Blue Paddle Pilsner - New Belgium Brewing

Not Rated.
Blue Paddle PilsnerBlue Paddle Pilsner

Educational use only; do not reuse.

398 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 398
Hads: 1,212
rAvg: 3.62
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 21
Gots: 155 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 398 | Hads: 1,212
Photo of ngandhi
3.98/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very impressive lemon character. Malty beyond what American pilseners offer -- I'll venture a guess that this beer uses a richer British or Belgian malt -- not in thickness, but in pure malt flavor. Great body and a hop character that's Saazy, yes, but much more complex than the grassy notes typical of the Czech namesake.

These hops are packed with the essential oils of so many delicate summer fruits and exhibit a brightness in character I have not ever seen in a pilsener beer. Though clean, filtered to brillant golden perfection, and never intrusive in aroma or flavor, hints of grain and a brief scratch on the tongue as this beer finishes lend a mineral quality that backs up the gorgeous hops and makes this, truly, a complete beer and easily one of America's finest examples of the style.

Relax, relax.
ng (824 characters)

Photo of UnionMade
4.48/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer pours a beautiful polished gold, generating a thick, pure white froth with a gentle pour. The head settles into an even coating, about 1/4" thick, lasting all the way through the glass. Tons of tiny carbonation bubbles race up to feed the head, which leaves spattered trails of lace sticking to the glass. Perfect clarity.
The aroma is a gentle balance of soft, slightly bready pils malt and spicy, floral noble hops. I'm guessing german varieties, with perhaps a touch of saaz. Pleasant, up front, snappy floral hops, a bit spicy and herbal. Slight grass and lemon esters provide a gentle fruitiness. A bit of toastiness to the malt, definitely in the bohemian style with the softness.
The flavor starts with a soft, mellow pils malt, a sweetish, almost white bread character forming the base of this brew. Slight lemon and orange esters in the middle, with a touch of fresh-mown grass. The finish showcases a snappy floral hopping, with a suggestion of spiciness and some grass. A flavor reminiscent of sweet corn and white bread lingers in the aftertaste. A bit of lingering hop bitterness. Bright, shiny carbonation moves the beer rapidly across the palate, with an overall soft, even feel. Lightish medium body.
A very well made pils. The hopping is very nice, giving the beer a crisp, quenching feel. Exactly what I'm looking for on a hot day. One of the best american made pils out there. I could stand for a touch more hops, but it's damn good as it is. I don't know what you guys are drinking.
Thanks to BDitty for the bottle! (1,548 characters)

Photo of HochFliegen
3.03/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Pils pours a clear yellow with a nice big head that laced quite well. The smell was strong of green apples. Taste was malty and crisp. Has a nice aftertaste I thought. An easy beer to drink. Overall a good beer but nothing really stood out on this beer for me. It was good but not great. (292 characters)

Photo of Gruntlumber
3.2/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

All I can say about this is it's very average. I was surprised because New Belgium produces some of the most unique, quality brews you can buy. Not saying this is not high quality, it's just the same pilsner formula that everyone seems to use. I guess I was expecting Blue Paddle to have a different twist/interpretation of the standard pilsner (ie, have a little flavor or something). Nope, this is a standard pilsner. (419 characters)

Photo of Trentonator
3.3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a hazy yellow, little head and even less lacing. Hops dominate the aroma, some maltiness in the taste and a crisp mouthfeel. Tasted great with some fish & chips, the maltiness blended well with the beer battered fish. Overall, a good beer, not overwhelmingly great. (271 characters)

Photo of budgood1
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours out a chill haze light golden colour, with a minimal head and lacing. clean and crisp in the nose...lots of fresh graininess and fresh cut grassiness. the taste suffers a might have not traveled well and it's a month past it's freshness date. a little stale and musty. there still is the skeleton of what once was...with a definite malt foundation and bittering hops that still impart a crispness in the finish. luckily i have two bottles and the second one seemed a bit in better shape than the first...a lot livelier and seemingly produced a larger head and left some lace...and tasted a bit better...a lot more sweet malt notes and no bad dead metallic taste.

well, after comparing the two bottles, i'd still say this is a sub-standard pilsener. although all tasted too much like a run of the mill lager and not enough like a fine german style pils.

i'd like to taste this fresh....

thanks to beer angel for the sample! (971 characters)

Photo of CrescentFresh
3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This has to be one of my favourite pilseners. It was a mid-grade yellow color (typical for a pilsener), very clear, and actually retained a head for about 5 minutes. More carbonated than Fat Tire, which is what I like. Also, unlike Fat Tire, I could still drink it when it warmed up a bit (I drink my beer slowly to enjoy it).

Overall, 3.5 out of 5 swills. (359 characters)

Photo of jimdkc
3.66/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, light gold with a foamy, white head. Streams of small CO2 bubbles rise through the liquid. The initial 3 fingers of head falls back to a persistent half-finger which leaves a surprising amount of lace. Smell is slightly biscuity with some mild floral, grassy hop aroma. Taste was a nice balance of malt and hops. More malt flavor than expected, and just a little hop bitterness in the finish. Light bodied, as expected, but creamy and nicely carbonated without being "fizzy". This is a good example of what an American pilsener should taste like. (553 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
2.76/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This poured to a very light and crisp looking lager gold. There was quite a bit of carbonation, but the head was very small. Regardless, it persists and leaves a nice lace. The taste is crisp, but not very exciting. It almost tastes like there's a hint of out-of-place citrus in there. The mouthfeel is very light thanks to the carbonation.

I don't think I'd go out of my way to obtain it. (392 characters)

Photo of DarthMalt
2.94/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

"Once an ale house...."

Blue Paddle pours soda-pop bubbly, and emits an aroma quite like a yeast under duress during lagering--sulphury and a tad autolyzed. Stylistically, it tastes like a golden ale (micro, not Belgian). While the hop profile is quite an appropriate snap-to-form for this brew, it's meandering fermentation leaves it flat--somwhere between Cologne and Dortmund. (382 characters)

Photo of RootedFool
3.97/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a six pack at the North Coast Co-op in Arcata, California.

Pellucid hay yellow on the pour with a thin white head that recedes quickly into scraps of lace on the glass.

Smell is of sourdough pretzels, malts, and faint hop notes popping in the background.

Taste opens with flattened malt density; and then a mildly spicy hop bitterness works around the edges, closing out on the aftertaste.

Lots of carbonation, refreshing. Mouthfeel is perfect for this beer. An ideal warm weather treat, even if it's cold outside (like it is today). (555 characters)

Photo of filabrazilia
3.25/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear straw gold color with a nice fulffy whote head that subsides slightly. Good lacing.

There is a peppery almost spicy nose with a hint of malt and hops.

Not as much flavor as I would have expected. A little hoppy in the finish.

The mouthfeel is thin with a crisp dry finish.

This is a very drinkable summer beer but I would like to try a few other variety of Pilseners before I had this one again. (421 characters)

Photo of BierReise
3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light gold with very little head. Aroma is a bit metallic with a slight detection of hops. Has a light body that is crisp and dry. Flavor is a grainy malt with a bitter finish from hops. Overall not very good. I'd take Warsteiner over this one any day. (260 characters)

Photo of BigRedN
2.57/5  rDev -29%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Appearance: Golden, with a white head and lace that clung to the glass. Also noticed some carbonation (bubbles).
Smell: Slightly hoppy with floral notes, nothing over powering, which I think is good.
Taste: Noticeable hops, no dominant flavor profile.
Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and carbonated, and crisp.
Drinkability: Its o.k., but for some reason I thought to myself, I'd rather have a Bud.

Final Thoughts: IMO, just an average beer. The most disappointing product I have had from New Belgium thus far. (519 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 maxpower
3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours hazy golden color with a small fizzy white head that doesn't last very long, some pretty good lacing though, spicy, grassy and flowery aromas. Bready malt and spicy hop flavor. Medium bodied with a soft mouthfeel, not as carbonated as some pilsners, finishes clean, a pretty good pils. (291 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
3.58/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Part of my wide-ranging purchase of New Belgium Brewing Co. beers while in the Phoenix area over Thanksgiving. Poured into a tall pilsner glass, this brew had a clear pale yellow color and a large frothy bright white head that left clumps of sticky lace in its wake.
The smell was initially pretty hoppy but that aroma faded behind the smells of lemongrass and dusty pale malts. The taste had a lightly earthy, grassy flavor up front as a light malt taste lingered briefly. Some sweetness and tartness, like from green apples, quickly played across the palate. A modestly spicey hops rush completed each drink. The feel was light, dry, crisp and refreshing.
A note on the bottle suggests this beer be served at approximately 38ºF. A good suggestion, as Blue Paddle does not hold up well to even a slight increase in temperature before developing a certain sourness. Still, it’s a decent American take on the German Pilsener style and would make a good session beer. (969 characters)

Photo of inebrius
4.8/5  rDev +32.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of THE best American pils I've ever had. You could not taste the difference between this beer and most German pils blind. No way.

Standard pilsener hue under clingy foam fingers. Aromas of grass, dandelions and fresh donuts. Just a perfectly balanced malt and hop concoction so ultimately drinkable I wish I had a case of cases in the basement. Rivals the best out of Duetschland. (395 characters)

Photo of fuchebu
2.98/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I have grown to be a bit leery of New Belgium products. While the Triple is excellent, they have several like the Flat Tire that are highly overrated. The Blue Paddle Pilsner falls into the category of overhyped beer. It is a very basic brew being paraded as something special.

It has a nice golden hue but also that grassy nose similar to Heineken and other mainstream imports. There is a bit of chewiness to the flavor and it is a good crisp, drinking beer but it is very non-distinctive. The label promotes it as "reflective of Europe's finest pilsners". I've noted before that it reminds me more of Heineken than of Christofel Blonde so I would be curious to know what they regard as a fine pilsner. (707 characters)

Photo of RenoZymurgist
2.82/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured a big fluffy white head atop a beautiful gold beer with good head retention i think this on has a little bit of Carapils malt in it to achieve this. Aroma is extremely light and the only thing i can detect is a little toasty bread. Taste has a definite saaz hop character with a very mild malt balance that gets bolder after each sip. Body is pretty good for the style though it is a little light and tends to make the hop flavors subside quickly. I would much rather have a Trippel for the same price or at least a Pine Mountain Pils from Deschutes. (557 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 beerguy101
3.1/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is grassy, herbal and hoppy. A medium bodied pilsner. The flavor is crisp and hoppy. The malts are sweet and fruity. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is crisp. Aftertaste is slightly sweet, some bitterness (260 characters)

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

This reminds me of a Bohemian pilsner. Softer, less crisp and less clean tasting than it's German counterpart. The beer poured out a pale and somewhat cloudy pale yellow. Sticky white head that clung to the glass like meringue. Subtle lemon grass and sweet grains in the aroma. Hop bitterness is a bit weak and the taste is a bit muddled, but not a bad American version of the style. Drinkable in it's own right. (412 characters)

Photo of jcalabre
2.6/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this on draught today at New Belgium's brewery in Fort Collins, CO.
Appearnce: This pours clear yellow with a white head.
Aroma: there is a grassy, hoppy aroma that I detected
Flavor: It had a very dry, flat flavor. OK, I didn't like it that much. I guess I'm not a big pilsener fan. I'd advise sticking w/ their Belgian styles (337 characters)

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

Appearance – The head is huge and deep. It showed some decent retention as it laced the glass. The body is a pretty yellow with an orange tint.

Smell – Yep, that’s a pils. The soft, sophisticated floral hops mix with some spice and a light sweetness. So far, so good.

Taste – The grassy hops come out a little more in the taste along with a light sense of grain. The complexity is its strong point IMO. Everything works together quite well.

Mouthfeel – I know that many of the other reviews indicated a lot of carbonation here, but I don’t find it typical of the style and certainly couldn’t locate more than a moderate amount here (which is good, IMO). This Pils is light-bodied and very refreshing.

Drinkability - A good pils is one of the smoothest brews on earth, and this one hits the mark. Of all the times I’ve been prosted to the finish while living in Germany, pils is the only style I could do from a full glass. Make this a warmish and I could do the bottle. Yet another diverse accomplishment from this amazing brewery.

Update – I reviewed this a month after joining the site back in the fall of 2003 so thought it would be run to re-rate it with a 2004 vintage. I juggled a few scores around but still ended up with a solid 4.0. Good job, New Belgium. This is a hard style to nail. (1,318 characters)

Blue Paddle Pilsner from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.