Prima Pils - Victory Brewing Company

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Prima PilsPrima Pils

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4,825 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,825
Reviews: 2,051
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 211
Gots: 588 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Todd on 07-27-2001

ca. 44 IBU
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,825 | Reviews: 2,051
Photo of RoyalT
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.6/5  rDev +14.1%
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.

Photo of beerinator
3.28/5  rDev -18.6%
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.

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of ManekiNeko
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

Photo of gueuzegeek
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my two favorite beers for this summer (Victory Wit is my other). When I was frist introduced to this one a couple years ago I was not prepared to be won over, but won over I was!! It pours a beautiful clear yellow color with a nice creamy head. The wonderfully fragrant hops are present immediately. There is a certain sweetness to this beer. It is WAY hoppier than most Pils, but heck, it is from Victory, and they know how to use their hops!! This beer is crisp and clean and full of flavor and not to be missed in your beer tasting endeavors!

Photo of far333
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Hazy straw yellow color, with a frothy white lingering head. Aroma of corn and hops. Flavor is sweet corn, with some hops, plus sweet malt. Finish has a tender bite with some spice. Nice smooth mouthfeel, with decent lacing. Damn good for a pilsner, perhaps the best I've had.

Photo of alexgash
4.77/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I finally got my hands on this highly-touted pilsner. It being a Victory product, I had high expectations, and I wasn't disappointed. A thanks to my friend Dan and his daily stops at Premier. Poured a crystal clear yellow with a big marshmallowy white head. Smell is of peppery, spicy, hops with a slight, lean malt aroma. Taste: WOW! Lightly sweet malts up front that are quickly replaced with a building hop spiciness, punctuated with a sharp, bitter finish. Ahhh! Very crisp and a big feel for a pilsner. This is the hoppiest example of the style I have ever had and I love it. Finally, a lager-smooth IPA!

Photo of vitesse
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

served in 12 oz. bottle.
beautiful golden appearance. so so clear. nice head retention. smell of strong hops hits you right away. taste is just way too overboard on the hops, in my opinion. this is nothing like the familiar european pilseners -- there isn't any saaz spiciness. the hops that are there leave a dry, grassy, earthy flavor. i didn't like it.
this is a unique beer, though. it's worth a try, just not my bag.

Photo of beerman599
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Deep golden hue and a little haze,good foamy head.hoppy clean and delicate aroma. Bitter Saaz hops noted off the top, some malty sweetness as well, an almost tart on the palate. Seems to be borderline medium bodied based on the maltiness. A unique sweet and sour feel throughout, slight acidic finish. Hopped off the charts for a pils, unique, i tell my freinds this is an ale drinkers pils!

Photo of leeenglewood
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass it produced a huge fluffy head that did die down,yet didnt disapear, and laced the glass till the last drop. To the best of my recollection I smelled and tasted liberty hops this is the only time I have ever been able to pick out an exact hop taste or smell. Nice dry tasting malt comes in with the after taste and is really balanced with the hops. Could drink this beer all day on a nice summer day. Definitely a beer that everybody should try as it has something for everyone.

Photo of taez555
3.97/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a huge white head with a hazy yellow body with a whole lot of hop sediment floating around in it.

The nose was a nice malty and hoppy smell. Dominated by the round smell of pure german earthy hops.

The initial taste was very hoppy and bitter. It had a slight toasted malt flavor. Some faint yeast. Malty yet balanced well. Very simple and round, full of german earthy hops. The beer ended with a long lingering bitterness.

This is one unique pilsner. If a brewery in germany ever decided to come out with an IPA (IPL)using their standard helles it would probably taste like this.

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.09/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light yellow hazy color with a touch of gold. Good solid head with fairly good retention.

Has that classic pilsner smell, I need to find out what that is exactly, and bumps it up to a snappier version. A faint hint of citrus, but overall a faint nose without much to it.

Taste - without hesitation, the most unique pilsner I've had to date. I didn't pick up much hop aroma, but it sure is there in the flavor! Refreshing carbonation, the pilsner malt quickly gives way to a bitter hop bite. Not a lot of depth to the hops, but a solid grapefruit sourness on the finish. A lingering aftertaste of citric bitterness, but no development beyond the grapefruit taste.

Mouthfeel is very crisp via good carbonation. What would be an average body is enhanced by the hop level. And what would typically finish cleaner for a pils stays around longer via the oiliness of the hops

Drinkability - A little more bang than I would normally expect in a pils, this is an intense beer. The freshness date said to enjoy by Jan 24, '03, so technically this is 6 months past peak. A fresh sample may improve scores, time will tell. For as much as I am impressed by the flavor uniqueness, that same character also limits its drinkability as you don't expect quite so much aggressiveness in a pilsner style. Maybe this should be classified an India Pales-ner Ale? :-)

Photo of GeoffRizzo
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep golden hue, thin, foamy head. Zesty, lemony, clean and delicate aroma. Bitter Saaz hops noted off the top, some malty chewiness as well, an almost sour palate. Seems to be borderline medium bodied based on the maltiness. A unique sweet and sour feel throughout, slight acidic and oily finish. Hopped off the charts for a pils, unique, might be in its own class, a beer to talk about!

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle, freshness date is “Enjoy by May 20 03”. Has an appropriately green colored label with a picture of a large green & yellow hop.

Appearance: A resilient straw-golden appearance with a massive white puffy head that sits well. Laces the glass well, rings and smudges of thick lace cling to the glass edges. Average carbonation aids head retention.

Nose: Crisp malts mixed with light citric hops. Some spices and a biting pungent bitterness at the back.

Taste: A tasty mix of biscuit from the pilsner malts and a strong spicy bitterness that comes from the hops. The bitterness builds as the beer drinks through, citric elements and a very strong fresh green-hop bitterness in the finish that seems to bite and linger for ever.

Mouthfeel: Extremely crisp, biting bitterness in the mouth that builds to a crescendo even after you swallow the beer. Fulfilling, yet it still has an average mouthfeel overall.

Drinkability: Easily imbibed on a warm, slightly sticky night in Long Beach. An excellent thirst quencher, which really hits the mark. I will most certainly have another one of these please, thank you very much!

Overall: Not exactly a classic Pilsner, but a superb, very accomplished mix of German Pilsner Malts and European Hops formed into an impressive Hop-Head Pilsner style beer. Another winner from Victory!!

Thanks to Francisweizen for the chance to try it.

Photo of Boto
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Victory: The beer is a straw golden in color, with quite the white head. What an aroma: the beautiful smell of hops. An excellent Pilsner. Someone should send a couple cases of this over to Miller so those bozo's can taste a "real" pilsner, and maybe they will stop advertising Miller Lite as one!

Photo of Mustard
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. brown bottle with no "bottled on" or "best drunk by" date.

Appearance: Hazy, straw-like hue. Enormous, enormous head which is slow to recede (pour with caution). Heavy, intricate lacing.

Smell: Herbal, spicy; a touch of sweet citrus.

Taste: Gentle bread-like malt notes to start, strong floral bitterness follows and then dominates. Mild clove-like spiceness in the follow-through.

Mouthfeel: Clean and crisp. Nicely carbonated.

Notes: Delicious little pilsener. Good times.

Photo of stegmakk
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Crystal clear light gold with white head that left a little lacing...a ton of carbonation...bubbles never stopped...
Aroma was better than most pilsners but not overpowering...hinted of citrus/and earthy hops...
Taste was more of the hops but not crazy...and there was more bitterness than I wanted...
Mouthfeel was averagely thin...
It did go down smooth...
Maybe I expected more from Victory...but I have had better pils...this was OK

Photo of dmarch
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The hop on the label is very appropriate for this beer. The crystal clear golden color and the fluffy white head are absolutely beautiful. This is why the style was devoloped in the first place. Aroma is of saaz hops as a pilsner should be. The taste is very hoppy, IPA level hoppy. For my taste this is fantastic, but I didn't feel the level of hops fits the style. And that's pretty much the only fault of this beer, but if I based my review on personal taste alone, it would be a 5 for taste.

Photo of beergeek279
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at home out of a Victory sampler case. The appearance was golden, with great head retention. The smell was malty, with more than a trace of hops filtering through. The taste was superb for a lager, with hops very evident. The mouthfeel was a bit heavy with carbonation. This beer is great on drinkability, and I could drink these all day!!

Victory's pilsner is one of the best around, and one I'd hand to someone who says all lagers are bland and tasteless. I'd heard rumors that Victory would discontinue this beer, and I certainly hope this isn't the case, because this is a fantastic brew!!

Photo of DarthMalt
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5


Something tells me the Victory guys studied this style--a lot--before crafting this blonde beauty. Flow and appearance are just what you would expect for this pilsener, but SHAZAM! What's that smell? Deep, earthy, almost barnyard-like, and full of nasal-fuming spice. Can these be the magical Saaz hops of yore? What a welcome addition--and masterful micro-stroke--to the tired, lame, rehashed, and retarded world of the "Pilsener."

While everyone else (originators, imitators, and re-originators alike) is fighting to be king of the [Plzen] hill, Victory just decided they would move it.


Photo of sinistersteve
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Exploding head was very enjoyable and easily viewable to watch through its medium golden color . Seems to have an aroma and flavor that is what a pilsner beer sould be. The quality of ingrediants and craftsmanship is easily noticable with this one. Just one outstanding beer.

Photo of xgrigorix
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium gold, clear, with a puffy white cloud floating on top. Steady carbonation rises from the depths. Head eventually settles in leaving a stream of lace in it's wake. A quick swill brings the head right back. And I smell hops!
Just a touch of sweetness up front, quickly gives way to an over the top hop laden finish. Dry, with hints of lemon grass. Spicy, floral, and bitter all at the same time. Just enough of the malt sticks around to keep it from crashing in on itself. Very clean flavor, crisp, and quite refreshing.

Photo of tar
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy pale golden/straw yellow color, with a nice sized foamy white head capping the beer. A mild but very pleasant aroma is present, consisting of hops and a bit of spiciness (the slight scent of apples may also be present). Nice taste of hops, spice, and a bit of fruitiness. Feels very smooth and light in the mouth. This beer has a very nice crispness to its finish, and is probably very enjoyable on a hot summer day.

Photo of longpondbeerman
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice pilsener. Even as I poured, I could smell the hops drifting up from the slightly clouded golden yellow brew which cascaded nicely and rose to a thick creamy off-white foam. Nor did the taste disappoint: lots of hops balanced with a light, but noticeably sweet maltiness and a touch of rose hips. Good staying power too--this taste. Highly recommended for a warm late spring evening refresher, especially when you plan to have a couple.

Prima Pils from Victory Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 4,825 ratings.