Scrimshaw Pilsner | North Coast Brewing Co.

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Scrimshaw PilsnerScrimshaw Pilsner
Very Good
2,038 Ratings
Scrimshaw PilsnerScrimshaw Pilsner

Brewed by:
North Coast Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: German Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Named for the delicate engravings popularized by 19th century seafarers, Scrimshaw is a fresh tasting Pilsner brewed in the finest European tradition using Munich malt and Hallertauer and Tettnang hops. Scrimshaw has a subtle hop character, a crisp, clean palate, and a dry finish.

Added by kbub6f on 11-16-2001

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Ratings: 2,038 |  Reviews: 731
Photo of wsouloa
3.3/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I actually had this beer this summer when I went out to Northern California at the North East Brewing Company and had it on tap. I liked it so much I got myself a shirt. It pours a light gold color. As people said here the aroma is very "floral". I found the taste a bit citrusy which I like and which I didn't expect. It is nicely carbonated and very drinkable. I actually found this beer out here in NJ recently but it didn't taste as well out of the bottle as it did on tap.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.12/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours to a pure golden copper in color with a slight haze, forming a small white head with poor retention and minimal lacing. Carbonation is mild to moderate. Aroma is nice, with touches of sweet vanilla, peach, husken grain, and pale malts. Hops are light with a floral "American" overtone. Taste begins with a bright burst of floral hops, followed by a lively carbonic acidity, pale malts, husken sweetness, and a pleasantly balanced hop bitterness. This is not overhopped, nor piney, which is just right for a pilsener. There is a subtle metallic note towards the finish. Medium in body with a crisp, cool mouthfeel.

A high quality American style pilsener from a great brewery, and one I could drink several of in a row. Other than the mild metallic note, it is not offensive in any way, well-balanced, and very drinkable.

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Photo of genaro
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance of this beer was light clear gold with a small head. It had a pleasant floral hop aroma. I was expecting another boring pilsner when I was surprised by a flavorful hop taste (citrusy with orange peels), bitter with some slight sweetness. It had a dry finish and a good aftertaste. This pilsner reminded me of a light pale ale. For me, it would be a good summer beer or something to drink with chips etc.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a pale golden straw typical pils color with a two-fingered sized white head. Decent lacing. Aroma is malty and sweet with a moderate botanical, hoppy background. Slighty metallic aroma in there, too. Malty and sweet, this pils is balanced on the maltier side. Eastern European hop background in the finish. Maintainins high drinkability due to low ABV. Not a bad American pils at all, I prefer pilsners a bit hoppier and drier, but you wouldn't find me turning one of these down.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.66/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 ounce bottle purchased as a single, I have never seen this before so wasn’t too impressed by the plain blue label until I realized it was a North Coast beer – then I immediately decided it would be a purchase. No freshness date or strength listed.

Appearance: Awesome, quite simply one of the best looking US Pilsners from a bottle that I have ever poured. It has everything that the draft Czech equivalents exhibited during several trips to the Czech Republic. A wonderfully deep golden body, pellucid with a few lively streamers. A decent sized fluffy white head that has excellent staying power and leaves a little lacing. Now this IS a Pilsner.

Nose: Crispy fresh Pilsner Malts and light Saaz-like Hoppiness in the back end. Sadly though, a little light in strength at times.

Taste: Soft Pilsner Malts start the beer and crisply wrap the tongue along with a fresh bitter hop tinge. This is quite a dry beer, and can leave you feeling a little parched after a few mouthfuls which add to the quaffability of this Pilsner. The finish is a nice balance of malts which effortlessly transition to hops, but it is short lived ending. Nicely balanced.

Mouthfeel: Pretty average feel overall, carbonation is good which gives a light feel on the tongue.

Drinkability: Drinks very well, and it would certainly make a great friend on a sunny Sunday afternoon. It would go well with pickles or spicy food.

Overall: A very well made and nicely balanced Pilsner. One that I would most certainly purchase again. I wasn’t wrong when I decided to pick this up, North Coast certainly make some quality beers.

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Photo of dpend
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a great intro beer for the masses.You can easily say to your Miller or Bud drinking friends, "Hey, give this a try" and they'll like it.Highly drinkable, light but consistent mouthfeel with an easy hop finish.Pilseners tend to have a metallic taste to me, but this one is void of that.Very nice.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, golden hue, with a fine film of bright white foam, swiftly settling.
Aroma: bright, shiny hops stands tall against sweetish malty tones.
Taste: smooth and light on the palate, hops playing it mild here, but with each returning sip they recur again and again. Light and tasty, a near-perfect pilsener, from one of my favorite American brewers.
I like it, I like it.

Thanks to morris729 for the sample.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good beer. I heard some good things about it and it held up to all the talk. It was a great clear golden color just like a lot of macro's but this had a lot more flavor. This is definitely be a beer I would give a macro swill head. A well rounded beer and is very drinkable both with flavor and alcohol content.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A nice Pilsener that was golden-hued and had a fine white head and decent lacing. The aromas are of bready yeast and light malting. Very little hopping noted in the smell.

The flavor is clearly bready and yeasty, but balanced enough as to not be overpowering. The feel is a bit thin, but the crisp finish keeps this dimension in bounds. A very drinkable and refreshing Pilsener.

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Photo of proc
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very good Pils. Pours out to a pastel golden color in the glass with a moderate head. Aroma is that of baking bread, light yeast and light fruit. The taste shows off a nice use of hops which for most beers are lacking in this style. The balance is good though as the malt to hop presence is good without either overpowering. Nice finish and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.14/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scrimshaw has yellow/orange color with some haze to it. It doesn't pour out with much head and musters but a bare covering of bubbles on the surface.

The aroma is of slight malt, but nothing major comes through.

Taste - somewhat simple malt base. Doesn't remind too much of a pils, but it's great nonetheless. An orange citrus flavor there, too. A token bit of hops for balance, nothing more. Pleasant finish, no hop bitterness at all.

Mouthfeel is smooth and in step with a well-done carbonation level.

Drinkability - not a show-stopper, but an all-around great selection. Easily could take good care of a sixer of these.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.01/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – Light yellow in color with the traditional giant, pitting head that laced the heck out of the glass.

Smell – Light grain and hop aroma highlight this Pils.

Taste – The hops are right on track here, but there’s a strange sweetness that doesn’t belong. There’s also a grainy balance that would be more at home in an American Pils than one that claims to be German.

Mouthfeel – The carbonation is cheap and disappointing, and the traditional dryness is lost with the accompanying sweetness.

Drinkability – This lacks the smooth texture and hop dominance of a classic German Pils.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.14/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Mild malt and trace of apple? There is an appealing scent that is just too subtle for me to name in there as well. Hints of spice as well. The closest I could come was powdered sugar, but that just doesn’t make any sense.
Appearance: Painfully clear, so pale that I’m afraid it won’t have any backbone. Formed a respectable head of tiny white bubbles that quickly faded into a weak ring but carbonation lasted well into the beer.
Flavor: The balance is on the malt, which is technically out of style for a pilsner. There is only the smallest hint of hops deep in the aftertaste, but there is enough to keep the malt from being unpleasantly syrupy.
Mouthfeel: For the light taste, a hefty mouthfeel, which, again, is out of style here. No hop pucker at all.
Overall Impression: This beer tastes great! My only beef is that it just doesn’t say “pilsner” to me. Maybe closer to a Dortmunder Export in style? If you are in the “style smyle” camp, I can only say this beer is good, but fairly bland. I also found it fairly filling, which counts against drinkability. I love North Coast beers, but this one just didn’t float my boat.

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Photo of MJR
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a mostly clear pale gold topped with small white head that quickly fades away, leaving only a small ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The aroma is well balanced between the freshly mown hay and bready maltiness and sharp, slighty herbal and earthy hops. Faint touches of honey and mustiness too. That balance carries over into the flavor, with a firm bitterness holding the biscuity malt in check. Quite a bit of dryness towards the finish, which serves to add some length. The body seems a touch thicker than desired, but bumping up the carbonation a bit would help that. This is a solid brew, and one that I could quaff on a regular basis during the warmer months.

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Photo of ZAP
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My kind of pilsner....nice munich malt backbone....a nice otuch of herbal/spicy hops...pours a light gold color....nice white head that rims the glass....nose is spicy more than anything....mouthfeel is more creamy than crisp....body is firm and about medium...flavor is really balanced nicely between the predomiant munich malt and spicy/herbal hops...this slid down the hatch very quickly...not a big fan of Pilsners but I do favor German Style Pilsners and this is a good example....I would buy this again if looking for a pilsner

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Photo of beerguy101
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yellow gold color, large white foamy head. Aroma is grassy, grainy and slightly sweet. Malty and mildly hoppy. Light and refreshing, Good hop to malt flavor. Somewhat fruity (orange). Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and crisp. Aftertaste is slightly bitter

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Photo of Jon
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Golden straw color with a sizeable white head and active carbonation present. Nose is doughy with earthy hops and lemon zest and other citrus present. Flavor is diverse with notes of herbal hops, sweet, bready malt, citrus and a super clean, dry finish. Mouhtfeel is quite smooth at first, but subsequently turns watery and underattenuated, which is perhaps the sole drawback to this pilsner. Scrimshaw is refreshing and very drinkable. German in nature with some definite West Coast US characteristics. Nice stuff.

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Photo of putnam
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep, crusty gold-colored liquid with a protein-rich head that walks all over the glass.
On the nose it's loaded with decadent, sticky, dark-green buds and murky, tea-like malt fragrances. This is obviously a high-quality beer, loaded with choice ingredients. Chewy texture for a "pilsener" with lazy, toasted malt richness that succumbs to a vegetal, raw spinach-like bitterness in the mid-palate leaving a dry, metallic impression. I'm impressed with the cloth this is cut from, but there seems to be a lack of dynamism. Perhaps this sample was accidentally pasteurized.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at Redbones.

This pilsner poured a clear, golden color with white foam that settled but left lace on the glass. The smell was mild: malty with a trace of hops. The taste was mildly sweet with fruity, herbal hops. Other flavors included citrus, caramel, and grapefruit (hops). The mouthfeel was smooth with a puckering, tangy finish but a sweet aftertaste. The body was medium with low carbonation feel. This was a pretty good pilsner, but with quite a few additional flavors that I would not normally associate with a pilsner.

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Photo of budgood1
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out a slightly hazy bright golden colour. a few flecks of sediment float around in the glass. a snow white head is supported by ample carbonation. pleasing aroma of sour dough malts and grassy, herbal hoppiness. rather light bodied, but with creamy smooth mouthfeel. biscuit like malt flavours abound. a just right tinge of hebal hop bitterness rounds out the taste profile in the finish. extremely easy drinking with enough taste to mimick true european pilseners. a nice beer.

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Photo of jcalabre
2.41/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I originally sampled this beer on 19 June 2002. I am writing this reveiw from my notes. I admit that I'm not a big fan of pilseners. However, I actually happen to like Victory Prima Pils and Dogfish Head Prescription Pils. This beer is nowhere close to either of these. It would pass as an OK lawnmower beer.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden color, but slightly hazy. Nice bone white head. Carbonation level seems moderate from viewing. Nice noble hop aroma on the nose (seems like Saaz). Hay and a subtle pils maltiness as well. Onto the flavor....Pils and biscuit like malt properties lay the backbone. Grassy, herbal hop tones are present througout. The bitterness is substanial and pleasing. Pretty solid taste. Body is a little better than medium. Carbonation seems about right. Not too bad.

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Photo of Realale
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightest haze to the pure gold color. Very fine tight 1/2" head settles to a thin cap.

Nose is earthy noble hop with a touch of orange over biscuity malt. Very well-balanced and appealing.

Crisp and quite hoppy initially. Settles into better balance. Finish is long and refreshingly bitter without being obtrusive. Simply a top-notch pilsner, regardless of where its from, and one of the very best domestic versions of the style I can remember trying.

Thanks to MJR for bringing this one back from his vacation for me!

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Photo of nomad
4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a nice golden pilsener color, with a tiny fuzziness to its transparency. Did not display much of a head. Smelled of soft fruit, some florals. Mostly, it had a good grainy scent highlighted by an ounce-of-sweet pale malt. Overall, inviting with a nice mix and subtle blend for a pilsener (never though I'd ever say that!).

Taste was first of light, sweet fruit. Then came a light bitter that was barely citric, but still tasted of good German Pilz kind of hops. All was undergirded by a strong pale malt flavor (for a pilsener), that combined with good light bread notes too - sourdough-ish. Toward the end more salty and rough bitterness came on, like American types of hops.

Had a moderate dry finish, just enough, and a nice ease to the mouthfeel - watery but moderately thick, different but good. This beer is nice for a style that’s been commercially destroyed. I'd never thought I would respect a pilsener this much that I didn't drink in Prague. Hmmm.... memories....

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Photo of RBorsato
4.42/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light hazy yellowish gold with a nice white-ish head, good carbonation, and spotty lace. Light earthy hop aroma with grainy notes. Grainy malt flavor with a good degree of hoppiness to balance. Light-medium bodied with a light dry and bitter finish.

Good but very pricey for a Pils; I prefer this over their Wheat beer for summer drinking.

Per N.C.B.Co. website: Munich and Klages malts. Hallertauer and Tettnang hops. 22 IBU

Note: this beer was #33 in Stuart Kallen's "The 50 Greatest Beers in the World"

Bronze Medal - 2000 Great American Beer Festival, Denver *
Silver Medal - 1996 Great American Beer Festival, Denver *
Bronze Medal - 1994 Great American Beer Festival, Denver *
Gold Medal - 1992 Great American Beer Festival, Denver *
* American Lager Ale/Cream Ale

($6.99 / 6-pack)

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Scrimshaw Pilsner from North Coast Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 2,038 ratings