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Old German - Pittsburgh Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Old GermanOld German

Educational use only; do not reuse.

41 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 41
Hads: 94
Avg: 2.48
pDev: 45.97%
Wants: 0
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pittsburgh Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-25-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (20) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 41 | Hads: 94
Photo of kev5
5/5  rDev +101.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Old German... wow, what a wonderful beer. I fancy myself a bit of a philosopher so please allow me to employ a Platonic theory to attempt to convey the euphoric experience of drinking a 40oz Old German. According to Plato every perfect thing exists in a separate world, the ideal world if you will. The only things that we humans ever get to experience are imperfect representations of things that exist in that other realm. For example, the perfect chicken wing exists, but no mouth will ever savor it... the closest we'll ever get to that are dozens of deep fried, variously seasoned imperfect attempts at perfection. "Oh cruel world, who will deliver us from this endless cycle of mediocrity?" I hear you cry. Why it's the the Pittsburgh Brewing Co.! Finally, by the grace of our creator a perfect beer! The pinnacle of whose perfection can be fully appreciated when paired with a glazed doughnut or a slice of birthday cake. And for $10.50 a case! Life is good my friends.

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Photo of freemone233
4/5  rDev +61.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crankin', stankin', KA-Blankin' brew that I purchase regularly after visiting my Father in Maryland. OK...so it isn't the greatest beer on the block! It IS, however, noteworthy and quite good for it's origin and intention! Hoist it loud and proud!

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Photo of Barfighter
3.71/5  rDev +49.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I picked up a case of this for our 10th annual "Brewgiving" last November. "The world knows no finer," the German guy doing the Lyndie England; we were all quite critical at first. How surprised we were! Though the color is scary and disappointingly pale yellow, this is probably the best "cheap" canned beer I've had. The taste is complex when compared to other Pgh Brewing products and the unbelievably smooth character lets this brew go down fast and easy with no sign of stopping. A little on the carbonated side, but pretty tasty. The appearance is the downside so be sure to drink it straight from the can so you don't see it first, unless curiosity kills you. I always keep some on-hand for when the band comes over!

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Photo of wattoclone
3.66/5  rDev +47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Finally decided to give this value brew a try. For the price I was not disappointed. Drinks like a BMC light beer with more flavor and character. One wonders, if this is truly brewed by the original German family recipe, do they use adjuncts or is it pure malt? Whatever the truth is, I would definitely go for this again as a hot summer day refreshment after yard work. The very faint yet enticing flavors of apple, citrus and caramel separate it from the other low calorie lagers.

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Photo of troobie
3.53/5  rDev +42.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Contract brewed by City Brewing Company in Latrobe, PA, for Pittsburgh (Iron City) Brewing Company of, wink wink, Pittsburgh, PA. Originally brewed by Queen City Brewing Company in Cumberland, MD.

I've never seen Old German, not even in PA, so of course I found this at a corner store in Medford, OR. You know, right where you would expect to find a regional beer from southeastern PA.

A: An aggressive pour gives a two finger head that dies quickly and leaves some patchy foam and a thin ring. Light to even moderate lacing. Slightly darker than expected but still resembles any macro lager. Held to some light you can see tiny particles floating around. Overall it's pleasing for this style.

S: Sweet grains. Banana and very light caramel. Some non-metallic bitterness, meaning the bitterness doesn't smell like iron or coins. Salty. Clean and inviting. There is nothing stale, artificial, or off.

T: Upfront grain sweetness transitions to mild hop bitterness. There is a slight earthiness in there. My definition of balanced. Simple and enjoyable.

M: Carbonation is perfect for this beer at a medium-high level. Density compares to water but has an enjoyable slickness. Moderate tea-like drying after swallowing. Everything about Old German's mouthfeel begs you to take another drink.

O: Pittsburgh (Iron City) Brewing has a winner on their hands with this beer. This would easily compete against any of the BMC light beers. I'm really impressed at, and surprised by, how clean this beer tastes. I would put Old German into my rotation and make it my go-to light beer if it was available near me.

"The World Knows No Finer"

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Photo of jifigz
3.45/5  rDev +39.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Can poured into a pint glass.

Poured vigorously into a pint glass to generate a head that lingered longer than most adjunct lagers. The color is typical pale straw yellow. The smell is sweet with a slight metallic twinge and a little bit of hops noticeable. This beer is extremely sweet flavored. The aftertaste is a little bitter but barely enough to balance the malt of adjunct grains. The mouthfeel is light and watery. For the extremely cheap price this a damn fine American adjunct lager. I will buy it anytime I am poor. I used to drink this in high school many years ago when I didn't even really enjoy beer and certainly didn't know good beer. This is one that got me into beer drinking.

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Photo of irishevans
3.36/5  rDev +35.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Looking at this according to style, even if the style isn't my favorite, it's a damn fine example of an adjunct lager. Nice copper/bronze color as good a head retention as one can expect from this style. Nose is faint, taste is better than any big three brew, feel is smooth and easy to drink. Overall a damn fine palate cleanser, yard work brew. Saying again, this review is according to style. Same goes when it's IPA or Foreign Export Stout, or Dopplebock, or Gose. It's to be rated by it's style, not how a sour compares to your favorite Cascadian Dark Ale.

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Photo of MirkoCroCough
3.35/5  rDev +35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pounder can into pint glass. Rest drank from the can.

Light golden color. Nothing amazing but not an artificial strange yellow color.

Malts, adjuncts, and faint whiff of booze.

Not bad. Actually reminds of Schlitz when it was cheap and before it got rebranded. Faint hop bitterness.

Light, seltzery, dry finish.

Not a bad. It is a cheap beer and is what it is. Worth trying.

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Photo of KnNashua
3.26/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Straight from Can

All you expect a cheap American Adjunct Lager to be but slightly better than bud et al as a little more maltyness.

Enjoy it more as it is a nostalgic choice as not available in my current area or where I lived when first drank as it was the best cheap get drunk stuff in the mountains of West Virginia when rock climbing, caving and drinking by cabins years ago.

So when outdoors in the sun and you plan to drink a bunch while doing nothing or holding one while playing frisbee - this is a good choice.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.24/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pittsburgh Brewing Co. "Old German Premium Lager Beer"
12 oz. can, $10.59/24 pack case at Javie's Beverage, Phila., PA

I was pleasantly surprised by how clean this lager now is, especially given it's rank as a super economy beer. I'd tasted it many years ago and it wasn't nearly as polished.

It's a basic American adjunct lager with a crystal clear straw gold to gold body beneath an average sized head of bright white that drops readily to just a collar and leaves very little in the way of lacing.

The aroma displays a touch of apple and a hint of grainy malt but nothing more.

In the mouth it's light to light-medium in body and gently crisp.

The flavor offers the same apple and light malt note that the aroma suggests with a surprising clear note of hoppiness, which is of course fairly 'generic' in its character - if I had to guess I'd go with Cluster, but I'd also be surprised if those are even being grown anymore. It's minimally bitter, but that's all that's needed to balance it as there's really not that much malt, and it's just about as flavorful as many light beers. In fact, Bud Light has 110 calories whereas Old German only delivers 95.

That gets me to thinking... is this the same beer I tasted all those years ago, or is it even lighter than it was then? Probably not, just better brewed.

Overall it's a decent 'light' lager. I'd personally categorize it as a camping/fishing/hunting/beach/boating beer as it's definitely a "lawnmower beer". It's crisp and clean and refreshing, and at just 4.2% abv you can have more than one.

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Photo of gkunkle
3.24/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a nonic pint. Body is really pale, I was surprised by how clear the beer was as I poured it from the can. Head stood about 1/2in after the pour, bubbles were large, retention was poor, it quickly recedes to a thin film that only covers about half the surface of my beer. Smell is of sweet grain, and just a touch of hops. In the taste I get some sweet grain, a touch of orange. Body is thin, with light carbonation. Overall, unimpressive, but it beats Coors light, maybe I'll keep some around for my light beer friends.

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Photo of Spikester
3.1/5  rDev +25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I don't really see the pilsner style here it is a better than average american macro. Malty with just a kiss of hops and very drinkable. Decent head, some lacings, and an easy drinker. Not a beer I'm lusting after but I wouldn't turn one down if offered.

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Photo of ClassicBrad
3.1/5  rDev +25%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I will defend this beer to death for its price. I understand its horrid reviews in the German Pilsener category but my love for it is as on the surface as can be. It's an $11 case of beer that does not offend in any way.

In a world of Natty, Beasts, and Lionheads... Old German holds my heart for the cheapest/easiest to down beer.

Obviously there are no overwhelmingly impressive characteristics about any of the five beer senses [A, S, T, Mf, or D].

Do NOT buy this beer because its a quality German Pilsener.

I DO buy this beer because I want to drink heavily or for its simple lawnmower qualities.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.03/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz can into a Pilsner glass. How can you not buy a beer called "Old German"?

Appearance: clear straw-hued body with a finger of pillowy white foam which dissipates quickly. Unexciting, but I've seen worse.

Smell: light malt aroma that has this very light but unfortunate plasticy tinge to it. It's not corny, which is great, but that plastic aroma just doesn't work for me.

Taste: light malt flavor with a little hop bite to it. Not much there, but no glaring flaws.

Mouthfeel: light-lager mouthfeel with a pretty good level of carbonation. I'd say it fills the bill for being refreshing.

Overall: I couldn't really rate the flavor very high because there isn't much flavor here. Still, the relative lack of off-flavors means this is a pretty decent adjunct lager.

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Photo of beertunes
3/5  rDev +21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into "can" glass. Poured a pale light gold color, like a light Ginger Ale, with just a thin cap of white head that immediately dissipated and left no lacing.

The aroma and taste were just what I expected, the neutral, bland, slightly grainy scent of the style. The body was light and fizzy, with a slightly sweet finish. Drinkability was as expected, like bubbly water. Overall, not terrible. If one would be in the mood for a beer of this type, you could do much worse (Peeber, Ranier, Heineken, I'm looking at you). There, I ticked it!

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Photo of Shiloh
2.83/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

For a relatively inexpensive brew, with the simplest of packaging, this beer is pretty good...I was surprised. The colour is a light gold with a pretty crown which quickly leaves..with the exception of some serious glass cling and ring...the body is weak but the taste is acceptable...well balanced and crisp.Strong skunky aroma when first decapped.

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Photo of Elimination
2.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look it is, what it is....Nothing special, but when you picked up that sick pack of tall boys you were looking for in depth flavor of highly kilned malts, citrus, pine, and mango bursts dancing on your tongue from cross bred hops, a sour cherry pucker, huge twang of horse blanket, and multi level earthyness from a complex wild yeast.

No, you we're looking to get drunk cheap, and that is what this beer is good for. You made a right coice, it is almost always cheaper than pbr, and tastes fucking better. So that keeps you cool with your hipster friends.

It can stand up to budweiser, and just like it finishes quite dry, but has a spicy, peppery quality to the yeast.

Coors light, out the way for easy drinking because as soon as it goes down, you just want to continue.

And shit, I will throw out some easy to drink cheap euro lagers that seemed to be the rage in beer 15 years ago, this can of old german, is right there with you, pilsner and kolsch like, offers clean yeast profile, but with subtle spicy, earthy character to it. Its just worth it. It is one of the cheapest beers you can buy, just try it...

Why did I rate so low? Well its BA, I dont want someone to look on my highest ratings and see this in the top fucking five...I drink this beer, you should too....But we are beer geeks, and elitists so we should be ashamed for drinking something like this

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Photo of chickencoop
2.8/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance - bright gold with a quickly disappearing head, not much lacing.
Smell - not much there, pretty generic lager taste.
Taste/ Mouthfeel - not much hops there, pretty watery and plain. Mouthfeel has a little bit of carbonation but disappears quickly.
Drinkability - I picked this up because it was in tall-boy cans and it reminded me of the old Blatz/ Regal Select beers as a kid. I knew what I was getting and I enjoyed it, not the best qualities but satisfying and I would probably get this again

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Photo of Reino
2.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

My local craft beer store doesn't carry any BMC type beers, but the owner has a fondness for this beer, and has to pull some strings to carry it. He gave me a free can so I could see what all the fuss was about.

Appearance- Poured into a pint glass, 2 fingers of bright white head rises up, and pretty much falls right back down. The beer itself is a very transparent straw color. There was a bit of lacing trying to keep track of my big gulps.

Smell- Mostly corn with a bit of grain. The smell is really faint, which is probably a good thing in this case.

Taste- Sweet, with corn and a bit of graininess. Once the high carbonation kicks in, I pretty much loose any flavor I was tasting before. It's half adjunct lager, half carbonated spring water. There's just a little bit of metal in the finish, as well.

MF- High carbonation prickles the tongue, but isn't so high that it burns the throat like some similar style/priced beers tend to do to me.

Drinkability- I have to give this a pretty high score for drinkability because my pint glass was emptied quick, and drinking it didn't do my tongue much harm. The flavors are light, and refreshing. It's hard to believe that "Ultra" or "Light" isn't written anywhere on the can.
It's too bad I waited until winter to try this beer. This would have been a great beer to drink a case of while playing yard games in the summer.

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Photo of aaronh
2.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Exceptionally light yellow color, topped by a large bubbled white head. The head actually shows pretty good retention, and fades to a thin ring around the edge of the glass. The aroma is faint, with a slight grassiness and a good dose of macro beer smell. The taste is fairly crisp, with a hint of maltiness, followed by a touch of sweetness, and then actual bitterness on the finish. Nothing great, but not as offensive as many macros. The aftertaste is a lingering bitter-sweet slightly better-than- a macro taste. The mouthfeel is acceptable, and the drinkability is a little better than average. The can reads "The world knows no finer" and then right underneath it Pittsburgh Brewing Company. After drinking the beer, I'd say it means they're the best Pittsburgh Brewing, cause it sure doesn't mean the beer. But hey, for $2.50 a sixer, I'd take this over any other bargain beer any day. Heck, I'd take this over Bud any day.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.65/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is quite subdued with malt, grain, and some slight grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with a grain flavor on the finish. There is a very mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor beer with a watery, bland flavor that makes it a chore to drink.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
2.48/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz can into a pint glass. Appears sickly yellow with a greenish tint.

Aroma of cereal grains and cooked veggies.

Taste: A bit gritty, sweet cereal/corn flavors are dominant. Flash of tea like hops. Then back to residual sweetness but no real bad off flavors.

Mouthfeel: High level of carbonation, finishes slightly dry.

Drinkability: Always wanted to try this one. Nothing special, thats for sure. Cases run about $12.50 around here which is pretty damn cheap. Sadly, it isn't worth it.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
2.43/5  rDev -2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

24 fl oz. can (1 pint 8 oz.) with no apparent freshness date present. My first encounter with a can of this cheap swill, acquired at the local beer store for $1.99. Review #250 for me!

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours two fingers of fluffy bright white head on top of a crystal clear, pale yellow straw colored body. Some carbonation bubbles rushing to the top & the faintest tiny sediment bits floating around. Fat sheets of lacing as the beer recedes.

S - Smell is better than expected, considering the style. Sweet dusty malt smell, slightest hop tinge, and some earthy / lemon grassy qualities to it. Not a bad nose for a cheap American adjunct lager.

T - Taste follows the nose. Crisp, sweet, earthy grains, and some lemony grass qualities present.

M - Feel is crisp & clean, with some fair carbonation and high drinkability.

Overall, definitely not the greatest beer to pass my lips, but in the realm of cheap sh**ty American adjunct lagers, this beer soars above some of the bigger brand names like Budweiser, Miller Lite, & Coors. I would liken this beer to what the Minhas Name Tag Lager tasted like. Unknown abv, but a highly drinkable beer with a more than affordable price tag.

Pittsburgh Brewing Old German Premium Lager Beer ---2.5/5

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Photo of woodychandler
2.38/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Having spent a lot of time in Da 'Burgh, I CAN't understand why I never saw this in a CAN and had to trade for it. Oh well.

My pour resulted in a rocky finger of bone-white head with low retention. The color was a pale lemon-yellow with NE-quality clarity. The nose belied this being listed as a "German Pilsener". Hooey! This smelled like every other cereal-extended "American Adjunct Lager" in a CAN that I have subjected myself to since the CANQuest began. Sweetish, with that dead giveaway cereal-grain smell underlying what might otherwise be a decent beer. The mouthfeel was thin and fizzy with a very light sweetness on the tongue. Finish was slightly dry and mostly tasteless. It is definitely a lawnmower beer or a nostalgia beer, but beyond that, unless you are on a CANQuest of your own, I would not recommend it.

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Photo of ski271
2.35/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A- Pale Straw with a small, white, foamy, quickly diminishing head.
S- Quite the adjunct stink. Cooked corn with a little cereal.
T- OK. It’s not good but it’s an improvement over the nose. Adjunct-heavy, yes, but some semi-decent grainy malt and some hops dryness on the finish.
M- Light body, watery texture turning dry, moderate carbonation
D- Nothing good, but a decent lawn-moving beer. Best thing about this beer is that it’s cheap.

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Old German from Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
64 out of 100 based on 41 ratings.