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Steam Whistle Pilsner - Steam Whistle Brewing

Steam Whistle PilsnerSteam Whistle Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

262 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 262
Reviews: 123
rAvg: 3.44
pDev: 15.99%

Brewed by:
Steam Whistle Brewing visit their website
Ontario, Canada

Style | ABV
American Pale Lager |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
We believe that world-class results require focus and dedication, so we developed a distinctive recipe for our single brand based on Europe's renowned brewing standards yet is brewed fresh locally at our independent, Canadian Brewery.

We use traditional brewing techniques and only four natural ingredients including spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast - all GMO-free. There is a fifth ingredient in every refreshing bottle, and that is the passion of our dedicated Brewmaster and staff.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-28-2002)
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Ratings: 262 | Reviews: 123 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of djoprahwinfrey

Manitoba (Canada)

3.48/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - clear golden pour, 1/2 finger of fizzy head which dissipates very quickly leaving next to no lace

S - pretty tame here, some bread and wheat, grass, some sweetness

T - slightly malty throughout, some wheat and sweet corn, sweet and light malty wet finish

M - crisp and very easy to drink, very refreshing, a slightly tingly carbonation

O - i am slightly conflicted as this is really 'light' and incredibly easy to drink but mild throughout, very drinkable but nothing really stands out for me...but i would drink this again.

Serving type: can

11-27-2013 16:57:50 | More by djoprahwinfrey
Photo of box299


1.73/5  rDev -49.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75

I do not understand the fascination with this beer. Locals in Toronto all point to it as an exemplary craft beer. I find it barely drinkable. I think I heard a story that the owner of the brewery is a local celebrity. I also think he came from one of the major breweries.

If I didn't really want a beer on my Porter flight back to Chicago, I would never touched the stuff in the first place. thinking that it might have been in a bad mood that day, I ordered one up to give it a second chance. I was right in the first place. This is NOT a good representation of a growing craft beer scene in Ontario. It's a shame that government controlled monopolies get in the way of opportunities for consumers to try new beer. This is also a poor example of a Pilsner. You are just as good drinking an AB-InBev product like labatt blue.

feel: leaves an unpleasant after taste
taste: no real hop taste and very light malt

thank goodness the Porter light isn't very long.

Serving type: can

10-24-2013 18:25:30 | More by box299
Photo of Mountainmanbrewing


3.93/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was offered this in a can as a free drink on an internal flight. Ryanair, take note.

Firstly, it had surprisingly good carbonation, even at whatever height in ft. we were in the air, which gave a good head and and lacing that sticks fairly well to the glass (yes, a real glass in an airplane).

The aroma was very grassy with a similar grassy, lemony or peppery taste balanced by a biscuity backbone. A very nice tasty beer with a bitter base and nice hop flavour.

Serving type: can

09-01-2013 11:39:07 | More by Mountainmanbrewing
Photo of CalgaryFMC

Alberta (Canada)

3.36/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a dark yellow/tree sap with two or so fingers of white foam. Aroma is subtle biscuit and weak apple juice, little to no hop aroma. Palate is sweet cornbread with a touch of noble hop spice. A bit of baker's yeast. Quite sweet for a pale lager and admittedly enjoyable on this level. Fairly dry finish and the hops do assert themselves a bit as you go. No frills North American pale lager, non-offensive but not distinguished except for being sweet for the style.

Serving type: on-tap

09-01-2013 05:50:53 | More by CalgaryFMC
Photo of DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

500 ml can from LCBO for $2.85 CDN into a pint glass.

Appearance - Beautiful golden color that is very clear is poured into the glass. It is one of those beers that looks crisp even before tasting. 1 finger of head that recedes quickly, leaving some soapiness on top. Quite a few bubbles continuously flow to the top throughout the consumption.

Smell - Grainy smelly, some bread. Malts and hops are detectable but faint. Some grassy notes as well.

Taste - Bready, little bit of spiciness which is surprising. Balanced between hops and malts is nice but they offset each other to an extent that neither is dominant.

Mouthfeel - Nice carbonation and smoothness. Watery in that your thirst will be quenched, but not too thin either. Dry finish with a significant lingering aftertaste.

Overall - A very nice Pilsener that makes me keep wanting to go back for more.

Serving type: can

07-12-2013 22:16:54 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of IdeaSpeeder

Ontario (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type - 500ml can poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance - Pours a straw/golden colour, crystal clear with a moderate amount of carbonation visibile. Two fingers of soapy, sad looking white head linger for a few seconds and fade away.

Smell - Grains and cereal and grains and more grains. Some extremely light floral bits as grassy notes are in the mix as well.

Taste - Some faint hop bitterness up front, followed by grains and cereals and light floral bits. Just like the nose, only better.

Mouthfeel - Very light body, medium carbonation and an extremely crisp and satisfying end.

Overall - 3.25/5

Serving type: can

06-28-2013 01:58:09 | More by IdeaSpeeder
Photo of andrenaline

Ontario (Canada)

3.58/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a nice golden colour, finger of head with little retention and no real lacing.

S - Grassy hop notes, bready malts, bread crusts and sweet corn.

T - Much like the nose, sweet corn, bready malts, the grassy hops and wheat flavours linger alongside a hint of honey.

M - Medium bodied, smooth and wet.

O - Easy drinking, decent flavour profile and one of my go-to brews in a pinch. Nothing mind blowing here, but it'll easily please the masses.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2013 21:42:12 | More by andrenaline
Photo of Nikolai070

Ontario (Canada)

4.8/5  rDev +39.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

An absolutely fantastic Canadian beer! This is my absolutely favorite beer and I would recommend it to anyone looking to try. The color is pale, the carbonation is refreshing, the smell is intriguing and the taste is phenomenal. I've got all of my buddies drinking it now and anyone who tries it seems to say the same thing: it's an all around awesome beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2013 00:42:56 | More by Nikolai070
Photo of moniz

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Is it the best Pilsner around? Probably not. Is it the best in Canada when compared to the macros? Absolutely!! Pale straw color, crisp refreshing mouthfeel, dry, slightly bready aftertaste, but still refreshing nonetheless. It's the beer that got me into micros. It's one of my go to beers always in my fridge ,from where I expand and experiment with other micros.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2013 15:17:55 | More by moniz
Photo of atr2605

New York

2.58/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours yellow with a white head with good retention
S-sweet malt and corn, no hop presence
T-Has a strange vegetable metallic element to it. Not pleasant.
M-light bodied
O-looks and feel is right but the strange flavor throws off its crispness. Very possible it got like struck due to the green bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2013 01:07:41 | More by atr2605
Photo of TheHammer

Ontario (Canada)

3.34/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Alright, I've had more then enough of this beer to give it another shot. This is a review of the bottled version, vs my previous can review.

Appearance - A clear gold color with ample carbonation works with a thumb's worth of head which regrettably did not retain, but did manage to produce some lacing.

Smell - Crisp, but light as a mild staw and biscuit malt takes backseat to some mild moist hopping. Warming didn't help it's case and it's just not very potent.

Taste - It starts with grainy malt as it ebbs and flows to, a floral and earthy hop bitterness the mildly eases down, leaving a crisp end. Simple and crisp, as a good pilsener should be, not with a lot of bells and whistles.

Mouthfeel - It does leave a bit of a dry aftertastes but the transitioning is well done, as is the carbonation.

Drinkability - Apart from the dryness, this beer is quite good as far as drinkability is concerned, its the lighter end of medium bodied, and calms down and goes down smoothly.

Final Thoughts - Now that I've looked back on this one, it becomes clear that my old can review was likely infected, as this is the overpriced Steamwhistle that I've come to moderately like. This is a beer that your macro drinking buddies will enjoy, but overly complex it is not and if the brewery didn't put such an effort towards environmental sustainability, having cool marketing and being a general comrade of the craft beer movement, I'd call foul on the price. It's worth trying though, no question.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 07:00:30 | More by TheHammer
Photo of Maverick25

Ontario (Canada)

4/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is very much a summer beer for me. Love the carbonation factor, the clean crisp finish, and the mild hops in the aroma and taste. A simple beer, with a nice mouth feel. Airy and light . Although I really like it in the bottle, I do not care for it in the can, or on tap as much.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 14:38:59 | More by Maverick25
Photo of zachloveshisbeer

Alberta (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

People rant and rave about this one as being the best pilsner they have ever had. Well, those people have never been to Germany or the Czech Republic, heck, even Hungary makes a better pilsner than this one; however, I can appreciate what these guys are doing and I give them credit for changing hearts and minds. The beer pours a straw yellow, with nice lacing and it's got that sweet citrus aroma that most pilsners do. It looks like your typical Canuck lager but it tastes much better than any adjunct lagers out there. This is the beer you give to someone who declares that they will "never drink that expensive craft beer", and the price point is right in line with the big boys of the world.

Serving type: on-tap

01-09-2013 16:22:33 | More by zachloveshisbeer
Photo of JamesMN


3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 500ml can into a canadian Bushwakker glass I purchased in Regina, SK when I was 19 (gotta love that drinking age up north! And yes, I was into craft beer back then) The description on the can states: "Steam Whistle brings you Canada's Premium Pilsner." Bold words, let's see how it stacks up...

Appearance: Crystal clear gold color with visible effervescence. There was a one finger head but it has dissipated into a thin film of white foam.

Aroma: Like popcorn tea. Although not in the blatantly adjuncty way that most macro-pilseners smell. It's more of a yeast influenced aroma that is actually pretty nice. Just a hint of sweetness. Hoping for some crisp pilsener bitterness.

Taste: Finally a pilsener that actually tastes close to the original style! That popcorn tea aroma is present in the taste, but once again it is not the usual corn taste of macro-lagers, it is a full bodied yeast influenced flavor that stays on your palate. The second half and finish are very crisp from the hops. I think it is missing a slight bitterness that would bring it to a whole new level of flavor, but the hop presence is headed in the right direction.

Mouthfeel: Despite the bubbly look of this beer, it is surprisingly smooth. It is also medium bodied, if not slightly above, but still attains easy drinkability (credit for this goes to the crispness of the hops).

Final Thoughts: Canada's Premium Pilsner succeeds were others (macro-lagers) fail. They stick to four basic ingredients: spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast. This is evident in the flavor and overall drinking experience. A beer like this one puts all macro-brewed 'pilsners' to shame! It doesn't boast any fantastic qualities, but it also doesn't have any off flavors. It is simply a beer that's easy to enjoy.

Serving type: can

09-23-2012 05:11:57 | More by JamesMN
Photo of maclean25

British Columbia (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Drank a pair while on vacation in Ottawa. It has been recommended to me several times in the past and I've had it before - I remember it not living up to the hype. The first beer poured (into a tall, slim glass stein) with no head and the second with a small amount of white, creamy head that stayed there entire time. The body is clear yellow, with a slight golden tinge. The aroma has apple, grape, and grain (presumably from the hops). The taste has that noble hops quality continued. It is a lightly flavoured beer; the flavour is similar to buttered bread. It is light to medium bodied with an almost perfect carbonation (little bit more would have been great). It feels very smooth. Overall, I find it to be a good, decent pilsner. I would gladly drink it again (would be a good session beer). I think I understand its popularity: it is light enough for mass appeal, but with a distinctive enough taste for people to think it is something unique and amazing.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2012 18:30:55 | More by maclean25
Photo of BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I have tried Steam Whistle before from a can, but have always been hesitant of purchasing the green bottles. Luckily I was served a couple with out having to pay for them myself.
Pours a clear, yellow gold color, with a short and thick, white head. Foam faded slowly, minmal lace. Smell is slightly grass and herbal, no skunkiness detected. Taste is a nice mix of light bready malts, and floral balancing hops. Slightly acidic, but no real bitter hoppiness. Mouthfeel is light, medium carbonation, refreshing and easy to drink. Great for the patio. This may have been my first green bottle lager with no skunk (Thank you, Heineken, for my paranoia)

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2012 22:58:37 | More by BigBry
Photo of Mellonius


3/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at Pub Italia, Ottawa. Poured in a shaker glass.

Dark straw color, almost orange. Little head formation, it disappeared very quickly.

Smell is somewhat grassy, citrusy and wheaty.

Very light on the palate, refreshing and drinkable. Not very characteristic as a German Pilsner, though. Lacks the bitterness and the richer hop complexity of the genre.

A nice beer for a warm afternoon, especially if you're eating spicy food. Not special, though. I would not try it again in a world full of new things to sample.

Serving type: on-tap

07-10-2012 00:31:55 | More by Mellonius
Photo of andrwjedi

District of Columbia

2.48/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured little to no head in part because I noticed "debris" in the liquid. Poured remaining beer into a seperate glass. Looked like yeast that had settled to the bottom, although I was surprised to find this in a commercial beer. Had a "home brew" feel to it.

Color was golden orange. Much darker than I would expect from a pilsner, and definitely outside of style range. Didn't have the "clear" appearance you expect from a pilsner either.

Aroma was strong malt and no hop presence. A little aggressive aroma from the malt, more than expected. Some fruitiness as well.

Taste was strong malt and cloyingly sweet. No hop bitterness to back up the sweetness.

Mouthfeel was medium. Not enough carbonation for a pilsner or "spritz." The malt flavor weighed heavy on the tongue but cleared off after a few seconds. Very dry as well which was surprising with the malt flavor.

Overall I would guess this is a bottle conditioned California common (steam) style pilsner. It came off more as an extract home brew than a commercial pilsner. If I'm wrong, perhaps I got a somehow-contaminated bottle. Overall disappointing, but a drinkable beer if you don't assume it's a pilsner before drinking it.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 23:36:50 | More by andrwjedi
Photo of joefinnigan15

Manitoba (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: golden, 1 finger head, 

Smell: bit of citrus, wheat

Taste, mouthfeel: has some body. Not bitter, which I like, bubbly on the tongue but fades quickly, a bit creamy, can't put my finger on a specific flavour. 

Overall: Refreshing, with some body, less of a clean taste and more of a creamy texture. Pretty decent beer, I'd buy it again

Serving type: can

07-04-2012 00:41:02 | More by joefinnigan15
Photo of mick303

Ontario (Canada)

3.45/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a large white head which takes some time to die down, leaving a nice layer of foam, leaving quite a bit of lacing. Colour is yellow-gold and a decent amount of carbonation.

Good aromas of malt, bit of hops. Seems nicely balanced.

The taste is slightly sharp, fairly nice balance with a bit of a fresh crispness to it. Fairly enjoyable and quite refreshing without being very imposing. Good session beer, the flavours don't overwhelm each other, but neither are they terribly exciting.

Mouthfeel is a bit watery, with a bit of carbonation. Aftertaste is smooth, just a hint of bitterness.

I've been drinking this for a few years, and I'd say overall, this is still a pretty good go-to summer beer. There are better beers but its not half-bad, highly drinkable, and a decent style representation.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2012 22:27:54 | More by mick303
Photo of NV9

Ontario (Canada)

4.04/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pale straw colour with almost no head and what is there fades to nothing in no time.

Bready barley smell, lot of corn in there as well, hint of citrus but not strong.

Crisp flavour, somewhat bitter right from the start and through the finish, the bready flavour is evident in the taste as well.

Light body but a fairly strong carbonate feel in my mouth, finishes dry.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 21:38:21 | More by NV9
Photo of Converge

Alberta (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

500ml can poured into a 20oz nonic.

A - Pours a super-clean golden straw color with a white head of thin bubbles. Poor head retention and no lacing at all.

S - Smells of clean barley malt, with a real bready character to it along with a mild honey sweetness. Slight citrus tinge with some grassy noble hops in the finish. Call me crazy, but there's even a slight nutty presence here.

T - Rather robust for a pilsener, with a malty character of buttery bread and mild nuttiness. Notes of citrus and honey pop up. Finishes crisp with some light grassy hops. A little too grainy for my liking, but nothing offensive.

M - Full bodied for the style, but carbonation is strangely low. Sort of a peculiar mouthfeel given the flavor profile here.

D - A decent domestic brew for Canada and a nice refreshing beer for the summer time. Nothing to go out of the way to try, but I wouldn't turn it down on a hot afternoon. Pretty much average.

Serving type: can

05-25-2012 06:32:54 | More by Converge
Photo of DCon


4.15/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared a 355ML can of this w/ my good friend Tony @ the Schlafly Tap Room in St. Louis, MO. Poured from the Bright Green (7-Up looking can) w/ a Whistle and outline of a brewery at the bottom into a 12oz Snifter Glass. Has PKGD MAR 22 2012 on the side of the can.

Aroma- Slight corn on the front and then sweet, typical German Pils aroma. Very clean and easy.

Appearance- Pours a 1 finger head that dies almost right away. Has a clean, golden body with great clarity. Leaves good lacing behind.

Flavor- Very malty, crisp, and once again has some corn that comes around. Light-medium bitterness. Sweetness all the way through.

Mouthfeel- Light Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Creamy, Smooth, and bites with sweetness on the palate.

Overall Impression- Beware! This is a HIGHLY drinkable brew and would be dangerous on a floating trip! Would love to see this guy (and possibly 11 others of it) in the near future. Highly recommend for its style and am a huge fan.

Serving type: can

05-19-2012 14:59:22 | More by DCon
Photo of leaddog

Alberta (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a golden straw yellow with a finger width of bubbly, foamy head.

Smell - Grains, corn, touch of citrus aromas.

Taste - Strong grain and malt flavour off the bat, followed by a light lemon zest. Very crisp flavours.

Mouthfeel - Light-to-medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth, crisp and refreshing with a dry finish.

Overall - An enjoyable pilsener by Steam Whistle. Not getting much in the way of hops, however, there are some other excellent refreshing flavours (like the hint of citrus zest).

Serving type: can

04-29-2012 03:12:03 | More by leaddog
Photo of Hex


3.78/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aahhh! One of my favorites! am i bias? Never.

Pours very pale, with the soapy head about a finger, finger and a half almost. Doesnt stick around too, too long.

Smells like spring time! Hoppy, grassy, a little earth, a little citrus, (grapefruit maybe? maybe not...) citrusy though.

Taste like spring. The hoppy come about a little bit, not too strong, not too light. Mild citrus, mild grass, and very mild earth.

Leaves your mouth with a tingling dryness that request you pick the bottle back up. (DOnt SIT mE DoWN) it shouts.

Overall this is a decent beer. Very easy to drink but not really lacking in character. The flavors are light and free and refreshing. Could very well be socially drank at a cookout, a baseball game... something.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 07:33:44 | More by Hex
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Steam Whistle Pilsner from Steam Whistle Brewing
79 out of 100 based on 262 ratings.