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Pilsner - Steamworks Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

30 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 30
Hads: 98
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 16.79%
Wants: 6
Gots: 13 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Steamworks Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada | website

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener | 5.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-15-2005

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 30 | Hads: 98
Reviews by the Alström Bros:

  None found.

More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%

There's a lot of mass-marketed brands masqueraded as Pilsners but most of the proper ones have an immediate, telltale sign: a distinctly pale straw-gold colour with a brilliancy that almost mimics the yellow-ness of lemon curd. I've found that it's not uncommon in the best examples to also note a near-green tint and prominent filminess. And of course a sturdy, well constructed head that lasts. All these features describe Steamworks Pilsner to a tee.

As far as me and my nose are concerned, a hop bill comprised of Spalter, Tettnanger, Hallertauer and Saphir is as good as a passport in identifying this as a bonafide German pilsner - nevermind that it's actually made in Vancouver, Canada or that its brewer considers it "an homage to the original Pilsners of the Czech Republic" (were it truly that he'd have used Saaz).

This distinctly pungent yet floral and fruity bouquet has ambrosial (to a beer geek anyway) notes of rose petal, juicy tangerine, lemon zest, and even a bit of key lime. I can't get enough of the stuff and each round of intense sniffing must immediately be followed up with a big swig which, itself so delicious, must in turn be followed by again more long, hard smelling.

It's a wonderful back-and-forth, and I'm sure I'll continue to want for it long after this glass is empty. Were this available locally I'd certainly be buying in bulk. That's the beauty of a pilsner done right: it has meaningful flavour yet mindless drinkability. It offers complexity in a carefree package. I am savoring the taste of the graham cracker-like malts and the grassy bitterness on the finish - but this thing is disappearing at an alarmingly fast past.

It's a shame that so few beer drinkers ever get to experience a pilsner the way it's traditionally intended to be: distinguishably aromatic, with a prominent but pleasant bitterness and a rich yet straightforward maltiness. Large-scale breweries around the world have popularized bastardized and emasculated versions of this wonderful style - it's great to see Steamworks setting the record the straight. Pilsners everywhere aught to be more like this one.

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Photo of ghisty
4.66/5  rDev +18.6%

appearance: very clear, pours thin almost watery, but gains color at the head,
a thin white gold , clear, fine, sharp.

smell: faint grain, hops, a dry wheat, oats maybe. not strong nose, but as is the style.

taste: like flatbeard, and grain, the oats come through again, only slight in the taste.
has a good sharp start, perfect pilsner range of flavour, no offensive over done notes of wheat like some offerings of similar style.

crisp, but not long lasting on the sharp side, it levels down to a nice wide carb letting those notes of grain really come out with the after taste, its dry but not overly. refreshing mouth, doesnt leave a dry mouth, but still cuts like its dry pils.

its great. I had this once before but from a can and on the move, fishing i think.
so naturally it wasnt the best being served all wrong and warm even.
but it was good enough to make me want to try it properly.
and now that fishing season is over, I can fully enjoy this round pilsner,
with its airey color and its crisp grainey range.
one of the better pilsners available where i live.

 1,096 characters

Photo of FadetoBock
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Guden
4.36/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BCborn
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of chickenm
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of Mirthrandir
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MJ63
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle (odd, that). It's been a long while since I spent a cool (for Vancouver) late November evening drinking at this place near Gastown, watching the Heritage Classic occurring back in my hometown, where this brewery's offerings are now available.

This beer pours a clear, pale golden straw colour, with three fingers of puffy, loosely foamy, and bubbly off-white head, which leaves some random ocean spray lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of warm, crackery and bready pale malt, a bit of baker's yeast, a hint of petrol, and earthy, grassy, and hay-like hops. The taste is gritty, doughy pale malt, wet saltines, a soft lemon citrus kiss, and a rather peppy grassy, leafy, and earthy noble hop bitterness.

The bubbles are active enough in their basic support duties, with a wee extra frothiness for good measure, the body just on the light side of medium weight, and generally smooth, the hops here not of an invasive or prickly nature. It finishes off-dry, the graininess sticking up for itself through the end.

Steamworks' Pils is clean, crisp, and does a stellar job aping the better Bohemian offerings. Easy to drink, especially if you're a fan of the style (points both thumbs at self) - I would not have been the least bit sad had I actually procured a sixer of this, rather than the single. Oh, and it's Heritage Day today - this review has apparently come full circle, in a way.

 1,421 characters

Photo of JaredKlig
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of Fatehunter
3.69/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a clear golden body.
The aroma is bread and lemon zest. Nice.
The taste is mildly malty sweet, mild bitter end. Good balance.
The texture is crisp and fizzy.
A nice pils.

 196 characters

Photo of 1stOffender
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of souvenirs
3.84/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I haven't tried many beers from Steamworks, which is kind of a shame. A friend who goes there regularly told me the Jasmine IPA was really good, so when I saw the Steamworks Mash Up combination 12-pack (Pilsner, Jasmine IPA, and Wheat Ale) at the liquor store on Commercial Drive, I saw it as my chance.

A: Crystal clear, gold/yellow, and bubbly, with a good inch or so of head.
S: A hint of yeasty sourness, sweet, a little bit grassy.
T: Mild but lingering grassy bitterness. To be honest, it just tastes like beer to me. There's nothing really special about it. But that's pilsner for you! I can't fault the beer for being what it's supposed to be.
F: I'd like it to be just a little more crisp.
O: Although I don't personally really like this beer tat much, it is, as far as I can tell, a well executed example of the style.

 829 characters

Photo of LannahC
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear straw yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of grassy and spicy hops are present in the nose.
T: As in the smell, the taste has flavors of spicy hops along with notes of grassy hops, the latter of which lingers through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, clean, and rather crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really liked the grassy and spicy aromas and flavors of this beer, both of which make it a very good representation of the style.

Serving type: can

 699 characters

Photo of CookstLiquor
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 355ml bottle. So glad to be able to get this excellent pilsner in bottles (6-packs) now. It was always a favourite at the Great Canadian Beer Festival. It pours a bright yellow with a nice tuft of white head. This smells like a classic Euro Pilsner. It has a nice present bitterness and grassy/herbal hoppy flavour. Very crisp and drinkable.

 355 characters

Photo of CurtisD
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of DoubleMalt
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Canada_Dan
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ThirstyDutchman
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of DamageCase76
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of headlessparrot
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours from the tall-boy can a clear straw gold capped by a finger or so of loose white head that recedes quickly to a couple islands but leaves some lacing. Lots of visible carbonation.

Smell is a crisp hop snap, lots of grassy, hay notes. Some biscuity, crackery malt. Slightly pepper. A touch vegetal. Slight hints of fruitiness, maybe apples? Taste is clean, bright. Well-balanced. Biscuit, cracker, hay and grass. Slight resin? Light body, perfect carbonation.

Arguably the best pilsner made by a Canadian brewery (Check yourself, Steam Whistle). Not exceedingly complex, but absolutely nails the style, and is a delight to drink--crisp, clean, super refreshing.

 669 characters

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A:Clear golden, white head with tight foam

S: Yeast and sweet wet wheat. Pale malts and notes of barnyard funk.

T: Up front with notes of sweet pale malts followed quick by the crisp bitter hops. Good profile of yeast and tastes of barnyard funkiness as it warms. Lingers in the mouth with hoppy crispness.

M: Light and crisp in the mouth, clean and refreshing.

O: Its a great clean refreshing pils, light and crisp. Easy to drink and easy to match with a simple meal like pizza and salad. I just wish it was summer again, the clean crisp hops would be a perfect pairing with a sweet & spicy bar-b-que chicken or ribs.

 624 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $2 or so

Appearance - Clear gold/yellow colour with an average size fizzy and frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair/good amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, malts, corn, light hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains and lemons mixed with malts and some corn. There are also some hops and a cracker flavour.

Overall – Refreshing and crisp, and not a whole lot of adjunct flavour. A great summer beer and something I'd drink again on a hot day.

 648 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355 mL bottle from a BC Craft Brewers Guild sampler picked up at the LCBO; no apparent freshness info. This brewery has some awesome label art. Served well-chilled.

Pours a clear golden-yellow colour, crowned with one finger of frothy, white head which soon recedes. In its place, a soapy cap and collar remain, in addition to a few swaths of lacing. Nice aroma - grainy pilsner malt, crackers, lemon and grassy hops. Definitely reminiscent of some of my favourite Czech-made lagers so far, but how does it taste?

The answer? Superb - this is just an excellent pale lager. The flavour profile is delicately balanced, with grainy pale malts and doughy sweetness starting things off, and the enjoyable noble hop bill finishing things off. Very grassy, with lots of lemon zest and some lightly earthy notes that offer a mildly bitter finish that lingers briefly into the aftertaste. This is a light-bodied beer, with heavy carbonation that prickles the tongue and provides a crisp, refreshing mouthfeel. This lager is a pleasure to drink, and I wish I had more than one bottle so I could test its sessionability. Yeah, that's the ticket...

Final Grade: 4.1, an excellent A-. I've had only a handful of domestic-made Czech pilseners, but Steamworks' Pilsner is one of the best. This is an approachable, well-made, highly quaffable pale lager that beer geeks and macro lager fans can enjoy equally, leaving the majority of 'craft lagers' behind in the dust. Absolutely worth a shot, and a worthy inclusion in this sampler pack. I'd drink this regularly if it were available locally.

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Pilsner from Steamworks Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 30 ratings.