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Gold Star Pilsner - Lancaster Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Gold Star PilsnerGold Star Pilsner

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
80
good

92 Ratings
THE BROS
69
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 92
Reviews: 54
rAvg: 3.51
pDev: 15.38%
Wants: 0
Gots: 4 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  5.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Description: This classic Bohemian-style Pilsner brings noble hop flavor and traditional maltiness into perfect union. A healthy dose of imported hops tips the scales towards a decidedly hoppy finish.

Also this beer is no longer produced in bottles. I'm not sure if there is anyway to change our rating because our bottles were contracted brewed and were not up to our standards hence the termination of bottling. Or I guess we just get more people to review the draft version which is many times better than our old bottles.

(Beer added by: pezoids on 03-24-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 92 | Reviews: 54 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.85/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a 12 oz bottle served in a non-descript tumbler glass.

Appearance: The pils has a golden color, similar to BMC, and is crystal clear. There is a nice ring of head that lingers throughout the beer.

Smell: This pilsner smells like a tripel! The pils, rather that having an earthy hops smell, is spicy and peppery like a tripel. Very unusual.

Taste: The taste starts to return things to normal with a nice strong hop character that is not overpowering (more like a European varietal). There is a nice malt biscuity backbone that anchors the beer.

Mouthfeel: The beer sits well on the tongue, althought the mixed messages in the smell are confusing.

Drinkability: The drinkability is good, although the beer does confound at times.

akorsak, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What a pleasant surprise! I am told by my friend Woody Chandler that this beer has been seriously re-vamped since the arrival of Bill Moore to Lancaster Brewing Company. I am not generally a huge fan of the Pilsner style so I have procrastinated this beer. My expectations were low and to my surprise I was incredibly impressed.

Appearance: served to me a bright golden amber color with a large white head.

Smell: A pleasant sweet spicy Czech hop aroma (probably Saaz traditional spicy, clean bitterness - Thanks Woody). It seemed to more sweet and malty than most pilsner's I am experienced with (almost like an amber-ish quality to it).

Taste: Again the taste is simple but pleasant. A bit of toasted caramel sweetness lays atop a dampened herbal hop attribute that doesn't light fireworks but does drink very easily.

Mouthfeel: Light but not thin. Well carbonated and smooth.

Drinkability: This beer is *highly* sessionable. I don't know if it'd be as good in a bottle as it was on tap, but I'd say a growler at the next pool party cookout, may be in order.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, May 26, 2006
Photo of orbitalr0x
3.2/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The Lancaster Gold Star Pilsner pours into my nonic pint glass a brilliant golden hue with streaks of sunshine yellow. A light bubbly half inch of foam tops the brew off. Aroma is toasted grains upfront along with a bit of light fruitiness. Herbal, sorta cheesy hops in the background with a light sweetness.

First sip brings a nicely toasted grainy maltiness that has a mix of light fruity flavors as well. Earthy, herbal hop character follows and imparts a slight bit of bitterness. Finishes smooth with a touch of roastiness.

Mouthfeel is light and smooth, easy to drink overall. A nice brew to drink after a mowing the lawn on a hot day. A fairly nice, uncomplicated brew, but it still leaves me wanting a bit more.

orbitalr0x, May 06, 2006
Photo of oelergud
3.78/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Semi-transparent golden body with some orange, big white, rocky head with good retention and great lace. No carbonation.
Kickass floral and hay scents with spiced hop oils and mild malt.
Mild to moderate malts up front that grows rapidly with honey notes then washes into a dry hop aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is full and spiked, far from smooth, and a refreshing change from your usual lager. Some coating and slick feel.
Great drinkability, interesting and easy to enjoy.

-Oelergud

oelergud, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a light amber with a fluffy white head that maintains well. Thick lacing on the glass. It looks rather good, but too dark for a pilsner.

Has a lightly sweet caramel malt aroma with a light amount of herbal hops. Also, a slight fruitiness is present. Is there really a pilsner in here?

Upfront is a caramel malt flavor and a slight fruitiness. This is followed by a nice bitter hop bite and rather herbal hop flavor. It finishes a bit dry with a lingering bitterness and hoppy taste.

Nicely carbonated, creamy texture.

This is a decent beer, but disappointing to a man craving a crisp and spicy pils.

MaltyGoodness, Mar 16, 2006
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.3/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well there is a new take on a pilsner; this beer is a brilliantly clear rich amber color. It is topped by a frothy, tan colored head that leaves a bit of lacing as it falls from its initial one-finger height. Unsurprisingly given the color, the aroma has a sweet caramel note to it as well as a light fruitiness. There is some dry toasted notes in the finish as well as some herbal hop notes rounding out the malt notes. The sweet malt notes are the most prevalent note though.

The beer is light on the palate with a soft fruity, almost caramel like sweetness to it. The finish has a dry, toasted biscuit note to it that intermingles with an herbal hop bitterness. The herbal hop note shines from beginning to end, it is perhaps the most noticeable flavor here, and provides a nice foil for the uncharacteristic caramel sweet malt notes. This is certainly an interesting take on a Pilsner, more of an Amber ale even. It is pretty tasty though and quite quaffable; on a purely hedonistic scale this beer is pretty good, but it is a far cry from a Pilsner.

Gueuzedude, Feb 18, 2006
Photo of tgbljb
3.83/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

presented as a deep golden color beverage with impressive white puffy head. Smell was mainly of sweetish hops, and while not overly enjoyable, was acceptable. Taste is pleasant and a nice maltiness brings a nice slighty hoppy taste to the mouth. Finish is somewhat disappointingn but a slight hoppiness gin=ves some salvation. All things considered, not a bad beer.

tgbljb, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy tangerine-amber, much orangier than the usual pilsener. An impressive number of tiny bubbles hurry up to an impressively large, polished ivory crown. The head is a real looker. It's as rocky as the Matterhorn and sticks like glue to the sides of the glass. Although the lace is a little melty in the end, this is a good looking beer.

I wonder if Lancaster put a pale ale in this bottle. It looks like one and it definitely smells like one. There's a nice pale malty background, with a substantial amount of citric, slightly musky, orange and lemon fruity hops in the foreground. No how, no way do I smell the noble trio of hops that are supposed to be present: Hallertau, Saaz and Tettnang. Even if it doesn't smell like the stated style, it's still a nice nose.

Gold Star Pilsner tastes like an APA-pilsener hybrid, slightly favoring the former. Even though the malt backbone is nice and sturdy, hops occupy center stage. Neither bitterness nor hop flavor is in short supply. The zesty, floral snap of Saaz is accompanied by the more fruity, still snappy grapefruit peel flavor of one or more American hops. I'm not calling the good folks at Lancaster liars, but I can't believe this is a noble-only brew.

I must have laid my hands on an especially fresh bottle because I'm becoming more and more impressed by the hoppy chutzpah that each mouthful delivers to my tongue. The finish is a little too resiny to be called clean and is wonderfully tart and puckery. As noted, there's more than enough malt to round off whatever rough edges might have been present, making Gold Star an extremely approachable beer.

The mouthfeel is full for a pilsener and medium for an APA. Despite the boisterousness of the carbonation right out of the chute, and the still impressive head that is recreated with each subsequent pour, the beer is anything but buzzy. It's wonderfully smooth and is a great match for the flavor.

Gold Star Pilsner isn't much of a pilsener, but it's a damn fine beer. It's hoppy enough to get (and keep) my attention from first sip to last. I've heard very little about this PA brewery and am now excited to try some of their other offerings. I give it a gold star.

BuckeyeNation, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of waughbrew
4.18/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Not pasteurized," "Brewed Naturally," and "without preservatives." I don't know what "brewed naturally" infers, but I like the other two. Now all we need is a freshness date and we would be all set.


Clear light gold with a medium-sized white head that does not stay for too long, but laces well.


Smell is deep, seedy continental hops. If I close my eyes I am in Prague with a vine in front of me with its thick, juicy cones inches from my nostrils.

Dry from the get-go, there is only an impressionistic background of grain as the vinous and herbal attributes work their way to the foreground. The colors are more muted than expected. In the end, honey is the only flavor accompanying the hops, which are by this point dusty and musty.


Feel is crisp and bitter, as well it should be. It surprisingly leaves the back of my tongue in favor of the salty sides quickly after the majority passes through.


Drinking this is easy and enjoyable. Thank you Lancaster for sharing your talent with me.

waughbrew, Oct 23, 2005
Photo of BrinkyBeerBoy
4.47/5  rDev +27.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this pilsner along time ago, and loved it. So now that I'm a big time reviewer on BA, I had to get a Lancaster sampler and comment on them. This Gold Star Pilsner gets a gold star in my book.

Although hazy, and not clear gold did not turn me away from this brew. I see this nice 2 inch thick white head that sits well. I could smell this beer all day as my nostrils take in this buttery, doughy bread with a twist of lemon.

As It coats the palate with the slight doughy malt sweetness the hops *BOOM* release all over the place, and dance on the buds, and on the inside of your mouth for a long time. Good amount of carbonation ends with a crisp hoppy finish. Lacing all the way down. I am pleased.

Overall great MADE IN USA pilsner. I highly recommend this one.

BrinkyBeerBoy, Aug 19, 2005
Photo of TinusTime
3.88/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours unusually dark for a pilsner. Pours a hazy light copper colour with a pretty nice white fluffy head. Smell has a bit of spice and floral hoppy snap to it. Taste has just a touch of malty sweetness at the forefront before it is jerked back like a bungi cord by the hops. The beer finishes crisp and clean as it should. Mouthfeel is sharp with nice fine carbonation that keeps the beer fresh on the palate. Drinkability is also good. These went down really well on a hot day.

TinusTime, Aug 06, 2005
Photo of robertp1024
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark copper/amber color. The head is thick, almost a dirty white and there is a lot of lacing. There is quite a bit of sediment on the bottom of the glass. The scent is somewhat metallic, somewhat sweet maltiness, and a grassy hops. The flavor is hops, and they are spicy. The grassy spicy hops flavors comes through kicking. There is a slight flavor of sweet malts, maybe some dark fruits. Overall very smooth, very interesting blend of malts and hops. Nice pilsner.

robertp1024, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of cubedbee
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy orange with a finger of rocky white head and a decent amount of lacing. Aroma is is a subdued grass, hay, and floral hops. Taste starts out with a light malt sweetness followed quickly by a grassy and spicey hop finish. Medium bodied with a very soft smooth mouthfeel and a dryish finish. This is a pretty nice easy drinking pilsner.

cubedbee, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.15/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a bright slightly dark gold with a thin head and lots of carbonation. Aroma is sharp and clean, nice light Saaz and toasted malt.

Taste is sweet golden malt with a hint of sourness. A slight orange citrus edge, more than I would expect in a pils. More body and bittersweet flavors than a typical pilsner. Needs to be lighter, more Saaz and less [other] hops. Finishes with a dry hoppy aftertaste that lingers.

Mouthfeel is medium but heavier than a pilsner should be. This is a good beer but I have to bring the numbers down a little because I think they missed the style.

assurbanipaul, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of Suds
4.08/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12 ounce bottle that was purchased at the brewpub. Pours a burnt-golden color with a fair amount of haze. An initially thick white head quickly falls, but never completely disappears. The lace is decent. Crisp, floral, spicy, sharp hop aroma. Just a little soft sweetness is present in the foretaste, followed quickly by a poignant, snappy hop flavor. The spicy hop character completes the taste, which finishes clean and abrupt. Medium to light in body, low carbonation for the style. Tasty and drinkable.

Suds, Jun 19, 2005
Photo of RonfromJersey
4.22/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bright yellow-gold, with a bit of chill haze, topped by a pure white, sticky, whip cream head. Nice lacing. Inviting.

Low key aroma, with some very fresh hay and spicey notes, but subdued.

The malt enters lightly, slipping down the throat easily, as the hops arise to give a light, fresh rinse which is greatly refreshing, and not so biting as to be off putting to the American lager drinker.

Nice soft mouthfeel. A great drinking beer for the hot days of summer.

Served up a case to a mixed crowd on Mother's Day. At party's end this bottle was the last in the cooler. I'd say that makes for a good crossover beer. Lancaster's comeback really needs more attention, another fine PA brewery. I really must visit the brewpub this summer.

RonfromJersey, Jun 05, 2005
Photo of weeare138
3.9/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a light blonde with a luscious white head and medium carbonation. Lots of beautiful lacing.
Smells of slight graininess with touch of hops and sweetness.
Taste is crisp with mild but sharp hop bite.
Mouthfeel is very smooth and semi dry.

Finger licking good.

weeare138, May 29, 2005
Photo of Fish113d
3.8/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle chilled at 50 degrees (F) into a tulip glass, it pours a honey color with a 1/3" head that appears white and creamy. I notice a slight haze thru the glass.

Aroma is rather pungeunt of hops with a slight caramel sweetness, and some grainy maltiness and even a biscuit aroma due to the grains. However, not all that appealing to me overall.

Taste is of bitter apricots accompanying a smooth grainy malt flavor (bready/biscuit). The finish leaves a sweet apricot taste on my tongue as well as a grassy hoppy note (rather nice).

The carbonation hits sharply on the first 1/2 of my tongue upon sipping, but it quickly becomes smooth and nice throughout; not much alcohol felt either.

Decent pils brew. I am not really a pils fan, but I do like this one. It is easy to drink, not too heavy, and not too grainy and "bready" tasting, which is what bothers me about a lot of pils. Overall, a crisp, light, nicely crafted brew from Lancaster.

Fish113d, May 01, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearence: Poured into my Prima Pils glass a clear copper with a thin, bubbly off-white head. There is loads of carbonation in this beer.

Smell: The smell has a very bland malt quality to it that is unbalanced. There are no hops present.

Taste and Mouthfeel: While there is hardly any hop flavor in this brew, the malts are quite tasty and almost have a wheat type quality to them. Bread and cereal come to mind, but not in a bland or generic way. The simple complexities are just about perfect. The mouthfeel is thin and crisp.

Drinkability and Overall: This is an excellent pilsener from and excellent brewery. It may not be the best pilsener in the world (definitly not the best smelling), but it's crisp, enjoyable, and very drinkable. Perfect for this warm spring day.

santoslhalper, Apr 14, 2005
Photo of Dithyramb
4.05/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice, simple label and graphics. There is no born on or freshness date. However, it does say that it is “all natural” and unfiltered. I later find out that it is bottle conditioned. This is helpful and puts me at ease, since I bought it at a place of questionable turnover.

Had to give this baby a high score for appearance. First, it simply erupts in the glass when poured. I used my trusty imperial pint glass. If I got half the bottle out in the first pour, I was lucky. The first thing you see is a big, billowy, and fluffy head that was completely untamable. When I enjoyed my first one, I was impatient and used the old college keg trick of putting a bit of my nose grease on the top to kill the head. It poured a hazy golden copper with some light flecks of yeast roaming around. Those Penn folks really know how to fill a bottle, since I got the same “wow” experience when I first opened up the Love Stout. A pillow of sea foam like head withstood my hearty proboscis grease and road down the glass with the sticky lacing.

An interesting grass, hay, and lemon aroma was oozing out of the volcanic head. I kept thinking that it smelled more like an Allagash-style Belgian, with a definite yeast note.

Slick on the tongue with a great mix of high bitterness, mixed with a strong malt backbone and a spicy tinge. This is crisp, easy drinking and dry, finishing very clean. The carbonation mentioned before is (burp) evident in the medium mouthfeel as well. The yeast, however, detracts from the malt and hops, so I took a bit of points off for that. I'll keep it in the cellar, and see how it is in a few months.

The website has this listed as a Bohemian pilsner, and this is an excellent example of the style. I’ve recently had the Staropramen and Pilsner Urquell and the Lancaster blows them out of the water.

Notes: Though not quite a five star quality in every way, this would definitely be a solid session brew. Drinking this makes me imagine myself out on the Grady White, bobbing around, doing my best to catch all the flounder at the Jersey shore.

Dithyramb, Jan 21, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.28/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured slightly hazy pale golden straw. The head was white with many large bubbles that fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was some slight fruity and spicy hops with a slight maltiness behind.

The flavor was winey and fruity with a slightly sour bitterness that detracted from the flavor. The fruitiness is out of style and the bittering was a bit on the harsh side. The flavor of the bitterness was grassy.

The finish was dry with lasting harsh grassy bittering. The body was medium light.

12 ounce bottle. If you told me this was an English Bitter I could have believed it. Not a bad drinking beer, but a bit off style for a Pils. A push toward noble hops would make a difference, if noble hops are used, they are certainly American cultivars.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.58/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A decent and refreshing pilsner. The color is light gold with a fair amount of clean white head. The malt profile was very simple, sweet golden grain with traces of grass and hay. A summertime quencher with a bubbly mouthfeel that fades gradually into a medium spicy hop bite that lasts easily until the next mouthful.
A good example of the style though not all that memorable.

farHillsBrewer, Aug 29, 2004
Photo of meathookjones
3.48/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out a slightly hazy golden yellow color with a decent sized white fizzy head. The left the scene like it owed my money shortly after the pour. Roasted grain is what I first smelled, though after a while I believe it smelled like hay. There was some roasted scent, malt and a bit of spice notes sprinkled about over the hay. The flavor was a bit sweet with malts while have a roasted grain character to it as well. There were a good amount of hops balancing it out and lending a nice bitterness to it as well. Mouthfeel was about average with no notable aspects standing out or detracting from this brew. With a pretty good flavor this was definitely an easy drinking brew I could put down a few of if I was in the mood for a pilsner.

meathookjones, Aug 19, 2004
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rather plain label 12 oz. browner that does state "Not Pasturized." No freshnes info availible but since LANCASTER is a two hour drive away, this can't be far from fresh. Released this Pilsner into me apropos Weeping Radish pilsner glass. Clear golden straw pour with a scant coating of ivory hued head that barely covers the brew. Occasional bubbles decide to rise from the bottom. Good appearance for the style. Towards the end, there are some particles that floated down to the bottom of the glass.

Bright peach & fruit scents abound well, and surprisingly for a pilsner. Light grain afterscents.

First swigs: Dry sweet & slightly bitter hops front the flavor category. Lingering fresh aftertaste that reminds me more of a pale ale type aftertaste.

Plenty of tight carbonation lasting well through this pilsner, even on a hot summer night.

Last swigs: This is a pilsner that wants to be a pale ale. A surprise to me that this pilsner is so hoppy for its style. This is no slouch with a 5.5% ABV that is well hidden.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

blitheringidiot, Aug 15, 2004
Photo of mobyfann
3.75/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Re-review: 20-October-2004

Upgrade the smell from a 3 to a 3.5, the smell had a nice blend of hops and grain. Taste from a 3.5 to a 4 b/c it deserved it, this bottle didn't have th skunk like the lst one I remember...

Paid $24.50 for the mixed case...

The appearence was a hazy amber golden color with a huge frothy, detailed white head with good retention and above average lacing. The aroma was ok but nothing great, hints of grain were there....

The taste is above average, better than what I expected after the smell, a little skunk factor but was very negligable. Thus the mouthfeel was a little harsh, the drinkability is not bad, but not all that good either.

Final Thought: This has amber lager written all over it, I don't consider this a true pilsener, also a little strong for the style...

mobyfann, Jul 30, 2004
Gold Star Pilsner from Lancaster Brewing Company
80 out of 100 based on 92 ratings.