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Prima Pils | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

2,069 Reviews
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Prima PilsPrima Pils

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ca. 44 IBU

Added by Todd on 07-27-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 2,069 | Ratings: 5,099
Photo of merlin48
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours into a German pilsner glass a clear straw yellow with a luscious and ample tightly knit white head. Profuse lacing and excellent head retention. Lemon pepper hits the nose first, followed by a touch of pale malts. Mouthfeel is very carbonated, and there is noticeable hops bite. Plenty of citric bitterness in the taste with minimal malt characteristics. A bit too much of an aggressive hops presence for my preference in a pils. Still a satisfying and very drinkable offering.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very solid Pils with a very unusual flavor. The body poured out a murky looking light apricot color covered quite completely by a head of creamy, fluffy just-off-white foam that last down the glass and created great lacing.

The nose is solidly hops over a nice malt base; oodles and oodles of spicy hop notes. The flavor is quite rare for a Pilsener style, leaning almost to a Belgian sense from the heavy buttery and spicy flavors. Huge yeastiness is also a major part of this brew; it reminded me of the smell and flavor of water and yeast being prepared for breadmaking. In fact, there is a very strong flavor of sourdough bread imparted from this brew - quite unique.

The feel is full, crisp and quite solid; very nice indeed. Highly drinkable Pils to be sure.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful golden yellow with a big, huge billowy white head. Lots of retention and lacing. Smells strongly of yeast and lemony hops. A beautiful sight in my big pilsner glass.

The taste is a little slice of heaven. Clean and smooth with just a small amount of caramel malt. Lots of hops fill in the end but they are very welcome and not overbearing. Mouthfeel is quite casual and drinkability is off the charts. This one slides down like an oyster with tabasco on it.

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Photo of WesWes
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a very pale gold color with a lacey white head. The aroma is of pale malts and hops. It has a very bitter scent. The taste is decent. It is light and refreshing with quite a bit of hop flavor. Again, the beer has a very bitter taste. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. The beer drinks well, but it has a lingering aftertaste that may deter some from having more than one.

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Photo of rdrummer
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This probably pales only by comparison to the other tap beers at the brewery. It is a nice clear, golden beer with small white head and almost no lacing. It smelled of hops and other grains. It had a more bitter taste (good thing) than most pilseners. I liked the hoppiness and the bite of it, but I caught a slightly off taste that came after swirling and swallowing. This will not be my choice of beers when I go back.

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Photo of Foxman
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a crips clear, golden straw hue. A creamy white head froths, then settles very slowly, showing nice rentention. Lacy rings spiral down the inside of the glass.

There's a presence of floral/fruity hops, along with round notes of malt. I detected a very distant, evasive sourness of yeast as well.

The dry, floral hops kick in first, with a fruit current that is very present as you inhale the sip, almost felt as much as tasted. There's again a round malt sweetness. There's a fleeting ashy taste as the malt gives way and fades to a nice crisp hops tingle.

It's rather light bodied, as expected, and it not so much coats as rinses across the mouth and tongue, leaving a dry, flat hops glow at the back of the mouth.

It's hoppier than most pilsners in my admittedly limited experience, but this is a good thing. It looks refreshing, smells refreshing, and simply, is refreshing, as the flavor delivers on the visual promise. It's damned good, and demands to be drunk, and not just one either, so I did, but it doesn't haunt like so many higher ABV brews. I'm opening my palate back to lagers again, and I almost can't wait till summer to enjoy this on the deck after spending an hour tending to the lawn. Well, the beer I want, but not necessarily mowing the lawn. But you know what I mean.

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Photo of beernbbq
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful yellow and mildy cloudy appearance with a clean white and tight head. Floral hop aroma mild new mown hay smell. Clean taste very refreshing with a salad or mild fish. Nicely carbonated with a mildly strong hop bittering. Overall, a wonderful Pils.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opaque gold body with huge fine head spattered with a couple of lava bubbles. Loads of lace.

Light roasted malt and oily lemon aroma. Something smells belgian.

Sweet pale malt at first fading to a dry harsh hoppy flavor. I am surprised at the harshness dispite only medium bitterness. Citrus flavors abound.

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Photo of DagFishHead
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy, straw-yellow pour with an abundant fizzy, white head that leaves loads of lace. A persistent whipped-cream dollop floats like a cloud on a sea of gold. Pretty
Smell: Sweet and spicy hop oils, lemony, straw/grass earth notes, also a bready/biscuity character. Quite complex... nice.
Taste: Slick semi-dry malt grainy/grassiness quickly gives way to spicy, puckery bitter hops at the top concluded by a sudden rush of crisp citrus that leaves the mouth bone dry... ooooh, that was fun.
Mouthfeel: Quite full and rich for a lighter style. Carbonation is tight and crisp.
Drinkability: A substantial pilsner... am glad I tried it and look forward to enjoying several more some steamy summer day.

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Photo of BigPapaLager
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another fine attempt from Victory. Poured a pale golden hue, with a soft fluffy head that I blew out of the way before first drink. The aroma was hoppy and the taste crisp, Pils are not my favorite in general but thiis my best experience with one to date. Drank all I had, so I say its drinkable.

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Photo of Gasp100
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have been trying a lot of IPA's and Pale Ale's lately so I decided on a whim to go with a Lager or Pilsner style this time around. This poured a beautiful clear gold, which I haven't seen in a quite a while (since drinking Foster's over the summer). A medium head about 1/2 inch settled and disapated quickly to a thin lace which stuck to the glass through the entire pint. The smell was full and floral with hoppy overtones. It smelled like what I used to call "beer" --- just better. The taste was full and light at the same time. A very crisp, not-to-bitter tingle with a nice balance of malt and hops which mellowed out on the tail end. There was a very slightly sweet taste but definitely not fruity at all. The carbonation added some "lift" to the glass and this was extremely drinkable. Victory is just amazing.... Hop Devil (my current fave, Storm King....) I have a newfound love for "German" style beers and this one may be perfect for winning over friends who ONLY drink Bud or MGD. I'm really glad to have found a nice "new" style to shake things up.

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Photo of putnam
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Enjoy by 11 Jan. 2004"
It's a well-crafted product. Giant aromas of sticky, fresh herbs are followed by flavors of same. Slatey, intense, loaded with chewy hop stems and seed oils. The liquid is clear and there is a robust head of pillowy white. I search for malt and turn up honeyed, transparent shades of sweetness and silky texture. I would recommend this pils to hop addicts for sure. But for me, there is never a joyful balance of malt and hops. Overbearing in most contexts I can imagine, yet this hop explosion might serve a purpose in certain situations...like on a hay ride or after bong hits.

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Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is another fine beer from Victory. Pours a gold / yellow color with a small head. Sports plenty of bubbles as the carbonation level is perfect. The aroma is pleasant with sharp bitterness and some sweetness. The taste and mouthfeel are wonderful - crisp on the tongue, strong hops, and sweetness that all balance out nicely. The bitterness last long (and still going) on the tongue after swallowing. Super refreshing and extremely drinkable. Love this pils.

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Photo of Dogbrick
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is one of the better Pilseners I have tried (along with Schell), and leads me to wonder why so many other ones are so bland and tiresome. The beer is a lightly cloudy pale gold color with medium white head that lingered quite awhile. Lots of small bubbles and thin lacing. The aroma is zesty hops. Light-bodied and crisp with a peppery hops flavor throughout. Some malt is evident as well. The finish is dry and hoppy. The Pils style is nowhere near my favorite but I can see this beer being the standard by which to measure others.

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Photo of saltydog
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Golden yellow, crystal clear, resilient head with lace. Smell: aromatic hops with a nice maltbackbone. Flavor: Clean, tasty malt sweetness very nicely balance by hop bitterness. Also very full hop flavors, somewhat earthy. Mouthfeel is smooth, with a nice tangyness from the hops. Very drinkable..an easy session beer. Not my favorite style by any means, but a good example of how good an honest pilsner can be, especially when it doesn't have to travel halfway across the world.

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Photo of BierManVA
2.75/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Extremely hoppy smell. The head disappeared quickly (although well carbonated.). Color is very light golden. I am getting no malty flavors or aroma's whatsover.

I enjoy most pilsners but find the extreme hoppiness of this bier to be a distraction. The aftertaste and mouthfeel are absolutely attrocious in my opinion.

This is not a bier I enjoy but I can see why it is popular with the crowd. It is original in it's approach and not a tasteless macro crap.

Just not for me.


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Photo of kmo1030
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

hazy yellow color kind of weird actually, with a thick fluffy white head. thick lace all the way down. strangely sweet smelling, but also very hoppy. you know this is gonna be pretty intense before you even taste it. it takes a few sips to get used to the hops, and be able pick out anything else. first the hops here are incredibly strong, i don't think i've had a beer in which the hops seem to be so pure and untainted by other flavors. i feel like just got a mouthful of raw hops, but in a good way. underneath there is a subtle malt profile, without which this beer would be pretty vile hop water. it has a slight vanilla slight licorice flavor from he interplay between the malt and hops and slightly fruity flavor. With out the heavy carbonation that it has, i think this would be gross so i like the somewhat thin and higly carbonated mouthfeel. this beer walks a fine line, so drinkablity takes a little hit. i couldn't drink more than a couple of this in a sitting.

note: freshness date is sept 28 '03, so this might be a little past it's prime.

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Photo of Stopper
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a slightly hazy light golden yellow. The head is creamy, fluffy, and very white. The aroma is of a spicy hoppiness over a sturdy light malt base. The body is medium and quite effervescent, and the initial taste is balanced toward the bitter side. The bright hop bitterness becomes even bigger very quickly and has a nice combination of spice, fruit, and grass notes. This is more pronounced into the finish, but a decent base malt sweetness supports it for a bit before it nearly completely dries out and the bitterness and huge flavor of hop spiciness with a bit of grassiness again. This flavor sticks around for quite a while, and if I wait for a while before the next sip I'm left with a very sharp bitter spiciness on the back of my tongue, and the round flavor of a noble-type hop finish toward the sides and front.

Well, to put this pilsner against most of the other pilsners I've ever tried is almost unfair. This has a gigantic hoppiness, the like of which I think I've never even come close to finding in another pilsner. And I don't want to say it's a great beer just because it has a lot of hops, but I do want to say it's a great beer because it has a lot of interest throughout, with a respectable malt base supporting a wonderfully captivating blend of hop flavors that lasts from the nose to the finish, all while still having the very dry spicy finish I'd expect from a pils... only with a nice addition of extra dimension.

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Photo of Brent
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is a pilsener? Wow - a whole new world of what a pils can be has opened before my eyes. Massive carbonation - took three pours to let the head settle and get the beer in the glass. Candy sweet aroma, but the beer was not sweet in flavor. Hops - this beer is an example of how a pils can be hoppy, and done darn well, at that. As a hop-head, I have great appreciation for a lager that can carry a substantial hop load without an ale's malt to shoulder the burden. Very crisp and clean, and, surprisingly, very little hop bitterness at the finish. If I had regular access to this beer, it would be a staple in the garage fridge.

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Photo of Ianhockey91
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great pilsner, enough said. Probably the best lager i have had in a long time. Looks a pale straw yellow, with a head that leaves an incredible amount of lace on the glasss, bordering on artwork. The nose is slightly hoppy, and quiter herbal. The taste is as smooth as it can get, they should call this stuff perfect pils instead. I will have this in the house all the time. The perfect baseball beer in my opinion.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very light in color with a beautiful foamy head that left a gorgeous lacing on my glass.

Smell - Light, grassy hop aroma with a balancing sweetness. It looks and smells like a pils, but how does it taste?

Taste - I've found it very frustrating that American brewers can't seem to mimick the exceptional smoothness and traditional flavors of a German Pils. This one hits the nail on the head.

The malt flavors are in the background, of course. The grassy and floral hops caress the tongue gently but distinctly. There's some sweetness to be had, but it's the signature hop flavor that leads this one to the Promise Land.

Mouthfeel - Masterfully light and smooth. Be careful of your first sip - you might empty the glass with it.

Drinkability - I used to love drinking a pils outside in the middle of the day, walking around cobblestone Bavarian streets in search of the tastiest bratwurst stand. This one takes me back. Another winner from Victory!

Update - I first rated this with a 2003 vintage to thought it would be fun to re-review it with an '04. This really is an amazing Pils. It's on the big side, mind you, but has to be one of the best session beers sold in the US. I'm upping my Drinkability rating by half a point and praying to the empty bottle.

Update - I took a studious look at this beer again in 2009. Six years now I've been drinking this Pils and it hasn't lost it's luster. I reviewed three bad beers in a row tonight, dumping most of them in the sink, so need something reliable.

The Prima Pils is just a beautiful beer. The head especially comes up just right and is one of the prettiest beer toppings I've ever seen in my life. The rest of the beer is top-notch as previously reviewed, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better American-made effort at the style.

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Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Another classic from Victory. It has the perfect Pilsner profile: looks clean and refreshing, an immediate balanced sweetness, followed by a satisfying mouthfeel, and gradually finishing with that hoppy bitterness that lasts. Nice lace on the glass. A perfect summer beer that you can "repeat as necessary". A definite "Buy it by the Case". Don't share this beer with drinkers of "lite" or budmillercoors, they just don't get it, so don't give them any.

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Photo of beerinator
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Golden, super clear. White head with slight head retention.

Aroma: Piney hop aroma over powers. Sharp hops! Slight bit of citrus behind the pine trees.

Taste: Smoother than expected from the aroma. The beer is bitter upfront, but fades to merely a slight bitterness in the aftertaste. The hop presence on the tongue feels strangely muted compared to the last time I tried this. I think this beer may have been a bit old.

Notes: This particular sample seems to have diminished in its hoppy flavor. It's a good beer, but lacking the bold flavor I recall from my last tasting of it.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice bright golden color, that pours with a nice white head that disappears quickly. Has a nice appealing floral bouquet. The first taste is one of a soft malty flavor, which then finishes with a nice sharp hop bitterness that marries well with a bit of hop flavor. This is a great example of a Pils, which I wish I could get on a regular basis.

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Photo of ManekiNeko
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with a freshness date of Jan 11, 2004. Served chilled in a pint glass.

Appearance: Crystal clear light golden yellow in color. Topped with a lovely and lively white head of tiny bubbles. The head goes away after a minute or so, leaving you with a small layer of bubbles on the top. Active carbonation in the glass during the entire consumption. Adequate lacing, to boot.

Smell: It might look like a macro, but it sure as #### don't smell like one. Grapefruity citrus hops (with hints of orange) balanced with sprucy hop aroma greet you. Nice hoppy bouquet... very appealing.

Taste: Inital salty flavor that gives way to a piney bitterness. Nice light malt flavor pokes it's head out shortly thereafter. Aggressively hopped for a pilsener, but it works.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a pleasant aftertaste.

Drinkability: Quite quaffable, though I've certainly enjoyed the other Victory beers I've had much more. Definitely a beer for the porch/stoop on a hot summer day. Could easily be a great session beer.

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Prima Pils from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
91 out of 100 based on 2,069 ratings.