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San Miguel Pale Pilsen - San Miguel Brewery Inc.

Not Rated.
San Miguel Pale PilsenSan Miguel Pale Pilsen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

89 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 89
Hads: 198
Avg: 2.74
pDev: 33.21%
Wants: 4
Gots: 24 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
San Miguel Brewery Inc. visit their website

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: rastaman on 08-09-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 89 | Hads: 198
Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.78/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold with a 1 inch foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain and some sticky sugar-like aromas. Taste is of grain, sugar, light fruit, and some slight herbal and almost plastic-like flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is somewhat poor beer with some slightly off flavors that really doesn't do much for me.

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Photo of metter98
2.79/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that died down, leaving a large patch of bubbles on the surface and a collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of bready and pale malts are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of bready malts along with subtle hints of associated sweetness. No bitterness is perceptible.
M: It feels light-bodied and watery on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer seems to be too watered down on the palate and could use more hops.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of biboergosum
2.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml squat bottle. 'Enjoyed for over a century', proclaims the back label.

This beer pours a crystal clear, pale golden straw colour, with two fat fingers of puffy, rocky, and cushioned white head, which leaves a nice display of drooping sudsy lace around the glass as it fades away.

It smells of semi-sweet corn and a lesser grainy malt, a musty, um 'fruitiness', and earthy, herbal hops. The taste is more sweet, pithy corn and wan bready malt, some mildly interesting, indistinct spice (if only for its obfuscated point of origin), stale lemon juice, and vegetal, dead flower hops.

The carbonation is moderate, just a weak edginess throughout, the body on the light side of medium weight, and smooth in the most lenient sense of the word. It finishes off-dry, the now evidently stale, corn-flecked malt waging a bland offensive against a mild booze and earthy bitterness offset.

San Miguel's offering is hardly reminiscent of pilseners of the old world, and generally just another foreign watering down of the style. A bit here, a bit there, trying to prove itself, but still pretty unimpressive overall. I can't imagine where this one would suffice, but hey, maybe that's my imagination's fault. Nah.

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Photo of tdm168
3.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - pale, translucent golden yellow with a soft, foamy, soapy, white head that has decent retention

S - grainy and sweet

T - grainy, sweet, corn, sugar in the finish, faint herbal bitterness

M - medium bodied, moderately carbonated

This is a clean, easy to drink beer, but it's not a good representation of the style. It's overly sweet, grainy, and ultimately, forgettable.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

San Miguel?!? Hoo haa! How about SammyGooGoo, as that is how it was pronounced on hangover-ridden mornings in the PI (Philippine Islands)? I was once a young man with a sensibility that might have done me proud, but after my first (of many) liberty port visits to Subic Bay/Olongopo City on Luzon, my boundaries were stripped away. Barrio Baretto and Uncle Sam's Saloon were the sites of both my first Around the World and my first public sexual act (in a hammock to loud applause). Blewed, screwed and tattooed all for less than $20. was the battle cry and SammyGooGoo fueled the madness. Hell, we called it Flip (sorry) Roulette, because it was often "Green" - underfermented and ready to finish fermentation in your gut and erupt at the most inopportune moment. You never knew until it was time. I won a LOT of money for my prowess with this beer and the squat little bottle still fits my hand like a glove. I miss the painted label bottles, though, and God help you if you broke one. They were like gold for their Deposit/Return value and were closely watched. That and they were the perfect height for the Peso/Banana/Lotion Dancers. Use your imagination.

From the (paste-on) Label/Bottle: : "A truly satisfying beer with a refined, well-balanced flavor. Perfected and brewed following over a century tradition of brewing excellence."

A finger of bone-white head with limited retention. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-plus quality, allowing me to look into the neighbor's kitchen. Nose was surprisingly malty and lager-like. Nice! Mouthfeel was medium and it had a really pleasant German-Pilsner taste in the mouth. Not a lot of hops, but not diluted with adjuncts, either. Frankly, I do not remember it being this good! Finish was clean, semi-dry, refreshing. Suddenly, I was back with my brown honey-honeys, jaggin' the Marines, lolling in the oppressive heat just before monsoon season. Good times, bro, good times.

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Photo of johnnnniee
2.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Half liter can smuggled back from Dubai by Joe M, thanks for the opportunity! Pale golden color with a smallish quickly dissipating bone white tightly bubbled head. Light bready pilsner malt, faint floral hop, hints of light fruitiness. The taste is big sweet bread with a bit of fruitiness and little to no hop flavor. Middle of the road macro style pilsner/lager.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.16/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Saw a single bottle of this and thought I'd take a gamble and try it out. I've always thought the dark lager was pleasant enough, if undistinguished. This beer, on the other hand, is not nearly as drinkable. It pours a relatively pale golden with a head that fades quite a bit right away but leaves a thin cap behind, but no lacing. The aroma has a bit of bitter, leafy hops to it, but underlying that is a corny sweetness that robs the hops of their notes. The taste is the same story- lots of corny sweetness with an overlay of some bitter hops that are overwhelmed by the adjunct flavors. Too smooth in the mouth, lacks crispness. Oh well, I'll stick with the dark if I ever have this brand again.

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Photo of tone77
3.07/5  rDev +12%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a pale yellow color with a 1 inch head. Smell is rather mild, some grains. Taste is crisp, refreshing, a bit mild, some grains, bitterness at the finish. Feels light in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a mediocre beer, much better when I was drinking it on an isolated beach one night in Bohol with some locals.

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Photo of DrJay
3.28/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very clear and light gold with a fluffy white head. Good retention compared to many of the light lagers I tried in asia, with some spotty lacing. The aroma was malty sweet, some maize and cereal grains, with a hint of fruit. Bitterness was on the light side and it had a mild malt sweetness, light fruitiness, some maize and spicy hops. Light bodied with plenty of carbonation. It started crisp, then ended with a more creamy finish. Some dryness. Refreshing and clean, really quite drinkable in the tropical heat and humidity.

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Photo of Bitterbill
2.41/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Less than $8 a six pack at The Liquor Shed.

It doesn't pour that pale; it looks an attractive gold with a small and shrinking head of foam leaving some decent lacing behind.

It smells grainy with corn, some sweet notes and a light bitterness.

The taste is grainy and the corn is strong, the little bitterness I got in the smell is even less noticeable in the taste and it's pretty much hard to put into words describing it. Just an uneventful bitter that doesn't do much for the beer.

Usual light body for the style...not really a German Pilsner in my book, with fairly low carbonation. I don't find it easy drinking because of the disappointing flavours I'm getting.

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Photo of Brad007
3.18/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light golden color with a one-finger head into my glass. A little funnel effect takes place from the overall pour. Very fun to watch.

Plenty of pale, bready malt upfront in the nose. Perhaps a bit of "corn" essence but nothing that bad.

Taste is flat with hardly anything for the taste buds to latch onto. Granted, it's still there but in a diminished capacity.

Ditto for mouthfeel. Watery.

This had so much more potential. They would benefit by strengthening the malt bill. Ah, who am I kidding? This is San Miguel.

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Photo of DrDemento456
2.76/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Weee! So this was a dollar find at my local Beermuda. On top of that I kind of hate pilsners! On top of that the rating is shit! Good thing I am drunk!

A - Well damn no carbonation just a mild lace ring that settles to nothing. Color is on par with a yellow pee color maybe a touch darker.
S - Smell is not too offensive mild corn adjacent and some sweeter malts. No real skunk so I can't see why the low rating unless it tastes like ass.
T - Well it has the corn, then goes slightly sour, then fades to watery nothing BUT it doesn't have any hard water taste or skunk so in a way the WORST German Pilsner is still better than most American swill. Not that I would drink it again but I would prefer this over Bud or Miller.
M - Light to medium it DOES have some body and mild flavor.

Overall for a dollar I have had worse but for a low tier German Pilsner it was not too hard to swallow.

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Photo of tbeckett
2.63/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Had a bottle of this at a bar in Ho Chi Minh served by the nice beer girl in a tiny San Miguel dress. From notes.

A - Poured slightly darker than gold. Bright with a one finger white head that left spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - A little corny with sweet grain. Feel like I've written that far too often lately. Pretty typical Asian lager.

T - Not bad. Sweet grain and lot's of light sweet malt. A touch of corn, but nothing too bad.

M - Good carbonation, a light body, and a sweet clean finish. Smooth.

O/D - Not terrible. Standard and acceptable. Fairly smooth flavour made this go down well, but I certainly didn't think too highly of it.

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.92/5  rDev +43.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 355mL bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Transparent dull gold with very impressive thick, chunky head with decent retention. Heavy lacing. Lots and lots of bubbles.

S: Fruity and floral. A seriously strong smell. Beery/grainy scents underneath. Impressive range and depth of smells for a pilsner.

T: Light-bodied and vaguely fruity with a mild sweetness. Carbonation initiates a tingliness which provokes the beerier grain and malt flavours before a watery-smooth aftertaste carries it out. Very nice.

M: Light, refreshing, enjoyable. Smooth in the mouth and easy going down.

D: Insanely drinkable. The most quaffable pilsner I've come across. Easily sessionable, sippable, or consumable in any manner you choose. Definitely worth picking a few up.

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Photo of StJamesGate
3.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

White gold with lots of bubbles and disappearing white froth. Slightly soapy herbal hops nose with musty oyster crackers.
Wonder bread malts with a bit of lemon zest and surprising hit of coriander leaf hops.
Papaya hint to end and slightly oily linger. Light, crisp, fizzy.

It's a shame to put this up against other pilsners; if it just called itself a standard lager, it would be quite nice. As it is, it's a poor example of the style. However, definitely distinct from the sweet All-Malt label, and a notch above the usual Asian macro lagers.

Good, but only in context.

Thanks to Ina for bringing this from Manila.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 320ml brown glass bottle shaped like a Belgian-style stubby typical of something that delivers Duvel, Bornem, Piraat, Gulden Draak, et al. Sealed with a red and silver colored crown cap. My bottle is from the Philippines and looks very much like that pictured in the BA Database. White screen printing labels this as “San Miguel Pale Pilsen”, with the words ”Pale Pilsen” and “San Miguel” also screen-printed on the front and back of the neck respectively. The backside describes this “Expertly Brewed Beer since 1890” as…..”A truly satisfying beer, with a refined well balanced flavor. Perfected and brewed for over a century. The only beer that nourishes true Filipino friendships”. No strength listed, but a freshness fate of 19Jun07 appears to be inked on the crown cap.

Appearance: Clear golden body has a pale straw strength to it. Thick white cap sits at 1” deep after the pour and stays there for some time until it relaxes down to a broken covering with a few minutes on the clock. Little lacing adds some extra presentation but not much. Streamers rise quickly and throughout. Decent enough looks at the start but they do fade with time.

Nose: Nothing at all exciting about this, run of the mill standard Euro Lager “pong”, you know the kind, fading hops with a metallic sleight which tends to exhibit a little skunk in the finish, though I know this beer to fresh and well cared for, the skunk is actually more cabbage like at times. Despite the low cabbage aromas, there is a clean aspect and bite to the nose but it's not appealing.

Taste: Very low key flavor wise. Pale looks are reflected in the strength of the tastes. Simple effort here, hopping is feint, the malts are distinctly delicate and the overall presentation is of a Pilsen that is brewed for the masses. Hits up a profile that is something akin to a Mediterranean Lager with some Belgian Macro Pils thrown in for good measure.

Mouthfeel: It may be thin but despite this it is balanced and exhibits enough to keep it of interest, probably more so on a hot day. Desperately thin but still balanced though.

Drinkability: Easy going, but the metallic trait blended with the low end cabbage trait does tend to detract from this offering after only one bottle. But it’s nothing terrible, and experience has been that often you work beyond this when stuck in places that have nothing else to offer “beer wise”, and I could certainly work (read: drink) past it if I had to.

Overall: Stuck in a hot humid Philippines, I would probably opt for something like this over the bigger well known World Mega brands also available out there. That said, it’s not one for the Pilsen purist, but travelers familiar with the ubiquitous Euro and/or Asian Pils will find nothing out of the ordinary here, but nothing exciting either.

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Photo of Fatehunter
1.84/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A thin head on a clear, bright golden colored body.
The aroma is non-existent; the mildest grain.
The taste is mildly bitter and then watery middle to end.
A crisp texture, high carbonation and light body.
A lot going against this beer: smell, no taste and high carbonation coming up at the top of the list.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.72/5  rDev +35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

San Miguel has a very thick, frothy, white head and a clear, yellow appearance, with a good amount of sticky lacing down the glass. The aroma is overwhelmingly of bread (white bread). Taste is again bready barley malt, but some sweet hop spiciness is strong across the middle and end of the sip. It's spicy, so-to-speak. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and San Miguel finishes crisp, refreshing, and a tad cloying. Overall, this is a pretty good, and certainly interesting beer. I'd say it's worth trying.


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Photo of msubulldog25
2.54/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

330mL gold can, complete with pull tab (geez, haven't seen one of those in, like, twenty years...). Best before date: 22/04/11. My buddy brought back a 4-pack for me when he returned from his trip back home to Hong Kong. 谢谢, Peter!

This was brewed by San Miguel Brewery, Hong Kong Ltd.

A: Poured to a tall/tapered pilsner glass, it's crystal-clear and straw-golden. Shows off plenty of carbonation, some of the fattest bubbles I've seen. Starts with a sudsy topping, a finger or so of crackling whiteness. Dwindles to a barely-covering film, leaves patchy flakes of lace.

S: Fairly strong aroma, but one of old bread, kinda processed and starchy...I remember a similar scent when I worked at a pizza joint years ago and the lumps of cold dough smelled very much like this in the cooler. Otherwise, a grassy/floral sweetness, big and 'creamed corn'-like, sugared cereal.

T: Quite sweet when compared to a typical German Pilsner, lots of honey and sweet roll. Buttered biscuit, slight vegetable green-ness, mineral and a little tinny. Barely a trace of anything remotely hoppy/bitter. Kind of a mess.

M: Texture is slick and oily after a crispness that disappears almost instantly. Body is light. Weird gumminess, a lasting starchiness that eventually envelops what had been a decent drying finish. Gassy burps, where did those come from?

D: Not off-putting, just not all that appealing either. A mass-produced 'PREMIUM BEER' ('expertly brewed from the finest ingredients') that has a mushy feel and flavor. I'm guessing this could make a decent pairing with a cuisine that's spicy and local; by itself, it's a 'pass'.

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Photo of Metalmonk
3.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, a pull tab? Cool! I'm not ancient, but old enough to remember having to avoid those damn things on the beach unless you wanted your feet sliced to shreds. But still: cool! And thanks to msubulldog25 for this rarity.

Pull tab pulled, and the pour results in a snow-white head that starts out thick then minimizes and stays for the duration at a quarter-inch. Pale lemon-juice yellow color, and super clear.

Suspiciously sugary and corny smells, although that grainy and sweet essence of a decent German pils comes through a little. A bit doughy, some steamed veggie character...all in all, not bad, but not super-impressive either.

Flavor is no surprise, and no world-class medal winner. But it's not a total failure either. Watery grains, watery honey, a touch of lemon, boiled veggies, faint sulphur, and Corn Pops cereal sweetness all intermingled. There's very little depth, and maybe no depth, if such a thing can be measured. But far from atrocious.

Texturally this kind of turned me off. Too watery, lacking the prickle and roundness of a good pils. Not a disaster, but with a flavor that could use an assist, the mouthfeel doesn't pull through.

Expected worse, but there are enough traits here that make it a better option than your typical U.S. corporate piss-lager. Of course, it's not much of an option when you can't get your hands on it, not to mention that lots of U.S. craft brewers are offering kick-ass pilsners, both traditional and imperialized. Better yet, travel to Germany or Czech Republic and experience the real deal...

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 320ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2012 (on the cap). Acquired from Chi Yip, an oriental specialist shop in York. The label is printed onto the bottle, and the ingredient list includes cereals/sugar.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear, pale golden colour with good carbonation. Forms a decent head of creamy white foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of light malt with plenty of corn/overcooked veg and a hint of stewed hops. Slightly sweet. Deteriorates rapidly as it warms, resulting in an unpleasant DMS-laden nose.

Tastes of ultra-light malt with a mild, dry finish. Faint notes of corn and stewed veg. A subtle sweetness, with a hint of staleness and solvent in the background. A very mild bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, but watery and insubstantial. Slightly astringent. Aftertaste of corn/stewed veg.

Not good - doesn't come close to a decent pilsner. This is adjunct-laden crap, and the aroma/flavour fully reflect that. Bland and weak, with nasty off-flavours and a touch of solvent/alcohol. I can't imagine this being decent, even in the Philippines. Avoid.

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Photo of rastaman
2/5  rDev -27%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very light yellow colour, head fades very fast. Very thin, a bit fizzy, tastes like water, very bland, which is pretty much like any other beer froM San Miguel.

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Photo of jsprain1
2.91/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Has to be one of the clearest beers I've ever seen. Golden straw with a one and a half finger head that holds on pretty will. Spots of foam struggle to cling to the glass.
S- Smells sweet, but more of a sugary way than a malty way. To be sure, there is a definite malted grain presence. Some vegetal aromas, but not completely offputting.
T- Again it is sweet throughout, but I can't help thinking that it is not quite the right kind of sweetness. It's sort of like honey, but just minorly artificial tasting. That being said, the beer tastes ok, just there's something not quite right with where the sugars are at in this one. Again light, but noticable, vegetal notes.
M- A bit too much light bodied, and was a bit undercarbed.
O- A decent import lager, and a step above many Asian lagers that I have had, but nothing I'll search out to retry.

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Photo of flyingpig
1.85/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Straw colour with a pinky-sized bubbly, white head with poor retention. Crystal clear.

Corn with only hints of grain. It's pretty light on the nose & quite sweet along with some vegetable adjuncts.

A clean tasting beer. There is some corn & sweet grain along with a little bread. The finish is bitter-sweet & every so slightly skunky.

Light bodied & quite gassy with a bit of fizz in there too. It has an grain like feel to it & the fizz stays with you a while after the sip.

Not a good beer at all & one that certainly doesn't justify it's price. Not one area of the beer that I actually enjoyed.


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Photo of Jayli
2.53/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Consumed 2/22 in Makati City
Poured in to a stange

A: This beer pours a light golden color with a one inch of bubbly head that recedes quickly. Not much lacing to speak of.

S: Nose is grain, grass, and light malts.

T: Taste is predominantly grain and grass in the forefront. A bit of breadiness before moving in to a light malt finish.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, light crisp feel.

O: Goes does alright, mediocre tasting, not filling, light kick, ok representation of style. My second beer here in PHP and this was a drastic improvement on the first!

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San Miguel Pale Pilsen from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
66 out of 100 based on 89 ratings.