Penn Pilsner | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

240 Reviews
Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.00%

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

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Reviews: 240 | Ratings: 454
Photo of WesMantooth
3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First of all. It appears the Bros reviewed the wrong beer, which is easy to do in this situation. Despite the fact that the beer is named "Penn Pilsner" and says "Pilsner Beer" again right under that, it is clearly a Vienna style. Their description says so on the side of the label, as does the listing here. This is not a pilsner. If so, it would be one of the worst attempts ever.

It is however a decent Vienna lager. It is a light amber color that is about as clear as a pils/z. It has a moderate light tan head. It smells and tastes like barley, toasted caramel malts, and very light floral hops. It could use aome more body. It is a bit on the light side. It goes down smooth and has a crisp, dryer finish. Solid beer.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | 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: "Pilsner Beer"; "Lager Beer".

I Pop!ped the cap & performed a gentle pour since the bottle was of an indeterminate age. An in-glass swirl lifted a finger of foamy, tawny head that quickly reduced to wisps. Color was solid Amber (SRM = > 7, < 9) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a distinctive lager-like honey sweetness along with a breadiness. Mouthfeel was medium. This had the same honey-drizzled biscuity breadiness taste that it always has had. When I was a student at Pitt, Yuengling Lager had begun to make its way westward and it was a favorite choice among my fellow undergrads, but having drank a lot of it here in Lancaster, Penn Pils became my go-to beer of choice. Finish was semi-dry, refreshing and just a nice, pleasant everyday beer.

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Photo of SomethingClever
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Nice one inch white tiny bubbled white head. Body is a mild gold with great clarity.

S: Light floral hops, a little herbal, some bready mild malts.

T: Nice bready herbal taste malts are like crushed corn and then a little floral hops.

M: Light not very high carbonated a little soft on the tongue.

O: Very solid pilsner not as clean or crisp as some, but it has a nice doughy breadiness and some light floral hops.

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Photo of Jon_Hendricks
4.25/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Pours a sparking rich copper color.

Overall: The aroma is a nice caramel malt.The taste contains slight bitterness with fresh malty body. This is a clean, crisp and delightful tasting beer featuring flavors of sweet baked bread and nuts. This is a top notch beer that you can drink year round.

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Photo of Bone53
3.69/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap @ Applebees

Appearance: Classic golden pilsner look with a white head

Smell: pilsner malt, grainy and grassy

Taste: bready pilsner malt with grassy hops

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, and easy drinking as a pilsner should be

Overall: Im not much of a pilsner drinker these days, but this is a solid one. I could put back quite a few of these during a game or at a cookout with no effort whatsoever. With that being said, it was the best beer Applebees had to offer, but id pick their hefe or a few of their other offerings over this if i had the choice

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Photo of utopiajane
4.02/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Perfect brightness from this beer. Golden like a bar of gold. Amber. Fat white head of creamy foam. Light grain scent backed by a mere drop of honey. A soft green herbal nice and sweet like a summer breeze. Taste is dry, breaddy doughy and a touch sweet along side a graceful and very green hops herbal. Crisp dry finish with a light carbonic bite, a small hint of sulfur and a modest bit of DMS from pils malt. I will have three more but put them in one glass please. =)

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Photo of mdfb79
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Form 05/31/15...had a few of these, poured into a pint glass.

Malty, easy to drink, not a not of flavor. About what you'd expect; a slightly above average pilsner.

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Photo of fx20736
4.4/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Reddish Gold, white stiff head, blotches of lace.Classic Pils aroma of malt and spicy Noble Hops. Dry, spicy, clean taste. Soft but firm mouthfeel. This is a very satisfying, well made and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.35/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

DATE TASTED: May 7, 2015... GLASSWARE: Hennepin pokal... OCCASION: a good Thursday night... APPEARANCE: thin, creamy white head settles reasonably on a golden amber body with lively effervescence; clear as crystal;.. AROMA: caramel malts meld with a sugary, bready base and what purports to be Centennial hops; floral and alluring...PALATE: dry, medium-bodied, and smooth, with some late character in the finish... TASTE: strong caramel luster with some roasted malt presence; sharp Saaz cuts through the malt strength--a good balance, with some astringency... OVERALL: a flagship! This reads more as a lager than a pilsener, save for the Saaz; a solid, reasonably favorable drink that could be enjoyed in multiple venues and moments...

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Photo of ordybill
4.1/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.
Aroma- Has a strong malt aroma, not bad.
Appearance- A dark golden to copper color with a very small white head.
Taste- Has a decent grain and malt flavor with no bad aftertaste.
Palate- A light to medium bodied beer with mild carbonation. Has a nice semi-dry finish.
Overall- A nice Vienna Lager, I came across this by accident and if I see it being served I would order it again.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.14/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a clear copper color. The head is a finger high, and slightly off-white in shade. Retention isn't great, though some streaks of lacing are left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: The maltiness is very nutty, and I'm getting some nice melanoidin qualities. Slight touches of noble hops and perhaps cereal grain give it a modicum of depth. Decent for a simple lager like this. (3)

Taste: It opens up with touches of grain, mixing with some nutty malt and diacetyl. Some caramel and powdered chocolate appear close to the finish. Dead simple, but extremely easy to drink. (3)

Mouthfeel: Exceptionally soft for such a small beer. It does a decent job of feeling bigger than it is, while still retaining excellent drinkability. This beer manages to do this without relying on carbonation - hell, it even seems a bit syrupy at times. (4.25)

Overall: It's called a pilsner...yet it's a Vienna lager. Whatever, it's a fine lager, but the only thing that stands out is its creamy mouthfeel. I'd drink again, but I wouldn't buy again. (3)

3.14/5: Not exceptional, but a decent lager to pair with food (especially Mexican)

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3.4/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle marked but too smeared to read. 42 degrees into nonic
Aroma of grain
Head small (2 cm, aggressive pour), white, creamy, diminishing to 2 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – few tiny islands of tiny bubbles
Body medium yellow, clear
Flavor begins with light bitterness and some light malt. The bitterness carries through but the malt taste dies. No hops flavor, no alcohol, no diacetyl.
Palate light to medium, dry, lively carbonation.

Appearance 3, Aroma 3, Flavor 3.5, Palate 4, Overall 3.5

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Photo of DIM
2.12/5  rDev -41.3%
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 Darkmagus82
3.52/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nice golden amber color with a thick one finger white head. Large bubbles within the head pop, causing the head to slowly fade, with the loss of the head leaving a bit of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is biggest of grainy smells but has other aromas of a grassy nature. Along with these aromas are some notes of a lemon citrus and caramel and a little bit of light fruit.

Taste – The taste begins with a bready and light caramel and fruit flavor. The sweeter flavors fades fast with some light hop of a citrus and grassy nature taking their place, along with just a bit of grainy malt flavor. These flavors largely take the taste to its end, where they are joined by a light yeast and some bitter grapefruit and sweeter citrus, to leave a still quite dry, lightly hopped, and bready flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is on the medium to slightly thicker side for a brew of its abv. and style with a carbonation level that is on the slightly lower side. A higher carbonation level and thinner body may have been a bit more appropriate for the style and made it an easier drinking and more refreshing brew.

Overall –The flavors of the brew were rather nice, as the drier yet still somewhat complex flavors of the brew were quite appropriate for the style, making it a rather good choice. If only the body was a bit thinner and carbonation a bit higher than this would have been very enjoyable for the flavors and style. Overall however, the brew is well worth a try.

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Photo of Foam
3.09/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Being here in Pittsburgh where this stuff is brewed, I can usually get a fresh case or 6 pack .
I have noticed variations from batch to batch where some is more malty and lager-y and others are more sharp/metallic and bitter . A tad bit frustrating .
In any case, it's claimed to be a Vienna Lager style which would make me compare it to Great Lakes Elliot Ness which I feel is a superior example of the style .
A good overall thirst-quench brew but nothing to really shoot your load about or write home about .
The bitter hop sharpness turns me off, a bit but then again i'm not a bitterness/high-IBU guy like some are .
Good with Mexican food and most food, really. Perhaps its best attribute , good food pairing .

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Photo of Slatetank
3.74/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I purchased this at the Giant Beer Garden & Eatery in York. Enjoyed chilled from the brown 12oz in a pils glass.
The color is pale golden with thick white head with frothy look and lace sticks well. The smell is very malty with an appropriate level of sweet pils malt aroma but low in yeast scent which is also apropos for a lager. The feel is somewhat light but still has a nice toasted texture with mild bitterness and sweetness with a moderate amount of carbonation and semi-dry finish.

The flavor is more helles than vienna to me but still could pass for either -there is a lot of pils taste for the low abv with mild floral hop accents and subtle yeast flavor which adds some depth with a gentle mineral note. The overall impression is it is pretty decent for a german style lager pretty expressive and very full of flavor but I consider it more helles so it doesn't fit the style to a T in my opinion...but very drinkable nonetheless.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz.

Pours a clear amber gold with white suds for a head.

Has a coppery and caramel malt smell.

Flavor is of coppery caramel malts and very mild hops with some bready undertones.

Medium to light body with a stinging carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

A solid drinkable pilsner which goes down smooth and pairs well with average food like a burger or a chicken sandwich. Doesn't try to do much more than that. Just a solid lager, worth having.

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Photo of searsclone
3.81/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

bottle into a pint glass

clear honey color with little head and no lace

smell is white grape and sweet grains

taste is sweet grape with a good hop balance and a quick metallic aftertaste

moutfeel is thin but nicely carbonated

easy to drink and worth a try

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Photo of Tucquan
3.48/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2012-11-23 in Pittsburgh, PA

A - Moderately clear dark gold with a 1-finger white head. Good lacing.

S - Lightly toasted malt, very mild caramel, white bread and a touch of lemon. Not real strong.

T - A moderate amount of malt presence (toasted grain and mild caramel) for such a low ABV brew. Touch of lemon citrus but nowhere near their Kaiser Pils. Touch of grass and a bit of metallic spice. Finishes clean.

M - Light body and light-medium carbonation. Watery.

O - Pretty decent for a 4% brew. More malt-focused than crisp/bitter hops. Had this in a Pilsnerpalooza tasting with their Kaiser Pils, Troegs Sunshine Pils, Victory Prima Pils, Church Breworks Celestial Gold Pils. and Victory-Fat Heads collaboration "United" Pils. This Penn Pilsner finished below all the above although it shouldn't be discounted to the point of ignoring it. It certainly gets props for being sessionable and decent-tasting.

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Photo of dungledauf
1/5  rDev -72.3%
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 ChuckGeramita
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great alternative to the mainstream beers for social gatherings, tailgates, etc. when quantity is an issue. You can drink it and drink it and keep going.

Not for the beer snob who wants to have 1 or 2 for something spectacular.

Moderately overpriced but crushes tha mainstream Miller, Coors, and Budweisers of the world.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.58/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

A: The beer is a deep gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains lager yeast, caramelized malts and some of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a mild sweetness from flavors of caramel, honey and fruit followed by a strong breadiness from lager yeast and a thin but hearty malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and brings a 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, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Buggies
3.47/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure what style I would place this one in. Definitely not a pilsner though. Otherwise, a great little flagship.

Smells a little sweet with slight notes of corn. A little fruitiness in the nose as well. Tastes just as good. You get the corn and slight fruitiness, but it is also slightly malty with hints of caramel and a little citrus or fruit.

It is also balanced quite nicely. A noticeable bitterness cuts of all that other jazz and leaves the finish slightly dry.

Get this as it is good. Very drinkable! But keep in mind this isn't a traditional pilsner as the label suggests.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.63/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle - $1.79 at Total Wine & More in Atlanta, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, golden-amber body with a slim, brief, white head.

Smell: Grainy, doughy nose with aromatic hop notes scented of grated spices.

Taste: Pilsner maltiness rounded with a smooth breadiness and lightly sweet accents. Very subtle fruitiness. Restrained German hop spiciness with just enough bitterness to balance things out. However, the spiciness, alongside the grainy pils quality dials up a bit before the dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Overall: Served itself well as an aperitif before heating up some sad, old leftovers. Thanks, Penn Pilsner, thank you for that.

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Photo of keeganfrank
4.05/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Frosty gold beer with a thin, soapy head. Has a bready, fruity aroma with hints of spice and orange. Flavors of fruit, oats, light spice; the taste is very crisp and dry. Has a good body without seeming heavy-this is certainly something I'd drink again.

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Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 454 ratings.
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