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Elm City Lager - New England Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Elm City LagerElm City Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

164 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 164
Hads: 388
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 12.4%
Wants: 17
Gots: 35 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co. visit their website
Connecticut, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: UnionMade on 03-31-2004

Named after New Havens historic nickname, this is a true German Pilsner made with all German ingredients.
View: Beers (55) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 164 | Hads: 388
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.23/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed on 07/27/2009. Can. Pours a clear golden with a white head. Aroma of diacetyl and grainy cardboardy wheat malt. Tastes alright at first, very sweet though and then a diacetyl and wheaty finish. Blargh, this was pretty bad, especially the diacetyl. A flawed beer.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.66/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean pale yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, a small sweet standard lager smell. In the taste, a small sweet lager standard-ness and a bit perfume like. A smooth and light to medium bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry perfume like aftertaste. An OK lager but quite perfume like.

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Photo of matty
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale yellow colored beer.Nose has hint of skunk.Taste has slight biscuit that turns to skunk on aftertaste.I"ve been generous to german pilsners in past but I can't do it anymore. I would not recommend unless you like liquid skunk.You don't do you??

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Photo of oxmasterscream
2.76/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Can courtesy of counselor (via BIF 14), big up.

Appeared a cloudy and golden color with a big, white fluffy head. Carbonation appeared plentiful. Smells of apples with grassy, grainy notes. Taste was far too metallic for my liking. Hidden beneath the metal flavors were subtle flavors of crisp apples. Lots of carbonation in the mouth, light to medium-bodied. Not my bag.

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Photo of Drew966
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

New England Elm City Lager pours a yellow color with a thick white head from a twelve ounce can. The aroma is a bit grainy with a touch of citrus and perhaps some hops, but they don't really stand out. There's a flash of hops in the flavor, followed by grain and maybe a touch of citrus. I like German pils, but this one doesn't do it for me. Average overall.

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Photo of argock
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz can into a clear mug. Single purchased at Ancona's (Ridgefield, CT) for $1.89.

A: Slightly hazy slightly amber-tinged gold with short, 1-finger ivory, small-bubbled head with average retention and a few random lace streamers.

S: Soft pale pilsner, mildly bready maltiness mixes with a haylike, herbal hopping. The hops aromas are too muted.

T: The flavor is not offensive but is too sweet and honeylike for the style. The bready character fades quickly to a mineral note that is a little astringent. The hops are again muted and haylike without much bite and they lend a soapy bitterness as their overall contribution. The aftertaste is honey and light yeast.

M: The body is light and on target, but the carbonation is too low for the style, leaving it too coating and not dry and scrubbing enough for the style.

D: It's not a bad beer, just in the middle of the pack. Elm City Lager could use more bready maltiness with a sharper hoppiness that leaves the soap at home and ramps up the carbonation for much more crispness.

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Photo of lostinfla
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can picked up on vacation earlier in the spring. Poured into Sam Adams glass.
Crappy pour (my fault ) ended up with a huge overflowing white head. Settled to very nice meringue and coating.
Great color that is bright yellow , slightly opaque.
Good carbonation.
Taste was bright and fresh, and went down smooth.
Only negative was the aftertaste which seemed slightly chemical in origin. Maybe the beer is too old?

Not bad for the style...

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Photo of NEhophead
3.08/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at The Old Dublin.

A foamy white head that fades after a moment to virtually nothing. Some very minor condensed lacing from the pour, but nothing that really lasts. A thin and clear, faded golden in color.

Grass/grainy aroma along with a bit of a metallic character. Nothing overpowering or even too noticeable in terms of aromatics from this one.

A grainy driven flavor along with an astringent-metallic component. A very thin bready maltiness that kicks in at mid-sip. Virtually no bitterness and a faint wheat aftertaste. A very bland tasting pilsener IMO.

Light bodied; Crisp, yet grainy on the palate.

Drinkable due to how light on the palate and low in abv%, but I couldn't bring myself for my wallet and tastebuds' sake to have another one. Just a mediocre pilsener.

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Photo of wedgie9
3.12/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from 12oz can. Pours golden with a one-finger white head that has some staying power. Nose is somewhat skunky with some sweet malts and anise. Flavors are light with some malts and a very light hoppiness. The body is light with average carbonation and a pretty short finish. Despite the lack of any complexity, this beer is actually very enjoyable.

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Photo of stemcell001
3.2/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pretty decent summer time beer. Easy to drink, light toasty taste with some noble hop flavor in the back. Honestly, I wish the macrobrews would make their beers taste more like this and less like corn and rice adjuncts. After I finished the brew, I did get a weird metallic taste, but overall I was satisfied.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.23/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Two fingers of corn silk yellow beneath five fingers of eggshell colored, whipped creamy frothiness. It seems that I let the beer chug-a-lug out of the can much faster than I intended. Delicate rings of lace are already beginning to appear and I haven't even taken a sip yet.

The nose (what can be appreciated through all the foam) is moderately sweet and Hallertau hoppy. It's simple, yet effective... which is pretty much what I expect the flavor profile to be.

Unfortunately, the beer doesn't taste quite as good as it smells. The beginning is decent enough, but once the minor blast of noble hops and lemon zest wears off, what follows leans toward grainy, crushed aspirin bitter and metallic. All cans are lined these days, right?

My biggest complaint is that there isn't enough good hop flavor to carry the day. A German pilsener without good hop flavor is no kind of pilsener at all. Given the lack of brightness on the one hand, and the raging bitterness on the other, I can't decide if this can is old or fresh or somewhere in between.

The mouthfeel is appropriately light with a flash of carbonation that matches the flash of hop flavor. It's prickly when beer hits tongue, quickly fading to undercarbonated on the swallow. Weird.

While I didn't expect Elm City Lager to be as good as Sea Hag IPA, I expected it to be better than it ended up being. Since I know very little about brewing, take this with a grain of salt. Wouldn't adding the hops later in the boil help increase flavor while decreasing bitterness? The world needs more canned beer, but it needs better canned beer than this.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

light amber pour produces a huge head of white that quickly drops off. aroma is full of grain, lots of bready notes, hints of light, very light euro hops and tons of malt. each sip is clean, crisp, clear and refreshing. nothing great about this beer, but its simplicity and ability to stay true to form should be commended. light aftertaste has a touch of corn and a light crispness that make you go back for another round.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. can into a Pizza Boy pint.

Pours a foamy 1.5 finger white head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear goldenrod. Lacing is thick and ringed with good cling. Solid.

Nose is semi-sweet with a mellow, light hop presence. Not much else.

Opens crisp and sweet with a biting hop bitterness in the back. Pretty clean overall but the hop presence reminds me of earwax a bit. Not really flavorful. Just bitter. End is more of the same with the resin-y, sticky hop bitterness lingering well into the aftertaste. Its average.

Light bodied with moderate to ample carbonation. Quenching and prickly in the mouth and goes down mildly dry with a dry and crisp finish and a slightly lingering aftertaste. Pretty refreshing, which is just what I want from the style.

A decent take on the style but still not one I'd revisit. Drinkable overall and crisp and refreshing but I just can't get over the type of hop profile here. Dirty, bitter, and unflavorful. Its still a solid representation of the style but maybe this one just has a bit too much flavor for me.

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Photo of tai4ji2x
3.29/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can. no date. tasted in late april/early may 2009.

pale straw color. slight haze. 1-finger head fades to creamy, wispy layer. decent lacing.

aroma: crisp noble hops and light malt, but then some DMS and diacetyl notes? and not just sulfur... but something like artificial butter as you might find in microwave popcorn... plus a faint fruitiness?

taste: starts like a standard pils, with moderate, snappy bitterness, but there's that artificial butter again...

light, smooth, with crisp carbonation.

what the heck is with the weird off-flavors? it's drinkable - pleasant, even (esp if you like microwave popcorn). but seems totally off for a pils...

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Photo of Jesstyr
3.33/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed this one on tap at Gingerman in South Norwalk where it was served in a pint glass.

Pours a golden straw yellow with a very large bright white head that is very light and disappears into nothingness. Light patching forms in the glass. Smell is mild straw, reminds me of miller lite, which is not really a compliment in my book - a little metallic.

Taste is grainy, with subtle bitterness, and some floral notes. Definitely crisp, and a very clean taste. It really reminds me of a standard adjunct lager, nothing exciting, but not bad. Light body, a little refreshing, slight carbonation.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a can at Julio's on my way to EBF. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour yields a bright yellow beer with a very nice white head and quite a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward mild grain plus a touch of light Noble hops. The flavor is slightly bready with some grain and hay. Not too much spicy hop flavor, but there is a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. Feel is light and only moderately crisp, though not as much as I'd like for the style. Fairly drinkable and a nice brew on a rather warm Spring evening.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great go to beer for the summer season yet still serviceable all year long. Fairly light and very refreshing but flavorful. There's a nice grainy undercurrent to the moderately hoppy flavor. This would be better poured into a glass of course but is still quite good out of the can at a summer picnic.

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Photo of SiepJones
3.39/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a Pilsner glass

Received in a trade with Pabs311

A: Transparent straw color with tons of bubbles in it. I got a full four fingers of head on the pour which means I made it all the way to the top of the glass without spilling.
S: I love the aroma of this beer, as it has a very grassy hop smell with a crisp finish, I hope it tastes as refreshing as it smells.
T:I find the flavor of this brew to be very interesting I taste a buttery sweet malt up front but then it finishes crisp with a touch of fruit flavor almost like a white wine.
M: Very light mouthfeel with moderate carbonation.
D: Very drinkable, low in ABV and good flavor make this a great summer time beer from a can.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice looking crisp as hell golden colour with a big white pillowy head that hangs on for a while before dissolving into a thicker than normal lace that leaves a fair amount of itself on the glass after each sip.

The aroma is grassy with some bread notes along with a hint of sweetness and a touch of floral hops. Simple, but fairly effective.

The flavour leads with a grass tone much like the aroma. Sweetness takes a backseat a bit here for a straightforward bitterness that blends with the bread flavour and the (also minimized) floral hop notes. Mouthfeel is light bodied and perhaps a touch undercarbonated, but is essentially what you'd expect for the style.

This one isn't bad. It's got good flavour to it and is an easy drinker. I'm just not a huge pilsner fan, especially such straightforward by the books ones. That said, if you are into the style, you'll dig this one.

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Photo of smcolw
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thin layer of near-white, tiny bubbles. Leaves decent lace, though. Hazy and straw-yellow in color.

Smells dark and earthy, huh? There's some lighter grain in the background. I don't notice any hop. But I do notice a light sweetness that reminds me of fruit punch. Simply odd.

High level of carbonation, but the body seems to handle it well. There is a fruitiness to this beer that mirrors the smell. Decent balancing hop, but the aftertaste is of raw grains.

No hits, no runs, but most importantly, no errors.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank tai4ji2x for the opportunity.

Pours a clear lemon yellow. A thick fizzy head dies quickly with no lace.
Aroma is lightly spicy and herbal. A dose of butter as well, which is rather unfortunate.
Flavor is crisp, standard pilsner. Slightly sweet malts, a little grainy, and spicy hops. A little low on the hops but with a clean, dry finish. I'm not tasting butter, but it's still present in the nose, which knocks this down a bit.
Light body with a crisp finish.

There's a good beer struggling to get through here. I don't know what's up with the butter smell, but it really took a chunk out of the quality of this brew. But it's still pretty refreshing despite that.

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Photo of Bierman9
3.43/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow in color, a bit darker than straw. Clear throughout, with scattered bubbles rising through the nectar. Head is snow-white, fine and thin, with a smidge of lacing action. Nose is a bit on the weak side, with a suggestion of grassiness and some bready malt. Body was close enough to medium to count for it, and it was fairly smooth tongue-wise. The bready malt present in the aroma makes an appearance on the palate as well, with the hoppiness then coming into play and being prevalent and somewhat bitter (though with hints of light citrus?) and lingering. A decent, middle of the road Pils, though it lacks the oomph required to have me seek it out in the future.

overall: 3.45
appearance: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


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Photo of jwc215
3.45/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. lined can - Thanks to jcwattsrugger for bringing this one back for me from the brewery.

Pours straw yellow with a noisy, popping fizzy head that quickly fizzles down to a vanishing patch.

The smell is very mild - nothing "off" - but, very soft. Some malty grain.

The taste is of sweet grain with a late floral bitterness coming in to balance it out. A touch oily - clean and crisp.

The carbonation that was a bit too forward at the start becomes very mild in the second half.
Crisp and refreshing overall.

Fine for an easy-drinking refresher, but reminds me more of a pseudo-pils, even a macro "pils" without the adjuncts or continual fizziness.

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Photo of soultrain
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from a can into a Hennipen glass.

A-Golden, 1" head of dense foam. Suprising lace factor.
S-Lilacs on top of a better than macro canned beer bottom.
T-I didn't know what to expect from this beer, as 98% of the time I shun the can; but it's light, crisp, clean, refreshing, yada yada yada, not much character, and you can't really compare it to the leading beers in the pilsner style, but hey, it doesn't have a bad taste, and more importantly, it doesn't have a bad aftertaste. Technically competent, but uninspired.
M-Thin mouthfeel. Lacks the body of a good pilsner.
D-Sure: It's smooth. Sessionable. Poundable, even. Good lawnmower beer.

CRUX: BETTER THAN MACRO CANNED BEER. Actually, one of the best canned beers i've had (pilsner). Wish I had this as an option when I was suckin' down Stroh's and Bud back in the day. If this was available near me, i'd pick some up, as it would be the perfect canned beer to take on a fishing trip.

Thanks to Lagrin for the sample.

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Photo of RedChrome
3.48/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A faint haze to the bright yellowish color. Half an inch of white foamy head stayed up about five minutes. A single stream of tiny slow rising carbonation bubbles.

An incredibly sweet aroma. Buttery scents are dominant and have a grain and husk finish. Very light bitterness was overpowered as quickly as it is noticed.

A plastic coated corn flavor up front. Bitterness and butter tastes swell up on the tongue. before finishing with a bit more of the plastic flavors.

Average consistency. Carbonation is present but doesn't overpower as the aftertaste builds and clings.

A drinkable brew. Would work well with a smoked pork sandwich. A good canned alternative for a hot day on the golf course. Taste is strong, but a bit too sweet.

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Elm City Lager from New England Brewing Co.
85 out of 100 based on 164 ratings.