Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

San Miguel Pale Pilsen - San Miguel Brewery Inc.

Not Rated.
San Miguel Pale PilsenSan Miguel Pale Pilsen

Educational use only; do not reuse.

87 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 87
Hads: 193
rAvg: 2.76
pDev: 19.93%
Wants: 2
Gots: 25 | 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 (15) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 87 | Hads: 193
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
2.47/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Doing a cleaning out my beer fridge session of the lesser quality beers. My bottle looks vastly different than the one on here, perhaps it's an old picture.

Vigorous pour yields a 1.75 finger white foamy head that doesn't take long to recede. I give it about a 1/10 for lacing. Looks like pure urine. Luckily it tastes a hair better.

For such a low ABV beer, im getting a lot of alcohol on the nose. Overwhelming anything else that might be there. Maybe a little malts after several deep whiffs.

Really doesn't taste like much. I'm honestly not a big german pils fan. My heart belongs to the bocks and dunkles of Bavaria. Really not feeling this beer. Hint of malts, with a just a flutter of pepper or some spice.

Not all that drinkable. Leaving an unpleasant aftertaste that will not leave me reaching for an other. (820 characters)

Photo of faroutadventure
3.43/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a clear pint glass.

A-Poured a very translucent yellow color with a two finger frothy white head with good retention and ample lacing.

S-Grainy malts with slight fruity hops.

T-Malty sweetness that finishes with crisp, clean hop bitterness. Taste is very clean and straightforward and quite refreshing.

M-Very crisp yet smooth and well balanced. Vigorous carbonation contributes to its thirst quenching attribute on a hot afternoon.

D-This went down very easily and I would readily reach for another. Best cold as it doesn't improve as it warms. Very refreshing. (601 characters)

Photo of chefhatt
3/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured the beer into a pint glass. The color is a pale yellow color with huge white head on top of it. I smell a little bit of malts but no hops. It taste very nice and smooth, not much to talk about. It has a nice mouth feel to it. I could use this beer as my go to beer when i don't have any craft beer. (307 characters)

Photo of velosuds
3.41/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Purchased at John's Market for $1.69.

A-Poured a very translucent yellow color with a two finger frothy white head with good retention and ample lacing.

S-Grainy malts with slight fruity hops.

T-Malty sweetness that finishes with crisp, clean hop bitterness. Taste is very clean and straightforward and quite refreshing.

M-Very crisp yet smooth and well balanced. Vigorous carbonation contributes to its thirst quenching attribute on a hot afternoon.

D-This went down very easily and I would readily reach for another. Best cold as it doesn't improve as it warms. Very refreshing.

San Miguel was my favorite import for as long as I can remember, long before I became a BA. This is very much as I remember it and it is much better than any BMC or the most ubiquitous import swill. (838 characters)

Photo of r0nyn
2.86/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a mug from a bottle.

Appearance is a pale golden hue, transparent and full of bubbles. Big, fat white head that takes its sweet time in dissipating. Smell is decent, with malts and grains easily detectable, but not really much else happening. Wasn't expecting too much out of a pilsner anyway.

Taste is malty upfront, with a bitter bite and just a hint of hoppiness. There is a very mild sweetness behind it all, providing some contrast to the astringency. Aftertaste is just lightly bitter and on the dry side. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, as expected of a pilsner, but quite bubbly, so much so that the carbonation was a bit of a distraction. Not that it took away from my overall enjoyment of the beer, but it certainly has to be noted.

With a low ABV and an easy-to-stomach taste, San Miguel is a great beer for a social gathering, especially one with Filipinos. It's a decent, if unspectacular brew that does its job. (938 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
3.05/5  rDev +10.5%
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... (1,555 characters)

Photo of AgentMunky
3.92/5  rDev +42%
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. (765 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
2.54/5  rDev -8%
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'. (1,636 characters)

Photo of eschbach
2.21/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Presentation: 12 ounce stumpy brown bottle. It has the name written in old english font which is sort of unique.

Appearance: It looks allrgiht. It's a pale golden color with a frothy head that vanishes fast.

Smell: It doesn't smell very good. It smells like malt and alcohol. I cannot smell hops.

Taste. It doesn't taste very good. It has a malty taste. And I cannot really taste hops. It doesn't taste the way a German Pilsner should taste.

Drink: It feels alright on the palate. A little creamy and smooth. The drink is not very good. It doesn't go down very smoothly. It's kind of a chore for me to drink this beer. I don't really like it.

Notes: Not a good beer! It smells weird, and it tastes weird, and it's a chore to drink. (736 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
2.78/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle (like the picture) poured in a chalice.

A: Light yellow color with a small white head that dissipates quikly
S: Smells like an adjunct lager with some more hops
T: Tastes also like an adjunct lager with a littel bit more hops. Light bitter end. Not a big deal
M: Very light body. Light carbonation too
D: Refreshing after all but the weak taste does not contributes to improve its drinkability (407 characters)

Photo of Spineypanda
3.06/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Has a light straw color, with a little head that does not last long.
Smells a bit like every pilsner I have had before. Nothing special.
Tastes really light and has a little sweetness but nothing much else. A decent beer that is quite refreshing.

Not horrible but I do not think I would drink it again over other beers. (320 characters)

Photo of BeerSingh
2.92/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chose this over Lowenbrau..

A : Typical golden coloured lager. Poured a thick fluffy head at first but immediately disappeared without a trace. No retention and hardly any lacing

S : Smell was dominated by toffee and malts. It got me very interested. No hoppiness at all

T : The taste was quite bland, except that the zing from the carbonation was poking you everywhere. Faint maltiness and sweet - matching the toffee smell. But just no hops at all, I mean what happened - did they forget to add them ?

M : Thin and quite watery, except for the nagging carbonation (should have been accompanied with some body)

D : A standard lager / pils to boot (652 characters)

Photo of benfons
2.54/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Looks very pale. The head is big, but very fragile. Clean grainy smell. Plain but very bitter taste, certainly the aftertaste. Almost no carbonation, very thin beer.
I really don't like this one. Their is nothing that would make me take this beer again. (254 characters)

Photo of DrJay
3.28/5  rDev +18.8%
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. (527 characters)

Photo of atis
2.36/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance is good enough, light golden colour with good head.

Smell is quite malty and the same can be felt in the taste. Very little hops and the taste is rather plain and not varied. Also very light carbonation, I would prefer more of it - saw in some reviews that carbonation is high, no idea why.... Aftertaste is sweet and dry.

Maybe it tastes good in the tropics, but now in Europe it didn't. (401 characters)

Photo of LittleCreature
2.98/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - 3.0
Poured a finger of bubbly white head over a pale gold body that looks lightly carbonated.

Smell - 2.5
Slight skunk upon opening that quickly disappeared, leaving very little smell whatsoever, just a little husk and grain.

Taste - 3.0
Not exactly bursting with flavour, but it is certainly refreshing. A little sweet pale malt in the start, plain cracker-like in its mild flavour and dry finish. Hop profile is low to moderate and slightly grassy in flavour.

Mouthfeel - 3.0
Light to moderate carbonation is fine but feels somewhat rough over the tongue. Light weight in the mouth.

Drinkability - 3.5
For me this is too boring to want to come back to, but it is certainly sessionable for most. I wouldn't turn one down.

OVERALL - 2.95
I see this as a middle of the road pilsener. I'd certainly choose it over a (Australian brewed) Heineken or Corona, but there are better, cheaper pilseners out there. Try a Konig! (935 characters)

Photo of rec
2.61/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

The pour is an immediate let-down, with a cyrstal yellow body and luck-lustre soapy white head that dissipates exceptionally fast.

Hopps and grass are the only real distinguishable scents, but when my imagination wanders I believe I can almost smell a touch of honey way back there somewhere.

The taste is as plain and boring as the predecessing fields of review, a sharp sweetness and not much else at all.

The mouthfeel is completely unentertaining, adding to the super-nothingness of this brew.

Great for sessions, and one to buy for parties as people in these environments tend to be happy drinking beer that tastes like nothing (eg. Corona) - you can't really upset anyone without distinct flavours. (708 characters)

Photo of brendan13
2.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Mid golden colour with a few centimetres of white head.
S - Grainy malt with some grassy hops.
T - Like the smell, slighty sweet.
M - Light to medium bodied with high carbonation.
D - Inoffensive & fairly boring. Technically a great session beer.
I had this at a Spanish restaurant where the other choices were Corona, Asahi, Heiniken & some shit Australian lagers. Best of a bad bunch situation. (400 characters)

Photo of SargeC
3.68/5  rDev +33.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, golden color. Fizzy head and high carbonation.

Smell: Grass and hop resin.

Taste: Nice bite, crisp. Minimal hop and malt character, but what is there is in nice balance.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated with a satisfying thickness.

Drinkability: This is heavy for a beer from the tropics. I received this beer hand carried from the Philippines. This is better than the export version available in the States. Reminds me of hot Philippine days and cool nights. (480 characters)

Photo of basica
3/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I do not have much of an expectation of this beer; after all it was a hmm I haven tried it so
perhaps I would kind of a buy. I was surprised to read pretty good reviews about it here and
there. The San Mig bottle looks like those short and fat Belgian bottles, like the Duvel; I am
not sure why but that's not important. Let's get on to this Philippino beer. I shared this with
my dad and divded it into 2 glasses. It pours out with a sufficiently large 1 finger head with
average retention. It smells of malts and it was slightly different; maybe because it is a
little citrusy. The taste was a little unexpected. The malty taste came along with the a
slightly sourish taste which was kept in check so it was ok. The malts had a different taste
probably citrus fruity like and I kind of liked it. The mouthfeel was lager typical but the
after taste of malts and light citrus notes was definitely more lasting and more pleasant.
I have to admit I am a little surprised and so was my dad who prefered the San Mig to the
Tiger anytime. But all in all it does not impress me; it is just that from a zero expectation,
I am naturally surprised... not that it's all that good. (1,187 characters)

Photo of Kulrak
3.84/5  rDev +39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a bright yellow color with a small amount of head that chunks up and fades away pretty quickly. I could actually smell this from the pour out of the bottle. Smells mostly of fruity/citrusy hops with a little bit of yeast there as well. The taste is very clean and fairly well balanced. I expected a lot more hop flavor/bitterness, but I was pleasantly surprised. There is some hop flavor and sweetness, it's nothing I can really make out though. It does finish nice and clean. Mouthfeel is light and lightly carbonated. All in all, it's a very drinkable beer, good for a hot day. I'll get this again, I think. (615 characters)

Photo of Finite
2.32/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation - 355ml Brown short bottle. Gold label. No freshness date.

Appearance - Golden, good rocky head, retention moderate. lacing average to poor. Steady steam of big to small bubbles.

Smell - Low hop aroma. Smell is dominated by a infected or slight skunk smell. Very small notes of citrus hops but main aroma is inhibited by skunk/infection smell.

Taste - Very little hop bitterness. Hop taste is a little grassy and a little dry on the back of the palate. Sweet and quite high malt flavour for style ammounts to a smooth brew. This style should be well hopped and contain more spicy or floral flavours. Beer is very smooth for a pilsner. Improve with more hops.

Mouthfeel - Thin and flat flavours. Malt flavours dominate to much for a pilsner and makes the beer uncharicteristicaly smooth.

Drinkablility - Easy to down. Very flat flavour profile. Malt and hops balance well but the beer does not exibit the spiciness or coarsness of a pilsner. (968 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
2.38/5  rDev -13.8%
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. (2,838 characters)

Photo of vancurly
2.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pale gold, nice white head with lace. Some bubble.
Nose restrained, but pungent.... hops, sulfur, some malt.
Sparkly, tingly mouthfeel, quite effervescent, that opens up a good, medium body.
Touch of metallic hop with a medium bitterness. Some malt, but not much. Flavour is a bit short, but the finish is refreshing. A good beer for the tropics. (349 characters)

Photo of TheSarge
2.58/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

San Miguel Pale Pilsner pours with a heavy amount of carbonation which produces a light fluffy head that dwindles away quite quickly to leave a thin lace behind. The body is golden, and very clear.

It smells a little floral at first, but with slight biscuity tones.

Tastes like a very light pilsner, almost in the realm of a light American pilsner beer. I’d imagine since this is an Asian beer, they probably lighten the flavor a bit with some rice. I believe this is a no, no. As the Germans would say, “Das ist verboten!”

This is a richly CO2 concocted brew. It is refreshing, but all that CO2 hides the flavor a bit.

Overall this wasn’t too bad, because I only paid about $3.50 for the six pack; however calling this beer a pilsner is rude. I believe the Czechs may get offended by this lax use of the word. If I was in the Philippines, I may give this another try, but not on my own accord. (910 characters)

San Miguel Pale Pilsen from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
67 out of 100 based on 87 ratings.