  rDev -5.8%
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. (390 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.08/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I've had this on tap & bottle before & it was better, but this is the time I decided to review..

Golden body with good clarity and a thick white head that drops off to 1/4". Bubbles float up fromthe bottom all the way through the sample, not much lacing.

Smell: Slight floral and alcohol smell

Taste: Maltiness and a little bit of piney hops on the tounge.

Well balanced and good carbonation (need more body)

Like I stated, had better samples, just bothers me that a beer within 200 miles of home with great distribution is not consistent. (555 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Acquired as part of the New Belgium Summer variety box (2013) at my local Von's grocery on Sunday. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average; New Belgium tends to churn out underwhelming seasonals (with the definite exception of their winter variety box) and piss-poor bombers (Lips of Faith). "Pilsner Lager." Nothing on the bottle suggests it's a Czech pilsener rather than a German pilsener. Best before November 2013. 4.8% ABV confirmed. Serve at 3 degrees Celsius. I always like their simple label art and colorful designs. Bottle cap is branded with a red and orange motif.

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger head of white/beige colour. No real creaminess. Okay thickness; it's kind of thin, actually. No lacing. Pretty decent (~3 minute) retention, though the ABV is rather modest so that shouldn't be difficult to execute. Hm. Head could use some honing. No bubble show. No "legs."

Body colour is a clear translucent yellow. No yeast particles are visible.

Typical of a German pilsner. Not looking fantastic, but it's passable. No overt flaws, though the head does disappoint. Below average vibrance but I wouldn't call it dull.

Sm: Straw/hay. Saaz and noble hops. It's actually surprisingly hoppy for the style. Clean barley. Sweetgrass. Grainy. Cereals. Lightly fruity, a biteen of lemon/lemongrass does sneak in. Lightly estery. A misty aroma of surprisingly respectably quality for the style; maybe this won't be as underwhelming as I thought. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A fresh aroma of moderate strength.

T/Mf: Straw/hay, pilsner malts, clean barley, and overdone saaz and noble hops. Not much going on here. Sweet grassiness with some light lemongrass and accompanying esters. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Some light floral character. Simple and underwhelming; little complexity or subtlety here.

To sweet for the style. I wouldn't call it flavorful.

It's crisp and clean. Smooth, but somewhat dry as well. Unrefreshing. Overcarbonated. Decent presence on the palate. Okay thickness; probably too thick considering the style. Doesn't feel at all custom-tailored to the flavour profile, but it's passable.

Not buttery, oily, harsh, biting, or refreshing.

Dr: Downable but mediocre. Another mundane effort from New Belgium. I wouldn't get it again, but for the price you could do worse for a czech pilsener. I'm happy to finish the bottles from the variety box, but there's just nothing interesting enough to bring me back. Feels careless and lazy. Not recommended. Very average indeed.

(2,801 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazed golden straw color with a nice fluffy white head forming leaves behind speckled lacing in concentric patterns at that. Aroma: Upfront nice biscuit malts with some Saaz peeking through giving a nice peppery hop profile very clean altogether. Taste: Incredibly crisp and smooth no cloying off flavors delivers light malt sweetness and finishing hop zest in the finish. Mouthfeel: Light bodied smooth but a bit spritzy carbonation. Drinkability: Is excellent awesome summer beer I wish I had this one at my disposal, that would be key. (559 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
3.88/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a clear, bright golden hue, and the head is a large, but soon slimming, solid white. Aroma is zesty, alive with hops, notes of straw and sea-foam, with hints of citrus. On the palate,
a fresh, tasty, zingy greeting of hops jumps on board, but it fades some, and leaves a dry finish. Adequate bitterness, but more than adequate taste. Body is light, malt is just-right, and hops are more than pulling their weight, and retain their presence through the end. Each sip delivers another fresh, delicious helping of hoppiness on the tongue, and this never diminishes throughout the contents of the bottle. The refreshing, tingling, vital hop buzz never quits during consumption of this note-perfect pilsener.!
Thanks to bditty187 (735 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into lager glass, best before 1/4/2015. Pours fairly crystal clear golden straw color with a 1 finger dense white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance of pale malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Light earthy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, pear, apple, cracker, bread, herbal, grass, light pepper, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a short bit. Good balance and robustness of pale malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; with a good malt/bitterness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, crisp, and clean mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with zero warming present after the finish as expected of 4.8%. Overall this is a nice and pleasant Czech pilsener. Good balance and robustness of pale malt, fruity yeast, and earthy hop flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A nicely enjoyable offering. (1,314 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.83/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to bitterbill for this one!

Poured into pils glass

Pours golden with a nice rich white head that leaves rings of lacing down the glass.

The smell is of grainy notes with grassy noble-hop spicing.

The taste is of sweet grain with a subtle bitter, slightly metallic, spiciness that leads to a dry finish. Mild but pleasant overall.

It has a clean, crisp light body.

A refreshing pils! (395 characters)

Photo of WesWes
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale gold color with a thick frothy head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a typical pilsner scent; pale malts and a dry lager yeast finish. The taste is decent as well. It has a plain pale malt base with a slight bitterness. It has a grainy flavor and a dry finish. It goes down smooth and finishes clean and crisp. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a fine pilsner. It doesn't throw anything new at you, but it drinks well. (509 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.21/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12/07/04- Purchased at Piazza's Market in San Mateo, CA

Appearance- A darker bronze color of yellow, a nice billowy white head and light lacing along the glass.

Smell- Very little scent. Tired my damnedest to smell something and can only come up with maybe a corn and light miniscule hoppy scent.

Taste- Not a huge fan of Pilsners, and that's only because I haven't found a real good one yet. Alot of pils taste like Coors Light to me. This one taste a bit better than that, but still not a great taste.
Corny taste with some decent hops mixed in. A bit sweet like expected.

Mouthfeel- Highly carbonated, which made it go down less than perfect.

Drinkability- Not a real bad beer for me, but I'm still searching for a pils that I like. It looks like most people enjoy this, so I guess I would give it a go. Just not for me. (839 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +3.6%

My utmost thanks to my frequent, local, in-person trader, tone77, for dropping off this CAN for me! I dropped it, causing a major dent, which is why it has been in chill mode until now.

From the CAN: "Employee Owned'.

The Crack! was made difficult by the dent and really, I was lucky it did not explode on impact. A bottle would surely have shattered from that height. Speaking of height, it also made it impossible to tell just how full the CAN actually was. I gave it an inverted Glug to get things started and for the first time in a long, long time, I got some overfoaming! The result was two-plus fingers of dense, rocky, bone-white head with excellent retention. Color was Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 - 5) with NE-plus quality clarity. I could see into the future! I have company coming by later. Nose had a grassy, Saaz/Noble hops presence. My mouth began to water. In the meantime, lacing had begun to appear as the head subsided. Mouthfeel was soft, not thin, not watery, but simply soft. I was really digging the way that the hops were first and foremost, which is the hallmark of the Czech Pils style. I CAN get behind German Pilseners, but they do not trip my trigger like a good Czech. Pils, I mean, although I dig Czech women, also. The grassy bitterness is such a treat and this style is what made me realize that I CAN enjoy lagers as a hophead, especially after so many CANned AALs. Finish was semi-dry, not quite as biting as some that I have had in the style. At 4.8%, definitely sessionable and perfect for the Summer cooler in the backyard. (1,561 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.78/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a nice gold color to it, and is very clear. It is well carbonated and pours with a nice thick white/ cream head. The aroma is herbal and slightly grassy in a hoppy sort of way. From the first taste it is hops, there is a nice clean bitterness to it with subdued hop flavor. It is nice dry and refreshing, with a bit of maltiness as well. (351 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.65/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass
Small uneven head, with lacing and good white foam. Body is light amber/gold/yellow. Can see a little carbonation in bubbles.
Smell of biscuit, hops and cirtus, but not too lemony.
Taste was crisp and thin, but enough to recognize a pilz.
Hops was balance enough by biscuit and slight malt. A bit of citrus, left a clean feeling. Good for spring and autumn. (384 characters)

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Blue Paddle Pilsner from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 408 ratings.