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Torch Pilsner | Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

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Torch PilsnerTorch Pilsner

Brewed by:
Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
North Carolina, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Torch Pilsner
A well structured, Czech-style pilsner. Torch is strong in alcohol with a rich, full finish. Good mouth feel and well-balanced Czech Saaz hops ensure that Torch is not your typical pilsner.
Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 5.3%
Color (SRM): 3.7
Bitterness (IBUs): 35
Torch Pilsner-bg

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-09-2005

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 452
Photo of ordybill
4.87/5  rDev +30.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a nice malt and hop aroma
Appearance- pours a slightly murky light yellow color with a medium sized white head.
Taste- A well blended malt and hop flavor, this is a very good tasting pilsner.
Palate- A light to medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation and a lively texture on the tongue.
Overall- A really good beer that I highly recommend.

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Photo of Luigi
4.85/5  rDev +29.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours out a clear golden color with a big white foamy head. Lace sticks all around the glass and the retention stays around for the life of the beer. beautiful.

The aroma is rich with saaz hops and a balance of grains and soft bread from the malt. Nice spicy with hints of citrus, and mild pine.

The flavor is clean and spicy! Those saaz hops blend together perfectly with the soft malt. Both flavors hit the palate at once. Soft grainy malt and citrus spicy hop. Has a refreshing clean finish with pine like hops lingering for a bit.

This is has to be the most balanced and refreshing Czech style Pilsner I have in a long time! I seriously can not find anything wrong with this beer. Proud that it is brewed in my home state NC.

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Photo of rtratzlaff
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A crystal clear straw colored beer above a white 1/4" head
Smells of spicy German hops.

Taste is well balanced malt with hop flavor. Very crisp with enough pop to keep it interesting.

Very Drinkable and would go great with any light fare or German food.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
4.4/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Clear Gold/Yellowish with mild lacing and half inch of head that quickly dissipates.

Smell: Sweet aroma mixed with a carbonated aroma

Taste: Mild carbonations mixed with a bitter/sweet malty character. Great flavor for a Czech Pils - a mild grapefruit hint at the finish that just refreshes the palate.

Mouthfeel: Slightly dry then soothing and calming mouthfeel.

Drinkability: My beer of choice when working in the heat. This one will cool you down - perfect for the boat. Another great beer from the guys in Winston-Salem!

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Photo of russpowell
4.39/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent gold with 2 fingers of pearl white head. Good head retention & pretty good lacing

S: Breadyness & floral hops, perfumy notes as this warms

T: Follows the nose, dryness & flinty hops up front. Lemons, breadyness, & even a touch of grapefruit as this warms. Finishes bready, crisp, & lemony

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, great balance

Super easy drinking pils. Not perfect but one I would buy again if I could get it here. I liked this as much as Prima Pils

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.38/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Woody's @ City Market, Raleigh, NC

Served up a nice golden color, deeper than expected, clear with a very nice white head that was well retained that faded into a small thin cap.

Aroma was good, slightly sweet, light and grainy, pretty much what I expected from the style, but better than most in the style.

The taste was very good, more robust than expected. This is not your typical Czech; the taste has an initial sweet taste, but fades and is nicely balanced.

The beer is light, and has a nice dry aftertaste, very nice active carbonation and extremely easy to drink. For this style, this may be one of the best and IMO has been very much under-appreciated by the reviewer of this beer thus far (as do most lighter colored beers and some for good reason). Overall, an excellent beer by an excellent brewer.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale, golden yellow with a tightly knit head of bright white suds.

Aroma is golden pilsner malts, hints of honey, crushed wildflowers, and piungent earthy and grassy hops. Smells very hoppy.

Flavor is crisp, clean malts, a touch of honey, and plenty of grassy, floral, and herbal hops providing a long, hoppy finish. Certainly one of the tastier pilsners I've tried. Very fresh too.

Body is a hair below medium. with a very brisk and crisp mouthfeel, with some light minerality in the finish.

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Photo of Arborescence
4.29/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, golden, fluffy white pils head.

Aroma: Fruit and malt, little bit of toast, currants.

Taste: Tasty! Smooth and mellow, easy going. Interesting, rich aftertaste with a malty character.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, fairly low carbonation, which is good!

Overall: Good stuff. Not quite a typical European pils, but it has some resemblance to Urquell.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.28/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a 2-finger head (like, fat fingers), blinding white, fluffy and long-lasting. Liquid is pretty much as a pils ought to be, sunny yellow-gold with excellent clarity.

Aroma is good, clearly very much to style, although it doesn't give it all up in the smell. Hints of sulfur, fresh-baked white bread, straw, light fruity hops.

Flavor-wise, this pushes all the right buttons, especially on a hot day when you're craving something on the lager side of the tracks. Earthy mineral/sulfur lays in the background and right into the finish, with bits of lemon, grapefruit, grass, white bread, biscuit and a hint of honey mingling nicely.

Well-carbonated texture gives a tickle to the tongue, although a nice creaminess peeks through. Just the slightest bit of pucker on the finish, which is interesting, and a grapefruit pith kind of thing remains the dominant taste in the finish.

An absolutely great and authentic pils. Foothills gets better and better as the days go on, and when they can brew a traditional, lower alcohol brew like this and have it impress almost as much as their much more limited bourbon-barrel experiments, you know they're doing it right.

 1,167 characters

Photo of ncbeermonger
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Vintage 301 in Greensboro NC

This Pilsner pours very well, head is good, and and has a great color

The smell is good, what a pilsner should smell like

This beer is a traditional pilsner, not this watered down stuff we see around the south east.

It finishes well, and doesn't leave an aftertaste

This beer has a drinkability like very few pilsners! This is a great beer, when you can find it you should have one!

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Photo of fmccormi
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 12oz pry-off bottle to my tall Ommegang flute; no bottle dating, but this was purchased just this past week at Sam’s Quick Shop in Durham, NC, and generally speaking these bottles have a pretty good turnover in-state so I’m assuming it’s suitably fresh.

Appearance (3.75): Three solid fingers of cream-colored foam rise off of the pour easily, capping a crystal-clear, purely golden-colored body. Very good retention, with the head dying down slowly, leaving a rocky cap and scattered suds here and there, and a couple of fat splotches of lace.

Smell (4.5): This is, in my head, how pale, golden pilsners are supposed to smell: beautiful floral, slightly metallic hops scents with a rustic, spicy, pale grain character with bright, lemony and cracker notes. It has that sweet scent of fresh water, too, which is hard to describe but I love (because what the hell would it mean to anyone if I said it smelled like water?).

Taste (4.25): Nice, grassy and floral hops play with the grainy, crisp malt body, which comes off first as dry and crackery but shows a deeper, subtle sweetness after the initial wash of hops and water crackers. There’s a really nice, nutty character that melds with the lightly toasted grain, too. And there’s that distinctive blend of clean, nutty yeast and very bright, floral, grassy, and lemony hops, which to me is what makes a classic pilsner.

Mouthfeel (4.0): Soft, filling carbonation that tingles all over before it goes down really marks the feel, which is somewhat lighter than medium-weight—very refreshing, very crisp, and quenching without sacrificing feel.

Overall (4.25): This is an excellent pilsner. I’d love to have this in my neck of the woods, because it’s so well-crafted for the style that it’d be a great cross-over beer for those who aren’t so familiar with or deep into craft. Great for hot weather drinking. Definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of pilsners or looking for local talent when in North Carolina.

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Photo of wagenvolks
4.26/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Flying Saucer, Raleigh.

Served a pint of clear, golden, straw-colored brew with a decent amount of carbonation supplying a creme white head. The retention was excellent, and left sticky rings of lacing down the sides of the glass. Aroma was a bit hard to detect, but I chalk part of that up to the crowded, smoky bar atmosphere. When I really dug deep I could detect some nice pale malts and a good floral hop presence, as well as hints of citrus.

This is one of the hoppier Pilseners I've ever tasted. That said, it's not really a great example of the style, but I absolutely loved the taste: citrusy, pine hops balanced by a light note of biscuity malts. The mouthfeel was on the heaver side of light-bodied, smooth and perfectly carbonated, with a lingering hoppy bite to the finish. Overall, this was a very enjoyable brew by the good folks at Foothills, and would make a great session beer.

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Photo of tdm168
4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Fork and Barrel in Raleigh

Pours a pure gold with thick head that stays around. Nose is pure straw/wheat. Taste offers light malt and a decent balance of hops; after a few sips the malts become a little sweet. Light bodied, carbonated well, and crisp. A very good pilsner.

 283 characters

Photo of startreker
4.22/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Nice foamy head, that left generous lacing throughout the beer.

S. Very nice pleasing smell, reminds me of fresh made bread.

T. Lives up to what it claims. Very nicely balanced with sazz hops, and malts, that make this a pleasure to drink. Very creamy taste I might add.

M. Nice full mouth feel going on here. Not watery or overly filling, very satisfying!

O. I like this beer very much, although a bit pricey, so I would only buy this once and a while. I actually enjoy this more then Pilsner Urquell!! The balance of malts, and hops is really nice!! This is a beer, that after drinking several of them, doesn't get that awful bitter taste happening, after knocking them back all night long. That`s a huge plus in my book!!
Also proud to say, that it`s made in my home state of N.C.

 838 characters

Photo of John1985
4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale yellow with an inch head w/ lacing down the glass. Mild malty aroma, Assertive lemony malt flavor with a burst of hops to balance. Light bodied, crisp and very drinkable. I had two pints and wanted more. This would be a great hot weather beer.

 256 characters

Photo of twage04
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A good czech pilsner. Pours a pale yellow, nose is of pilser malt. Taste is light and fruity. Typical of a craft brew take on a czech pilsner, overall a fun drink and enjoyable.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I generally highly approve of Vikings on label art and even more enjoyed the historically accurate helmet without big bull horns. Nice clarity and pour on this one, with a straw gold color and respectable head and lace. Nose is crisp and fresh with light hops and some kind of fruit, maybe apple or pear.

This has classic pilsener attributes, with strong spicy noble hop and bread tones throughout. Carbonation and texture are about right for the style and this goes down very easily. Aftertaste is bitter and lengthy.

Kind of on the cusp of session-able but I imagine putting these down in quantity would be enjoyable.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

The shaker pint draft is bright golden and clear with a small white head. I am puzzled by the dearth of retention and near-total lack of lacing.

The smell is grainy with a touch of herbal spice and a mild twang of mysterious citrus that freshens the aroma profile.

The taste is dry, dry, dryly malty with a touch of spice and a mild grainy tang. Crisp and refreshing, the drink begs a follwup sip again and again.

Light-medium in body with perfect carbonation. Quaffable.

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Photo of irishstoutlvr
4.14/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This was a refreshing pilsner. It was different from a lot of pilsners I have tried, which is a good thing. Foothills is a great beer maker. They have a good variety of styles, and the Torch goes well with their lineup. This beer complimented my dinner well. I had a great burger, and homemade chips.

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Photo of MSchae1017
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer was tasted at home from my keg into a bitburger glass.

The beer poured into the glass with a nice darker golden body underneath a white head that holds a nice film and laces well down the glass. The smell is spicy czech hops and sweet pilsner malt. The taste is also very hop forward balanced by the malts with a nice bitter profile. The mouthfeel is great for the style. Enough body but still light for drinkability. Overall, a very drinkable pilsner. Not a german style as listed on this site, but a nice czech style one.

 534 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barley's, Asheville, NC.

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a potent noble hop and a doughy pilsner malt.

The taste consisted of round pilsner malts with accents of herbal noble hops.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty pilsner. Better than most.

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Photo of FriedSlug
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a solid pilsner. Clear light gold with a white head that leaves good banded lacing. The smell is floral with a nice malty sweetness. There is a nice hoppy scent present as well. The taste is the same as the nose with the sweet malt as the prominent flavor. The hop bitterness at the end is a perfect compliment to the sweetness. Nice carbonation and a lighter mouthfeel as expected.

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Photo of Davidstan
4.1/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A. Clear to somewhat hazy gold
S. Peppery cracker
MF. Good carbonation and tart
T. Follows smell, peppery and citrucy and nice dry finish
O. A very solid Pils and will buy again

 178 characters

Photo of malvrich
4.09/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Brown bottle into a 14 oz. pilsner glass.

A: Slight haze to the dull straw yellow color. 1.5 finger frothy loosish white head quickly subsides leaving a very nice lace "pattern". Big bubbles!

S: Strong bready/cracker malt smell with a light but noticeable hop background. Cut herbs and crackers. Crisp, snappy and lively.

T: Dry crackery malt hits first with enough crisp herbal hops coming through to keep the beer interesting. Hops almost exactly same in strength as the barley. Well balanced is an understatement. I expect the malt not to be obscured by hops in this style and this is practically perfect, as the 2 compliment each other beautifully.

M: Not much to comment on here, but the carbonation is nice and fine textured on the tongue.
Great finish! Dry hop remnants with still that crackery "snap"plus a slight chewiness.

O: One of my very favorites recently, this is a go-to for me. It may be obvioius that I'm a pilsner guy but this is extraordinary IMO. And when it's on sale for $8/6 (which is pretty frequently here in Durham NC) it's hard for me to choose anything else. I love Torch!

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Photo of goindownsouth
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fantastic offering from Foothills Brewing Company in Winston Salem, NC.

Golden in hue, this brew presented with a light, effervescent head that quickly dissipated. Aromas whafting of pilsner matl, slight sweetness and grassy Czech Saaz hops. Nice balance in the nose. Crisp on the palate with a good balance of the grain bill and the hop goodness. Decent body, on par for the style. One of my favorite, traditionally-made pilseners in the country. Paired well with a fresh Bavarian Brez'n with mustard...


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Torch Pilsner from Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
3.74 out of 5 based on 452 ratings.
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