Penn Pilsner | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner
463 Ratings
Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our flagship brand! An amber Vienna-style lager beer that is smooth, mellow and full bodied, with delicate hop aroma. Uses two-row barley malt and caramel-roasted malt. Based on founder Tom Pastorius' favorite German bier.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 10-19-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 463 |  Reviews: 243
Photo of LittleBrownBird
1/5  rDev -72.2%

Photo of dungledauf
1/5  rDev -72.2%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pour into pint glass from 12 ounce bottle. Case said drink by date is February 8, 2013. Case stated amber-style Vienna lager with smooth, mellow, full-bodied taste and delicate hop aroma. 2-row barley and caramel roasted malt used.

Appearance: Slight head with disappered quickly and no lacing on the glass on the way down, straw-colored, little to zero carbonation, lifeless, dull, and very cloudy which seems unusual for a lager.

Smell: Beyond belief because there was no smell expecially no hop aroma whatsoever. This did not even smell like a beer.

Taste: Little yeast and malt flavor especially in the after taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy with a medium body.

Overall: This was not a Vienna-lager. Whatever style it represented it was awful. I am confident to say this because I have enjoyed this beer for over 15 years. This was not even comparable to Sam Adams Boston Lager or the Great Lakes Eliot Ness. This brewery does not consistently produce this product well. I am not sure why this beer is totally different than in the past, but I will never order it again.

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Photo of rabsten
1.59/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Okay, I need to qualify this by saying something must have gone wrong with this six pack . Really wrong. I bought it from a retailer I trust, though, so I don't blame them. Further, Penn products haven't been available in this area long, so it's not an issue of being old. I don't know what, but age and retailer hadling are not the causes.

It poured well enough into a pint glass, with yellow amber color and decent head and carbonation. That's as good as it got. It smelled, tasted, and felt like vinegar. Acetic acid overwhelmed everything. It simply wasn't drinkable. Four bottles of the six were like this; I don't know about the other two.

I recently visited the brewery and really enjoyed it. I've also picked up a few bottles of Penn Dark around here and they've been fine. When I go to Pittsburgh next month I plan to revisit Penn and sample this beer from the source. When I do, I'll revise my review. Until then, however, this is what I have to review. Probably not constructive, but I feel I needed to say this nevertheless.


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Photo of mwbrady12
1.75/5  rDev -51.4%

Photo of HeyJim
2/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of WaterCzar
2/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of Fatdenny
2/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of Mark5252
2/5  rDev -44.4%

Photo of drpimento
2.1/5  rDev -41.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This bottle was a gift from friend Paul B. Poured with a nice head that soon faded; no lace. Has a hazy amber color. Nose was sweet, bready, caramel malt. Flavor is a bit tart however; maybe from the carbonation. Shallow beer. Not at all a pilsner. The finish is the sensation of the carbonation on the tongue and not much else.

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Photo of DIM
2.12/5  rDev -41.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2

Well now I get it. I ordered this because I wanted a pils. I was disappointed because I thought it tasted more like a vienna lager. Yeah for my palate, boo for my taste buds. Reviewed as a pilsner since that what the handle read.

This was kind of a hazy amber color. It had off tasting muddled, grainy sweetness. This was probably at least partially due to dirty lines at PNC park. But still...

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Photo of Dogleg
2.25/5  rDev -37.5%

Photo of james582
2.25/5  rDev -37.5%

Photo of CMG-PSU
2.34/5  rDev -35%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

I find this to be shallow and pedantic. Aka not good.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
2.4/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in Pilsner glass at 50 deg F. Poured a light amber. Spritzy, thin head that lasted for only a few minutes before leaving a small lace on glass. Slight malty aroma with spicy hints. Starts with a light, sweet, almost toasty flavor, the middle is a bit thin as the mouth feels goes to hell. Finishes with a slightly bittersweet butterscotch taste.

This is not a pilsner. It looks and tastes like a weak amber lager. Even for that style, this beer does nothing for me.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.44/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Hey for a lager this is inviting. almost copper, nice head with decent lacing. Vienna lager for certain.

This is one of those pils that makes such an effort to bring in the malts that it forgets it needs some balance. Hops are mellow and thats all good and fine for the style but introduce them somewhere. Sweet and light, borderline watered. Some toasted wheat bread comes through to save it. I know my review sounds bad but in the end its about average in my sometimes overly critical opinion.

Notes: Not for me thats for sure. I love a good pils but this one falls a few yards short.

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Photo of emsroth
2.46/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle. No freshness date but there is a code.

app: pure gold with a small but frothy head

Smell: sweet malt that reminds me of cooked apples. no hop scent that i can discern

Taste: Light taste up front. All flavor is later in the sip. A mix of rough, dry malt, minerals, and slight bitterness. Overall a flat, boring taste.

Tastes like a hopped up adjunct lager.

This is the second Penn beer I've had, and both had a very strong mineral taste which I cannot stand.

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Photo of heddar33
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of slimntubbs
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of TheBigBoy
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of Celtics76
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of TheMultiYeast
2.5/5  rDev -30.6%

Photo of cdkrenz
2.56/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Thank Bill

A - Golden yellow with a thin, half inch white head. Looks to have a bunch of carbonation too.

S - Grainy soap aroma with a bready fill.

T - Malty start with a bitter end and an even more bitter after-taste.

M - The feel is somewhat coarse in the finish. Prior to that it's watery and somewhat uneventful.

~ Other than the looks I'd have to say this is one you might wanna pass on. I will say this though, I like the photo of the old man on the label. Now if only the beer had that kind of character.

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Photo of DuqTroops
2.6/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsner glass. Reviewed January 15th.

Orange / Amber in color. Some head formed, but it went away rather quickly. Unsure if this is normal.

Not too great of a beer; will drink again, but only because there are 4 left in the pack.

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Photo of mjc410
2.66/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The pour into my Prima Pils glass raises a two-finger off-white head, slow to fall. The lacing is sudsy but sticky. The body is too hazy for a Pils, and in fact, I see it labeled here as a Vienna Lager. I don't see it to be dark enough for that either, despite their website's claims. It's a barely transparent dark gold. The nose is actually quite weak, with only a slight sweet grain aroma. The taste is close to what I expect from a Dortmunder, with less pronounced hop taste, but more body and "kick" than a helles. There's really not much to it. The mouth is somewhat thick, and the carbonation is tingly. This is indeed easy to drink, but I'm glad this is my last bottle, since there's not much going for it, and the beer has something of an identity crisis.

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Photo of Shiloh
2.67/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I am not impressed by this short of my expectations of what a true pilsner should be.
Maybe I have a bad one here but I don't think that's it.
Medium dark golden colour with a light white crown which departs quickly.
Body medium/full.
Carbonation very light.
Aroma has a light sweetness to it...bready.
Taste is malt heavy to begin and continues to the end. Evidence of hops midway thru but lacking.
High points for this brew are the "smell' & "mouthfeel"
How sad is that?

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Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 463 ratings