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Nimbus A-1 Pilsner | Nimbus Brewing Company

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Nimbus A-1 PilsnerNimbus A-1 Pilsner
25 Ratings
Nimbus A-1 PilsnerNimbus A-1 Pilsner

Brewed by:
Nimbus Brewing Company
Arizona, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The historical A-1 brand has returned. During the 1940s and '50s, Arizona Brewing Company's A-1 beer was the most popular brew in the Grand Canyon State. Today's revival is more of an European-style pilsner.

Added by culver501 on 09-19-2010

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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of Lobina
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of kgrichards
3/5  rDev -10.4%

Photo of Bobhoya
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%

Photo of AzImbiber
4.47/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-1 was an AZ/SW staple in the 50's/60's...cheap and easy and similar to what Old Style and Schlitz means to the Midwest. I believe it went out of business in the mid-70's.

Nimbus revived A-1 in Tucson recently. I dislike ale by nature so I stay away from all the Indy Ale Companies like the plague. I've been drinking beer for a long time, and I defy any reader of this review to name an Indy Ale Brewery that doesn't treat lager or pilsner like an afterthought or a red-headed stepchild...

But Nimbus gave this a lot of thought and their A1 is top-notch. It's gorgeous and honey colored, but most of all, it's replicated as a malty, grainy pilsner. It's a throwback beer to when Macro-beer tasted like Micro-beer.

It's light and crisp. On the tongue is a tight malt and hop taste, not gratuitous, and not corny and chemically either. The quality of ingredients is readily apparent. Finishes slow, but apparent. The particular grains are fresh. It's hard in words to describe a quality and tasty swallow in terms of brilliance.

Nothing cute is going on here (fruits, sugars), it's just a straightforward tasty beer. It costs too much or I'd make this my daily drinker in a flash. But I think this is one of the most enjoyable (non-ale) beers on the market. I really hope this beer gets a following so the price goes down.

 1,326 characters

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Peller80
3.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Dave1999
4.2/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a transpant amber with a white foamy head.

The smell was really nice, fresh cut grass,earth,honey, lemon
biscuit and even some dark fruits.

The taste had all the same aspects of the smell, quite complex and tasty.

The mouth feel was medium bodied with medium carbonation.

I wasn't expecting much from this beer but was pleasently surprised as pilsners are a style often done poorly. Sounds like the brewery has changed the recipe as most of the other reviews sound like a different beer.

 509 characters

Photo of JasonB
2.5/5  rDev -25.4%

Photo of ebrauser
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Wowcoolman
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer I experienced seems different from the one described in the reviews below. Was the recipe changed? Pours a light amber with half inch head. Some lacing. Smell is biscuit dough and honey with some fruity esters. Taste has more malt presence than what I associate with the style, balanced with sweet orange citrus. Finishes smooth and sweet. Very pleasant and enjoyable. Very full mouthfeel for a beer in this weight class. I'd say this is an A-1 product by Nimbus and would go well with session drinking, Mexican food, and whatever other beer activities they do in the Grand Canyon State. I would certainly like to try again.

 633 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.03/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Random bottle gift from my mother, thanks! Served in a DFH signature glass. Beer is yellow and clear with a white head of medium and big bubbles, no lacing, low retention, moderate to strong carbonation. Looks fine.

Aroma is slightly sweet, slightly vegetal. Interesting but not inviting.

Beer is corny on the back end, mildly dry, sweet up front, not a great pilsner, a pretty big disappointment from Nimbus here, a brewery I generally like but not this particular beer. Not a repeat for me.

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Photo of ccrida
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall tumbler, A-1 Pilsner is a hazy dull gold with a small white collar.

Smell is sweet, cereals, a little corny, some herbal hops.

Taste is also sweet, corn pops, but not thick or heavy in the mouthfeel, which is dry, light. Simple and quaffable.

Drinkability is okay, it's a strait-forward lager, a little sweet, nothing special.

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Photo of BeerAmbassador
1.88/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pale yellow in color, clear with a slight head. Large looking carbonation, but a bit of lacing is left on the glass. Aromas of corn and lightly toasted grain on the nose. Not much in the way of hops. Similar flavor, but I get a bit of buttery diacytel. Also the first few sips had some kind metallic aftertaste. It seemed to go away after a while, but still not desirable. Not to add to the pileup, but this beer didn't have any of the hop characteristics of a Pilsner, more like a blonde ale. Mouthfeel was alright. Definitely won't be coming back to this one.

 561 characters

Photo of kawilliams81
2.68/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Served in a pint glass.

A- very cloudy for a pilsner, must be unfiltered. Decent foam head for a lighter beer.

S- Not a lot there. Some sweet malts. No hops that I detect.

T- Not bad for a pilsner. Get some sweet malts with a very light hop balance.

M- Thin to medium. Some creaminess to it.

O- Would not drink this usually if I had almost any other option, but I didn't hate it.

 384 characters

Photo of trappistlover
2.26/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

(12oz bottle from Total Wine Desert Ridge). Pours clear golden color with white head. Light carbonation. Aroma smells like super sweet canned corn. Oh my God! It smells wretched! Taste is sweet with more corn and some grass. There is a slight hop bite at the end. Thin bodied with an oily, slick texture. Ughhh. This is terrible.

 329 characters

Photo of Nerudamann
3.55/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pilsener glass.

Look - pale golden color with about 1.5, almost 2 fingers of very close to white colored foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell - sweet, malty, roasted qualities. Doesn't smell much like a pilsener, thus giving it the pale lager description here in BA.

Taste and Mouthfeel - malty and roasted quality in the beginning and middle. Roasted quality is mild, however. Little transition in the finish, just a fade of the initial tastes. Texture is pretty well-balanced and smooth.

Overall - not a bad tasting brew at all, and mildly interesting in taste, but otherwise not very intriguing. Still tastes good though.

 655 characters

Photo of HoppyToad
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a case at Costco, after talking my dad into splitting it with me. He's into old-school lagers. Doesn't care much for overly hoppy beers, either.

The retro "wild west" packaging is pretty cool. I'd heard that an Arizona brewer had bought the rights to the old A-1 brand, but I didn't know it was Nimbus until now.

Poured into a Goose Island pub glass (I'm still mourning AB's recent acquisition of GI). Surprised by the frothy head and slightly hazy, honey-gold color. Was expecting straw yellow. Sweet, bready malts in the nose mask the usual Czech hops character found in traditional Pilsners.

First sip:

The hops are there but don't overpower. Grainy, sweet flavors. Clean, fizzy finish. Refreshing.

Second beer:

Not so great. Is there high-fructose corn syrup in this bottle?

 794 characters

Photo of mmciz
2.46/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bought one 12 ounce bottle from the cooler case at Sun Devil Liquor in Mesa poured into a 17 ounce Pilsner glass - turns out I needed the extra room! I poured carefully, slowly and gently but still ended up with about three inches of buttercream foam on top. The thick, pocked head looked a bit like the scum churned up below the rapids of a rushing river. This was the first indication this beer was not going to live up to the standards of the otherwise pretty impressive Nimbus lineup.

A: Darker than a typical Pilsners, with lots of bubbles rising up even after so many of their brothers had gone up to form the ridiculous head.

S: Ripe and oily. Smells a bit like a cheap bar of fruit-scented soap, especially at first. Sniff hard enough and there's a little kiwifruit, but it's buried.

T: Grassy with a little lingering sweetness on the finish, which is the best characteristic. I don't get either citrus or malts - the A-1 is sort of oddly "non" tasting, actually, though without really reminding me of the fizzy yellows. I imagine I could drink a few in a short time span, which might be why this recipe was once so popular in old timey Arizona.

M: The problem is the "nosefeel" - hard to get the fluid out from under the giant head without coating your nose. Nice bubbles on the tongue but pretty thin.

D: Very drinkable - you'll almost forget you drank it.

 1,371 characters

Photo of Lucklys
4.64/5  rDev +38.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into my fancy crystal Pilsner glass (it was a random splurge), the A-1 appeared a slightly hazy, deep golden honey color - otherwise known as melichrous - with straw yellow accents when held up to the light. A fluffy two-finger thick egg-shell colored head was piled on top and it quietly fell to a thin, soapy island that blanketed the top of the liquid while a medium collar ran around the outside. The island slowly shrank, but never fully disappeared and any lacing followed the beer down the glass as I drank it, leaving behind clean walls.

The nose was predominantly a huge bouquet of floral hops and pale and grainy malts. Quite a bit of sweet grass mingled cheerfully underneath a lightly tart lemony cover with hints of yeast and something reminiscent of pear and kiwi, which is a first for me. There was a definite sour-bread dough aroma that held its presence in the forefront, though as it warmed, there was something that smelled like dried corn - almost like what you'd expect to find in a barnyard or silo - but it's not completely off-putting, and actually makes me yearn for the dairy farmlands of Wisconsin in the summer. Quite odd considering they state that they didn't use any corn in the brewing process.

The taste was very bright and fruity right from the start, offering itself up with a tart lemon, smooth kiwi, and crisp pears - much like the nose. It carried along a light bitterness, but otherwise it was ridiculously smooth thanks to the pervasive rich grainy malts. A surprising amount of sweet fresh cut grass also flowed between the fruits and malts, driving this beer from pilsner to pale lager, and has been continuously labeled as such across many product descriptions. A-1 offers a light mouthfeel with spicy, crisp carbonation that keeps it on the lighter side of a medium body - as well as very, very refreshing despite its slightly dry, faintly lingering bitterness at the end. I think the next time I need a beer for the weekend, I will pick up a six-pack and easily be able to finish all of them off. This is a very summery beer, nice and light and invigorating - not to mention, there are not that many lagers out there in the local craft beer market, so this is a welcome escape from all of the ales.

 2,252 characters

Photo of arizcards
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a sixer from Total Wine in early November for $7.99. Bottled in September.

Beer pours a straw yellow with a nice foamy white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is of floral hops.

Taste is malty balanced nicely by a lemon zest hop.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and is very refreshing from the fair amount of carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I like the Nimbus spin on the A-1 recipe. This is a perfect summertime beer!

 437 characters

Photo of BretSikkink
3.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellow straw color, white and soapy head. Lacing is decent; citric aroma is very pale along with some grassiness and pale malt. The flavor is fairly well toasted, I feel, and the malts are pretty assertive for this style of beer. Not the crisp, clean lager feel. Walnut, lemon, grass, pale malt flavor that I notice up front. Finishes clean and sudsy. Not bad for what it is, but not worth more than one.

 404 characters

Photo of TheSSG
4.62/5  rDev +37.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

First and foremost, this is NOT a pilsner; don't think of it that way, just slip that out of your head.

Though, iit has a typical pilsner appearance; soapy head and a light, golden hue.

The smell is where you will first be surprised and know something is different here; bright floral bouquets of citrus and a tart sweetness (kind of like kiwi almost).

Then you get to the taste. That bright floral aspect jumps out again, strong citrus/lemon zest tones to it. This builds to a surprising bitterness and finishes with a sublimely smooth, rich maltiness. I REALLY love a smooth and malty finish.

I find the mouthfeel to be a bit too stingingly carbonated; perhaps this is done to emphasize the citric character. But, still stays fairly smooth.

Drinkability is "I will have another....and another."
I could absolutely take on a 6-pack of these in an evening with no problems.

When I moved West, I was saddened by the lack of lagers. This is a VERY WELCOME edition to the bierscape in Arizona. I hope this sticks around, and I hope it inspires Nimbus to try more lagers.

Again, NOT a pilsner. I think the Pale Lager is a perfect description. Nimbus makes a hell of a Pale Ale, ditto on the Pale Lager.

 1,205 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A solid pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a fat-two-finger thick, pale, off-white colored head. The beer is a deep gold, almost copper color and shows a hazy, dark gold color when held up to the light. The aroma smells of spicy hops, with perhaps a touch of lemon zest, sweet grainy, almost corn like malt and has a touch of cracker like grain to it. The corn-like note in the nose gets more pronounced the more I smell this beer, and, while it is not bad, it is a touch off-putting.

Crisp and cool as this first hits my tongue, this is straight from my food fridge so it is a bit colder than my typical beer. The finish really reminds me of the macro-stuff I drank too much of at an early age; slightly metallic, very grassy and with a not very pleasant finish. This is certainly a good remake of a long dead macro-lager. I thought I heard this was an all malt formulation, so it is impressive that Nimbus got this to taste so much like a adjunct laden cheap macro. Much kudos for hitting that bench mark, but this unfortunately means this beer is definitely not my cup of tea. Too grassy, with a definite DMS edge to it that becomes too dominant in the finish along with the metallic hops. There is a soft bitterness here, but it really could use quite a bit more. Light bodied and for that reason it is pretty drinkable, though the flavor seems to get in the way of this.

Not really very good, and definitely the worst beer that Nimbus makes, but I also get the feeling that this is pretty close to the dead-macro beer that they were trying to clone, but I still have to ask why?

 1,589 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
3.65/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw color with a tight white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

Smells of citrus and a bit of malt sweetness.

Tastes of light malts and hops. Malts have mostly a pale characterization with some sweetness. Hops come through as mostly citrus with some grassy qualities as well. Bitterness is at a good level.

Mouthfeel is light with a crisp amount of carbonation.

 379 characters

Photo of culver501
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-cloudy light orange, good carbonation, creamy 1" white head which dissipates quickly

S-citrus, yeast, a little hops, faint nuttiness

T-lemon zest, pale malt, some hops, still a little nutty aftertaste (not as pronounced as the draft version I tasted), definitely a sudsy throwback beer but a good take on the idea, this is the first lager made by Nimbus as far as I know, at least the first distributed

M-clean, good lingering bitterness, carbonation seems strong at first but normal after a few sips,

D-can't wait to finish the six pack, good summer beer (which can last 8 months here)

 600 characters

Nimbus A-1 Pilsner from Nimbus Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.35 out of 5 with 25 ratings
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