Piercing Pils - Dogfish Head Brewery

Not Rated.
Piercing PilsPiercing Pils

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,322 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,322
Reviews: 260
rAvg: 3.78
pDev: 11.38%
Wants: 58
Gots: 215 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Brewery visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Slatetank on 08-19-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,322 | Reviews: 260
Reviews by BWED:
Photo of BWED
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into the DFH Spiegelau pint.

A- Crystal clear light gold. Just the faintest off white head. Retains low, but strong. Loads of lacing and active carbonation.

S- Aroma of the spicy Saaz, a bit of juicy pear. And a straw backbone.

T- Grainy malts up front and at the end. Fruity, juicy and refreshing flavor. Spicy/earthy hop character.

M- Light and crisp. Easy drinking, like any pils should be.

O- Great pils. The pear is hardly noticeable. It just sweetens it a bit.

More User Reviews:
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Piercing Pils a beer I've wanted to try since I heard about the pear juice and pear tea additions. Pours a brilliant golden color with bright fluffy white head, I've been drinking DFH pils since the Prescription Pils, Golden Shower, Golden Era, and the latest My Antonia. I liked them all by the way, nice to see a 6% abv on a pils from them that has Saaz hops backing it all up. Aroma has an earthy herbal note, but not much in the way of actual pears. More Saaz, earthy, citrus, cut grass qualities with a nice bready malt back bone. Flavor has some pear essence, and more earthy herbal tea bitterness too bad most of the pear sweetness was fermented out here. As a whole it's a nice full bodied pils with easy drinkability, a bit off centered but much less so than some of their crazy adjuncts they usually put out there. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied with sturdy carbonation goes down great with every sip. Overall no complaints noted here, I'm a fan of this pils as well but don't expect it to re-invent the wheel.

Photo of kojevergas
3.29/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with spare label art and a branded pry-off pressure cap acquired at a local H-E-B grocery and served into a Pinthouse Pizza conical pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Reviewed live. Expectations are above average given the description on the label, which makes the beer sound nice for a Dogfish Head offering. 6% ABV confirmed per the label. "Bottled on 2013F 1429." Reviewed as a Czech Pilsner because the label identifies it as such.

Served cold - at fridge temp. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.

Pours a one finger wide head of white colour. Decent thickness. Okay creaminess. Head retention is pretty good - about 4-5 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Body colour is a translucent transparent pale yellow-copper of excellent clarity and average vibrance. Clean; no yeast particles or sediment is visible. Appears well-carbonated.

Overall, it's a pretty standard appearance for a beer in this style. There are no obvious flaws, but it's far from unique or special.

Sm: Definitely smells like a pilsner. Pilsner malts, clean barley, Saaz hops, floral hop character, plenty of grains, straw, and faint fruit. It's a pleasant aroma of moderate strength, but I don't pick up on specific pear juice or pear tea notes. The fruitiness is quite timid, and I can't identify pear specifically. It's certainly on the sweet side for a pilsner, but at the same time seems overhopped. I've never experienced Saaz as overt as this.

No yeast character, alcohol, or off-notes are detectable.

T/Mf: It's got a bit of overcarbonation and comes across nicely crisp, if a biteen biting. It's smooth and wet on the open but soon takes on an unbecoming coarse and dry feel that persists until the finish. In any case, it still feels refreshing. Medium bodied, with a bit too much weight on the palate for a pils. Overall, it has a decent presence on the palate and the texture suits the taste generally well.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, or chewy.

Not as sweet as the aroma suggested, fortunately. The core of the beer is pretty standard - pilsner malts, clean barley, and prominent Saaz hopping. But there's also some subtle sweetness and vague fruitiness - it's not identifiably pear, but it's pleasant and complements the rest of the flavour profile well. I don't get any tea notes.

The hops fit the malts nicely, and the subtle fruitiness lends it a bit more depth of flavour than most pilsners feature. Average duration and intensity of flavour.

This is a tasty pilsner with some likable elements. The pear isn't as in-your-face as I anticipated, and Dogfish Head has delivered a beer that actually has some subtlety and nuance to it. Complexity and intricacy are above average for the style.

Dr: Very drinkable and enjoyable. I could easily plow through a four pack of this and would enjoy doing so. The price point is unreasonable, though, and I couldn't see myself buying this again as a result. It's one of Dogfish Head's more carefully considered beers, but the cynic in me is thinking the lack of overt pear was less a decision than a mistake. In any case, while it's not up there with the best traditional examples of the style, it remains a tasty American attempt at a pils that sacrifices tradition for a bit more depth of flavour. I'll be sticking to Pilsner Urquell in the future, but this is enjoyable stuff.

Low B-

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

excellent four pack release from dogfish head. pear juice, pear tea, and saaz hops, a nice combination in a pils. don't crucify me for this, but I have always thought the basic euro pilsener was missing something. not stylistically or anything, but from a flavor standpoint they bored me for the most part. this one doesn't. its also the first pear beer ive had that isn't perfumed to high heaven rendering it unpalatable after a few sips. this is clean and light and bright and fun and balanced and everything you could want in a neo-Czech style. the saaz hops are also the perfect companion to this, they are so fresh and potent, yet classic at the same time. I could not imagine any other variety here, its a perfect marriage. it has a little too much body for a pils, which I guess from the color, honey colored with a nice white head but a density unbecoming to the style. it works though, and gives the herbal pear/tea combination something to hold on to. worthy sauce for sure right here, the pear is subtle and not sweet at all, which makes great sense in a dryer and crisper style. I know the style gurus will have a field day bashing dogfish head for yet another "off centered ale", but this one really does work, and certainly doesn't warrant the criticism I can see it facing. really an innovative and well executed brew.

Photo of MadScientist
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: A bright and clear light golden beer with a long lasting, low white head of soapy bubbles.

S: It has a distinctly German pilsner aroma with a spicy and herbal hop aroma and a gram cracker-like Pils malt character. There is just a light hint of something usual in the nose in addition to the low, light fruit aroma.

T: There is a light malt softness, a medium amount of bitterness and a moderate pear flavor upfront. The balance is fairly bitter having just a light sweetness in the middle the resolves in a off-dry finish. The spicy hops flavor is at a medium level. The after taste is of peaches and hops.

M: A medium-light bodied beer with a medium-strong level and just a slight astringency.

O: A nicely balance beer where the fruit and tea additions compliment the quality base beer style instead of overwhelming it as is often the case.

Photo of Billolick
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce bottle with bottled on date (that I cant make any sense of...oh well...they tried)

Pours near clear darker straw in color. Bubbles rising to the top. Delicate off white head, minor film, collar and minor bits of lace.

Seriously hoppy nose with an added lime note.

Brightly flavorful, more lime and some more biting saaz infused hoppy crispness.

Tasty pilsner...good accompaniment for lots of different types of food.

Photo of tigg924
3.97/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: 1 inch head, clear, gold in color, high carbonation

Smell: grain, grass, pilsner malt, and faint pear

Taste: cracker, grass, grain, and pear juice at the end and into the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: sweet for the style, medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation

Overall: A nice and refreshing beer. The pilsner base is tasty. The pear comes through at the end and as it warms so that this is different enough from other pilsners. I would buy this year round as it is one of the better DFH beers I have had in some time.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Deep golden hued with excellent clarity and vibrant carbonation. A miniscule layer of carbonation caps off most of the top of the glass. I smell pears and some subtle Saaz hops. I know that's not shocking considering this beer. Mouth is moderately carbonated and you get a bitterness from the hops that also helps to prickle the tongue. This is straightforward with the bitterness of the hops mingling with the sweetness of the pear flavor. I think the carbonation might need some dialing back, but it's a good beer.

Photo of MattyG85
4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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

Appearance: Pours a somewhat hazy straw golden orange with a lot of rising bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head with decent retention. Leaves a lot of lacing.

Smell: A bready, fruity, and earthy malt forward aroma with big hints of pear and grains. Pale malt with hints of grains, wheat, biscuit, straw, cracker, and yeast. Big hints of pear juice as well as some lemon, orange, and tea. Earthy and spicy Saaz hop hints along with some grass. Big with the fruity pear and citrus presence. A pretty good aroma.

Taste: Like it smells, a fruity, bready, and earthy malt forward taste with good notes of pear, citrus, and grains. Upfront pale malt with bready notes of grains, straw, biscuit, wheat, yeast, and cracker. Big presence of pear juice. Citrus fruit notes of lemon and orange. Some tea notes as well. Spicy and earthy Saaz hops along with some grassy hop notes. Very crisp and zesty. Pretty good tasting.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Crisp, juicy, and pretty smooth.

Overall: A pretty good twist on a Pilsener. Good grainy malt notes with a very nice juicy kick from the added pear.

Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into becker pint glass; clear light yellow with a moderate white head that doesn't fade much at first, and leaves spotty, slimy lacing when it does.
Smells very dank at first, but then the scents separate into their parts. It reminds me of something that I can't put my finger on, maybe some sort of cleaning product, although it's not a bad smell. As it warms, some crackery and possibly even slight diacetyl scents emerge.
Taste is clean, crystal malt with a slight tangy sweetness from the pear, and earthy spice notes from the Saaz hops. Finishes dry and crisp, with lingering sour pear and bitterness.
Mouthfeel is well-carbonated and light-bodied.
Overall, this is a very unique and tasty beer. Uses could include a refreshing drink with lunch and giving nightmares to european beer purists.

Photo of dwren89
4.69/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: golden straw yellow with fantastic clarity as a thick, fluffy white head

Aroma: defintely a Czech pilsner with its soft water and hop aroma, gentle pilsner malt biscuity-ness, but also noticeable pear fruitiness on the now, with hints that smell very much like a freshly opened can of pears

Taste: soft malty palate with a crispness from the carbonation and a nice bitter finish. Also on the finish, the pear really comes thru with a nice fruity smack. Very balanced, and very drinkable

Mouthfeel: great crispness from the medium-high carbonation, medium body,

Overall: This is a great, great beer. Very refreshing, with a slightly fruitiness and the mouth scrubbing power of the carbonation, but also a very balanced Czech style pilsner showcasing Saaz hops and a soft pilsner malt character.

Photo of chinchill
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%

From a 12 oz bottle.
This cloudy amber brew has a fairly good head and a surpisingly smooth and full feel. Fruity, although the specific contribution from pears is a bit subtle. A little more bitter and tart than sweet.

Photo of jeonseh
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden pilsner color with an upwards trail of carbonation. Clean looking beer. Thumb of off white head sits on top comprised of many small bubbles

S - Straw and saaz hops that you expect in a pils are up front with a slight pear aspect to it

T - Pear and slight green grape up front before a bready malt, light straw, and slightly bitter saaz hops come thru The finish is slightly bitter and then slightly musty grape

M - Medium slightly chewy body with light carbonation that coats the tongue. Finish is slightly astringent

O - It tastes like a normal pils with a musty grape aspect to it. It also has a slight pear sweetness that is balanced with a slight bitterness from the hops

Photo of Auraan
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice cloudy golden color with a one finger white head that receded to a ring of white that left slight lacing down the glass. A very true to style and quite appealing pilsner look. Scents of lager yeast, pear, spicy hops and grainy malt. A good classic Czech pilsner scent, with the nice addition of pear from the pear juice. Flavor begins with a citrus-like sweetness, some pear and a bit of hop bitterness, moving into some bready malt and spicy, herbal hop flavors in the middle alongside some sweet citrus, finishing with herbal hops and grain with an aftertaste of herbal hops and grainy malt. A good, well-rounded pilsner flavor, with some sweetness added from the pear juice, but not enough to overpower the hops and malt. Balanced and refreshing, as a pilsner should be. Mouthfeel is light bodied with moderate carbonation and a juicy mouthfeel. True to style and very easy to drink. Overall this is a good take on a Czech pilsner, that while not incredibly unique for the style, does offer enough that is different to stand out somewhat. The pear juice adds a dimension of fruity sweetness that works well alongside the traditional pilsner flavors and makes this one quite nice to drink.

Photo of Brenden
3.79/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A clear, bright dark gold color, this pils grows a soft but tight white head up to a finger off the tap, where it rests for a good while without much diminishment for almost the entire session. As the beer recedes in the glass, it deposits some nice patching wherever the head has settled.
The malts are dry in the nose but with some dough as well. I don't pick up a whole lot of pear, though there is a bit of a raw sort of light tartness and some fruits. A hint of citrus, light notes of pepper, and a floral note speak to the hops.
The taste pretty well follows suit. I get the malts, mostly crackery but not entirely, with the floral and citrus notes and a little less of the peppery bite. Toward the middle, though, the pear starts to come out. It ends up being like an unripe pear that's not very sweet yet but has a raw, gentle tartness to it. A touch of sweetness would be good, but it still works well.
This beer is definitely piercing on the tongue, with an assertive crispness. It's nice for a pils, and it doesn't fall of. It's also not a cover for lack of depth in the feel. It still has some smoothness and a few layers to get through in its light to medium body.

Photo of samtrillo
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Light yellow gold with small white head.

S - Mostly malty with some other fruitiness there.

T - Bready malt with something else herbal going on, but it's not hops. That's where the tea comes in. Some sweet fruit in there but I would not guess pear if not told on the label. It's refreshing and has a good aftertaste.

M - Very crisp and spicy carbonation with smooth malt.

O - It's not you're everyday pilsner but that's to be expected with how it was brewed. I like it though, it's refreshing but has a lot more flavour characteristics than your average pilsner.

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.28/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Starts off with a finger thick, pale white, foamy head that looks like soap. A cloudier pils than others I've had, it's a bit hazy with some slight carbonation and a golden straw color with hues of orange.

I suppose there's some pear in here, but it's pretty muted with all the other aromas on the nose. I get a good amount of bread, sweet maltiness, and earthy hops.

There's the pear! It's definitely present on the taste buds. It's that refreshing, sweet, granular taste, that's still light and juicy. A great addition to a pils I'd say. Not to be overshadowed, there's some sweet breadiness, and tangy and earthy, grassy hops.

Some may hate this, but there's something almost juice like about this beer. It's got some of that nectar-like sweetness, but still retains the medium carbonation and light body of a beer. It's not nearly as dry or bitter as other pils, and I think the pear juice may contribute to that, but it doesn't make this any less a pils.

I've had many DFH beers that were good, but none that made me long for their distribution the way this beer has. I really wish this was available to me so I could make it my beer for the next six months. Outstanding.

Photo of dacrza1
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

DATE TASTED: April 17, 2015... GLASSWARE: Paulaner pokal... OCCASION: a Star-Wars-with-the-boys evening... APPEARANCE: classic golden yellow body with steady, upward life; thick white head mushrooms above glass with a rocky iceberg jut;... AROMA: as the label promises, Saaz and pear--seems almost too easy, too straightforward for the folks at DFH to solicit; just the same, the scent is promising refreshment... PALATE: a heavy body leaves little doubt this pilsner's intent is to pierce; aftertaste is long lasting on the teeth and lips--the 6% ABV can be felt by its lingering presence; ... TASTE: sweet, metallic Saaz at first sip, but the pear blasts at the profile and hogs the experience; malts suggest a lightly toasted cereal; reasonably balanced... OVERALL: given DFH's usually unusual offerings, this seems subtle, simple approach--and one that wins, though its strength is in its clear profile; it gives what its label promises...

Photo of tastybeer
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Fantastic cakey white head floating over a clean gold beer. Many rising carbonation bubbles mainly along the center of my glass. Aroma is clean pilsner with a little something extra. I don't eat pears that frequently however I do recognize it in the smell. Also fleshy golden apples come to mind. Nice crackery grains and spicy with Pilsner hops. The fruit goes really well with the pilsner aromas. Taste is sweet, crackery, lemony, spicy. The pear is less noticeable however it is there. A nice pilsner overall. Good old forgotten pear is solidly integrated.

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.91/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours slightly hazy and golden yellow in color with a shallow white head that fizzes away before I'm even done putting down the bottle. Very little left on the surface, with a tiny island of suds in the center and a razor thin ring around the edge of the glass. Virtually no lacing.

Smell - Pilsner skunk is the first thing to hit the nostrils, but is quickly met and overtaken by a mellow pear fruitiness. Light hints of floral hoppiness and spice.

Taste - Starts with flavors of grain and a mellow but steady pear fruitness. Hops do little to add any upfront bitterness, but do deliver a formidable spice bite thanks to the saaz, particularly as it warms. Earthy flavors peak through in the finish, delivering a bittersweet aftertaste... and am I detecting a hint of mint?

Mouthfeel - Light to medium in body with lively, bitey carbonation. Smooth texture before a crisp, semi-dry finish.

Overall - An oddity, but frankly one that works quite well. A unique take on a style that's steeped in singular-minded approaches, Piercing Pils is proof positive that old dogs can learn new tricks, particularly when it's learning new tricks from a Dogfish! In honesty I didn't expect much from this one, and even in the first few sips I thought it was just decent, but it grew on me as the layers began to unfold. This is one pilsner you won't mind warming to room temp. Prost, DFH!

Photo of GilGarp
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on date says 2013C 1457 so... Sometime last year.

Seved chilled into a tulip glass, Piercing Pils is a pale golden lager with thick white head. Retention is fair and it leaves a little bit of spoty lacing behind.

Aroma is classic European Pilsner mixed with a slight bit of fruitiness. Generally mild with no overwhelming hop character.

Flavor is bold for a pilsner but still balanced. It has some sweetness up front from the pale malts and pear juice. The noble hops add a hint of spice and bitterness.

Mouthfeel is light in bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a solid pilsner but not unusual or special enough to warrant the price.

Photo of secondtooth
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden-amber with big tri-finger head of white carbonation. Pleasant lattice lacing.

Nose is toasty, malty and grainy -- faithful to the pilsner style, but with a slight and subtle tinge of fruit.

Taste is surprising! There's definitely a pilsner foundation here, but the addition of pear tea and pear juice adds an entirely new dimension. It's a subtle fruit infusion, but wow does this really work well! Wonderful and flavorful, this is one I'll definitely revisit.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Dogfish Head "Piercing Pils"
12 oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED ON 2014C 1032"
$3.50 @ Pinocchio's Pizza Beer Garden

Interesting beer, and certainly not what I'd expected. With a name like "Piercing Pils" you'd expect it to be sharp, hoppy, and bitter but it's certainly not. It's rather fruity, and I didn't realize where it was coming from until I looked at the bottle and learned that it's brewed with pear juice.

It starts quite floral in the nose, backed by grassiness. The flavor reveals quite a bit of fruitiness including pear and apple, but also lemon, which must be coming from the hops. Beneath that there's a stable base of Pilsner malt that's gently bread and a bit straw-like. The bitterness is solid, but only to the point of balancing the malt as the acidity of the pear juice is enough to put an edge on it, and both then follow into the lingering finish along with straw and residual lemon (as well as some tea-leaf). Perhaps that's the "piercing" nature that inspired the name, as I love the start but find the end a little raspy. Or is the "pierce" that shot of lemon that you get at the front? Regardless, it's unique and you really have to give it credit for that. Additionally, it's clearly well made (great appearance, great head retention and lacing, nicely balanced with a bit of a twist, appropriate mouthfeel).

Photo of tempest
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear gold with a tall white head and thick lacing as I drink the glass down. Usually I stay far, far away from lighter lager with fruit, but this is a cool beer. The pear mimics the cool, fruity character of Noble hops, while complementing the sharper, peppery grassy hops. The hops and pear are well balanced in the aroma and flavor. The finish has a little edge, but it's not super dry like many hopped up American-made pilsners.

Photo of MisterGone
4.16/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 into tulip. Caveat: this is my first pils since I had an Urquell back in the mid 80's as a teenager. Slightly hazy gold with a giant white head, retained well while waiting to come to temp. Aroma gave the pear early, not sure if that was power of suggestion and I was hunting for it or if that really is the initial nose. The biscuity malt came next with a slight tart edge, kind of lime, not hops. I could not find a date on the bottle to see if any aging had impacted aroma and flavor. The flavor was true to the aroma, with pronounced intensity. Orchard fruit forward with biscuity malt across the palate, with a tart lime-grass finish. If this is indicative of the pils genre, I look forward to trying many traditionals. I know this one had the pear thing built in, but I tried to gauge some sense of pils around it. My rookie status as a pils drinker may not have done that well.

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Piercing Pils from Dogfish Head Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 1,322 ratings.