Stratford Pilsner | Stratford Brewing Company

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Stratford PilsnerStratford Pilsner
22 Ratings
Stratford PilsnerStratford Pilsner

Brewed by:
Stratford Brewing Company
Ontario, Canada

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in traditional style using all-natural ingredients, Stratford Pilsner is as smooth and graceful as the swans floating down the Avon River. Golden amber, crisp, and always fresh, it's a beer that you'll enjoy anytime, any season.

Added by DrJay on 10-19-2004

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Ratings: 22 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of sirsteve42
2.83/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of MasterSki
3.24/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from the Stratford LCBO. Served in a pint glass and consumed on the cottage porch.

A - Generous white foam settles to a thin cap, leaving behind splotches of lace. Transparent pale golden body with lots of rising bubbles.

S - Standard generic pilsner, with biscuity pils malt, a kiss of honey and light floral hopping. To style, but pretty dull.

T - Taste reveals more grain and less sweetness, with a surprisingly moderate level of hop bitterness. Nothing bad here, just kind of ho-hum.

M - Crisp, clean, medium-light body that is a tad watery. Dry finish, pleasant carbonation, and no alcohol.

D - It is a generic lager, through and through. I'd be hard pressed to pick it out of a lineup. That said, it's cheap, local, and offends no one at parties. I think it's better than the 2.88 it currently has, but not by much.

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Photo of MayonakaStout
3.25/5  rDev +12.5%

Photo of GoHabsGo
2.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of DaPan
2.25/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of beerhunter13
2.75/5  rDev -4.8%

Photo of dipso123
2.25/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of hopsolutely
2.43/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The only word I have to describe this beer is "insipid".

Lacking in taste, hops & character - it truly has none of the beauty of a Czech pilsner, with all of the taste baggage of a macro beer. "Cold" is not a flavour, but it might help this pint.

A crying shame, as the Stratford Brewing "Common Ale" is a complex and robust thing of beauty, meaning the brewmaster is very capable of creating beer greatness and aware of how beer can (should?) taste. Clearly this Pilsner profile is a choice, and I'd love to learn why such a profile was chosen at some point in the future...

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
2.7/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Had this on tap in Stratford recently, picked up a few bottles of it on the way home.

Poured into a pilsner glass. Light golden, a slight haze to it, with a thin head. No lacing, poor retention. Looks like a typical pilsner.

Nose is funky. Nuts, grain straight from the thresher, strange hops - not really floral, nor bitter. Hrrm.

A strange blending of flavors that don't work together well for me. Sweetness and honey to the fore, but finishes with that same funky hop bitterness. A nutty, grainy character in the middle. Neither quick nor clean. Lingering bitter finish.

Decent carbonation, slightly watery.

Trouble finishing this. Something felt very off here, whether it was the sweetness or the hoppage. Won't be back for this again.

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Photo of biegaman
2.73/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

When I look at this off-yellowish beer I do see something I'd like to drink, but nothing that I'm all too excited about. While I'm not at all adverse to a little haze - the less filtered the better, if anything - the style guidelines do generally frown upon it. The total lack of head also gives good reason to be, if not skeptical, certainly a little less enthusiastic.

The aroma murmurs nothing but a very quiet, almost muted note of pale malt. I struggle to define it as being anything but plain; it is nearly entirely featureless, less maybe a faint breadiness and some graininess. It's not exactly all that enticing. I can't help but think what a dab of floral or spicy hops could do to liven this thing up.

And I'd recommend them for the flavour, too. This taste is monstrously grainy and feels as though it's leaving scratch marks on the tongue. It's like dragging your palate through a field of thistles. It's like your chewing on the raw grains themselves; the aftertaste is reminiscent of husks and unprocessed grain, not smooth, sweet, toasted malts.

The bitterness, curiously enough, is sufficiently high (if only the brewer would use the same dosage of bittering hops as aromatic ones). Between this abrupt, clipping bitterness, the somewhat disagreeable flavour and the coarse graininess, the beer isn't exactly the crisp and clean lager it ought to be. A little re-tweaking of the recipe wouldn't be a bad idea.

Stratford, Ontario is a hotbed of Canada's performing and culinary arts - too bad the hometown beer doesn't exactly live up to the area's esteemed reputation for talent and craftship. Not to say this brewery doesn't have the ability to make delicious beers - they certainly do and have proven so - but their flagship pilsner could definitely use a rewrite.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.82/5  rDev +32.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2 Single at the LCBO - gotta love how cheap these things are here - I'm used to facing close to 4 bucks a bottle, even from broken cases, at home...

This beer pours a clear medium straw colour, with lots of thin, bulbous white head, which has some pretty stellar retention, and leaves a bit of thin streaky lace around the glass. It smells of crisp white cracker grain, and spicy, earthy hops. The taste is somewhat nutty, biscuity barley grain, a bit of warm butter, and grassy hops. The carbonation is soft, the body fairly full, round, and smooth, and it finishes off-dry, the grain offset only a little by a wee bit of skunky weediness.

Not overly intense or crisp, but easy and pleasant enough to quaff - I'd like to try this on draft on a spring patio in T.O. some time.

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Photo of allergictomacros
2.26/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - Pours a hazy gold color, with a decent head with some staying power.

S - Floral, light citrus, soap, and light malt.

T - Watery, unexpectedly fruity with again soap and some nuttiness.

M - S'alright. A bit on the fizzy side.

D - Hops are overwhelmed by odd flavours. Not nearly clean enough.

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Photo of Antilochus
2.91/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from a London, ON LCBO. 4.90% abv, 341mL. No freshness date. Fridge temp into a wine tumbler.

Straw with a nice billowy white head. Sudsy.

Notes of candy corn, sugar, diacetyl.

Diacetyl, popcorn on the palate. A touch of grassiness. Very simple. Mouthfeel is great though!

I'd prefer if this were less sweet. Like to try more Stratford stuff in the future though.

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Photo of TerryW
3.03/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy golden yellow colour with a good head that settles to a heavy film and gives up moderate lace.

Agree with the concensus that the nose is lemony-soapy with some malt in behind. Similar flavour profile, sharp and somewhat tart on the tongue with a lingering citrus bitterness. Better than your average macro, but not really remarkable in any way.

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Photo of funkengruven
3.65/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a 6 of this the other night, thought I'd give it a try.

This poured a pretty standard yellow with a thin but present head, also this poured a little cloudy which I found strange. Smell is clean, barley malt is quite present in the nose. This stuff actually tastes decent, a tad watery initially but finishes with a nice hop bite. Very clean and drinkable.

I found this to be a decent beer, keeping much in the style of other European Pilseners. I'd have another.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Smokeless Joe. Straw colour body. thin, white head. Aroma is sweet, candy, hops, grassy. Taste is sweet, hops, slightly watery. Seems like other elements of sweetness are trying to come through, but just aren’t making the appearance. Watery mouthfeel, with a sweet aftertaste.

 287 characters

Photo of fisherman34
3/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottled sample. Gold in colour with a bit of haze. Medium carbonation. Interesting aromas of bready pilsner malts and a bit of sour lemon and spice. Retains its citric character in the mouth, and picks up some grassy Saaz hop notes as well. Thin but fairly clean malt profile too. Medium bitterness. Not as rich or as complex as some of its European counterparts (it’s still a bit too fat/sweet in the malt department), but this is some pretty easy drinking stuff. There is a very faint echo of Christoffel Blond in this beer.

 527 characters

Photo of Derek
4.01/5  rDev +38.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, golden yellow with a fluffy white head. Not as much retention as some Continental Pils, but it left plenty of wonderful lace.

S: Mild hops (mostly grassy, with a little spice & floral aroma), somewhat bready.

T: Predominantly grassy, with a little spice, earth & floral hop flavours as well. The hops are up front, but they're not too assertive. There's a light breadyness from the malt, balanced by a light bitterness. Crisp, clean finish. It's certainly not the most flavourful pils, but I really like what's there... it works well.

M: Moderate body is pleasantly creamy, carbonation is moderate.

D: Very drinkable.

Quality brew.

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Photo of pootz
3.53/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Well the much awaited appearence of this beer in bottles for home consumption has been, to say the least, not anti-climactic...then I see the white box at the LCBO...I suppose the bland understated packaging was a tease and certainly not indicative of product inside that package.

Poured a decent pale gold with a respectable frothy sticky cap with good retention and lacing. Moderate carbonation. Clear and brite appearence.

Aroma gives light floral tones from fresh saaz hops and the signature German carapils biscuit smells...promising

Moderate malt spine, silky mouthfeel...sweet biscuit malts up front turn dry with the sharp saaz hopping, middle gives bready-lemony impressions... finish is clean and drying with a big whack of cedar hops overpowering the malts...tinny after taste...great finish...decent micro pils.

Has a chracter similar to Budvar or Staropramen with better hopping and malts...a good dry pilsner in the Czech style.

 954 characters

Photo of Popsinc
2.23/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Another disappointing example of a new micro-brewery going the mainstream route and leaving much to be desired. This pils was nothing more than average at best. Served too cold for starters, this beer lacked in most areas. I found it light & watery and had little hop character. It's great to see new CDN micros start up but i wish more of them would take some risks and be a little more adventerous.

 400 characters

Photo of Sammy
2.35/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Watery taste, soapy bubbles on slightly yellow water. Some taste, could be swallowed. Grassy. Malts in there. Fresh. I agree its a lager more than a water and sweetened pils. Only a small sample at Smokeless Joes, otherwise I would have it join the swans floating down the Avon RIver.

 284 characters

Photo of DrJay
2.5/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Toffee amber colour with a thin light-tan head composed of dense, long-lasting, tiny bubbles. A bit hazy. Mild aroma, light hops, and very light grainy malt character. Sulfur aroma hits you initially. Light crispness. Moderately strong earthy hop flavour and bitterness. Not much in the way of maltiness, making the flavour thin. Light body, medium carbonation. Some soapy slickness as well.

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Stratford Pilsner from Stratford Brewing Company
Beer rating: 2.89 out of 5 with 22 ratings
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