Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 248 | Hads: 1,420
Photo of mikeg67
3.44/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours pale golden with tall, long lasting, fluffy, white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of grassy hops and biscuit malt. Body is medium and slightly crisp. Herbal hops, pale malt and sweet fruit fill the mouth. Finish is medium lasting, herbal. Nice brew.

 274 characters

Photo of Nickcal
3.06/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Disappointed once again by this style of beer. I cannot give a truly good opinion because I just am not a fan of pilseners. For me they lack depth and character with smell and taste. Sorry Dogfish Head love you guys, nothing personal, just not a fan of the style.

 263 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured with 2 finger head with tiny white bubbles. Nice head retention.

Aroma is clean and crisp. Some grain, some malt, some piney hop.

Taste is enjoyable. Not worth the cost, but still good beer. I get a grainy flavor upfront, followed by a slight funkiness. End of the sip brings a cane sugar sweetness and a pear juice flavor. Not much in terms of actual malt flavor, more of a sweet grain and pear with a slight herbatious quality.

Overall, very drinkable beer. Nothing overly complex or worth over analyzing.however, beer is extremely drinkable... I would say that it's like the craft beer version of a light beer (even at the 6 percent ABV). I would pair this with a poached pear with a caramel drizzle and vanilla bean ice cream.Gets an 88/100 from me.

 763 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
2.33/5  rDev -38.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Hazy copper yellow. Some malt sweetness and barley on the aroma. There is something very wrong with the aftertaste. Muddled copper or metallic flavor and almost a skunky finish (makes no sense considering it's on tap): stay away.

 229 characters

Photo of Wiffler27
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a hazy orange with a slight head.

smell is sweet with a typical pils Saaz aroma.

taste is sweet, definitely taste that pear juice. crisp and refreshing as well. nice hop bite to it.

overall this isn't great but it isn't bad. i've had much better Pilsners but it's still enjoyable. something i like to pick up once a year when i see it.

 344 characters

Photo of JohnnyI
3.41/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I snagged a 4-pack of this at a Sunoco Craft Beer Exchange, and it's been a tale of two beers. The first was poured at near room temp, and it did little to inspire. The second was chilled, and what a difference that made. Both beers poured with a mottled, white head that popped and fizzed away in short order. The more aggressive pour produced a towering foam crest that left beautiful lacing on my Modelo Especial pint glass. The appearance is consistent with a classic golden pilsener. Great clarity. Perhaps a touch more concentrated in color. More like the beer I recycle after a night of drinking-related dehydration. There's a bright, crisp, floral hop aroma with underlying white grape juice sweetness. A little bit of Apple Jacks cereal in the nose. The first impression is simply too sweet for my liking, but at a cooler temperature it's less pronounced. No discernible pear flavor, save the sugar. Unbalanced. The Saaz hops tend to dominate, competing only with a cloying sweetness. The cracker-like malt flavors get a little lost in a sea of refined sugar. The finish is mildly bitter, and leaves a somewhat muddled impression. The moderate mouthfeel and tame carbonation are a bit light. Not as spritzy or crisp as I had hoped. In the end, if you're not opposed to sugary libations, it's truly a non-offensive beer that does little to push the flavor envelope. A passable pilsener nonetheless. There's a marked difference between the warm and cool variations that I tried. At cooler temps it was much more refreshing and masked some of the imperfections. The warmer variety had me focused on all of the wrong things. The same can be said for any number of macro-lagers, so that can't be a good thing. Either way, I had hoped for more with the addition of pear and pear tea. Ultimately it's a crafty example of Saaz hops in an overly-sweetened Czech Pilsener.

 1,872 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
3.51/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a clear straw color with a two finger white fluffy head, some of which lasts until the end as a collar. Good carbonation and good lacing.

The smell is straw and hay; a little soapy smell with lemons and fresh cut grass. There is also and apple and pear fruity smell.

The taste is musty and soapy, a little wet grass with pear. Unfortunately, everything kind of runs together and it is hard to break out the individual tastes. The finish is crisp, cracker like and kind of dry. A little bitter as well, like making you purse your lips bitter.

 560 characters

Photo of gr0g
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Light amber in color, capped with a few fingers of foam. Good head retention and lacing. The grassy, slightly lemony characteristics of Saaz hops are evident in the aroma. There's a slight fruitiness, like white grape, that you don't usually get in a Bohemian pilsner.

Flavor is clean and dry with a cracker-like breadiness characteristic of the style. Some fruitiness that isn't characteristic, maybe the pear juice at work. Slick texture, very fine carbonation. Nothing really flashy here as DFH beers go but still pretty tasty. An interesting take on what, to me, can be a bland style.

 589 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy, yellow in color with an average sized white head that fades away quickly. Floral hops with a touch of spice and faint pear in the aroma. Kind of dull flavor and the pear makes for a bit of an odd combination but it works. Lots of fizzy carbonation resulting in a crisp, clean finish. Overall, a clean, easy drinking beer but misses the mark with a lot of the pilsner qualities that I enjoy.

 405 characters

Photo of zapahoppa
2.8/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Uneventful. Watery with light carb. Low head retention. Hardly any pear. Probably one of the most dissapointing dfh beers I've had, and I mostly love their beer.

 161 characters

Photo of LarryV
3.14/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

I always feel like I'm taking a risk when I buy a Dogfish Head beer. This sounded promising but ends up missing the mark for me. It doesn't have the crispness that I expect from a good pilsner and has an odd bitterness to the aftertaste, perhaps that's due to the pear, it doesn't seem like hop bitterness. All in all it's an okay beer but I won't be buying it again.

 368 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As with most pilsners, this one pours out a straw yellow. However the particular shade tone of this liquid is darker than other pilsners, making it unique and attractive to look at. A modest head dissipates into a bubbly thin lace that retains the whole way.
My first impression of the aroma is earthy tones, herbal and spicy. Next, I detect a strong scent of fruity esters, particularly pears and also green apples. Finally, I detect a hint if floral hops aroma.
The taste is so unique for a pilsner. As with other pilsners, it has a bready pilsner malt taste. However, the sweet fruitiness of this drink really makes it stand apart. If you like the taste of pear juice, then this s the one for you, because that flavor is prominent throughout. However, as I get further along in the drink, a strong hops taste becomes prominent, which creates a nearly perfect balance to the fruity goodness. The finish is dry, almost astringent, with the hops leading the way.
Great mouthfeel. Smooth, crisp, refreshing and a lively carbonation that pierces (as the name implies) the tongue. A great light bodied brew; I feel I could drink several of them in a row.
I have rated this one highly. It is certainly different from most pilsners and I could see how some purists might rate it more strictly according to the style. However, I choose to rate it highly because it's so damn delicious!

 1,379 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
3.93/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a little dark for straw yellow but lighter than honey. a nice golden hue. an aggressive pour formed a 2 to 3 finger head that receded at a fairly decent rate and left behind a strong lacing all over the sides of the glass. constant flow of bubbles and perfect clarity and brightness.

Aroma: somewhat grassy and musty. light pilsner malt sweetness. earthy and spicy to citrusy hops.

Taste: opens with light and sweet pilsner malts. opens up with a little but of hops. mostly woodsy and spicy, some citrus to it though. some fairly fruity tastes, I assume from pear juice, and it almost comes off as ever so slightly tart. ends with some more hops and a bit of grass to wheat.

Mouthfeel: light, just off of clean. crisp and refreshing.

Overall: probably the most subtle experimental beer out there. it could easily be mistaken for a standard pilsner but the pear juice just adds a barely there twang on the style. a solid beer

 946 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours hazed yelow. Thin head that did not last. Nose is soft pils malt, lightly breaddy. Touch of sulfur, touch of pear and cracker. There's an initial impression of something tart mid drink then a crisp dry finish. Good carbonation, light bite. Golden. Drinks with a nice dryness at the closing light cracker. The hops are herbal saaz. Crisp and not terribly fruity. I would say the pear is like a bit of crisp white sweetness sucumbing to the pils malt. Herbal in the aftertaste and in the finish. It's tea like but golden and light. It has a touch of sulfur on the palate and in the nose too. Sulfur is pungent and opens up the back palate to the dryness.

Very enjoyable.

 692 characters

Photo of VirginiaBeerMan
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 15 oz pilsner glass
A - 2" foamy white head, light golden in color and a steady stream of carbonation rising; head retreats to about 1/2 " excellent lacing
S - Feint hop aroma with a touch of fruit
T - Farily smooth and nicely blended, but no real dominant tastes
F - Slightly watery feel with modest carbonation
O - This was far more mild than anticipated and I didn't get the pear taste as advertised; however the pear seems to offset any bitterness; this was an easy drinking and enjoyable pils

 511 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours golden yellow with a thin white creamy head. Trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of a classic "pils" aroma with plenty of saaz hops. Floral, grass, lime. Interesting twist of pear that mixes in, without overwhelming, makes it unique.

The taste has plenty of up-front saaz hops, but there is also plenty of sweet grainy malt. Pear blends in well. It gives a unique, refreshing twist to a classic-style pils. It has a clean, crisp, refreshing finish. Carbonation level fits well.

Smooth and enjoyable. A well-made pils with a touch of pear. It's like having a great beer while eating a ripe pear. Nicely done!

 615 characters

Photo of MisterGone
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
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.

 887 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color capped by three fingers of foam; a decent pattern of lacing persists

Smell: Bready, with pear juice tones dominant; the grassy hops are in the mix, but dominated by the malt

Taste: Bread and pears, up front, with a floral character; the hops really don't make much of an impact until after the swallow, when they add a grassy element but, as in the aroma, the pear juice and tea-like character dominate the finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Another miss for me from Dogfish - they run about 50/50 with me; always interested to see what they come up with and though I am a big fan of several of their beers, this is not one of them; I really would have preferred to see the hops stand up better relative to the malt and the adjuncts here

 824 characters

Photo of HamdenHector
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A: clear; medium gold; 1 finger pillowy white head that receded slowly to a thin cap; very nice lacing;

S; doughy; light grain; a little sweetness from the pear; a little spice;

T: light grain up front; a moment of dough and then tartness begins to build; an odd combination of pear sweetness and citrus tartness on the finish; no bitterness;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation;

O: an interesting take; not as crisp as I would expect from a Bohemian Pils ; none of the bitterness I would expect either;

 519 characters

Photo of Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Piercing Pils - Dogfish Head Brewery. Poured from the bottle into a glass mug, its got a 1 finger thick white finely porous head , sheen lacing, and a clear golden body.

Smells like brighter malts with pear notes. No hop characteristics could be picked up.

I taste,yes, brighter malts. Along with pear flavors and grassy notes. This is easy on the palate. I can't detect much or any hop presence.

This brew's mouthfeel crisp and clean. Zero lingering elements with this beer.

Overall a 4.25 for Piercing Pils - Dogfish Head Brewery. i would probably pick this up again.

 594 characters

Photo of nicholas2121
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Piercing Pils brewed by Dogfish Head Brewery, with an ABV of 6.00% This brew pours out a golden amber color with a nice white head. This is an filtered brew, you can see right though it. The smell is rich with malts and grains. You also pick up on some hops , and mild sweetness in the smell. Now for the tastes, it is rich with flavor. You pick up on a mild sweetness with some spices. There is a lot going on in this brew. The mouthfeel is nice and clean, and refreshing. There is nothing overpowering in this brew. Piercing Pils has a nice balance to it. Overall I'm giving Piercing Pils, a 4 out of 5. I would buy this brew again. Dogfish Head Brewery, did a nice job with this brew.

 696 characters

Photo of PA-hunter
3.95/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured 12oz bottle into glass. 6%abv.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear light yellow, with one finger white head. Active carbonation.

Smell- Bready aroma with caramel malt mixed in. The smell of fresh pears also lingers about.

Taste- It starts out with a bready malt flavor similar to an Oktoberfest with notes of caramel. This fades into the pear sweetness, much like pear juice, although the fruit qualities are more subtle. It finishes with a dry and bitter hop finish while still carrying with it bits of pear flavor.

Mouthfeel- Thin in body with lively carbonation. Quite smooth.

Overall- A great beer from DFH. Excellent drinkabilty. Although a seasonal this one would great anytime of year if it were available. Pick it up if you can find it.

 754 characters

Photo of iTunesUpdates
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Well I was hoping this one would be a pear bomb. I love pears but didn't really pick up much of it. I picked up a 4pk so I may need to update once I get another taste. But for now, it is a solid fruit beer but could use some more pear.

 235 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.01/5  rDev +5.8%
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).

 1,341 characters

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

On-tap 12/1/2014 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains light caramelized malts, lager yeast, some hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some mild citrus and caramel sweetness comes in. The hops presence is decent for the style and brings a decent balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and a little smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down ok, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

 836 characters

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