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Reality Czeck - Moonlight Brewing Company

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Reality Czeck
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256 Ratings

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Ratings: 256
Reviews: 143
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 192
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Czech Pilsener |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2005

No notes at this time.
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Ratings: 256 | Reviews: 143 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of augustgarage
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap, 2/4/10 at Flavor. Served in a sloping half-pint glass.

Pale maize liquid with a touch of (chill?) haze and an even solid finger of magnolia foam. Soft peaks yield great retention. Clingy rings of lacing spread apart slowly without becoming submerged again.

Unitary pale malt aromatics - exceptionally clean. Very faint noble hops add a hint of hay.

The malt is superlative in the flavor profile. Pure, clean, potent, and faintly suggestive of fresh home-made tortilla chips (of all things). Succulent, sweet yet dry finish with a touch of honey and alfalfa. With nowhere to hide, I can find ZERO off notes.

Smooth, creamy, yet still light-bodied...lovely.

Simple need not mean simplistic - a thoroughly enjoyable example of the style.

Photo of abecall98
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Not the biggest fan of pilsners, but after hearing about this from a buddy, I had to try it.

A - pour a cloudy yellow. Barely any head, but it laces amazingly.

S - bitter hops. Sweet malt. Tastes like most other pilsners I've had, only slightly more pleasantly bitter.

T - wow, crisp, bitter, sweet. Amazingly done. This beer is making me reconsider pilsners. I like it.

M - for a pilsner, it's a little thin. It's dry, and not very carbonated.

D - perfect. I could drink it all night. For a beer to make me reconsider a style completely, I gotta give it props.

Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Flavor Bistro.

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with pale golden straw hues when held to a light source and a frthy, soapy two finger white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with streaks and spots of soapy chunks of lace.

Slightly earthy/funky with a musty grassy/straw presence in the nose. Subtle earthy hops and a prominent pilsner malt character. There's also a good bit of light fruit, eapeciLly apple and banana.

Medium body which is happily much fuller than ai expected with a nice crisp light hop presence up front followed by a prominent pilsner malt presence and a very tasty earthy straw grass character. Very complex and easy to drink. ABV is decently masked with only slight alcohol presence. Light and crisp with a enough of a subtle hop bite up front and full malt body to make it complex and interesting. Recommended.

Photo of cptierney
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa, about a 10 oz pour.

The pour was bountiful as my cup ranneth over. The liquid is a straw yellow, slightly hazy with thin trails of bubbles running along its sides. The head was minimal, though I attribute this to the heavy pour as opposed to the carbonation level of the beer. As I drank it down there was some slight traces of lacing.

The nose on this beer is sweet. Expecting the skunky dry odor of most pilsners, I was surprised by the honey goodness that met my nose. Not to be mistaken, a second whiff gave me some suggestions of those typical dry, crisp and mildly spicy notes that a typical pilsner contains, but the honey pervades.

This beer shines in the mouthfeel category. The light bodied liquid is easily gulped down and that Jusssttt perfect carbonation tickles the tongue making for an extremely thirst-quenching and refreshing pilsner.

My first impression of the taste is, like the nose, dominated by sweet honey. This is not a terribly dry pilsner, and while some purists will probably gripe, I am reveling in this fact. The spicing on this beer is divine with the mild piney hops melding with some sweet and light malts to make a delicious brew.

This beer does have the lovely pilsner quality of disappearing from the palate immediately leaving you ready for more and more. I could drink buckets of this stuff and find it to be a unique and pleasant take on a very old style.

Photo of Jayli
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Toronada 12/5

A: This beer pours a nice translucent straw yellow with a one finger of off white head. Head recedes quickly leaving some sheety lacing.

S: Nose is of grains, corn, and a hint of spices and earthiness.

T: Taste starts slightly subdued with hints of citrus notes before moving in to a much stronger flavoring. Grain, biscuit and malt fill out the middle to give a more robust (as robust for the style as you can get) taste. Finish is a nice piney, earthy flavoring that really fill out this beer nicely.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, slick mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

D: This is a nicely crafted pilsner. Goes down easily, nocely balanced, not filling and one to sit with for an evening.

Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa.

A: A hazy pale golden color with a fluffy white head which leaves some mild lacing. Served in an absolutely awesome Moonlight brewing glass (which I purchased).

S: A nice earthy and spicy hop aroma accompanied by citrus notes and a bit of sweet malt.

T: The flavors are quite similar to the nose. The hops definitely take the lead and lend a great earthy and spicy quality to the beer. The malt is certainly there, as are the citrus flavors. A pretty nice balance.

M: The carbonation is plentiful and helps to create a light, refreshing beer drinking experience.

D: This is a really refreshing and easy drinking beer. I'm not generally much of a lager fan, but this just has such great flavors and a nice light feel to it.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, and I must send a shout out to the Hopcam, otherwise I may have missed this opportunity. On to the beer:

Beautiful. This beer is deep golden straw in color, topped by an airy, puffy head that stays airy and puffy on top all the way until the last drop. Lots of healthy lacing sticks to the glass. It smells like a pilsner. Hay, grassy, herbal. The taste follows the smell. Lots of grass, hay, pale malt, and citric hop flavor, but blended together in harmony to create a beer that lifts off your tongue without effort. I wouldn't call this beer "light", I would call it lean.

I find it hard to believe that this beer is less than 5% ABV, but is full of all the pilsner qualities, and more, then molded together in a way like no other. No matter how you slice it, it's an outstanding pilsner. Only Brazil's very own Bamberg Tcheca comes close among pilsners in my book.

Photo of vacax
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ. Nice to have this one in Orange County. I had given up on drinking this one without going to the Bay Area.

Pours golden with a compact white head. Despite the lack of stature in the head, I do get a pretty nice lacing down the backside of the glass as I drink from my pokal. I didn't notice at first in the low light, but there was loads of tiny bubbles making an effervescent showing here. The nose has a noble hops presence that is clear but not enormous. It is lightly fruity with some straw in it.

The flavor echoes the smell to some extent with the noble hopping, the straw character comes through for a nice moderate bitterness. Crisp finish with a little bit of earth to it. Medium bodied with a prickly amount of carbonation. This is a very refreshing beer. It wasn't the mindblowing experience that I had expected, just a real nice pils to enjoy. Definitely the best example of a pilsner from California, at least.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.22/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Toronado's in San Francisco. The beer was clear with a little haze, gold colored with a thin head and no lacing. The aroma was toasted malts with some light citrus like lemons or at most orange. The taste was similar to Pilsner Urquell, at least as much as I remember it, lightly hopped and understated which is OK for the style. Good carbonation, medium body, everything is OK but not mind-blowing like I hoped from a beer that's been on the top 100 for so long. Not sure what the appeal has been with this beer, I definitely didn't feel interested enough to get a second one.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado San Francisco in August 2009.

A: Pours a golden color with a white head.

S: A decent amount of German noble hops, but nothing overpowering, and there isn't really too much else going on.

T: A good amount of grain matched against the noble hops, but nothing terribly special. Maybe it's the hype, but this one really didn't live up to my expectations. Nothing really set it apart from other pilsners that I've had.

M: Light with moderate carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable, but not more so than most for the style. I didn't detect nearly as much of a hop presence as others have discussed, so I'll make sure to revisit it again in the future.

Photo of callmemickey
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the toronado.

A: Light golden body. Moderate white head. Moderate lacing.

S: Floral hoppiness and light grassy notes. Some orange-lemon notes as well. Subtle and delicate.

T: Nice grassy hops that are slightly spicy. More orange and lemon from the nose. Not as much bite as I would like in my pils.

M: Smooth and clean. Crisp finish.

D: A fairly good czech pils. Probably wouldn't make it my go to pils, though.

Photo of nickd717
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado and again at City Beer. At first I didn't see the appeal to this one, but on my third time having it I really got it. This is a great Czech pilsner.

A - Golden color with a medium white head and decent lacing.

S - Grassy hop aroma along with pale malt. Real nice hoppiness to it.

T - Pale malt and loads of fresh, grassy hops. Also a buttery flavor (diacetyl?) that actually works well here

M - Light, sharp, and crisp with a dry, fairly bitter finish.

D - Very drinkable. You could session the hell out of this one.

Photo of MasterSki
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Toronado. Served in a pint glass.

A - It looks like a pils - transparent golden color. It's hard to get a read on head volume as the T bartenders are diligent about filling the glass to the brim. Maybe a finger of creamy white foam that dissipated to a solid cap and left plenty of sticky lacing.

S - Pilsener malt, some floral hoppiness with a touch of orange citrus, a bit of twangy lager yeast. It is what it is - an extremely pleasant session pilsener.

T - Spicy Saaz hops, pilsener malt, a touch of orange zest, and unfortunately like Arbitrator pointed out a touch of corny adjunct in the aftertaste before fading into an impressive amount of bitterness. Lots of flavor in such a low ABV brew, but nothing mind-blowing here.

M - Lively carbonation, maybe a bit too much. Nice dry finish with plenty of residual stickiness.

D - Super drinkable. I finished my glass in no time and could easily have had plenty of this, although flavor-wise it paled in comparison to the amazing Death & Taxes.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one I never thought i would be typing up a review for to say the least! Much, much thanks for this growler. I was blown away to even see it. Served cold and poured into a few pint glasses, this one was consumed on 07/02/2009.

Rich looking pilsner pour. Nice golden hay color with a big head of white on top, nearly three inches at first before settling down to a nice rounded half inch layer that hung there for the rest of the session. Nice carbonation throughout as well really helping to replenish the head on this one. Rich malty aroma, lots of grain with a nice touch of light citrus poking its head up. As it warms I start to pick up grassy notes as well as a touch of banana. This rolls over very smoothly as I take my first sip. Again, blown away by the smoothness of this one. It is exactly how a pilsner should taste but with a nice touch of orange peel added to the finish. Very earthy and bready with lots fo grain notes littered throuhout the taste. Light, easy drinking, and soo sessionable, this one was gone in no time.

Again soo friggin cool that I was able to land this one. I had all but written it off without a trip out west, but never say never. One of the best session beers I have ever had. I would drink this all day if I could.

Photo of Arbitrator
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Seems to be perennially on tap at the Toronado SF, and since I usually see something else I want to have first, I often pass this one over. Finally got a chance to try it last night.

A: A slightly murky golden / yellow body. Has a light off-white head that leaves little lacing -- maybe it's near the end of the keg. Its depth of color saves it from receiving a 3 here.

S: Pilsner malt with a light undercurrent of toast, a moderate hop nose with floral character.

T: Forward pilsner malt again. Toast and a definite grain component in the mid-taste. Some honey and orange zest underneath, a really nice complement. What weirded me out is that there is a definite corn flavor in the aftertaste, and to my knowledge this isn't brewed with adjuncts.

M: Closer to medium bodied than I expected from what should be a light-bodied brew. It's still carbonated well, and manages to be very refreshing. I came hot from the sun, and this did a great job of cooling me off.

D: While I'm rarely up at Toronado, I could see myself having this again when I'm looking for something more refreshing and lighter on the palate than a big hop or malt bomb. Lovely brew.

Photo of bulletrain76
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Draught at Toronado SF. Finally. I've seen this on the menu at The Red down in Santa Cruz at least three times, and the keg seems to always have "just" kicked. I started to get into the style while I was on the east coast, and this definitely hangs with the top American stuff. Pours a clear gold with a fluffy white head. Bread and spicy noble hop aroma. The flavor is quite hoppy but with a nice fresh bread malt body to balance. The hops are pretty spicy and finish with a medium bitterness. There is a light mineral quality as well, the malt is very evocative of grain and fresh bread. Light bodied but not thin in the mouth. Very solid pilsener overall.

Photo of MisterClean
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flavors in Santa Rosa. Very excited to try this one.

A - Pours pure golden in color, with a 2 fingered white head. Dissipates slow and leaves beautiful lacing. Beautiful for a pilsener.

S - Cracked wheat with notes of honey and a slight hint of saaz hops.

T - Very thick and wheaty with the hops more pronounced. A little disappointed that there isn't more breadiness to the taste.

M - Well balanced, easy to drink, and medium bodied.

D - A very good beer, it improves with every sip. Very addicting, but am unsure of it deserving of a top 100 beer. I think Pilsener Urquell is a better example for the style. Still very good.

Photo of mjl21
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Park Chow. Poured into their "tall" glass. ABV not listed.

A-Has a really nice glowing straw yellow color. Virtually no head is present, save for a tiny white ring. Has some nice spot lacing.

S-Smells like a crisp pilsener with notes of grain and fresh floral hops.

T-Sweet malt hits first followed by the floral hops that leave a nice bitterness that lingers in the mouth.

M-Medium bodied with a nice creamy mouthfeel. Very crisp and smooth.

D-Great anytime beer that goes down easily and has the nice west coast hop bite that I love.

This to me is a perfect session beer. I love how light this beer is and the generous hop character keeps me going back for more.

Photo of RustyDiamond
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Served in a Moonlight glass at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa on 02/06/09. Beautiful opaque golden with a perfect white foamy head. Simply gorgeous in the glass. Wonderful aroma of a romp through some wheatfields, with a subtle but nice fragrance. Crisp toasty breadiness noted on the first sip...like a Triscut cracker. Spot-on crispy hop bitterness in the flavor, with a touch of bitterness in the mouthfeel. Picked up more of the perfume up front in the body. Wonderful melange of crisp cracker breadiness and subtle crisp hopiness. Very honored to have tried this beer...perhaps the best American-made pilsner out there.

Photo of Floydster
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pint at Toronado for three dollars and some change during happy hour a week ago, reviewed from notes, finally get to try this Top 100 beer, color is a golden yellow with some cloudy orange thrown into the mix, aroma is of toasted pilsner malts, floral hoppiness, bread, butter, grapefruit, lemons, flowers, grass, and mild spice, flavor starts off bready and quite chewy for its style, middle is toasted with buttery bread, finish is a mix of floral and citrus hops, wow I kept asking myself if this was really a pilsner and in fact it is a very good one, like the grassy accents once it warms, great finish that is crisp until the end, mouthfeel is chewy, dry, citrusy, and slightly sweet, medium bodied but still on the thinner side, crisp level of carbonation, taste lingers a very long time for its style, so much flavor packed into a beer that is less than five percent, drinks very easily, super light and refreshing, could have drank numerous pints, I want more as I am writing this review, too bad this stuff is not bottled like the picture deceives us of, world class beer coming from a great Northern California brewery, will be drinking this ever time I see it now, quite the session beer to say the least, this is worth the hype and is phenomenal for its style, never thought a pilsner could have such great fruit character, highly recommended

Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the flavor bistro today.

The beer pours a light gold color, but with a huge, rocky head and very good retention. Lot's of sticky lacing all around on this impressive looking beer. The nose on this beer is likewise impressive, and I get honey, pepper, eucalyptus and massive bitterness. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose, except if anything there is even more bitterness. The mouthfeel is amazingly light and drinkability is very, very good. The amount of flavor in this relatively low alcohol beer is astonishing.

If anything, the amount of hoppy bitterness in this excellent pilsner is almost too much of a good thing. Almost, but not quite.

Easily the best domestic pilsner I have ever tasted. Impressive.

Photo of errantnight
3.58/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Expanded from notes taken 1/3 @ The Toronado - SF

Something of a disappointment, and (to my tastes) quite clearly a product of its limited distribution and hype (it's far and away the most well reviewed pilsner out there). This is by no means a bad beer, but it's not the best Czech Pilsner out there, let alone the best Pilsner. It's not even the best US made Czech Pils I've ever had. All that said... it's good, and I'd happily drink it again.

Looks like you'd expect a pilsner to look. It's pale gold with just a hint of head and no serious lacing to speak of.

Aroma is malt forward... and that's alright. I like pilsner malt aromas. But the hops are firmly in the background, and overall it seems a bit thin, even for a pils.

The taste is almost shocking... it's slightly full bodied for a pilsner, and the wallop is that it's a kind of raggedy malt profile that again dominates the palate, and a shy, vaguely spicy bitterness that hides at the end. There's a bit of a toffee note around the edge (at first I thought this might be diacetyl, but I think it's just a slightly too far forward melanoidin character).

Despite the slightly fuller feel, I'm alright with the mouthfeel, it's carbonated right (although that's more Toronado knowing what the hell they're doing than anything), and it's not HEAVY, it provides a more substantial experience than your typical watery nothing american lager descendant.

While a perfectly drinkable and perfectly easy to drink beer... this isn't something I see myself asking for again. Particularly when it's dark cousin (Death and Taxes) keeps calling my name so seductively.

Photo of popery
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Easily the best pilsener that I've had so far. I've been nothing but impressed with Moonlight Brewing thus far. It's a shame that they don't put out greater volume and some bottling would certainly be nice. Reality Czeck is an excellent beer and a bit of a surprise for someone who hasn't had many good lagers, like me. The beer is golden in color with a white head that leaves decent lacing. The aroma is very cleanly hoppy and crisp with freshness. There is some excellent pale malt balancing things out. The beer has wonderful grain flavors, almost the opposite of normal, stale macro pilseners. There are light hop notes, mostly pine and grass, with a slightly bitter finish of lemons. The malt and grain flavors are just right and so much better than cheap lagers that it's like night and day. You taste the fresh grains that go into this beer, and they're crisp and bready. The mouthfeel is smooth and crisp, just right for a pilsener. It's a very easy beer to drink, one of the most sessionable beers that I've tried.

Photo of bifrostguard
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I generally avoid pilsners, but I saw this on the top 100 and decided to give it a try...

A - A clear, piss yellow beer with a small head that leaves very little lacing. Already I'm disappointed.

S - A little more grassy hops and a little less yeast than what I was expecting. There is an apparent grainy smell with a mild lemon twist to it. Getting less disappointed.

T - At first this is nothing spectacular. A little honey, a little citrus zest, then the after taste kicks in. It has a grainy malt flavor with a slight piney hop backing and a long lasting bitterly clean finish. This is no ordinary pilsner. It only took me about half of a glass to declare this the mother of all session brews. Very well balanced. Gone from disappointed to ecstatic!

M - Dry and thin, great for the style.

D - This is one hell of a beer. I would take this brew camping, tailgaiting, to a jam session or any other place where drinking takes place by the quantity and still be able to enjoy quality.

Note: I like this one A LOT more than the numerical score indicates.

Photo of tpd975
4.61/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado SF

A: Pours a light straw yellow with a small tight head. Light lace and a slightly cloudy appearence.

S: Mixture of grains with hints of sweet corn. Bold grassy hops come thru in the middle and linger into the finish along with a bit of lemon grass.

T: Very much like the aroma. Nice malt up front, I picked up corn, though no one else seems to. Bold grassy hops for a pils. They really linger and have a crisp bite. I really love it.

M: Medium in body, smooth, and crisp.

D: Man the whole place was pounding this one and I can see why. The perfect pils!

Reality Czeck from Moonlight Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 256 ratings.