Ray Hill's American Pilsner | Hill Brewing Company

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Ray Hill's American PilsnerRay Hill's American Pilsner
20 Ratings
Ray Hill's American PilsnerRay Hill's American Pilsner

Brewed by:
Hill Brewing Company
Missouri, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Jason on 04-06-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 20 |  Reviews: 20
Reviews by jacobseyb:
Photo of jacobseyb
2.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From bottle at St. Louis airport. Pours a yellowish golden color with a whitish head. Smell is very much of the adjunct, with little other attention. Taste is again very much of the adjunct and lacks in flavor. Feel is crisp with some oiliness in the finish. Overall not my first choice for an American Lager.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of russpowell
3.29/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Wichita

Pours an effervescent golden with 3+ fingers of pillowy ivory head. Zero head retention & lacing

S: Corny with a touch of honey malt

T: Lemony & metallic hops & light grainyness up front. Lemony hops & a touch of honey malt as this warms. Finishes crisp & somewhat bready

MF: Light bodied with spritzyness

Drinks easy, but nothing really compels you to stay for more than a bottle or two. I'd take this over BMC any day

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Photo of Aleforge
2.6/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The liquor store owner was pushing this heavy, telling everyone the history of its maker and how its a "gateway" beer. I was intrigued by the story of the local homebrewer and his strive to put out a good product. I didn't need a gateway beer however but I will try anything.

A- Dark golden color, white foamy 1 finger head
S- Light sweet aroma, not much there
T- Malty with a touch of hops
M- Pretty light, with a little more body then typical lagers
D- Easy to drink, fairly smooth

Pretty boring to be honest, nothing to really note. It reminds me more of a golden summer ale then a pilsner lager. I guess the touch of hops is what pulls it away (for the better) from the lighter BMC's. AB produces this and its better then their other lagers, but not by much.

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Photo of MTNboy
3.68/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a good looking beer. It has decent golden white head with tight bubbles. The lace is a little less impressive. The body is brass colored with lots of carbonation bubbles sticking to the side of the glass. The aroma is very malty with some clean hops tones. It has German like pils taste. It is grainy and earthy but mainly malty. It is light with some carbonation bite. Very clean and refreshing.

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Photo of Cresant
2.46/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a pilsner glass. No date. The body was clear golden and the frothy white head stayed throughout the drink.

Smell was mildy corn syrup and overall it seemed a little stale. No hops or grains aromas.

Taste was moderately sweet with some faint citrus notes. Some hops flavors appeared in the short finish. The website states they use pale malts and corn in this beer, one can taste the corn.

Mouthfeel was rather zippy due to the assertive carbonation. A bit of a palate scrubber. Abrupt finish in this beer. I really enjoy pilsners but this one was rather bland.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.03/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle a straw color with orange tints beneath a rich off-white head.

The aroma is the expected grainy sweetness and earthiness of most American pilsners.

Tastes of sweet grains, herbal hops, and biscuit.

Mouthfeel is light and crisp.

Overall, this is quite the average American pilsner.

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Photo of Realale
2.6/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Clear medium gold. Bright white very fine fluffy somewhat raspy head settles to a thin cap.

Nose is indeed classic American pilsner. Slightly bready malt, whiff of corn, some grapey fruit notes, and, surprise, surprise, some pretty, green, slightly herbal hops. Definitely well above average for style.

Thin in the mouth, losing much of the complexity of the nose. Here we're reduced to an almost macro-ish slightly sour malt. Finish is decent length, but I'm not crazy about the flavor. No evidence of the hops that the nose promised.

Mouthfeel is slightly fizzy. Too highly carbonated and corn-y to rank high on drinkability for this taster. Reminds me of adjunct days Michelob (have not retasted it since it went all malt), but with a better nose.

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Photo of soju6
3.48/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice golden color with a small head that fades to some light lacing.

S: Has a clean grain aroma with a hint of sweetness.

T: a bit malty with a nice sweetness and a clean finish.

F: Fairly light body that is crisp and refreshing.

D: Very drinkable, better than most BBQ-summer type of beers. A good year round brew. Reminds me of a nice German pils.

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Photo of zeff80
2.85/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a clear, golden yellow color with a white, one-finger head. No lace.

S - It smelled of corn and malt.

T - It had a strong maltiness. Also, tasted of grains/corn. It was fairly sweet.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light-bodied beer.

D - Not a bad lager. Nothing special about it, but it is certainly drinkable.

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Photo of bnes09
2.31/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pale straw color and transparent. Frothy white head with decent retention and some lace patches.

Clean aroma of grains, corn and rice. Nothing special.

Malt character is present but minimal and slightly stale. Corn husk and a bland rice-like quality. Old yeast gives it a dirty flavor. Weak herbal, grassy hop barely adds a touch of bitterness. Aftertaste is sour and unpleasant.

Light-bodied and lots of bubbles. Very standard for an adjunct lager. Crisp, dry finish.

Not very drinkable due to the unpleasant flavors. Overall, I was disappointed with this beer. When I saw it in the store, I had no idea it was a Bud product, but it explains the adjunct flavors very well. Over-priced at $7.00+ for a sixer. Not recommended. I would honestly prefer a Budweiser.

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Photo of giblet
2.38/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

ok...yes, ok. i purchased this at a bar in KC. it is ok. pale straw color. decent carbonation and head yet it settled quickly. smells grainy and light. taste is like the smell. light. ok. nothing to write home about. no lace. little hop. a light lager that is like most macros. pilsner?

suckem up and movem out.


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Photo of KI9A
3.75/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle, not expecting much than a typical industrial beer.

Foamy head, maybe a bit darker in color than a BMC.

Smell is grains and some corn.

Taste actually had a hint of hops, not alot, but, yes, they are there. Finished clean, dry, and not offensive at all.

I actually liked the beer, might even keep a couple in the fridge for when I am just not in the mood for a heavier, or hoppier beer. WAY beeter than a BMC of any kind ( yes, I know it is a AB owned beer...)

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Photo of Vancer
2.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Donno how another pilsner is gonna make it in a pilsner town. Especially another adjunct corn brew, at a high dollar price ($9) a sixer.

Classic bright golden yellow with a foamy white head, decent lacing. Best part of the brew.

Subtle notes of a malty grain, no veggies or corn….yet. Taste was a malty pilsner, well balanced, but that off-tilt kick of the corn. Still pretty darn smooth and clean.

Very drinkable, but certainly not a <classic> brew, I’d rather grab an all-malt pilsner from today’s market.

Donno why the first reviewer noted corn syrup and then put in under the all-malt style. Oopsie.

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Photo of msubulldog25
3.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Never heard of this brewery, but read up on them from the website. Pretty nice looking site, but with mostly marketing-speak and little actual info on their beer.

This is the exact description as given there: "...[P]ours a golden yellow with a fluffy, airy white head. Slight hop aromas emanate from the lager, along with the sweet scent from the pale malts and corn. The Flavor has a clean mouthfeel that makes the beer very pleasurable." Huh? Stifling my giggles at all the unintentional humor in those few sentences, I poured to a pint glass and tasted...

A: Yep, golden yellow; actually a darker shade than the standard macro-lager. Perfectly clear and loaded with rising carbonation. Capped with 1/2-finger of fizzy white foam, lasting about a minute before setting to a lumpy cream. Minimal bits of sticking lace.

S: Grain and corn and sweet malts. A hint of candied sweetness; someone else mentioned 'malt liquor' in a review and I see a little resemblance. A bit of hop spiciness.

T: Malty grains, moderately sweet with light lemon zest and a clean herbal/green hoppiness in the mild and dry finish. Lingering sweetness tastes of clover honey and cereal.

M: Starts with a gentle crispness and has a mellow velvety smoothness in general. Light in the mouth and body, moderate bittering behind those sweeter grains. A lingering spice on the tip of the tongue.

D: For a macro-lager/'American Pilsner', I found this pretty drinkable. Nothing complicated, easy to drink, reasonably good flavors and aroma and refreshing. Since I received this as an extra in a trade (thanks to James (jpm30)) I won't be finding this locally, but I might drink it again if it was. Reminded me of a NW beer like Henry Weinhard's - nothing too special, but a perfectly decent everyday beer.

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Photo of ryanismean
2.46/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I'm always excited to try a new pilsner, saw this at Gomer's in midtown and decided to give it a try. Pours a thin, pale straw color, looking very much like any generic macrolager. The dry, slightly fluffy head stays around for quite a while, receding to a slim crown but never completely disappearing. I can detect only faint barley malt aroma and virtually no hops, not really the level of hop love I was hoping for from a pils. The primary aroma is of slightly musty "basement corn"--not awful but not good and a little weird, this could almost pass for a cheap malt liquor.

Flavor is slightly better than the aroma, with some actual crackery, biscuity malts cutting through the corn syrup. There's only the tiniest touch of vaguely citrus hop character, but it is completely covered up. Very little in the way of notable bready yeast flavors. It tastes a lot like a cheap macro lager, leaving a slight lingering sweetness on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is predictably thin and fizzy. This is the kind of beer you could throw back a dozen of and not even notice you were drinking beer. Certainly it isn't a pilsner. Tastes basically like an AB Budweiser with corn instead of rice. Actually, I think I'd rather drink a Bud.

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Photo of 1fastz28
2.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a golden straw yellow color with a pure white head. Slight citrus scents as well as water and a mild hop note. tastes like a generic lager really, nothing outstanding or unique atleast not that i could tell, no bitterness, it is smooth but also watery, i'm sure i could drink plenty of these, but there are other lagers out there that i'd pick first, but i'm not a huge lager fan though.

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Photo of mentor
3.73/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle code is 07224 MX64. Half finger yellowish head over a clear faint yellow-rust liquid. Smells noble hoppy with corn and cherry ester.

Tastes corn and wheat. Carbonation sour and sting is more of a flavor than the hops. Hop bitter is hard to get ahold of, due to the strong carbonation. Dry finish leaves a mild gluten on the tongue. Quite clean and refreshing, would be good on a hot summer afternoon is my guess. Aftertaste is creamed corn and a nice hop flavor. Floral and metalic, like a hallertauer variant. Light body, but has a bit of dextrine thickness that hangs around. Very strong carbonation.

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Photo of reg93780
3.53/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I liked this beer, call me simple or simple palleted, by I thought it was an easy drinking beer that I will buy more of. Of course it always helps when Ray Hill himself is pouring you beers for you! I had the pleasure of meeting the man at the KC Beer Fest this past weekend.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Closer to pale tangerine than amber. The ivory colored crown is whipped frothy, yet has enough substance to persist and to melt in appealing fashion. Blurry rings of lace keep the appearance comfortably above average.

The nose is a cut above the standard macro lager because it isn't the least bit offensive. Nor is it anything to get excited about. It's sweeter than the norm and is less muskily hoppy. I'm still onboard.

For what it is, this is actually okay beer. If you've often thought that macro lagers would be better if they were maltier and sweeter, then you'll probably agree. To me, due to the use of corn, American Pilsner tastes like a bulked-up Miller High Life.

The beer tastes more like an ale than a lager because of the (probably yeast-derived) esteriness of the less-than-clean flavor profile. That isn't a negative, by the way. Each upending of the glass delivers sugar-crusted cereal grains and sweetgrassy noble hops. The latter remain in the background, keeping things in relative balance throughout. Thankfully, warming doesn't result in the usual macro lager nastiness.

If a beer of this style is bigger than usual and is even close to appropriately carbonated, it gets a 'thumbs up' on the mouthfeel front. A light creaminess is a nice surprise.

For those who are unaware, Ray Hill is a homebrewer from St. Louis who managed to get his beer contract brewed by Anheuser-Busch. The irony is, American Pilsner is signficantly better than most of what the big boys produce. If the suits at A-B were smart, they'd buy Ray out and market this beer as the new and improved Budweiser. I'd buy it.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
2.64/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into pilsner glass...

A: pours a hazy gold with a foamy egg white head

S: lemon and green apple fruitiness sticks out from the expected aroma of the style, though the smell of buttery corn on the cob and wheat are not far behind along with a faint caramel sweetness.

T: grainy caramel sweetness with a taste of sour lemon juice then flavors of corn finishes with lemon peel, a touch of bitter, peppery hops, and bread crust. leaves a long aftertaste of corn and more sour lemon juice, which really takes away from this beer.

M: medium full body with a sharp crisp mouthfeel which finishes dry

Overall, could be decent brew but is ruined by the excessive lemon juice flavors. I could see how it could appeal to those who put fruit in shitty beers to cover up the bad taste(i.e. Corona), but if it's a craft beer you're looking for, stray from this one.

Also, as a side note, This beer and the six pack both state that the "Hill Brewing Company" is located in Wilkes Barre, PA., however on the company's website it states that the beer was originally homebrewed by Ray Hill in St. Louis and mentions nothing of this town in PA, and that Mr. HIll later sold the recipe to AB who brews it at the AB brewery in STL. This is mentioned nowhere on the packaging. Quite sneaky on behalf of AB. Perhaps losing faith in their own brand.

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Ray Hill's American Pilsner from Hill Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.01 out of 5 with 20 ratings