Penn Pilsner | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

239 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: 239 | Ratings: 452
Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears an amber gold in color with an off white cram colored head. Leaves rings of lace as the glass empties. Aroma consists of caramel like malts with mild floral hallertau hops kicking in the background with a sweet buttery nose. Very sweet taste at the forefront with a mildly syrup like flavor that is balanced by the delicate hop bitterness this beer will live on as a true classic from the Pittsburgh area. Mouthfeel is medium to light in body, but the sweet malt rolls over the palate sticking to the tongue as each sip is swallowed down. As for drinkability the flagship beer of the Penn brewery is one of the most refreshing/satisfying session beers around.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.85/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown hued golden color. Off-white head.
Aroma of hops and sweet pale malts. Good hop presence in the aroma without the Pilsner Urquell type pungent smell I don't care for.

Taste shows a good, crisp hop bite. Good malt body contributes nicely to the flavor. Balanced. Pretty clean. Doesn't noticeably worsen as it warms like many lagers.

Mouthfeel has a textured fullness to it.
Good drinkability, although I'm not a huge pilsner fan.

Overall a good beer. One pilsner I wouldn't mind drinking a few of.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.45/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. amber bottle. No freshness dating.

Appearance: Pours a deep blond in color (darker than I expected). Faint white head barely present on top of the beer. Lots of carbonation bubbling up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Nice mixture of the malty sweetness and spicy hops.

Taste: As expected, a noticeable "grainy" flavor dominates. This flavor lasts throughout the flavor circuit, with the bitterness from the hops showing up at the end to help dry this one out as it fades. Not bad.

Mouthfeel: Very good carbonation makes for an almost "fizzy" mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Not my favorite style of beer, but this does a good job of keeping my interest. A hot and humid Richmond summer day, with a nice grass-cutting session thrown in for good measure, would make this beer taste even better. A good candidate for a transition beer for the macro-minded beer-drinker.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.15/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear amber color with a white head that leaves some lace. Medium bodied. Nose is a slightly sweet and malty. Starts sweet but finishes with a some hoppy bitterness. Actually a simple pilsner that isn't overloaded with hops. The ABV is 5.2%.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a bright and very clear golden color. The head is white in color, creamy and super dense with great retention. Slow but steady carbonation. On the nose the notes of grain, touch of lime, and a pepper/spicy hop aroma. On the palate the flavor is the same story, peppery,biscuity, grainy, bitterness, lime or pine note…crisp. Good brew…

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Photo of bmills1608
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Color was a deep gold with amber highlights. Actually a bit hazy which sort of surprised me for a Pils. Head was medium in size, filled with large bubbles and created fairly good lace.

Nose was malty, toasted and quite full. Spicy German hops jumped around with a touch of glassiness. The taste was unexpected. Quite a bit more of a malt/grain character then I would have expected. Starts a bit of sweet honeyed malt, biscuits and dare a say fruit. A touch of bready yeast flavor sneaks in also. Hop flavor was low, bitterness medium-low. Carbonation was crisp and a bit tight. Finished rather sweet with some spice from the hops.

I thought this was a very unusual Pilsner. My experience with Pilsner (and I am not a big fan of the style) is they are usually harder, crisper, lighter and hoppier. This one I liked a ton. More roundness and depth of flavor then what I am accustomed a pils to be. Great job here. This could become a staple of mine.

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Photo of beernut7
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am not usually a fan of pilsners, not able to accept that pilsners could be rescued from the macro-world I suppose, but this brew impressed me some. Deep amber, slightly hazy color with a foamy white head. Slightly malty aroma with hints of spicy floral hops. The flavor is initially malty with a great spicy hop presence. Very flavorful and smooth lager with a clean sharp bitterness touching the finish.

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Photo of aaronh
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber with a bright white, dense head. The head slowly fades to a ring of foam around the edge of the glass that leaves a light lace as you drink. A slight chill haze is evident. The aroma has a noticeable malt component backed by the crisp yet spicy hallertau hops. The taste shows a bit of malt sweetness up front, with excellent hop levels in the mid, which results in good bitterness on the finish. The aftertaste is comprised of the lingering hops, but a bit of the malt sweetness reappears after a few seconds. The mouthfeel is solid for a pilsner, with just enough carbonation to lend a crispness to the palate. The drinkability is also very good, as this balanced beer is very enjoyable and goes down smooth. A very good beer that is the Penn Brewing staple, and one of the first true local beers I experienced.

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Photo of SchmichaelJ
4.07/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pilsner poured a surprisingly dark bronze color, much darker than your normal pils. Thin head, but good retention. A malt sweetness greets the nose, with a bit of spicy hop notes. The taste also reflects the considerable malt presence, very sweet with only a bit of hops toward the end. I was again surprised by this beer and its interpretation of a pilsner style...only small bitter notes and not too much sharpness or crispness. The mouthfeel was good; lighter body, with good prickliness on the tongue. While this was definitely a new pilsner experience for me, I was impressed by its honest, easy-drinking, and quality taste. Like most Penn Brewing products, this makes for a great beer to be had day-in and day-out, while retaining the German roots of the recipes. Great job from the folks in Pittsburgh.

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Photo of kennywoodbrew
3.23/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Penn Pilsner is an easy beer to enjoy. It is a straight forward and honest brew. There was nothing especially outstanding ;but rather the fact that nothing was, made it enjoyable. Slightly malty palate, smooth and balanced. Toward the light side of a "real" pilsner.
Worth the time to drink a few with friends...

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Photo of StevieW
3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear copper color, surprisingly dark for a pilsener. Light brown bubbly head. The head fell nicely down the glass. Noticable malty sweetness on the smell. Taste was bubbly, and much sweeter than I expected as well. In fact, I would have never guessed it to be a pils at all. Subtle hop flavors finally show up toward the finish...Lacks the sour sharp bitterness of other pilseners as well as the bubbly back of the tongue finish....Very easy to drink however, I think this would make a suitable transition beer for the macro drinkers.

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Photo of DarthMalt
3.68/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Quite dark for a Pils. Maybe they should have kept the crystal malt out for the sake of style conformity. Also, not enough hop for the style, IMHO. Tastes great though! I could quaff ten of these easy and still enjoy the flavor. Bears a striking resemblance to their Marzen.

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Photo of psugrad98
3.02/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear golden in color. Fresh smell of quality ingredients. Rather boring taste, not enough in the way of subletees or nuances to warrent a higher praise. A little spritzy. A pedrestian brew, but an above average lawnmower beer.

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Photo of wvrich
3.16/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am sorry! This beer may be traditionally decoction brewed with all Barley-malt, but it does not have any real malt character. It is kind of a boring Pilsner. There is nothing in the way of hops in the aroma or flavor. It tastes almost "Anheuser Busch" clean. It seems like a transition beer made for the Bud crowd... The Schnitzel I had there was delicious though! I appreciate their efforts to help people along with development of their beer palates.

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Photo of Jason
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long-neck bottle with a blurb about the beer on the back ... freshness date notched on the back label.

Appearance: Very clear golden straw with a fluffy rocky white head that sticks all around the glass.

Smell: Slightly sweet with a trace raw honey like nose from the grain with a fresh mowed hay like hop aroma.

Taste: Smooth with a dreamy textured mouth feel. Lots of grain on the tongue with a palate cleansing vaguely herbal hop bitterness. Touch of sweetness up front but all and all on the dry side throughout. Hops stay assertive even into the finish to keep thing dry along with the grainy flavour.

Notes: Hmmm ... tastes like it was freshly shipped over from Germany. Not bad at all, a good find for any pilsner geek or even a macro brewery Beck's (or similar) drinker.

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Photo of frank4sail
3.38/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer tases like an ale. Maybe the slightly darker color is throwing me off. It is smooth to the mouth and does invite you to try more. Overall it is above average and would be great with spicy foods..

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Photo of ADR
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Back in my Pittsburgh days, I was a big fan of the brewery as it was one of the first to open a public beer garden on site...Penn Pilsner is my favorite of their bottled products, but not as hoppy as the Kaiser Pils on tap at the pub...nice color (bolder than a Pilsner Urquel) mouthfeel is good and a nice aftertaste...(the slightly maltier Dark has all the charm of a Michelob Dark)...but, now, I'm an avowed ale guy and rarely stray into cold fermenters except for malty Oktoberfests and Bocks...

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Photo of QXSTER1
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An authentic version of this much copied style. A nice balance between the grainy malt flavors and the subtle spicy hops give a smooth satisfying taste.

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

Though not my favorite style, this is a wonderful Pilsner. Crisp and refreshing, how could I not like this beer in the heart of Pittsburgh, with a great view of the Heinz Plant.

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Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
3.61 out of 5 based on 452 ratings.
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