Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Weihenstephaner Pilsner | Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan

very good
145 Reviews
no score
Send samples
For Trade:
Weihenstephaner PilsnerWeihenstephaner Pilsner

Brewed by:
Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
Germany | website

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Golden-yellow and bright, with 32 bitter units and quite hoppy compared to most of the other Pilsners our Weihenstephaner Pilsner comes up with a distinctive aroma of hops with a pleasant bitterness. This combination provides a balanced mix and guarantees great enjoyment. Brewed according to our centuries-old brewing tradition on the Weihenstephan hill.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 05-23-2005

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 543
Photo of BEERchitect
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pure and regal, the taste of Pilsner rarely gets better. Showcasing the pilsner malt in all its simplistic glory and then floral and spicy balance to round out its taste ensures high drinkability and refreshment from start to finish.

The lager captivates the eye with its bright golden hue that displays a steady streaming dance of carbonation that float to the top and create a cottony white head. Long in its retention and trailing with broken concentric lace, this Pilsner is very pleasing to the sight.

With its cracker-like malts and its floral bouquet, its aromas are a blend of honeysuckle and fresh baking bread. Soft apple and lemon peels lead into a crisp and tangy scent. The light earthiness of straw stems from lightly kilned barley and leafy hops. It leaves a delicate pepper note to ponder as that first sip comes rapidly.

Supple sweetness and breadiness drift onto the early palate with a notion of powdered sugar and grain. But as the early sweetness gives way to a delicate sulfur taste, the beer crispens considerably as apple, lemon and white grape decorate the middle. Its clean and malty-dry finish balances with the spicy noble hop type of bitterness, equipped with peppercorn, mint and a hint of vanilla.

Its light and dry body is given a short lift with its expressive carbonation. But as the bubbles wisp away, the sweetness dissolves and the ale's gentle warmth and hop spices leave the mouth refreshed, clean and crisp.

Hard pressed to find a more authentic and more satisfying lager, Weihenstephaner seems unable to make anything short of stellar!

 1,581 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On draft at Tap and Barrel, Smithtown, NY.

Poured a clear straw hue with a two finger frothy white head.

There was very good retention and sticky lacing.

The smell featured a soft pale sweetness and a faint metallic hop.

The taste offered an even slight sweetness with a balancing grassy hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the rounder side of the style.

Overall a tasty classic pils.

 391 characters

Photo of safaricook
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

typical crystal clear golden
Smell of Pilsner malt, floral but also pine hop components, quite complex
taste is Pilsner malt not sweet or dry and very pleasant hoppy bitterness at the end. alcoholic undertone.
Thin lager body with some biting carbonation, making it refreshing. The noticeable resin note makes it very drinkable
A good almost great Southern German Pilsner with interesting hops. Carbonation is a bit too sharp for my taste.

 439 characters

Photo of snaotheus
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

1 pint, 0.9 ounce bottle (i'm sure that comes out to a round number in milliliters) poured at fridge temp (41 F) into a pint glass. Number printed on the label is 4172; do not know what it means in terms of best by or bottled on.

Pours a clear yellow with a medium bone white head with medium retention, medium amount of active carbonation. Smell is lagery without the negative lager yeast note that typically turns me off. Something a little lemony, but still yeasty about the aroma.

Taste is juicy, which is not a word that I would typically associate with pilsners. Something slightly honeyish about it, but still with a vague bitter bite, very slow aftertaste maintaining some of the sweetness. My favorite pilsner (which is in a narrow field for me) is Victory's, which is much, much bitterer than this. This is an interesting (and tasty) counterpoint.

Mouthfeel is light, effervescent, slight stickiness. Overall, I like it more than I thought I would.

 961 characters

Photo of jgurley
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lovely pale gold color poured into an oversize Pilsner glass. Medium to thin head left a lot of lacing. The smell is a nice cereal grain aroma with a touch of hop. Taste is refreshing and light, clean malty and a slight hop bitterness. Very clean and effervescent carbonation across the middle with pleasant hop bitterness on the back, which fades quickly. One of the most refreshing beers you will find. Excellent.

 415 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a perfect pint glass.

Pours clear gold, active bubbles, 1/2 inch of white foam. Holds and slowly settles. Strong pils smell. Light hop spice. Light straw taste. Full German pils hop and perfectly carbonated. As tasty a pilsner as I have had. Perfect for the style.

 291 characters

Photo of smcolw
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Yellow gold color. Crystal clear. Lasting rim bubbles on the modest head. It does leave good blanket/spotty lace.

Mild smell of raw grain and light noble hop.

Clean but grainy initial sip. The swallow starts off lightly bitter but the aftertaste lingers a long time. Good body for the style, neutral carbonation.

 316 characters

Photo of stephenjmoore
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A pale, crystal clear golden/straw colored body with a bubbly bone white head that settles quickly, but leaves a mess of lacing.

S- Grainy pilsner malts, grassy noble hops.

T- Crisp and clean flavor, with the pilsner malts coming through a lot, with some noble hop presence to balance out the flavor.

M- Crisp, with a body on the lighter side, medium carbonation. Just a hint of creaminess to it to make it not have as much of a bite.

O- A very nice pilsner. Easily one of the best import pilsner a I have had.

 518 characters

Photo of soju6
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear light golden color with a nice head that fades to some lacing.

S: Aroma of citrus, malt sweetness and fresh grain.

T: Taste of malt sweetness, bit of citrus and fresh grain. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Light body, crisp, smooth and refreshing. Enjoyable beer for the style.

O: Nothing wrong with a good German Pilsner once in a while.

 370 characters

Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle purchased from Dan Murphy's at Alexandria.

Pours a very clear golden hue with a thick, solid and majestic head of pure white. Lacing forms in pleasant streaks and bumps down the glass. Carbonation fine and refined. It looks excellent: everything a good pilsner should.

Clean, leafy hop character, slightly herbal, slightly medicinal, with a scheming sweetness underneath. Grainy characters come through when swirled, becoming more and more prominent as it warms slightly. Faint citrus comes across too, in a sweet-dry character like lemonade powder.

Palate is clean, crisp and extremely pleasant. Light metallic hop presence on the entry, which develops into a clean crisp vector through the centre, always connected to the grain German malt basis. Finish is clean, with a clinging proper pilsner bitterness: distinguishing it beautifully from the more mundane forms of pale lagers. Crispness on the back makes it light and drinkable, extremely sessionable and refreshing.

Feel is light and crisp with a zestiness, but not an overt effervescence. Love it.

Overall, this is a shit-hot beer. So well crafted, plenty of character, but drinkable and refreshing as hell. If I ever feel myself doubting the greatness that can be exhibited by a pale lager, I'll revisit this one right here. Superb stuff.

 1,315 characters

Photo of zgren
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours pale yellow-gold with an inch head. Tiny bubbles populate the glass quickly.

S - Honey, Wheat, Bread, malt.

T - Very pleasant sweet citrus taste that feels as if it were cleaning everything bad in your mouth away before going down leaving a nice lingering sweet honey after taste to savor before your next drink.

M - Light body, Crisp, above average carbonation.

O - Very refreshing and easy to drink a lot of. Another winner from Weihenstephaner.

 461 characters

Photo of Beric
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: 12oz bottle into footed pilsner
Served: 5 Aug 2013

Appearance: A crystal clear, rich golden color with a one finger frothy white head that collapsed into a light sheen of bubbles. Good carbonation coming up from the bottom of the glass. Good lacing.

Smell: Very clean and unadulterated. Smells a bit bready with the light roasted malts. Faint hop presence in the nose, but nothing too assertive.

Taste: Fantastically balanced. The lightly roasted malts are complimented masterfully with the bitter noble hops. The hop presence in this one is nothing like an APA or IPA- they are there but they don't lend themselves to intense flavors, rather, they are very strong in their bittering quality. The bitter hops and biscuity malt really makes this a fantastic example of how flavorful a balanced pils can be. This beer finishes very dry.

Mouthfeel: Perfect carbonation gives the beer a nice body without being too watery or too spritzy.

Overall: This is a great beer, and one that I would gladly have again. While the pilsner style doesn't get a lot of love on this site, this is one of the best examples of a German pilsner. Weihenstephaner makes a name for themselves being one of the best overall breweries in the world, and they come through again with this one.

Other: This pils is different from ones from other German regions. North German pilsners taste a bit earthy, I find. Southwest German pilsners use much more assertive flavoring hops. This one, a Bavarian pils, tastes a bit more like a Czech one too me, probably due to its proximity and overall historic influence in the previously German-speaking areas of the Czech Republic where the pilsner style was invented.

 1,692 characters

Photo of ToriBug13
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Weihenstephaner Pilsner

A- Clear and straw colored. Tiny champagne-like bubbles indicate great carbonation. Head was nice and fluffy, but sadly vanished quickly leaving delicate lacing in its wake.

S- Not bad for a pilsner. Light malt, wheaty. Just a hint of sugar on my nose. Not overtly alcoholic in smell, which says to me balance.

T- Very balanced indeed! Crisper and cleaner than the nose let on with the sugar scent. The malt is very well done, a perfect example of the style. Just a hint of pine. It’s obvious Noble hops were used in this baby, and the light earthy pine is very nicely blended in this brew.

 619 characters

Photo of IronLover
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant straw yellow in color with perfect clarity. Poured with a short, bright white foam that was constantly reinforced by a stream of carbonation from the bottom of the glass. The white foam barely faltered as it left sheets of sticky lacing on the glass. Lemon and earthy grass aromas up front, with biscuit malt deep beneath. Medium bodied with rich, aggressive carbonation and a lightly crisp finish. Biscuit malt and herbal hop flavors from beginning to end. Light peppery flavor ramps up through the middle to the end. Finishes crisply with biscuit malt and hop bitter aftertaste. Aroma, feel and flavors are all very delicate. A pleasant, refreshing, easy drinking lager.

 682 characters

Photo of Andrew041180
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a pilsner glass. The beer fit the glass perfectly with a gentle pour. About 2-3 fingers of bubbly white head fluffed up and dissipated slowly, forming a lasting layer that left spotty lacing at the top, and more consistent lacing where the glass narrows. The beer is a golden straw colored, and very clear. Hard to tell if there is any haze, as it is summer and the moisture in the air condenses quickly on the cold glass. The carbonation is plentiful, and seems to form large bubbles. It paints a pretty picture.

S - Very mild. It smells like a pilsner, but I'm new to the style and don't know exactly what I'm smelling.

T - It's a great confluence of subtleties. There is a little sweet, and a little bitter, but overall I'm tasting mostly biscuit-like flavors. It is very consistent and very nice.

M - I think this is where the bulk of my enjoyment came. The carbonation visible in my glass lead me to think that I would feel it. Nope. Wonderful medium-bodied softness. On the finish the flavor lingered, but did not stick. It wasn't a one of those long goodbyes, but more like a "wow, what a pleasant stay". There was a slight tingle on my tongue that mirrored the subtlety of the flavor.

O - My second beer from Weihenstephaner and I can't wait for the third. This beer is significantly greater than the sum of its parts and I think reviewing each alone does this beer a disservice. Enjoy on a warm summer day, as I did.

 1,445 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pale, golden body with medium sized head; fairly long lasting with good lacing

Aroma: hoppy, citrus notes

Taste: malty, tart, bitter, and refreshing; Not bad for a pilsner (not my favorites style)

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

 282 characters

Photo of macrosmatic
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Russian River pint glass.

A: Completely clear, straw in color, with a big white fluffy head and lots of big-bubble visible carbonation.

S: Light pilsner malt, moderate lager yeast, and some mild sulfur.

T: Smooth light bready pilsner malt, lager yeast with its esters, and a light bit of noble hops.

M: Light body, bubbly mouthfeel, essentially no alcohol presence, and good carbonation sensation.

O: Still a style I struggle with sometimes, but this was pretty darn good. The sulfurous aromas and flavors that accompany so many pilseners (and acceptable for style) I find somewhat off-putting, but it's fairly mild here, and seems more integrated into the other aspects. Certainly recommended for someone looking for a good Pilsener.

 793 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear straw yellow color with 2 fingers of bubbly white head that last for a couple of minutes before settling down to a cap

S: Fruity with notes of bready malts and grassy hops. Pretty simple

T: Starts off with some lightly bitter hops that provide grass and floral notes. Goes into bready malts and then more of the light bitterness into the finish

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A solid German pils with some nice noble hop character that provides a light bitterness. Easy to drink and flavorful enough to be quaffable. A little simple, but that's nothing too serious

 606 characters

Photo of sweemzander
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

(A)- Pours a clear yet pale goldenrod color. Produced a nice foamy white head with great retention, some lacing.

(S)- A light biscuity yeast meets some soft earthy grains.

(T)- Quite bitter with heavy grain and yeast characters.

(M)- A crisp carbonation level meets a very bitter profile of earthy grains and yeast.

(O)- A bit disappointing for me. It fits the style fine, but almost too bitter and yeast driven even for me.

 463 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Birlliant pale gold in color with absolute clarity, this pils develops a pure white head one finger tall and fluffy with some heavy density to it. As it recedes, it leaves a tattered sheet of creamy lacing behind.
The nose is all flowery, herbal and grassy hops. Crackery dry malts balance. It's gently sweet as more floral notes make their way out. I like how American brewers have improved this style, giving it more, but it has a classic sense to it.
There's actually a pithy nature to the bitterness, something I didn't expect. It remains flowery and grassy, a touch herbal, with dryness from malts edging out the sweetness that was founf in the nose. The bitterness ends up raw, leafy and green while lingering lightly in the finish. While the pilsner has been improved, this is a good one.
Light-bodied with a crisp bite, it remains lively and is pretty clean overall as well. It goes into a dry finish that's still smooth.

 930 characters

Photo of droomyster
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is the first time I've seen this beer sold in northern Virginia and I'm very glad I found it, as it is on of the very best pilsners I've ever had. I put this in the same class as Stoudt's pilsner and Victory Prima Pils. Pours a clear straw colored body with a bright white head that generously laces the glass. Very fresh, clean aromas here. Nothing icky to speak of, even after it warms. I get a lot of grassiness and sweeter notes of honey and cereal grains. On the palate this beer is very lively and electric. The aromas carry over perfectly to the front and mid-palate, where they are in perfect balance, before finishing on a refreshingly dry and almost tart. I enjoyed having it with an assortment of cheeses and berries. An excellent choice as the weather warms.

 775 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle, pours pale golden in color topped with a frothy white head, unbelievable clarity, good head retention, and some lacing is left at the top of the glass. Grassy aroma, pilsener malt, noble hop, fresh. Tastes are sharp & crisp, grassy, biscuity pilsener malt. Exceptionally smooth and finishes clean. World-class German Pilsener.

 341 characters

Photo of Dan4130
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I am a great fan of Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier so I decided to get a single of their Pils. The taste is sort of reminiscent of that beer at first sample. It is a solid beer, in my mind not the definitive Pilsner, but solid beer none the less. I am glad I only got a single as it was not that interesting to keep my interest.

 328 characters

Photo of popery
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I was pretty excited to find a bottle from Weihenstephaner that's new to me, and it's even better that this is quite a nice pilsner. It pours pale yellow, a bright hay color. Quite clear. A big white head puffed up immediately and held its shape a good few inches over the top of the glass. Lots of bubbles sticking to the walls of the glass and such. Aroma is a mix of very fresh grain with some bright spicy hops. The hops are a bit milder than I'd like, but their aroma is nice. Pleasant, lightly tart flavor from the lager yeast. Malt is light and sweet. Taste has more of that light, yeasty tartness. Pretty crisp. There's some more of that quality pilsner malt sweetness, but the beer is fairly dry, particularly in the finish. Hops are spicy, grassy and floral. Mouthfeel is mildly tart and very clean. Weihenstephaner definitely shows off their technical skill with this beer. It just nails the classic pilsner flavors. It's tasty and extremely easy to drink. There's no off flavors to be found. This beer is pretty much what I wish macro lagers tasted like.

 1,066 characters

Photo of tectactoe
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Good ol' Weihenstephaner. Never been a "big fan" of pilsners, but perhaps it's just because I haven't had the right one yet. And also because the bulk of my pilsner experience is American Light Lager macro stuff. Anyway - this one pours a light straw color, almost like apple juice but maybe even a bit lighter. Nice clarity throughout, with a foamy and cloud-like white head that puffs up big and leaves some chunky lace, even upon first settling.

The aroma is certainly crisp, and it's got that pure, lager yeast aroma to it. Very "clean" and pure on the nostrils. Lemon and herbal zest is plentiful, maybe even some lemongrass? The hops have light grassy notes alongside a solid, mildly citric character. The malt also gives off a very clean and pure aroma - bready, with a very faint sweetness. There's an ever so slight metallic character in the aroma as well, but it's not nearly enough to be off-putting. Even upon warming, this one keeps its nice aromatic profile - it gets slightly more citrusy and the grassy tones take a back seat.

Weihen Pils hits the tongue feeling very crisp, something I've come to expect with the style. Up front, there's a light fruit melody - lemon zest, apple, mild citrus. A good under-body built with toasted cereal grains and light bread from the malt. Again - I can't stress enough how clean, pure, and refreshing this beer really is. The hops join in with a slightly floral and grassy tone, inducing a mild bitterness from about halfway through, right into the finish. Picking up some more earthy notes in the finish, especially as this warms up a little. Thin body, maybe more on the thicker-side of thin, lots of carbonation, crispy and dry in the finish.

So this is how a pilsner is supposed to taste, huh? This beer was pretty damn good - but that's typically to be expected from Weihenstephan. So clean, raw, pure, and nearly perfect within its element. This would be great to pound while outside on a hot, summer day. Easy to drink and easy to come around to - a benchmark for the style.

 2,037 characters

Weihenstephaner Pilsner from Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan
88 out of 100 based on 145 ratings.