Penn Pilsner | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

Penn PilsnerPenn Pilsner
458 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 458 |  Reviews: 241
Photo of rhinos00
3.34/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

A- Pours a golden maize color. Perfectly Clear. Produced a fingers width of white head that dissipated pretty quickly. Left minimal lacing as the beer was consumed.

S- Pretty generic. Picking up wheat, barley aromas. There is a hint of sweetness from the caramel malts, but it is masked pretty well.

T- Much like the aroma. Definitely picking up barley and wheat at the front of the taste. The hops add just enough bitterness to counter the flavors up front. I really enjoyed the caramel sweetness that came out at the end of each became more pronounced as the beer warmed.

M- Clean, crisp and light bodied. Well carbonated.

D- I could drink the crap out of this all day. Almost goes down like water, but the flavors tell you otherwise.

Overall, not the tastiest of all the session beers I have had, but this one is not too bad. Definitely recommended if you just want to kick back and have a session beer.

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Photo of Mardukk
3.96/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an amber color with a little bit of off white head and limited lacing.

Not much of a smell possibly a bit of grain.

The taste is of caramel malt and a hint of hops. A mostly grainy taste with a hint of sweetness and hint of hops to balance. There is little to no lingering aftertaste which aids in this being a nice malty crisp vienna lager. Just enough body to make this not seem like you're drinking a 4% beer.

This isn't really a pilsner, not as hoppy as most, but I still really enjoy this as a fantastic session beer.

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Photo of bamadog
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growing up in Pennsylvania, one would think I would have had plenty of this, but alas, I think I spent most of my time there just drinking Yuengling. Anyway, pour was from the tap to a pint glass.

Appearance: Straw yellow/gold on the pour; comes with a one finger head that is perfectly white and looks like merengue; body is clear and shows light carbonation; as head fades quickly, it leaves a light curtain of lacing and then eventually just spotty bits along the sides of the glass.

Smell: Very faint if anything at all. Picked up a mild graininess, but that's it. Sigh.

Taste: Nice and grainy, almost like a light barley and wheaty bread; strong presence of yeast on the palate leaves it tasting a bit sweet and balances out the grains quite nicely; light, crisp and refreshing overall - I was pleased.

Mouthfeel: Body is "wet," nicely carbonated and very smooth - not sharp at all; leaves a mildly sticky coating on the roof of the mouth, and it's pretty much what I'd expect from a pilsner in terms of the mouthfeel.

Drinkability: High as heaven with this one - very tasty beer and nice light body that went well with the food (Italian, if you're wondering); not heavy in the least and this would be an easy beer to drink in a session with that really low 4% ABV.

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Photo of mooseisloose
3.11/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle smell is a little skunky, hope the taste can prevail. Pours to a golden yellow with a medium bubble head that recedes but leaves lacing. Taste is malty and dry with traces of bitter hoppiness in the finish. Very light and crisp yet flavorful. This tastes like a distinctly German brew without a doubt. Good flavor for the lightness of the style. A very refreshing brew for hot weather. A high class" lawnmower brew" or a great brew for BMC breaking into craft. A tasty example of the style.

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Photo of argock
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a clear pilsner glass. Cryptic freshness code on bottle neck. Single purchased at Market Street Wine Shop (Charlottesville, VA) for $1.80.

A: Deep amber with 1-finger off-white head with decent retention and scattered spots of lace.

S: Aroma is light with sweet caramel and pale malts and a mild noble hops contribution

T: Flavor is solid but unremarkable in the line-up of Vienna lagers. Sweet malts, with more caramel and buttery sweetness than most Vienna lagers, take center with noble hops providing most of their punch in the finish only.

M: Carbonation is far too light for the style, but otherwise it is clear that this is a medium-bodied, well-malted brew. Aftertaste is quite sweet.

D: This is certainly a Vienna lager and not a pilsner -- strange to name it a pilsner and then call it a Vienna on the back label. Tastes sweetly malty with not quite enough hops in the finish to make it interesting. I like it but wouldn't seek it out.

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Photo of AgentZero
2.73/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got this in a trade from dpodratsky3.

A - Beautiful golden amber color, with bubbles going to the top. Slight head, little retention. Very nice looking lager.

S - Not enough going on here for me. Smells more like grass than grain. Something about this smell actually bothers me, almost like there's a hint of vomit or something, don't know how else to put it. Not quite there, but that's what it reminds me of.

T - Got better as I drank. I'm a big Vienna lager fan, but this is not one of my favorites. Dry, just doesn't finish full enough, sweet taste left on the tongue at the end borders unpleasant.

M - Nothing special, nothing particularly bad. Decent amount of carbination makes this beer a lot better than it could have been.

D - Easy to go down, could put these away all day, especially watching football and eating pizza.

Everything about this beer just seems to border on reminding me of something horrible and disasterous. It's not bad, but I almost feel like something bad will happen when I drink it. I could drink more of these, but not going to seek it out by any means.

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Photo of dpodratsky3
3.54/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into pint glass

A: A golden orange color, with a nice tight foaming head.

S: Sweet and malty with a faint grassy aroma.

T: Roasted malts and the grassyness from the smell come throught. A dry taste but in a good way.

M: Dry with just the right amount of carbonation to balance out the malts.

D: Highly drinkable. Just the right amount of dryness to make you want another go.

N: A nice beer. Could easily drink a few of these with friends.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.3/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Golden,light brown with a small head and consistent lace.

The aroma of grains,malts with some light hops and a hint of caramel.

The taste starts off semi-sweet with very little bitterness and a healthy dose of malts and herbal hops.

So smooth and crisp at the same time. Medium carbonation with exceptional balance.

Notes: I really enjoyed this. Sessions with this beer are great and while it states that it is Pilsner it is actually a Vienna Lager. What a good beer that is so easy to drink.

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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 Crayz
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a standard pint glass. Color is a very clear, bright but deep golden straw. What I like from a micro pils; it doesn't look like fizzy piss! Brilliant fluffy white head that stuck around for a little bit. Left a nice sticky lacing as it died down to a thin film.

S - Everything is fate, but still a few distinguishing scents: bready malts with a nice hope finish. Can't quite place it, but a little zesty spice, maybe even pine? Either way it nice.

T - Nice balance thoughout. Starts out even with biscuit malts and a grassy hop bitterness, gets a stronger malt presence in the middle, and finshes with Saaz like hop profile.

M - Very good mouth feel. It seems as though pils in general are over carbonated, and this is not the case. Just the right amount of fizz for the style, with a middle of the road smooth and weight.

D - I could pound these all night! If I am drinking a pils its early in the session, and it doesn't take long to switch to a darker brew. But I could definately have a few before I thought about moving on.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the tap a clear golden yellow with a thick white head. Aroma is crisp, malty and quite inviting. Flavor is crisp and malty like a typical pilsner, with a fruity undertone and more rounded out than most pilsners I have tried. Texture is tingly, lively and sassy. I am not a big fan of pilsners or lagers, but I did like this one and I recommend it to pilsner lovers.

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Photo of Dibujob
3.98/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Offering from the beer of the month club. I'm not usually a big lager fan, but this was wonderfully drinkable. Poured a nice, clear gold with a foamy white head. Grains hit you up front with a sharp spice undertone. This is a great beer after mowing the lawn, which I just happened to do today right before drinking. I'm not sure I'd buy these if I was out shopping, but definitely not upset to have found three of them on my doorstep. A very decent and well made pils.

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Photo of russpowell
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent apricot with 2 fingers of cream colored head. Good head retention & lacing

S: Apricot, pears & grassy hops

T: Grassy & herbal hops, along with breadyness & grainyness up front. Slight traces of honey, along with bready notes, plus herbal hops as this warms. Finishes semi-crisp with nice fruityness & honey malt notes. Almsot pulled a 4.5

MF: Medium boded with soft carbonation & nice balance

Drank very easy a Vienna lager that matches most I had over in Germany

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Photo of DraperyFalls
3.36/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This pour was a translucent gold with a small bit of head. The smell was nothing special, but certainly appealing. I was expecting this to be more hoppy than it was, but the hops taste was more grassy than I was expecting and I was pleased. My big complaint is that I could barely tell of was drinking this beer. I was about halfway through that I kind of wished I was drinking something else. It was smooth and easy to drink, however it was a bit boring overall.

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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 scoobybrew
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was poured from the bottle into a pilsner flute.

A - very clear golden color with a thick head that settles into a thin collar, leaves nice lacing

S - grainy malt aroma, faint trace of hops

T - clean malty taste with a crisp hop finish

M - medium to light body, moderately high carbonation

D - This is a very nice Vienna-style lager. It's clean and malty and very well balanced. It's very sessionable also.

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Photo of CHickman
3.26/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Beer of the Month Club arrival that poured a gold/orange color, with a small white head that smelled malty with a whiff of orange. Malt and yeast flavor combo up front, with a crisp earthy finish that has a hint of spice; medium to heavy carbonation makes it a crisp beer that goes down smooth. Overall a bit dull, but it's an OK to good pilsner based on the slight spice taste. After drinking 3 of them I conclude it's a little boring for my liking, and I wouldn't seek it out at a bar.

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Photo of BeerCon5
3.93/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a decent amount of white fluffy head.

The scent is just some light grain.

The taste is dominated by the grain, also a slight honey taste, somewhat bitter finish.

Light bodied, smooth and crisp feel, good carbonation.

Very drinkable. Pretty refreshing, I wouldn't mind having a few of these.

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Photo of WJVII
4.47/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

BOM May 2009
Of the May BOM brews this was my favorite. Poured into a pilsner glass this brew is a golden wheat color with a clean white head that left no lacing but settled in a nice cap. The aroma is very doughy with some sweet floral notes. The taste is crisp and had a bread taste but there was a faint floral balance and a mild bitter bite in the finish. This was moderate in body and a little higher in carbonation. All around solid brew. The taste was so fresh, crisp, and refreshing. I wish I had more to share (but the cost for an extra 12 pack is just too much). I guess I will need to keep my eyes open if in Pennsylvania.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

A dark golden hue, almost an amber color, which is a little dark for the style. A two finger off-white head slowly settles to a thin cap.

Very sweet malt aromas along with some slightly sharp hop aromas.

Light and very delicate sweet grains, raising the drinkability a lot. The hops aren't quite as sharp as they are in the aroma, but still add a touch of bitterness to the finish. Full bodied.

Maybe on the sweeter and darker side of the Pilsner spectrum, but definitely refreshing. Recommended.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Penn Pilsner

A- Light clear golden orange with a small filmy white head, no lacing.
S- Light sweet wheat, grass, and bread crust graininess.
T- Sweet grainy malt. Bread crust, caramel malt, earthy grassy hops.
M- Sweet and malty up front with a good dry earthy hop backend. Finishes off with a thick grainy malt.

Overall- A simple easy drinker.

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Photo of FrothyBeverage
3.41/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a rich golden amber color with hues of autum orange. Virtually no head or lace. It has a somewhat sour yeasty smell, not that appealing. The taste is very bready and yeasty with some hints of carmel. Leaves a nice tingling sensation throughout the mouth. If find this beer quite drinkable. Pairs well with wings.

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Photo of ThaBobfather
3.37/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky pale golden color with some medium white head.
Smells a bit flowery, the hop aroma is there, maybe some grain.
Tastes very average, some hop and bready flavor here.
Finish is crisp, but the after-taste is unremarkable.
Very drinkable.

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Photo of mjw06
3.91/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a true copper color, not amber or dark golden, but purely copper. mild transparency and a nice sized head with excellent retention and leaves a good lacing.

a descent sweet smell of caramel malts.

a remarkably well balanced brew of sweet caramel malt, that finishes with a mild hoppiness that includes some light floral notes.

medium bodied with perfect carbonation that is unnoticeable. what does that mean? well the only way you would notice the carbonation in this brew is if you went looking for it. wasnt too much and wasnt too little... just enough compliment taste and drinkability.

this has easily become one of my favorites, just wish it was more available.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.16/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle with no freshness date poured into American shaker pint.

A--Orange and honey-toned body with a fizzy one finger head that dies immediately without lacing--even the skim is faint and ringed.

S--Heluva nose for a subtly hopped lager. Really an accomplishment: I get grassy brightness followed by crackery, husky malt, and even a bit of lemon tang in the back, at the very end of the sniff. Definite interplay between the malt and the hops that is both straightforward and totally satisfying. Wow, couldn't ask for much more and still stay authentic.

T--Very close to the nose, especially the husks and the breadcrusty and crackery character of the malt--very pronounced and complex barley presence, which also contains caramel aspects. Hops are noble and quite present at the end of the tasting, lending bitterness if not that dry-hopped puckering (or even the citric elements of a Boston Lager's finish). No off sulfur flavors, and the hops are so delicate that you even get a bit of that lemon tang from the nose carried over into the mouth.

M--A bit watery, but that might just be me being bitchy and nit-picky. Carbonation is spot-on and inviting for another big swallow. Definitely embodies the lager gulpability principle, as this ain't no sippin beer.

D--See above--gulpability is more appropriate. I'd love a few of these in the summer over a barbecue or just sitting out in the sun. Refreshing and full-flavored. The gold or the kaiser pils might be better for dog days weather, but right up to then this sucker would work great. It also is extremely versatile with food, as different aspects of its profile come out depending if you are eating something sweet, spicy, bitter, etc.

If you like SA Boston Lager or Brooklyn Lager, I'd say give this one a try. Doesn't have the same hop character--American style hopping is truly unique--but is much fresher than a similar-styled beer coming from Germany. Not a pilsner, so the name's stupid, but just forget that once you pour it into a glass!

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Penn Pilsner from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.6 out of 5 with 458 ratings
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