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Celestial Gold - Church Brew Works

Not Rated.
Celestial GoldCelestial Gold

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

127 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 127
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 3.49
pDev: 12.89%
Wants: 1
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Church Brew Works visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
German Pilsener |  4.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 09-24-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 127 | Reviews: 61 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mschofield
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
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

mschofield, Mar 06, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev +0.3%
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

CuriousMonk, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of Kkottonmouthkngz
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Kkottonmouthkngz, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of Florida9
3.68/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Florida9, Dec 04, 2010
Photo of muskiecf
4.55/5  rDev +30.4%
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.

muskiecf, Oct 28, 2010
Photo of stakem
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

stakem, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of rmolledo
4.1/5  rDev +17.5%
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.

rmolledo, Sep 20, 2010
Photo of nukem5
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

nukem5, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of mtnbikerpa
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

mtnbikerpa, Aug 07, 2010
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev +3.2%
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.

BuckeyeNation, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
3.03/5  rDev -13.2%
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.

mdfb79, Jul 01, 2010
Photo of rhoadsrage
4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

rhoadsrage, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of Hojaminbag
3.8/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

Hojaminbag, Nov 28, 2009
Photo of Cylinsier
3.7/5  rDev +6%
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.

Cylinsier, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of msubulldog25
3.65/5  rDev +4.6%
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!

msubulldog25, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of mikesgroove
3.78/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

mikesgroove, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of smerkinb
4.4/5  rDev +26.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This review from notes taken 8-29-08
Perfectly clear pale gold. Head not able to assess as I didn't see the pour and there was no room for head in the glass.

Smells floral, and clean.

Malty smoothness blends with the floral from the nose. Tasty and balanced with some sweetness but clean crisp sweet not anything cloying or out of line.

Perfectly balanced lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Finishes lightly dry.

This beer is ultimately drinkable. If it was available this would be my go to beer. Perfect for a hot summer day. Refreshing and delicious.

smerkinb, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of hopdog
2.93/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle acquired in trade with lukin013 (thanks!).

Poured a medium and slightly hazy golden color with an averaged sized white head. Aromas of graininess and a light lemony citrus. Tastes follow of the same grains and citrus. Thinner body.

Notes from: 1/10/07

hopdog, Jan 27, 2009
Photo of sonicdescent
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass, this pilsner barely foamed at all, leaving only a crown of head and no lacing. bubbles of carbonation continue to rise through this very light golden brew.

Smells quite interesting for a pils. Not your usual bland smell, maybe a touch hoppier than I was expecting.

Taste is ..hm. I think non offensive is the best way to put it, perhaps to a fault. A tad on the watery side. Starts off smooth and ends with a fun little bitter crisp, but I would like a little more to it.

Mouthfeel is light and carbonation is at a good level. No complaints here.

Drinkability is good, I could pound these or sip them at a social level. That said, I would likely not try this one again.

sonicdescent, Dec 31, 2008
Photo of mjmbeer
3.73/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this on my trip to visit family in PA I got it in a mixed pack
Great golden color
Nice rich malty aroma
Taste is smooth a little tarter than I thought it would be
Kind of a bit to fizzy on the tongue but still good
I am very glad I found these mix pack
over all a good beer.

mjmbeer, Dec 28, 2008
Photo of thethrone
3.08/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours translucent hay colored yellow with a generous white head which makes its way down to a thin layer. Lots of carbonation visible in the glass.

S - Smell of pale malts, with a biscuity/earthy aroma.

T - In addition to the malts, there is a hint of citrus underneath. The hops come in for a bite at the end, but it doesn't seem very well balanced.

M - Good carbonation, but the mouthfeel is a bit watery.

D - A good drinkable pilsner, but not one I would seek out.

thethrone, Sep 03, 2008
Photo of JamesS
3.55/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a very nice light golden color with a bit of head, little lacing, though. Nice scent, clean and crisp with just a hint of spice. Nicely balanced taste between malts and hops, with just a little pepper taste. It goes down quite well. Not the best pils, but very nice to try, especially as it's a good local brew.

(Found in Ren Faire notes from August 2007)

JamesS, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of mhewes
3.98/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A : Pours a hazy golden color with a good head that goes down pretty quickly.

S : Mainly a floral hop presence along with some bready malts

T : A light malt flavor with a good hop bit on the end. Light fruit/bubble gum flavors

M : Dry, crisp, refreshing

D : A good light refreshing pilsner. One I could easily drink on a summer day.

mhewes, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle purchased as part of a mixed case from Wide-Lo Beverage, Somerset, PA, while on vacation.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/4" white head over the clear golden brew. Head fades quickly, minimal lacing. Aroma is slight, consisting of pale malt and light earthiness. Flavor also starts with pale sweetness, gives a quick shot of crisp hoppiness, and then fades away. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, with easy drinkability. Not much to note here, but on the plus side nothing bad to note, and it is thirst-quenching.

ppoitras, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.43/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours a semi-hazy golden color.

S. Not overtly strong here, some malt, some doughy bread smell.

T. Grainy, light hops. Simple flavors. The malt flavor intensifies with some bitter hops to even it out. A little metallic twang is there. Not a bad pilsner at all.

M. Zingy carbonation and a light body. Slightly harsh.

D. Fairly drinkable. Not bad but not super fine.

Stinkypuss, Jun 26, 2008
Celestial Gold from Church Brew Works
80 out of 100 based on 127 ratings.