Torch Pilsner | Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub

108 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 108 | Ratings: 461
Photo of TheOriginal
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A favorite Pilsner. Excited for 6 packs finally!!

Pours a bright, hazy golden yellow color typical among craft pilsners. Smells dry, with lots of herbal scents. Lacing is excellent.

The combination of the dryness of the taste, herbal taste/hopiness, and overall appearence make this pilsner shine. Excellent.

 310 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.

 369 characters

Photo of Teleweizen2
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - pours a crystal clear golden color. Small white cap of foam quickly dissipates to a ring around the edge.

S - aroma is strong with funky noble hops. As it warms there is a touch of citrus character as well as floral notes all against a background of honey and grains.

T - lightly sweet honey comb and grainy bread flavors up front. Earthy herbal and citrus hop character in the center. Quick dry and snappy finish.

M - medium bodied with a slightly watery texture. Medium  carb with tight bubbles.

O - real nice summer beer. I would prefered if it was a touch crisper but I could see drinking this as a warm weather thirst quencher.

 641 characters

Photo of pburland23
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I picked this one up in Asheville a few weeks ago and am finally getting around to drinking it.

Poured from a bomber into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Beer pours a golden yellow. It's a little darker than I would expect a pils to be. Pour released two fingers of dense slightly off-white head. Decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: Very bready with a noticeable presence of Czech hops. Slight floral hops notes. Nice smelling.

Taste: Sweet and very grassy. The sweetness is almost honey-like. It finishes with a mild tartness. The taste is good but it's not truly evocative of the style.

Mouthfeel: It's a little more full bodied than I'd expect from a pilsner. Carbonation adds some body and creaminess.

Overall: This isn't the best interpretation of a Czech pils out there. It's nice but as my first Foothills beer, it was underwhelming.

 853 characters

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.

 733 characters

Photo of McNealc31
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

An angry Viking with a beard of flames doesn't necessarily make me think "Pilsner", but the color of Foothills Torch is quite a bit darker than your average macro pilsner. Still clear and see through, though. Grassy hops in the aroma really showcase the difference, too.

The flavor is full of Saaz hops with a crisp, tart, dry finish. Slightly toasted malt comes through along with with hints of grapefruit. Hops get more aggressive as it warms.

Perhaps the most aggressive and hoppiest pilsners I've had. Still, very tasty and quite a bit of flavor compared to other pilsners. Only 5.3% so it's a pretty good session beer.

If you want a pilsner with a kick, find it!

 670 characters

Photo of VncentLIFE
3.28/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Decided on something light since its nearing 90 degrees this afternoon.

Pour is light yellow with no real head. I think they mispoured. The smell is just ok. I think theyre going for more of a malty thing here (Ive had it multiple times, and gotten the same thing). Sweet slick British malts (at least thats what I smell). The taste is much the same. I think of a British Pale more than Pils. Very slick and more malt forward. I got slight hints of skunk as well as British malt.

Overall, not bad. It can be my "if all else fails, give me one" beer.

 552 characters

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.

 366 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle into a Foothills Glass

Pours a clear glowing gold with a sudsy white head that settles to a slight haze and ring. Nice aromas of grainy malt, lemon zest, crackers, and noble hops. Taste is mostly dominated by the grainy cracker malt and more noble Saaz hops, along with a touch of honey and bread dough. Mouthfeel is properly crisp, with a medium-thin body and good, sharp carbonation. Overall it's not the most over-the-top beer in the World, but a damn fine Pilsner that is perfectly amble after a days work.

 523 characters

Photo of Chaney
3.73/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Foothills.

A: Poured a clear, almost mustardy yellow, with a slight head that stuck around for a bit.

S: Understated overall (like a lot of Foothills regular line-up entries), but with a touch of honey and yeast.

T: This was bitter, but I kinda liked that in this setting. Nothing groundbreaking...just a nice, sweetbready, crisp, pilsener.

M: The carbonation was fairly low considering the style and there was virtually no lacing whatsoever. Over, I dug the mouthfeel.

O: This was a solid pilsener that would be divine on a warm summer day!

 567 characters

4.02/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber to stange. Thanks to rbradley for sending some Foothills my way! Sampled 4/14/12.

A: Pouring down the side of the glass produces a solid finger of off-white fluffy/foamy head that lasts for about 15 seconds before fizzing out to a soapy film. The body is light orange-yellow with remarkable clarity and plenty of bubbles moving quickly through. Wavey patterns of lace sticks to the glass in spare quantities.

S: Spicy hop bouquet that leans grassy more so than floral. The upfront hops are backed by a general, cracker-like graininess. Very clean aroma with little to no fruity esters.

T: Clean and crisp flavors. Strong hop character overshadows the malt base. Bitterness is on the low side of the spectrum at 35 IBUs, but hefty enough to carry the load. A light and pleasant sweetness creeps back onto the tongue on the backend of the palate. Simple, straightforward - and very successful.

M: Medium light body. Crisp, prickly carbonation that eases up on aggressiveness as the swallow commences. Spot on for the style.

O: A very solid Bohemian - and better than most in fact. Torch Pilsner is a super clean, refreshing quaff that begs for outdoors and a hot day to compliment the drinking experience. Happy to have tried this one...

 1,247 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pour is a crystal clear golden orange with a rather tight creamy white head. The nose is pretty decent, a little heavy on the grain but adds notes of doughy bread and and some leafy green hops. The taste is slightly more balanced but still a touch heavy on the grain. Grain, doughy malts, some sweet caramel and honey transitions to some green leafy hop notes. The finish is faintly dry, highly carbonated and a bit rough on the back of the throat. Solid pilsner.

 463 characters

Photo of eclipse54
3.37/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bottle from inlimbo77; thanks! Poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a yellow/orange color that is completely translucent; a two centimeter head of miniscule, white, delicate bubbles rests atop the liquid; mild retention and lacing.

The aroma is of saaz hops, lemon, a touch of clove, and some subtle light grains. It seems delicate, yet well thought-out and balanced.

It tastes of the saaz hops first-and-foremost, with lemon, straw, slight hay and grass pulling through in the rear. A touch of clove also seems to announce itself towards the end. The flavors seem a bit muted and slightly amiss, but by no means offputting; average pilsener in this category.

The mouthfeel is light, but feels limp and wet as opposed to crisp and lively. Finishes relatively cleanly, with a bit of lemon seeming to linger longer than the other flavors.

Overall, a decent pilsener, but one that is readily surpassed by others in the style. I would happily drink it again were it offered, but would take no great effort to seek it out.

 1,041 characters

Photo of modernartblues
3.99/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a classic Pilsner Glass

A: yellow body, not much of ahead, lots of bubbles

N: bready, grassy, touch of pine, promising

T: nice and balanced, enough hop profile to keep me interested, but not the over the top bitterness of a Prima Pils

M: aced it

O: solid beer, I'd def. purchase again, one of my favorites from Foothills thus far

 346 characters

Photo of wedge
3.65/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold with an inch of pure white foam. Pleasant spicy hop nose...slightly sweet pale malt, toasty grain, dough, faint fruit, and some lager character. More spicy, leafy hops in the flavor. Sweet, fresh grain and a lingering peppery bitterness. Very refreshing and chug-down-able. Body is a little better than light and is crisp. I've had this on tap a number of times and it's nice to see it in a bottle. Good local pils...

 428 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.54/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at Mellow Mushroom in Johnson City

Arrived a clear medium yellow with a decent head and good retention. Had more caramel malt taste that a lot of pilsners I have had. Bitterness was moderate with a crisp fairly dry finish. Overall an ok pils but not one of my favorites.

 282 characters

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 mklinger
3.91/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant clear yelllow color with half inch creamy snow white head. Looks like a perfect pils.

Aroma has bready pils malt and a nice bit of floral hops -- perhaps dry hopped?

Flavor was similar but perhaps a bit more full than was the aroma. A very enjoyable pilsener. Crisp in body, a perfect summer beer. Quite refreshing.

 327 characters

Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A draft pilsner? Yes please. I love a good pilsner and this one was decent. Beer is yellow and clear with moderate to low carbonation and a diffuse head of small bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Beer's aroma is simple and subtle, it's all pilsner malt all the time.

Beer is light to medium in body, lead off mild sweetness, mild bitterness from hops at the end, between is just sweet and wet, not overly sweet, it's a nice round subtle flavor, highly drinkable. Yum.

 482 characters

Photo of thagr81us
3.7/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served from tap into a sampler tumbler. Poured golden yellow with a minimal white head. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, wheat, and slight bitter hops. The flavor was of bitter malt, wheat, skunk, slight bitter hops, and subtle banana on the followthrough. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a decent brew. The skunk aspect was a little surprising, but didn't kill the brew at all. All of the flavors worked really well together on this one, but it just wasn't awe-inspiring. Aroma was a little weak in intensity for my liking, but still decent. This is a must try at least once.

 674 characters

Photo of devilben02
3.13/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks the part of a typical pilsener with a rich golden color and a thin creamy white head. The aroma has a dull, earthy bitterness that is pleasant but a bit muted. The flavor is more potent, with the same noble hop character coming through on top of a decent malt base. The texture is a bit thicker than a typical pilsener, being more resinous than crisp. Overall, this is a fine beer, but it doesn't really impress.

 418 characters

Photo of kinged8th
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler station was limited for my tastes and I was looking for an IPA. Settled for a pilsner instead. Pours a clear, golden yellow with little head as expected. Grassy and grainy with a slight hint of noble hops as a pils should be. Drinks really well and is a solid offering from Foothills.

 292 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a clear yellow color with visible carbonation bubbles and a white head without too much lacing as it goes down. Nose is some light grass and bread with a few hops. Light European hop character and grass in the taste. Light and crisp bit nothing too interesting.

 289 characters

Photo of number1bum
3.68/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank many of these at the Carolina Ale House in Raleigh. Pretty pedestrian draft selection but this was a pretty solid choice. Mostly clear golden color, clean, grassy, lightly sweet aroma. Clean, crisp, nice grassy hop flavor with a pale malt sweetness and a hint of lemon and a modest spicy, bitter hoppiness in the finish. Not on the level of the very good pilseners I am used to living in PA, but a solid brew.

 415 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

Torch Pilsner from Foothills Brewing Company - Downtown Brewpub
3.74 out of 5 based on 461 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.