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Piercing Pils - Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Not Rated.
Piercing PilsPiercing Pils

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

248 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 248
Hads: 1,420
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 26.65%
Wants: 63
Gots: 260 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States | website

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener | 6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

A Perry-Pils hybrid, Piercing Pils is a Czech Style Pilsner brewed with a White Pear Tea and Pear juice. Both the juice and the tea were added in the kettle during the whirlpool (after the boil) for maximum flavor and aroma contribution. The Pear fruit complexity pierces right through the spicy Czech Saaz hops beautifully, adding a gentle acidity to this pale lager that makes for a crisp refreshing sipper. Amarillo hops add nuanced citrus notes that meld perfectly with the fruit.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 248 | Hads: 1,420
Photo of SierraDeuce
4.09/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Enjoyed from 12oz bottle in Bischoff Pils champagne flute styled glass, with homemade pepperoni pizza.

A- pours a deep golden color, somewhat cloudy (had to mark down for that- Pils should be crystal clear). Fantastic two inch cream-white head, diminished very slowly to thin top layer and wonderful lacing down length of glass.

S- mild hops and tea, some alcohol. could not smell the pear.

T- wonderful mild sweetness up front due to malt and probably the pear juice, but I couldn't taste the pear-- which is best I think. Too much would ruin the balance. great clean finish of hops and tea. i'm not familiar with Saaz hops, but it seems milder than what's used for IPAs. again, the master brewers at Dogfish stayed true to style.

M- light, clean-- maybe a bit more body than most in this style, but very good and not distracting.

O- I hope this remains on the shelves for summer. I would drink this regularly. unfortunately there seems to be a dearth of American craft breweries producing pilsners. and while I can understand that due to the mass produced stuff from InBev and the like, it's great to see Dogfish ride against the current and say, "watch this!" thanks for redeeming the pilsner!

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Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a cloudy peach amber with a medium head. nose; pilsner stench, light hop and stone fruit jam. taste; pilsner malt, biscuit, floral hops and a big pear sweets middle that turns slightly puckering pear rind on the aftertaste. medium carbonation and mouthfeel. great balance of clean pilsner and pear sweetness - simple and effective!

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Photo of mactrail
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Hazy yellow-gold in the tall Saxo tulip. Modest foam and plenty of spritz on the tongue. Pleasant fruity aroma with a whiff of apple and pear.

Some fruit taste with a little sweetness to start. Modest warm flavor of malt and more graininess. Dries out quickly. Quite bitter long before the aftertaste. It does taste like black tea, only long over-steeped. Maybe some pear skins and fruit tannin, like grape stems. Slightly tangy with some burnt biscuit taste.

This has a promising start but a bitter finish. From the 12 oz bottle bought at La Bodega Wines & Spirits in Riverside, Calif.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: lightly cloudy medium-gold hue with a big effervescence and a finger of frothy ivory foam. Pretty nice!

Smell: sweet malt with a definite pear element and a light noble hop aroma. There's a little bit of a cloying funk I usually associate with fruit juices added to beer, but in this case it isn't overwhelming.

Taste: a nice Pilsner; grainy and lightly sweet with just the right amount of hop flavor and bitterness. The pear adds an interesting touch, but I bet this is a damn good beer without it.

Mouthfeel: light body with a good level of carbonation. Not super creamy, but satisfying for the style.

Overall: quite tasty and drinkable. As I said, I'd love to try this without the pear as well.

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Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 bottle into pint glass. Super clear as expected, with a nice foamy head. Something in there flavor wise I cant put my finger on (cuz I have a terrible sense of smell and taste. Dont know why I even review beer haha). Something floral? Not sure, but I really liked it. My first Dogfishhead beer, got a 60 min IPA in the fridge to review later.

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Photo of jeonseh
3.54/5  rDev -6.6%
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

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Photo of delta490
4.15/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A- a deep clear gold with a short lasting fizzy white head. A little head lingers to leave some lacing

S- nice aroma blend of green fruit and cut grass

T- a nice malt backbone holds up well against the grassy nature of the hops and the pear. It all blends quite well in the pilsner framework

M- true to form. A little thinner and a nice crispness

O- a unique and tasty pilsner. Full flavor and easy to drink. Pairs well with the Indian curry I had.

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Photo of Brad007
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light gold with a decent head into my glass. The use of pear juice and pear tea sounds interesting. I’m not sure how it will translate to the finished product though.

What do you know? The pear tea/juice and the saaz hops work well together in the nose. Just the right touch of sweetness.

Sweet, crisp and grainy with a good dose of pear. Tastes more like baked bread in the middle. Very tasty. Simple.

The use of pear rounds out this pilsener and makes it a good choice for quenching your thirst on a hot day. It works as a palate cleanser as well.

Well worth a try. I love a well-crafted pils.

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Photo of M_C_Hampton
3.71/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, golden colored with a nice white head that lingers leaving some lacing, clear

S: biscuit, malt, slight noble hops

T: light refreshing malt forward flavor, subtle flavors of pear, crispy dry finish

M: light with higher carbonation

O: refreshing, easy drinking beer, pear flavors are very light

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Photo of Omnium
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Clear straw yellow with a finger of foamy white head, nice medium lacing.
S - Nice light pear aroma, some citrus peel, fresh bready malt, some light pepper.
T - Typical pils flavor, very grainy and a little spice, but there's a nice pear flavor underneath, could be a tad bit more pronounced.
M - More on the dry side, kinda light.
O - I was semi-impressed with this one, not a fan of DFH, but I could drink this on a hot day for sure.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
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.

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Photo of MattTastrophee
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Light gold and clear, with a meringue-y head atop it.

Smell: A light sweet aroma. Mostly pear, but not overpowering, with a bit of tea.

Taste: Crisp and clean. The pear is first, and it's not overly sweet. It yields at the right moment. The tea and hops are next, and they dance back and forth for prominence, then they also yield. The last note is that of a nice pilsner. My many sips were stepped like this, and I liked it.

Mouthfeel: Light and good carbonation.

Overall: The balance is impressive, there is just enough of any element. A fine fruit beer, and a refreshing pilsner both.

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Photo of bleggs
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

~$9 for a fourpack in CT, served in a tulip glass
A: Golden/light amber, with a minimal head and lasting webbing.
S: Pilsner skunkiness, hop bitterness, a little sweetness.
T: Skunk upfront, with a non-citric hop bitterness. Back end is a subtle pear sweetness and back-of-the-tongue tea bitterness. The light fruitiness really compliments the pilsner flavor - I'm normally not a fan of the style.
M: Crisp, some carbonation, an acidic nose.
O: Certainly the most interesting pilsener I've ever had. Not a fruit beer, if that's what you're looking for. Worth it, considering the price. A good example of the style.

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Photo of drtth
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear bright golden amber color with a 3/4" white head that soon recedes to a ring of foam and an irregular island over the nucleation point, leaving some foam and lacing clinging to the sides of the glass. Sipping leaves some nice small patches and legs of lacing. The film of foam and lacing on the sides persist for most of the beer.

The aromas include the light bready malt, a touch of floral from the hops and some traces of green orchard fruit (the pear).

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the malt and pear up front and some floral from the hops in the background. There's also a touch of citrus and bitterness back in there.

The mouthfeel is on the light side and has a touch of crispness from the ongoing medium amount of carbonation. The relatively short finish begins as the citrus and floral hop bitterness emerge and then slowly fade away.

I like this beer fairly well despite the fact that Czech Pils is not one of favorite styles. I'll happily have another (and there's one just waiting in the fridge :-)). The flavors are light and in tune with each other to create a flavorful interesting beer.

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Photo of Scrapss
3.72/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a clean rinsed turbinator.

A: Clear light gold. A few fingers of head dissipate into a 4 mm disk. no lacing.

S: Sewery and skunky euro hops, saaz. Musty pears. Sharply euro pils.

T: Slightly sweet from the pear juice. Euro pils notes throughout.

M: Bittering is mild, slightly chalky. dryness is pleasant. I like it.

O: This is a very nice euro/czech pils with a slight sweet twist. It is not bad. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of rangerred
4.14/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy dark gold with a one finger white head. Not really any lacing but pretty good head retention.

You can definitely tell this is a pilsner immediately from the aroma but there is a nice floral component that accompanies the standard grassy hop nose. Just a touch of skunk but it is not bad.

The added pears are quite evident in the taste. It is kind of surprising how well the pear compliments the noble hop note that is part of a pilsner. Great floral and citrus flavor along with plenty of great. Moderate crisp bitterness along with a very velvety mouthfeel. The finish is very clean and just a touch sticky.

Overall, I was really surprised by this beer. Dogfish head is not know for doing lagers and most of their beers are pretty hit and miss but this one is excellent. Definitely worth picking up.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.21/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 12oz bottle into Samuel Adams Noble Pils branded pilsner glass.

Appearance: Clear golden in color with a very underwhelming head.

Smell: Has the a typical Czech pils smell with notes of the pears alluded to on the bottle. Hints of citrus and overall very Saaz-y

Taste: Not a whole lot to say- tastes like a very good Czech pilsner with some pear notes added in. Very good- tastes a lot like what a fresh Czech pils tastes like on-tap in Central Europe plus a little extra.

Mouthfeel: Lighter body, balanced carbonation, and a crisp finish.

Overall: An excellent Czech-style pils with a slight American twist that does not overpower the beer. The last time I had a beer of this style that tasted this fresh out of the bottle, I was in Slovakia.

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Photo of philbe311
4.19/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - A really beautiful active pour of swirling carbonation that yeilds a solid two fingers worth of crisp and clean bone white colored froth with a slightly rocky top that is comprised of big chunky bubbles... Really impressive retention for the style... What's ultimately left is a full yet lopsided veil of lacing and a moderately thick collar... The color is equal parts pale gold, straw yellow and honey amber... Completely translucent with a faint glow... Very clean and crisp in appearance... There is a slight to moderate bit of moderate paced carbonation... A slight bit o lacing clings to the glass... Spot on for the style...

S - Fairly mild overall, but loaded with nuance and complexity... The first thing noted are the Saaz hops... Next comes the malt base which arrives in the form of cereal grains... Next are the white tea components... Then arrives the pear sweetness in the form of overly ripe Bosc pears and crisp Asian pears... There is nothing artificial about the sweetness brought by the pear presence... Each whiff reveals a new subtle nuance...

T - The aroma was a wonderful indication of what to expect in terms of flavor... This one walks a fine line between slightly hoppy and slightly sweet and does so in a very exciting way... This is a quintessential Czech Pilsner first and foremost... The hop and tea additions add a subtle sweetness which greatly expands on the depth and complexity of this historic and wonderful style...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Light but crisp carbonation... Even and consistent... Ultra clean and ultra crisp... Each sip is a pleasure... Perfect for the style...

D - This is a ridiculously fantastic brew... It's an outstanding Czech Pilsner... It's a wonderful example of DFH creativity... I would suggest DFH immediately makes this a year-round offering... I could drink several of these in a sitting... No joke, but this would be a staple in my beer fridge... No weak facets... I can't say enough good things about this beer... Highly nuanced... Highly quaffable... Highly recommended... A fantastic job by DFH...

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Photo of wedge
3.79/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pretty clear yellow color topped with a delightfully dense, lumpy white head. Plentiful lacing patterns the glass. Fresh grassy and straw-like Saaz hop aroma under a light pear tea sweetness...quite nice and snappy. Definitely more pear in the flavor, but the quality Saaz-iness remains along with a decent fresh cereal grain note. Perhaps a little too much of that sweet, dry pear juice element getting in the way of the Pils qualities. Light, pretty crisp, some acidity. I enjoyed this, but I can't help but feel this is a really nice Czech Pils with some unnecessary fruit added.

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Photo of CHickman
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass, it was a clear gold color with bubbles racing up it like champagne to a massive 4 finger foamy white head that didn’t move and then dissipated very slowly leaving excellent sticky foamy lacing; the lacing was ridiculously good and better than most IPA’s.

Smells of floral hops, tea leaf, herbs, grains, yeast, grass, light caramel, some kind of fruit (can’t say it smells like pear) and a sweet funk, like a honey infused Bud. Aroma was interesting and better than anything I’ve encountered thus far in this style.

Tastes like it smells, but sweeter with the pear definitely coming through and mixing well with the floral hops, tea leaf, herbs, grains, yeast, grass, caramel, wheat bread/Ritz Cracker, mild spices and a grainy sweetness that is an odd mix of hop spice and cracker dryness. The fruit starts off the flavor and then fades to the herbs and spices, leaving a malty sweetness - this is a moving target and hard to pin down, so just drink away.

Mouthfeel seems light but the beer drinks and feels heavy as it goes down; carbonation is on the light side, feel is on the watery side and it’s sweet overall and more malty than hoppy.

Interesting take on the style with more flavor and feel than most of its European Brethren; I’d have this again over the summer as it was pretty tasty and very easy to drink.

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

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass at fridge temperature. If there's a bottle code or date, I can't find it.

Pours a pretty light amber color, little head with a gentle pour, and lots of active carbonation. Smell is lagery, definitely noticeable pear in the aroma, but not overwhelming. Slightly spicy smelling.

Taste is crisply bitter. I thought the pear would lend a lot of sweetness, but it apparently does not. Pear is again present, but subtle. I wouldn't notice it in the flavor if I didn't know it was there. Some nice breadiness.

Mouthfeel is crisp and kind of lush. I don't know quite how to describe that in a way that doesn't seem contradictory.

Overall, I think this is a very good pilsner, though it's not a style I'm deeply knowledgeable about. I'm starting to think I need to spend more time tasting pilsners.

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Photo of avalon07
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nicely done aroma of hops, malt, and sweet, light fruit.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of malt, pear, a slight bready quality, and hops. A bit different than your typical pilsner flavor, but definitely tasty. The pear seems to work well with the standard pilsner style.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

O: Another oddball beer from Dogfish Head that succeeds. Not your typical beer, but certainly well done.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.63/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle opened on 12.27.13
Bottled on 2013C

A - Pours a clear golden-orange with a large light tan head that fades slowly.

S - Pear, nutty, skunky.

T - Lager, pear, earthy, but subtle.

D - Light body with good carbonation.

O - Smell is bad, but the pear works out ok here. DFH has been all over the place lately, but I am glad I tried this one.

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Photo of zrbeer1579
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Nice golden with a little copper thrown in. A two finger white dense head. Steady steam of bubbles. Lots of lacings.

Aroma: Grassy/herbals with slight of floral and citrus. Some pils malt, breadiness. Faint pears.

Taste: Grassy/herbals with slight of floral and citrus come first like aroma. Pears is stronger in the taste and complement well, along with the malt backbone of sweet biscuity malts and light grains. There is a slight sharpness to the pears. The pears come in the middle and a bit in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body and nicely crisp. A bit creamy and refreshing mouthfeel. Drinks very easily. Bitterness is not overpowering and pleasant along with faint pears. Lingering flavors is quite nice.

Overall: Surprisingly very good. Some nice balance. While the pears is subtle; its nuances work well with the base pils, which of itself is great. Great take on the pils. Definitely getting more, maybe even a case.

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle from Super Buy Rite in Pennington NJ.

A - Perfectly clear body, with tons of champagne-like bubbles maintaining a nice frothy white head. Sticky all the way up the glass.

S - Bright and floral hop notes, with some fruity aroma. Hints of sweetness and dryness. You can detect some of the pear.

T - Traditional Czech-style Pilsner. The flavors are way less fruity than the description on the front leads on. A nice balanced brew, with sweet fruity hints, tea dryness, floral bite.

M - Light bodied, soft carbonation, kind of creamy in the finish. Carbonation is refreshing on the palate.

O - A pleasant beer. They have the style down proper. Don't be fooled by the pear ingredients.

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Piercing Pils from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 248 ratings.