Penn Gold
Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Penn GoldPenn Gold
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Lager - Helles
Ranked #64
Ranked #27,487
3.8 | pDev: 12.11%
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States
Very Good
Penn GoldPenn Gold
Notes: Nationally acclaimed as the best Munich-style beer made in America. Penn Gold is a light-colored, medium bodied lager beer with a delicate hop aroma.
Reviews: 138 | Ratings: 255 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of lastmango
lastmango from Pennsylvania

3.52/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured clear gold with a white one finger head. Faint aroma of crackers and grassy hops. Taste is well balanced but not pronounced of biscuit, malt and grassy hop bitterness. A little watery and sweet at the end of the taste. Moderate light body and carbonation. I wanted to like this a lot, especially after their big gold medal win. But, I had this after drinking a Paulaner Munich Helles Lager. This does not live up to Paulaner or other HL's from Munich.

Jul 28, 2018
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pretty standard - nothing off about it, just not a very exciting style - could use a bit more snap / crispness from the malt otherwise just a decent lager

Jul 18, 2018
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Brian_L-2056 from West Virginia

2.53/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Pours a clear yellow color with almost no carbonation. Smell is sweet and straw like. The initial taste is sweet and pleasant but really not a stand out. The aftertaste is non existent. The feel is thin and sweet and not much else. Overall, not impressed with this one, this is the 1st one from Penn Brewery that I have not liked.

Jul 06, 2018
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mvanaskie13 from Pennsylvania

4.13/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is straw gold, spectacularly transparent, great effervescence, head is bright white with small and fine bubbles, some bubbly lacing. not much lingering head.

Smell is crackery, biscuity, but moderate, then grassy hop (saaz) aroma.

Taste is similar to the aroma with a pleasant malt profile: biscuit, lighter bread, then moderate hop bitterness with grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is crisp, well carbonated, a bit drying and a pleasant lingering flavor.

Overall - another, great, well crafted Pennsylvania helles lager.

Jan 24, 2017
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It absolutely, utterly baffles me as to how I have not reviewed this one until now. I guess that it says something about the depth & girth of the Bottle Backlog here at Chez Woody.

From the bottle: "The Tradition of Our Lagering Caves Lives On"; "Helles Lager Beer"; "Penn Gold is a light-colored, medium-bodied Helles-style beer with a delicate hop aroma."

Once again, given the bottle's indeterminate age, I poured its contents very gently following a Pop! of the cap. An in-glass swirl raised a brief finger of foamy, eggshell-white colored head before falling away to mere wisps. Color was solid Gold (SRM = 5), man, with NE-quality clarity & if you don't think that The Gelt Gang of Mammon, Midas & Croesus was here in a flash, you've got another think coming! Nose had a lightly grassy Saaz-like hoppiness along with a biscuity maltiness. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, not watery, but very light. Taste was very mellow, lightly hopped, lightly malty, but very easy-drinking. This was another beer that I happily drank a lot of when I was a student at Pitt. Finish was semi-dry, very refreshing and eminently crushable.

Jan 13, 2017
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DrMullet from Florida

3.8/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear straw yellow/light golden color.
Very faint smell. Some sweet malt and grain.
Taste is a slightly sweet bready malt. Faint bitter finish with at hint of citrus.

Nov 27, 2016
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DavoleBomb from Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a snifter.

3.25 A: Nearly clear hay gold color. One finger of fizzy white head that falls quickly and leaves just a few wisps of lacing.

3.25 S: Cracker and biscuit malts. Dank earthy hops with grassy undertones. Hay and lemon zest. Super clean and well crafted, but a little tame.

3.25 T: Biscuit malts with hints of cracker and doughiness. Mild bitterness. Earthy and grassy hops with hay and a subtle woodiness.

3.25 M: Light to lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Mildly creamy but could use a bit more. Good enough here though.

3.25 D: Solidly average. This used to be a killer brew but either my palate is much different or the closing and reopening really was as traumatic to the quality as I have suggested.

Sep 30, 2016
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dacrza1 from New Jersey

4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

DATE: September 3, 2016... OCCASION: Penn State kicks off its season hosting Kent State--a beautiful fall day deserves a quality Pennsylvania beer... GLASSWARE: Penn State pilsner... pours a clear gold with moderate effervescence... a thick off-white head settles to suds... bubbles pocket the ring around the glass... not too much to look at... a beautiful metallic hop/bread malt balance erupts... soft flowery hops and a bit of citrus, but the malts are what makes this an alluring fall beer... the palate is smooth, light yet lively, mild at the throat with enough buzz at the teeth... a mild aftertaste that is refreshing, and one that encourages the next sip--outstanding for its style... a pleasant sweetness pervades the experience, with honey, perfume, flower, and dough making for a full flavor profile despite its drinkability... this beer is a great compliment to the day,very light ABV but flavorful and balanced... indeed a medal winner, and one I plan to session throughout the evening...

Sep 03, 2016
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scotorum from Massachusetts

3.68/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75


The last of the four new brews from the March beer club shipment.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into an Innis & Gunn stemmed flute.

a: Clear gold with a finger thick white head which receded quickly to thin patchy surface foam and no lacing.

s; Bready malt

t: Follows the nose along with some underlying light fruit notes. Bready dry finish.

m: Medium, good body and carbonation tingle.

o: An ok dinner beer, with a substantial enough mouthfeel and bready malt flavor to be interesting. True enough to the style, though perhaps a bit heavier than some.

Apr 15, 2016
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TheManiacalOne from Rhode Island

3.78/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellowish gold color with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, light caramelized malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of lager yeast and a hearty but not too heavy malt character followed by some malt sweetness. The hops presence is mild and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to pound down for a while.

Jan 23, 2016
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IronLover from Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Golden yellow in color with light haze. Poured with a short, soapy, bright white foam. Medium-low head retention. Medium- high spicy aromas with medium low malt aromas and medium fruity notes and phenolics. No hop aromas. Medium bodied with high, assertive, yet soft carbonation. Medium high peppery spicyness. phenolic flavors are high followed by medium citrus hop flavors through the middle and medium low bitterness toward the end. Finished semi-dryly with a light hop bite and lingering astringency. The balance certainly leaned toward the spicy side which seemed to overwhelm the hop aromas and flavor. The lingering astringency at the finish hurts the drinkability.

Aug 01, 2015
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metter98 from New York

3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is crystal clear light yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that died down, leaving a thin layer of bubbles on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit/bready malts are present in the nose along with notes of grassy hops, the latter of which becomes a little more apparent as the beer warms up.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and the grassy hops offer a light amount of accompanying bitterness.
M: It feels a bit more than being light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This is a very good American representation of a Munich Helles Lager, although it seems a bit lighter compared to some of the German counterparts. In that aspect, it is very easy to drink.

Serving type: bottle

Mar 06, 2015
Photo of EFitzsimmons
EFitzsimmons from Florida

3.46/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: Very clear light gold, good light ivory head, with light carbonation.

Smell: Slight smell of malt and a good earthiness to it.

Taste: Like is smells with a nice light sweetness to it, although it seemed to have a slightly skunky aftertaste.

Feel: Light and very easy to drink with good carbonation

Feb 14, 2015
Photo of hopflyer
hopflyer from Pennsylvania

4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours light gold. High clarity. Minimal head.

Smells of hay, straw, German malt. Grassy and some spice.

Taste follows with grassy earthy overtones with bready malt and some sweetness. Some lemony citrus flavor to balance out the malt profile. Low bitterness but just enough. All put together well.

Very light body and medium carbonation. A touch of aftertaste but doesn't ruin anything. Refreshing.

Wasn't having high expectations since German lagers haven't hit my taste to well. Bit this one is different. It packs a lot of flavor in a low abv. and very good balance. Well crafted for sure. I'll grab some more of these, especially for daytime summer drinking.

Feb 05, 2015
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RVigz from Pennsylvania

4.14/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Clear golden yellow with a white as snow head.

Smell: A sweet malty aroma.

Taste: Similar to the nose, a rather sweet initial taste of malts that bitters out on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Super super smooth and drinkable.

Overall: I was very impressed with this beer for how smooth it was. VERY drinkable. It tasted similar to boddingtons or john smiths, i enjoyed this a lot.

Mar 07, 2014
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dungledauf from Pennsylvania

2.16/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Presentation: Pint glass on draft at the brewery.

Appearance: Bright, golden color. Very clear. Low carbonation with thin lacing.

Smell: Little to no smell. Expected to smell all-grain malt. The beer may have been served to cold.

Taste: Malt flavor lingers with strong aftertaste. Really expected this to balance quickly

Mouthfeel: Crisp with a medium body.

Notes: Every time I try this style on draft at the brewery it is different. I have had better in the past from Penn Brewery.

Nov 27, 2013
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Foam from Pennsylvania

3.29/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a "gourmet selection" variety case of Penn Brewery's and there's a few Penn Golds in it . It's off the top, very thin/light ... session beer but leaves me desiring more substance/soul/density/thickness ... Penn's answer to Coors Light / Miller Lite / etc etc.
non-threatening 'safe' beer for the masses .
would be good on very hot humid Summer days . wouldn't dehydrate you too much with it's very low 4% abv .
not one i'd buy outright but not terrible .

Nov 16, 2013
Photo of Darkmagus82
Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a lightly hazed medium golden colored beer with one finger of foamy white head. The head fades over about a 5 min time period, leaving a good level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is wheaty and grainy smelling with a little bit of a citrus and grassy hop aroma mixed within.

Taste – The taste begins with a nice bready and doughy flavor with a decent amount of a sweet caramel flavor. These flavors create a nice smooth base for the brew, lasting till the end. Along with the aforementioned flavors, some flavors of yeast and lighter fruit flavors join the tongue. Toward the end a bit of a lemon taste as well as some light hop flavors of an herbal nature join the tongue. With just a hint of graininess and pepper joining the tongue at the very end a nice crisp yet smooth sweet and malty flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the thinner side with a carbonation that is rather high. Both are fantastic for the mix of bread, sweet, and hop, creating a very refreshing and quite drinkable brew.

Overall -This one is nice and refreshing a great session style brew. One I will certainly get again.

Oct 23, 2013
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Cylinsier from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz.

Pours a light clear lemony gold, white lacing.

Light grassy nose with some hints of citrus and hops.

Flavor is lightly sweet, honey and floral notes, with some subtle hop balance and grassy malts to base it all on.

Light body with a mild sting of carbonation.

An infinitely sessionable and wonderfully nuanced lager, maybe the best offering from Penn in terms of session candidates. Pairs great with a wide range of foods but tastes good enough to drink on its own too. Excellent balance. Definitely a beer I will return to.

Feb 02, 2013
Photo of Tucquan
Tucquan from Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had this on 2012-12-25 and again on 2018-05-13 in Columbia, PA

A - Midly-hazy with a 1.5 finger white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves mild lacing.

S - Bread dough, lemon candy, flowery hops, light yeast.

T - Plenty of Pils malt, grass, lemon candy and hint of white grape, perfect balancing bitterness in the finish.

M - Light-medium body and medium-high carbonation. Crisp, sprightly and refreshing.

O - Top notch Helles. I've been doing a lot of Helles comparisons in 2018 and have a more educated palate about this style than I did in 2012. I've raised my ratings accordingly.

The original review from 2012-12-25 is below:
3.75, 4.0, 4.0, 3.5, 4.0 for a 3.94 overall
A - Midly-hazy with a 1.5 finger white head that fades pretty quickly and leaves mild lacing.

S - Bread dough, lemon, flowery hops, light yeast.

T - Pale malt, grass, biscuit, lemon, hop spice, light white pepper, good medium-lived tart citrus and bittering finish.

M - Light-medium body and medium-high carbonation. Crisp, sprightly and refreshing.

O - A very well-done Helles with plenty of quality aromas and taste in a session beer.

Notes: On 2018-05-13 and 2018-05-27 I had Alpenflo side-by-side with Pennsylvania Brewing Company's "Penn Gold", which just won the Gold Medal for Muenchner-Style Helles at the 2018 World Beer Cup. The aromas are very similar although the Alpenflo sourdough-bready aroma is a little stronger than the malt aroma of the Penn Gold, which smells a little sweeter. The similarities and differences carry over into the tastes. Both have a wonderful, bready malt flavor. There's a hint of white grape and honey in both beers. The Penn Gold finishes a little sweeter spicier than the Alpenflo, which like the aroma, leans more towards a slight sourdough finish. It's worth noting the Penn Gold has a lower ABV at 4.5%. Both are excellent. The sweetness of the Penn Gold is on par with Weihenstephaner "Original" (Helles). Alpenflo is clearly a world class beer and I expect it to be a medal winner too; perhaps at this year's (2018) GABF.

Dec 25, 2012
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ThePaleRider from California

4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Light yellow, fresh straw color. Bright white head, with a variety of bubble sizes, that disappears quickly leaving no lacing.

S - Light fruits, bitter hops, and pilsner malts. Nice scent for the style. Very earthy, like fress fall leaves.

T - Crisp, almost apple cider taste. Malts come in nicely. Pretty amazing flavor and bitter bite for a lager. Takes notes on this one guys, who knew a lager could have such an array of fruity esters and bitter bite.

M - Clean and crisp. Nice carbonation and light bodied.

O - Great lager, nice to drink a good lager every once in a while and this one is really nice.

Oct 28, 2012
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jifigz from Pennsylvania

4.02/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

The beer pours a...well, what do you know, beautiful gold color with a head that doesn't last all that long. The head didn't leave any real lacing as it disappeared. The beer looks very carbonated by the amount of bubbles rising towards the surface. It looks like a pretty standard Helles. The aroma smells mostly clean and crisp with a little bit of "skunk" thrown in there. It smells a lot like an American macro Pilsner but with less grainy sweetness and a little more hop aroma. The flavor is pretty much what I expect out of a Helles lager. The initial flavor has that distinct Helles flavor that I can't really describe, then it fades to some sweetness, then the sweetness mingles with the hops, and then the sweetness kind of takes back over for the rest of the aftertaste. The MF is very light and just what I expect for the style. It finishes dry.

This is a very solid Helles Lager. The beer is crisp, dry, flavorful, and very easy drinking without being boring. Well done Pennsylvania Brewing Co. and thanks for representing my home state with the name of your wonderful brewery.

Sep 26, 2012
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MirkoCroCough from Croatia (Hrvatska)

4.8/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle into pint glass. Freshness date marked on bottle.

Lovely golden color. Left a nice head and lacing.

Fresh delicious clean beer smell.

Wow! Perfect balance of hops, malts, and refreshing drinkability.

Clean and crisp. Excellent refreshing finish.

This is what beer is supposed to be. A straight up no pretense beer. Damn good. Put this up there with Victory Lager in terms of a pure beer. Some of the best beers in the world come out of Pennsylvania.

Jul 02, 2012
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OWSLEY069 from Pennsylvania

3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clean yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, a sweet malt and fresh lager notes. In the taste, a small sweet lager notes, quite fresh and a bit watery. A very small bite, but mainly smooth, and a light bodied mouthfeel, with a small and dry graininess in the aftertaste. Quite fresh, yet a bit sweet, nice, but just about average.

Jun 01, 2012
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king75 from Michigan

4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Light gold color, almost transparent. Descent head retention, descent lacing. Nothing to special, almost looks a little watery.

S- Can pick up hints of grain, light maltiness presence, and fragrance of hops is present.

T-Has a great crispness, has a grain flavor that is equally balanced by the hop flavor present. Very light across the palate but yet extremely flavorful.

Wow! this one way surpassed my expectations. When I first poured it I expected it to have a macro watery taste but I was truly blow away by the flavor of this beer. This beer is able to be extremely light across the palate and yet has a great flavor. Quite possibly the most drinkable beer I have ever had due to being overall light in body, full in flavor and low in alcohol percentage.

May 14, 2012
Penn Gold from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 255 ratings