Founders Brewing Company

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Lager - American
Ranked #34
Ranked #24,641
3.83 | pDev: 8.62%
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Very Good
Notes: Always brewing to taste and rarely to style, Pilsner is the culmination of our love of American hops and appreciation of easy-drinking styles. Where traditional Pilsners typically feature European Noble hops, our version celebrates some of our favorite American varieties: Chinook, Centennial, Cascade and Crystal. Crisp and bright, with notes of citrus, this Pilsner is refreshingly untraditional. 5.5% ABV.

The recipe is exactly the same as PC Pils. We wanted to give the beer a refresh as far as the name and packaging go – something that spoke better to the beer inside. Pilsner will be available in 15-pack cans and draft from June-September in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana and New Jersey.
Reviews: 234 | Ratings: 811 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of skisonic
skisonic from Maryland

3.37/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent, paleish straw, an attractive shade. Smells like a typical pilsner, dank. A light-bodied softish mouthfeel. Prominent flavors are malty, piney with a note of sour. Its smooth and easy to drink.

Dec 19, 2020
Photo of JRed
JRed from New Jersey

3.56/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light haze in this straw-colored body. White fluffy head. Aroma of honey, light citrus, lemon, and light pine. Tastes of light citrus, light lemon, honey, grass, light pine, nice clean bitterness. Light bodied with very active carbonation.

Nov 21, 2020
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maxpower from Missouri

3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can pours hazy golden-straw color with a good fizzy white head that doesn't last long, not much lacing, light grassy and flowery aromas. Cracker and grainy mild sweetness turns bitter with some dryness in the finish. Light bodied with a soft but crisp carbonated mouthfeel, very clean and crisp, very nice.

Sep 05, 2020
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hefe300 from Oklahoma

3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a Royal Gorge souvenir pint glass. White head dissipates quickly, leaving minimal lacing. Color is yellow with mild haze.
Smells like citrus hops.
Taste like citrus hops up front. Not much malt to balance. Finished with the fading of the hops.
The bitterness is not pilsneresque. It's all citrus and I guess that's where the "American" in American Pilsner comes from. It's a good beer that is acceptable for cooling off on a hot day or paired with a spicy bowl of chili.
This has the hoppiness of an American Pale ale but is a lager with the malt bill of a pilsner.

Aug 22, 2020
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Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Currently ranked #29 in the "Lager - American" Beers list.

12 fl oz pull-tab can ran me $1.20 USD plus tax at a beer store in New Orleans, LA.

"American Hopped Pilsner." 5.5% ABV. 45 IBUs.

A nice IPL, but calling it a pilsner is just plain disingenuous. Chinook is showcased well. Centennial not so much (where's the pine? the oils? the resin?). Cascade - sure, I get floral flavour. Crystal I'd never pick out in a blind tasting.

Very drinkable. Soft. Smooth. Refreshing. Coating.


Aug 18, 2020
Photo of John123will
John123will from Indiana

3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L- Big white head with small bubbles. A pale yellow color like straw. This specific one being reviewed might have some chill haze. Overall, good head retention and a pretty beer.

S- Grain and malt are present on the nose with citrus and floral aroma typical of American hops. Reminiscent of casacade. Overall a mild aroma.

F- Prickly carbonation and a light bodied beer.

T- Centennial hop taste more present than in the aroma. First taste malt and slight toasted flavor, then the earthy centennial bitterness, followed by a sweetness, and finally a grainy aftertaste.

O- Decent crowd pleasing beer. Not amazing and not a traditional pilsner with the American hops but an easy drinker someone can pick up.

Jul 05, 2020
Photo of daliandragon
daliandragon from Maryland

3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a real nice, easy drinking pilsner with an aggressive hop character and a balanced and earthy character. Texture is spot on for the style. Maybe a touch more carbonation than necessary but this is a simple, tasty summer brew. One of the better American lagers I have had in a while.

Jun 24, 2020
Photo of Gatch
Gatch from Rhode Island

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Canned on: 04.17.20
Never had a chance to try PC Pils so I’m glad this is the same recipe and distributed widely now; not to mention a 15-pack for $15!

I can see how this could be argued as an APA, a hoppy blonde, or a hoppy Pilsner. It’s definitely hoppier than any beer of this style in Europe. But the malt bill provides plenty of Pilsner flavor and character. The finish and feel are what set it apart and make it truly American...a heavy hop presence throughout.

Jun 20, 2020
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.9/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer ours a clear golden-amber color with billowy white head of two finger height. The head has a good level of retention, slowly fading over time to leave a good sum of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – The aroma of the brew is big of a grainy and herbal hop smell mixed with some other aromas of caramel. Along with these smells comes a touch of a hay aroma as well as a little bit of toasted bread smell.
Taste – The taste begins with a grainy and lightly caramel sweetened flavor. As the taste advances the caramel gets lighter and the grainy stronger all while some herbal hop tastes begins developing. With the herbal hop comes a little bit of an earthy hop as well, mixing nicely to produce a more herbal-dank taste. With a touch of hay and grass that come at the end, one is left with a somewhat malty but, not sweet, and nicely hopped taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is average to slightly thinner with a carbonation level that is rather high. For the mix of dank and grainy, with a somewhat lower sweetness the feel is great and makes for a very easy drinker.
Overall – This is a nicely hopped (but not too hopped) and flavorful, but yet still very easy drinking pilsner. Very well done!

Jun 14, 2020
Photo of EvershineDan
EvershineDan from Michigan

4.99/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

WOW. Super-Hoppy for an American Lager.

This is quite IPA-ish.
But I prefer it to every IPA I've ever had.
Definitely the hoppiest American Lager I've had.

Normally, I'm more of a Porter/American Brown Ale/Oatmeal Stout type of beer drinker, but I am slowly falling in love with this beer.

This is delicious.

Edit: This has become pretty much all I drink now. Too bad it's seasonal. I'm now desperately trying to find an alternate brew to drink during its off-season.

Jun 11, 2020
Photo of smbslt
smbslt from Illinois

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L - Very light yellow, two-finger head that breaks down initially to a bubbly layer before thankfully retreating to a thin layer of small bubbles barely replenished by a few escaping bubbles from the base od the Big Ass Fan pint glass.
S - Lemongrass aroma is pleasant
T - First taste is an overwhelming hop blast. Once desensitized a bit of malt poked thru on subsequent tastes and always followed by a long bitter finish.
F - Initial sensation of going thru the bubbly layer (see L above) feel did not improve as the coating accentuated the bitter not clean finish.
O - More balance is needed.

Jun 07, 2020
Photo of mnj21655
mnj21655 from Massachusetts

3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Brilliantly clear, pale yellow-good in color, short lived somewhat forty white head. Aroma is a little earthy and citrusy, pretty clean, not much malt character. Taste hits the same notes as the aroma but is more muted, this skews dry, finish just leans bitter. The hop character here reminds me of an old school west cost IPA. Medium-light body, moderately high carbonation. A decent pils, definitely not brewed to style. The hop profile doesn’t quite do it for me.

May 23, 2020
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi from California

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, hot damn. I’m feeling this one. Thing pours beautiful and clear like Downtown LA after a rainy day. I’m not getting too much on the nose, but hell, there are worse things in life. The reward is when you take a sip. It’s like Ariana Grande singing God Is A Women, except for Raul, at this moment, God is Founders Pilsner.

Get it!

May 19, 2020
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster from Michigan

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5.5% ABV, 42 IBU.s
Hopped with Chinook, Centennial, Cascade and Crystal.

Pours out to a slightly hazy medium-light golden, forming a thin white head with poor retention and lacing. Medium carbonation, ~2.5 carbs or so. The nose is quite hoppy. I definitly get chinook and centennial, but I swear I smell citra too. At any rate, piney, MJ skunk, fresh floral, spicy, very nice. No off aromas. No DMS, Subtle at best sulfur as the hops drown it out, but there is some there.
The mouthfeel is prickly, easy to drink, medium bodied, pleasant acidity, The taste is mostly forward hops of the piney and skunky variety. The malts are pretty much overwhelmed, very little malt character, Lingering bitterness, firmly bittered (I'd prefer about 10 IBU less), cleanly fermented, no off flavors.
A nice hop forward lager, although I wouldn't call it a pilsner (albeit it says "American hopped pils" on the can.) This is more like an baby-IPA w/o any crystal malts. Still it's quite good as I wasn't expecting a German or Czech pils. If you like IPA's and want a nice beer to go with your burgers and brats, or around a summer campfire, this would do nicely.

May 11, 2020
Photo of Told
Told from South Carolina

2.15/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This doesn't even resemble a Pilsner. It's a thin IPA over-hopped to unpleasantness. The hops are so heavy and sharp; they overwhelm the weight of the beer.

May 06, 2020
Photo of Judgie
Judgie from Indiana

3.96/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased 15 can pack with canned on date of 03.27.20 from grocery during a rare trip away from home. Pours light straw color and provides a huge bright white bubbly head. Smell is "beer-like" with typical but light fragrance of c-hops. Flavor is crisp and nicely bittered. Citrus notes are there but faint and compliment the clean beer nicely. Mouthfeel is thin, crisp and refreshing. Looking forward to drinking this thought the summer if the availability continues.

Apr 23, 2020
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TommyTuneUp from Michigan

4.89/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is surprising. As a resident of 10+ years in Germany, I can say without a doubt that the authenticity to the true Pilsen brand of brewing is there. Just enough of a hoppy zing to grab your attention and an aftertaste that is like a dream. You can feel it descend in your throat!

At 5.5% it is actually a firm pils above the average - certainly in the States and also in Deutschland! Did I mention Ales are for Wimps? We are Craftsmen, for gosh sake. Not garage fermenters . . . . . . .

Dec 09, 2019
Photo of tone77
tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of malts, some hops. Taste is hops, grassy, light honey and malts, very refreshing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer that I may need to revisit during the summer.

Dec 06, 2019
Photo of 57md
57md from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a straw color with a thin layer of head. The nose has some citrus notes but nothing indicative of pilsner malts. The flavor is straight up hop bitterness - which isn't bad, but also isn't remotely true to style.

This isn't a hoppy pils like Prima, it's a straight up IPL. Which is fine, but just call it that.

Nov 29, 2019
Photo of stevoj
stevoj from Idaho

3.46/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Growler fill from Albertsons. Pale golden, slight haze, thick foamy head. Aroma is grainy and bready, like a pils. Taste is where the hops come in, and when you know this is an IPL. A bit more variety in the house character than the normal Saaz bite.

Nov 10, 2019
Photo of Scrapss
Scrapss from Pennsylvania

3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from 12 oz can

A: straw yellow with a nice tightly bubbled head. Head is 4mm and solid edge to edge

S: faint grassiness and a hint of very light malt. It says american hops but it hearkens Noble hop varietals.

T: Light grassiness, light malt like carapils and maybe a honey malt slightly added. Nice.

M: slick on uptake, then medium-light creaminess and then a super clean and light bitterness on finish then it is gone except a pleasing light toast, like toast mom would make with weak tea when you got sick as a kid.

O: solid as heck. Much better than any run of the mill AAL. I'd drink this any time I had a hankering for lawnmower beer.

Edit:. After reviewimg I read some others and some said 'IPL light'. I would agree with that.

Sep 27, 2019
Photo of jgido759
jgido759 from New Jersey

3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hard to describe this as an actual pilsner, more like a pale ale "lite".

Pours a clear yellow with a slight white head that dissipated quickly. Taste is that of a lite beer (although my wife, who is not a beer drinker, tasted it and said it was very "bitter"), so having more than one is not a problem.

Smooth and goes down easy. I would not refuse if offered to me however, I would not go out of my way to look for it again.

Aug 26, 2019
Photo of JimboBrews54
JimboBrews54 from Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy effervescent pale yellow. Nose is very hoppy, citrus, tropical fruit, some grass notes. Flavor is lemon-lime along with a biscuit sweet underpinning of flavor. Decent but not one that I would have again.

Jul 25, 2019
Photo of drh88
drh88 from Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Founders Pilsner - the rebranded PC Pils. Kind of a hybrid style - more hoppy than a pilsner, taste is more like a session IPA, but with more body. The finish is smooth and lager-like. This is an interesting and tasty beer.

Jul 09, 2019
Photo of GregBlatz
GregBlatz from Ohio

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden and clear with a thin white head that settles.

A lot of fruitiness from the hops, a whiff of caramel from the grains. No hint that this is a pilsner.

Nice taste but nothing makes me say Pilsner. Hop flavor is fresh and delicious. The only hint of lager comes in the finish with a dry somewhat salty ending.

So this is a good beer that I would buy again but if you are expecting a pilsner this isn't going to make you happy. I would call it a session IPL and you will enjoy it.

Jul 06, 2019
Pilsner from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 86 out of 100 with 811 ratings