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Celestial Gold | Church Brew Works

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Celestial GoldCelestial Gold

Brewed by:
Church Brew Works
Pennsylvania, United States | website

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.10%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 61 | Ratings: 144
Photo of DrDemento456
3.74/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Fairly decent carbonation just a 1/4 inch of head that settles rather quickly. Bright clear yellow with mild bubbles.
S - A bit of pilsner malts, soft hop notes, swear I smell corn. Little to no skunk which is nice.
T - Very dry, slightly sour like a green apple flavor with notes and a minty sort of hop tone. Its actually quite good.
M - Light and fizzy easy to quaff back.

Overall quite a tasty brew worth picking up!

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Photo of thecheapies
3.87/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark gold in color, a little darker than I expected. The foamy head froze on the surface at an inch height. Lacing is impressive.

Green and floral hops with grassy notes and an authentic German pilsener malt. Very pleasing.

Nice and dry. Crispy with a bitter aftertaste. Pleasantly pilsener-esque with light grassiness and hardly any metallic flavors. Not very bright, just malty with a splinter of hops. Very balanced and drinkable. Nice body, if not a bit too milky. Carbonation is on the side of unplugged. It works.

Pretty solid. Without the usual craft fuck-ups for the style, however, it's slightly bland. Still hits the spot.

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Photo of neenerzig
3.98/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pokal glass, this beer pours a clear, medium golden color with a nice fluffy white head about 2/3 inthc thick when first poured. About 5 minutes after being poured, the head settles to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass and lots of little bubbles continuously rising to the surface of the beer. with a nice thin layer of foam at the beer's surface. Not too much lacing though. Has a nice grainy malt aroma with a slight hop presence too. I wish the aromas were a bit stronger overall. has a good grainy, slighty sweet, malt flavor upfront followed by a pine and citrus and herbal hop flavor with light hop bitterness. Good balance of flavors here. Has a very crisp yet smooth and forthy, medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A very enjoyable beer and spot on for the style. I could see myself enjoying this beer mroe on a nive warm suumer day or eveneing rather than on a cold, cloudy, wet February day tough.


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Photo of Dodo2step
3.25/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

P- Pittsburgh Bottle Shop

A- A pale goldenrod color. poor head but it does coat the top of the beer favorably. Leaves a decent splothy lacing on the pint as well. Clear and can be seen through.

S- smells just like pilsner. Dominant on the salty malts and vinegar like smell.

F- taste is same as nose but more malty on the tongue. a sour mash like flavor.

M- Smooth and not as malt heavy going down.

O- I am not a fan of pilsner so i hope this is fairly acurate but i think this is one of the ones i can stand. i have had better from CBW but this will do in a pinch.

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Photo of prototypic
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Celestial Gold pours an attractive gold color. It lives up to its name in that respect. It’s clear. When held to light it takes on a very bright gold look. There’s not much going on in the head department. There’s a surface covering of light, white bubbles. Doesn’t rise far above that. It’s quick to dissipate, leaving a very faint lacing behind.

The nose is pretty average. It’s a bit weak and needs more strength. The base is a tad malty and yeasty. It’s not bad. It’s rather grainy and grassy throughout. I suspect there’s some form of noble hop here. Hops aren’t all that prominent, but they do add a strong grassy presence. Alcohol isn’t noticeable at all. It’s not bad. It’s just not exactly good either. More strength might tip the scale to the positive side.

The flavor is a notch better. It’s fairly simply and straight forward, but it’s pretty good. It kicks off with a nice mix of malty and yeasty flavors. It’s very grainy and earthy. Hops are noted and definitely add a grassy flavor to the mix. Tastes like noble hops to me. It’s not all that bitter, but it is grassy and dry. Alcohol is very light and unnoticeable. Finishes earthy, grassy and dry. It isn’t spectacular, but it is pretty decent.

Celestial Gold has a light body. Carbonation is active and it does have a crisp bite. For the style, it works pretty well. It’s rather refreshing and is pretty easy to drink. I could handle a few of these in a sitting.

Church Brew Works did an alright job with Celestial Gold. It’s not going to compete with the world’s best German Pilsners, but it will do if you’re looking for a decent one in a pinch. Give it a shot.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.55/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at the brewery

It's no secret that I don't like lighter beers like pilsners, but I gotta say, I found this one pretty dang tasty. Poured a clear straw-yellow with a small white head that fizzled down rather quickly, but left some nice lacing on the glass; bubbly carbonation popping to the surface from the bottom of the glass. Aroma of pale malts, corn, grains, light hops, crisp and surprisingly unoffensive. More of the same in the taste: pale malt, sugary sweetness, grassy hops, light and crisp. Light-bodied, tasty, and very easily drinkable. Quite nice for a style that I don't often care for.

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Photo of drcarver
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - crisp clean gold color with a bubbly head. no really lacing once the head recedes.

S - crisp slight maltiness. Bread and hints of pine.

T - delightful. bread overtones are covered quickly by hop bitterness. finishes with a slight metallic tang.

O - very nice pilsener.

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Photo of nhindian
3.46/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a Church Brew Works cervois.

A - Pours a light, straw colored beer, pretty clear body as well. The head is really nice, consisting of a rocky, snow-white foam with decent retention. A thick cap resides after the head is gone, with a half-inch ring circling the glass. The lacing is pretty nice, thin yet coating a majority of the glass.

S - The smell is faint, consisting of some malts and a good amount of bitter hops. Some grass and lemon zest, with a hint of spice as well. Nicely balanced for the most part but nothing out of the ordinary.

T - Given the smell and style, I'd say this is more bitter than other pilsner's I've had, but not overly so. The grass, lemon, and malt play second fiddle but it's a nice composition. Very easy to drink and as my mom is a fan of this beer, it must be inoffensive!

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with moderate carbonation. The finish is rather bitter, and gives an impression of slight staleness.

D - Drinkability is moderate. Certainly not my favorite style to begin with, but this beer isn't awful. Surprisingly filling, it pairs well with the pasta we had with it on first occasion. Not bad, but definitely not one of Church Brew Works' standouts, even if it is a flagship.

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Photo of thecarster1
3.47/5  rDev -2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a- bottle poured into logo church brew works glass (both courtesy of nhindian, cheers greg!). scant head that fades to little or no lacing, hazy golden straw coloring. awesome bottle cap.

s- light nose, slight sweetness, some hops noted, grassy.

t- somewhat sweet hint off the bat, very present noble hopping - with another hop varietal in there as well, the finish is moderately dry, slight lingering hop bitterness.

m- light to medium bodied.

d- not bad, glad for the chance to try a beer from this brewery, i'd drink it again, but since it's not a local for me i'm not sure that i'd seek it out.

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

Pours a clear gold with some chill haze, thin stark white head leaves broken bits of lacing.

Mild aroma, spicy hop, light grain

Spicy hops in the taste, clean and crisp. Firm bitterness up front with a light maltiness underneath.

Light bodied, easy drinker at only 4.2% ABV. Crisp, refreshing and would be a great summertime beer, tons of flavor at a macro light ABV.

thanks to radioscooter for this bottle

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From notes during my visit in 2008: Clean yellow pour beneath an overactive fountain of foam. It essentially poured froth, though it didn't really gush over. Paper, pine, lemon curd, honey and minerals in an earth hued aroma. Softly bitter, and smooth, hiding a jagged roughness of grain quite with relative ease. Flavor is crisp and refreshing, with lots of musty, strawlike hallertau bitterness and minty hop leaves. Softest dusty phenols and esters of fruity stripes. Wholesome lemony sweetness and white breads. Light palate is punchy and bone dry, finishing on straw and distant sugars. Far from plain, and pleasant in its own way

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Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.43/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

poured into my julius echter pilsner glass, and looks great. nice full head with concentrated bubbles and a hazy orange straw colored body.
smells a little dank with lemon and maybe corriander poking through... some kind of spice, its pleasant.
taste and mouthfeel are crisp and sharp. the herbal citrus jab is big and vicious, and makes a nice inturruption to alot of the other big hoppy, and/or thick viscous beers ive been drinking lately.
drinkability score is slightly lower just because i dont drink many pilsners and it takes a little getting used to.
overall very delicious.

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Photo of Florida9
3.68/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light gold in color with a little haze. Forms a small white head that reduces to a patchy surface coating. Light lacing.

S: Light pale malts and the tell-tale scent of noble hops.

T: Light malts and sweet graininess with a fair dose of the noble hops. Finishes with a peppery bitterness.

M: Lighter bodied with appropriate carbonation.

D: A very respectable take on the style. Maybe could have used a bit more malt, but I found this beer to have a clean, crisp, refreshing flavor that would likely appeal to most non-craft beer drinkers.

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Photo of muskiecf
4.5/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably my favorite Pilsner. This is refreshing, hoppy (not overly so), clean and smooth. I think it's a good interpretation of a classic German Pilsner. Try it. It usually takes a bottle to get a taste going for this one. After that it's easy to session these.

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Photo of stakem
3.65/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle care of my friend visiting from Pittsburgh. No indication of bottle date or freshness but it should be fresh considering it was just picked up at the brewpub.

Poured into a pilsner glass, this brew appears a straw yellow color that is fairly clear for the most part with only a couple particles stuck in suspension. The head appears with about a fingers worth of strength but does not retain long. The white head receeds leaving a faint amount of lace on the glassware.

The aroma is light, grainy sweet with a faint touch of buttery tones mingled with a minor twang of sulfur. Also included is a display of noble german hops that are for the most part herbal with not much other noticeable character.

The taste of this brew mimics the aroma. Upfront a fresh light grainy sweetness is met with the noble herbal flavor of hops. The hops have much more flavor that bittering component which is quite enjoyable for this style. However, the bitterness of the hops is there to keep the grainy sweetness in check. The alcohol is well hidden and my overall impression is of a light brew, crisp finish and refreshing.

It has a medium to light body with a moderate level of carbonation. Not my favorite pils by any stretch but it is decent.

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Photo of rmolledo
4.11/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours Like a golden champagne. Huge bubbly head. Crystal Clear.

S: pilsner malt. floral and piney hops. As it warms there is more of a fruity aroma.

T: Cider-esque. Malty goodness. Nice and crisp. Yeasty. Not too much to this but it is enjoyable.

MF: not as carbonated as the giant head led me to believe but it is still moderately high. Dry as a bone. light bodied.

D: Very session friendly and enjoyable. A great after work pilsner.

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Photo of nukem5
3.42/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice golden colorwith tiny head.

S: Slight bready and hops with a bit of light malts.

T: Sweet crisp taste with a finish of sour malt and hop.

M: Light - Medium bodied with nice lacing down glass.

D: Nice drinkable pils and makes a great everyday beer.

Light flavor makes this a good beer to splash on almost any kind of fish while grilling did very well this time on some walleye.

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Photo of mtnbikerpa
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from the bottle. This brew is light and crisp. Slight hoppy flavors, but more flavor comes from the sweet malts. Slight lemon zest flavor. Doughnut like sweetness and malts in the smell. The mouthfeel is smooth somewhat watery. Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

"It is best to live with honor for just a day than with dishonor for many decades; better a short lived celestial swan than a century-lived crow."

--Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Shiny Kruggerand gold with sun-faded lemon borders. Even though the eggshell colored cap is small, it looks good. Steady carbonation ensures longevity and the glass has a bit of lace when all is said and done.

The nose delivers the usual German pils notes of pale malt and musky-grassy Euro hops. It doesn't smell like this will be hugely hoppy beer, but it does smell like it will be a pretty good version from Pittsburgh's best known brewery.

Celestial Gold is a solid take on the style that neither thrills nor disappoints. It's a bit light on the malt end of things, but what do you expect at a light lager-like ABV? Since there aren't many sugars for balance, bitterness is greater than expected... which is a good thing.

Untoasted grains don't provide much flavor, leaving the spotlight clear for a firm shot of Saaz (or something similar) hop flavor that is bitter grassy and somewhat spicy. This is decent beer solo and should go well with most foods.

The body/mouthfeel, while lighter than I usually like, is appropriate. Sparkly carbonation is sharp-edged at first, but settles down by the middle portion of the bottle. Well-buried bubbles wouldn't have worked as well.

Church Brew Works Celestial Gold German Style Pilsner isn't as heavenly as its name would suggest. That said, it's clean, hoppy, drinkable... and enjoyable. Thanks to mgbickel for the trade.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.03/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

a - Pours a yellow-golden color with almost no head that quickly leaves and high carbonation evident.

s - Smells of bready malts, grain, and hints of sour malts.

t - Tastes very lightly of grain and bready malts. Not bad, but virtually nonexistent.

m - Light to medium body and high carbonation that stings the tongue.

d - Not a great pilsener. Not much to the smell or taste at all, and the high carbonation hurts it a little bit. Wouldn't look to have again.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer pours a crystal clear golden-organge body with a champaigne bubble supporting a white head. The foam sticks to the glass with each sip.
S- This beer has a soft perfumed sulfury note with a raw grain smell that grows as the beer warms.
T- The soft pale malt flavor has a dry slightly sulfury green finish.
M- The light mouthfeel finishes with a tight fizz.
D- This beer has a smooth balanced malt and hop profile but still soft and the sulfur was a bit strong.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.77/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light golden body with just a touch of cloudiness to it. A very white head that doesn't have much retention or leave any lacing.

The aroma has some grain to it, pilsner malt, and just a hint of noble hops.

I honestly thought this was a czech pilsner and not a German pilsner based on the flavor. The real classification doesn't make me feel much differently about the beer, but I felt it was an interesting observation. The flavor consists of the same elements as the aroma. Some grainy malts matched with a pale pilsner flavor. Just the tiniest touch of hops; to me the hops taste like saaz hops, but there is a good chance I'm wrong. It's tough to tell when the hop flavor pops up only for a second.

The mouthfeel is moderate to a little full for the style, but the carbonation is on.

One thing about this beer is that it certainly is easy to drink, especially at 4.10% ABV.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.67/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From a 12 oz.

Pours a clear barley gold, with a mild white head that dissipates to lacing.

Smells malty and grainy.

Tasters like barley and very mild hops. The flavor is crisp.

Feels moderate in body with a tingly carbonation.

For a pilsner, its subdued, but I like this beer a lot. Low alcohol content makes it a candidate for sessioning. Not a bad beer.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.63/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Visited Church Brew Works this past July and tasted a small sip of the Celestial; thought I wouldn't try it again unless we made a return trip to Pittsburgh. To my surprise, a 12 oz. bottle worked its way into the deal when Sebletitje sent a box my way. Chilled in the fridge, then poured to (what else?) the CBW pint glass.

A: Golden pour, more 'straw' at the edges, deeper 'buttercotch' at the core. Surprisingly cloudy/unfiltered (more a 'hefeweizen' look). Bounty of fizzy white head; a less-than-careful pour down the middle yielded 4+ fingers, necessitating a quick paper towel grab. Not much carbonation visible; nor much head after the initial crown ebbs. Flecks of lace.

S: Biscuits with flowery-sweet honey. Perfumed with a touch of clove-like spice, a dusty/dry nostril-clearing tingle later. Curious...still not 'Pilsner' to me.

T: More sweet honey, lightly grassy, more intense spice backing. Full of wheat/cracker flavor, a deft touch of lemon. Again, a tough one to judge since it seems sweeter than the style it claims to represent, yet I don't have big problems with the pleasing end result.

M: Crisp feel! Plenty of carbonation in the the mouth and a well-spiced, refreshingly balanced finish. Still plenty sweet (more malt than biting hop dryness), light-medium body that fills out nicely.

D: Again, still not sure how accurately this portrays a 'German Style Pilsner', but I honestly am not opposed to it at all. A tasty, 'bright'-feeling brew that (at just over 4%) is easy and quaffable. Though fall has fully set in here in Oregon, this was a perfect conclusion to leaf-raking/accompaniment to football-watching. One I'd have again - thanks Seb!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.73/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second beer from Church Works of the night. A good ole German Pilsner, right up my alley for sure. Also a nice break in the midst of our little tasting.

The pour was straight forward, light golden amber in color with lots of carbonation and a nice puffy head of white on top that lasted for a bit before fading back down leaving the top bare. The aroma was light bread, hints of grain, a touch of perhaps a bitter note, but far too light to be considered really good. But the taste improved on this dramatically as it was tight, crisp, clean and very well delivered. Smooth grain flavor with the lightest touch of grassy hops that pulled the flavor out just enough to make me come back again for another sip. Nicely done indeed. Very drinkable.

Overall this is something I would gladly drink a couple of while I mow the lawn or grill up some food. Nicely sessionable and a good cross over beer.

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Celestial Gold from Church Brew Works
81 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.