Penn Pilsner | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 458 |  Reviews: 242
Photo of BeerTruth
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just got this one yesterday from number1bum in trade #7, thanks again Josh.

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Pours a clear golden hue with a full one finger white fluffy head that sticks around for a while. Nice creamy lacing is left on the sides of the glass as the cloudy foam dies down to a thin layer. Continuous bubbles rise to the top throughout the entire tasting. Smell is pretty sugary. A good amount of grain, malt, and honey. A bit of freshly cut summer grass in the nose as well. Overall, pretty sweet aroma. Toasted grains on the tongue up front followed by more of that sweet malty goodness. A minor metallic flavor is hidden underneath all the sweetness which I could do without. Aftertaste is a bit watery with a hay like flavor. Medium body with a creamy feel and steady carbonation, pleasing to the mouth. A bit too sweet for me, but still very refreshing. Definitely worth a shot, especially with summer approaching.

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Photo of tankg
3.89/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass from a 12 oz bottle.

A beer that I have been drinking off and on since Allegheny Brewery first opened when I was in college in Pittsburgh, always fresh and consistent. Color slightly darker that wheat yellow, with a 1/4 head and minimal lacing on this pour.

A very fresh herbal smell with a taste that is very consistent - more body and flavor than a macro pilsner, but just as drinkable, cold on a spring or summer day. Have come to prefer their Dark, St Nicholas Bock, Marzen and my favorite, their Weizen, but this is a very nice go-to beer for company, who might want an alternative from the standard Crap Light. Very nice after grass cutting. Easy to find in Western Pa.

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Photo of mobyfann
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Paid $1.79 for a single at Jungle Jim's...

The beer pours a clear golden color with a medium white head, perfect 1/4" head retention and a few inconsistent specs of lacing throughout. The aroma is a well-balanced mix of floral hops, citrus tones and a mellow malt compliment.

The taste is refreshing, especially on a warm spring day as was today. Moderate carbonation, mild hop character, with a clean citrus aftertaste. The creamy head makes it easy on the palette and at a standard 5.0% it makes me wish that I could get this on tap during happy hours.

Final Thought: An excellent example of a German pils that is considered a vienna lager, but hey... it's all good!

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Photo of number1bum
3.88/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper color, good clarity and a creamy two fingers of off-white head. Keeps a very solid lace and leaves lots of stic. Nice head and good retention seems to be a staple of Penn beers.

Smells of lightly toasted grain, some malt sweetness, grassy hops.

Taste is much the same as the smell, simple but clean, smooth and tasty. Lightly toasted grain, light caramel malt sweetness, and then some grassy and slightly bitter noble hops to finish it out.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, crisp and smooth.

This is a very solid brew, very sessionable. Not in the same league as some other Vienna's like Great Lakes Eliot Ness, but very good in its own right.

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Photo of hops4me
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Gold to amber in color. Suprisingly the head was small with no lace to speak of.

S - Malty fruity aroma dominates. I can't detect any hop aroma.

T - Soft fruitiness and malt. A very mild spicy hop bitterness but that is it.

M - light to meium in body. CO2 prickles the tongue.

D - It is a little light for the style I think. But enough flavor to make it enjoyalbe. Because of its mellowness this goes down quite easily. I probably would not buy this again. If faced with Sam or this, I would likely take the Sam.

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Photo of scooter231
3.83/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, sunrise type color- burnt orange, copper, gold, and dark red hues. Some head, disappears quickly, no lacing. A very pretty color.

Smells lightly hoppy, slightly sweet malts. Subtle, a hint grassy. A nice, mellow smell. Taste is a little sweeter than I thought it would be, verrry subtle hoppy bitter flavor. It's not exciting, but it's light and refreshing.

Mouthfeel is not too heavy, a little slick. Overall this is a relatively nice brew, could go through a few of these pretty quickly and easily. Won't overwhelm your palate if you pair it with food. No idea how much a 6 goes for, as I picked this up as a single... but yah. Nice brew.

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Photo of AMo
2.7/5  rDev -25%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pennsylvania Brewing Company Penn Pilsner pours a clear golden yellow typical of light lagers. Smell is ever so slightly malted, but mostly nothing. Aromas given off are similar to that of a German style lager. The taste is as well, but its watered down and on the weak side with not a whole lot to offer. Mouthfeel for the best part is light and smooth, but it is also thin and watery. Drinability is fair at best, it's easy to choke down but its lack of everything makes it rather dull.

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Photo of kush6875
4.15/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

penn pilsner bottle poured into a pint glass:

pale golden caramel like color

smells of toasted malts and grains

nice crisp german lager. very true to style. toasty malt backbone with just a litte hop presence.

overall a very easy drinking, basic , quality craft beer. great beer to drink in the spring and summer months.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.3/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a nice golden, straw color with a huge, fluffy white head which dissaptes fairly slowly. The aroma is of citrus and bread not much hops detected. The taste was a bit metallic but not so as to be off-putting. The taste was light. Not too much flavor to it but it is a drinkable beer. Very refreshing on a hot day. The mouthfeel was medium body with medium-high carbonation. Overall not a bad brew.

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Photo of Schmidts
4.6/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just tried this last weekend and I like it. Pours a nice medium yellow with touch of Grain in the smell,kind of toasty grain. Pours with about 3/4 inch head light lacing in the glass. Mouth feel is very nice as soon as I had one I ended up having 3. A very flavorful drinkable Pilsner in the old style. I have to say for the price not cheap, but they have hit a home run on this one I will go back for more in the very near future. This is one very Drinkable Beer!

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.17/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Nothing special, but not a bad beer. Poured a little darker than most Pilsners, but still had the grainy nose and taste of Pilsners Medium bodied with a short finish. Pretty much a so-so beer. Unfortunately, this is another one of those Pilsners that would be okay if served very cold on a hiot summer day, but one to be avoided if looking for an enjoyable sipping beer.

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Photo of armock
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured a golden color with a white head that dissipates quickly

S - Is fairly light malt and lightly hopped

T - This one also has a fairly light taste as well sweet malt with a touch of hops

M - This is a little bit thin with light to med carbonation

D - Overall this is just an average beer it has more taste than a macro but not by much

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.18/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Continuing the lost beer style reviews.
Pours a very chill-hazed dark straw color with a soon to fall quarter inch of head. Aromas are just dominated by a barely colored malt with an overall grainy sense. I believe there is some slight skunking in this bottle. Having tried SA Imp Pils, I know what Hallertaus should taste like, and this one doesn't give too much of the flavor or aroma of them. A medium light bodied lager, this one has just a touch of sweetness with the lightly toasted malts taking over. I really am missing much of Hallertaus delicate floral flavor in this bottle, hopefully it is not too old. A crisp and dry lager, nice for the summer, but one I will probably not revisit.

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Photo of deg
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer was an amber color. It seemed a little dark to me for a pilsner. I heard the beer was a good one, and overall, I was not disappointed. I liked the taste. It had a good hop character, and clean taste. It wasn't very heavy, and I felt like I could have several (if I had been so inclined) without getting filled up.

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Photo of johnyeast
4.08/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden in appearance with a one inch head served in a pilsner glass. Slight toasty smell with a hint of grains. The first taste was refreshing and a slight tart taste and a hint of lemon. A drinkable beer. A good pilsner that sticks to the glass and palate. Really enjoy this offering from a beer of the month club. Thank the wife for that.

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

(Served in a strange)

A- This beer has a warm copper body full of color with a gentle carbonation of tiny bubbles. There is a thick film of off-white that last most of the beer as a thick ring.

S- The smell of soft metallic copper has a fresh dry pale malt smell to it with a slight biscuit quality to it. The metal smell is slightly sweet and actually pleasant.

T- This beer has a dry raw fresh grain flavor with a light yeast hint and a soft sweetness that is quickly overcome by a soft green hop note at the finish.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a dry texture and a tight fizz finish that keeps it crisp.

D- This beer has a nice full flavor for a Pilsner and good depth yet still subtle. I was shocked at how quaftable this beer was.

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

Got from a beer of the month club and am finally getting around to drinking.

A - light amber, white head that dissipated pretty quickly

S - light malt flavor, tiny bits of hops

T - slightly sweet, clean, bit of hoppiness comes through at the finish

M - light-medium body, sort of than clean/crisp feeling again, goes down pretty well, not a ton of carbonation

D - pretty good I'd wager. I'm not the hugest pils fan, but this going down rather nicely and I look forward to drinking the others. Worth a shot, and this is coming from a total hophead.

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Photo of Shaw
3.81/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lovely tan color with a foamy white head that lasts. This beer looks great.

Its light aroma is of hops and malt, but very restrained.

The taste is flavorful, with a nice bready taste from the malts and a light hop bitterness.

This is a good thirst-quenching beer and a great choice for an everyday brew that doesn't blow you away with powerful flavors.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A-Very clear, yellowish brown beer. Nice beaten egg white head.

S--sweet malt, apple like smell.

T--Pumpernickel like malt flavor that seems to go back and forth with the hop bitterness. Crisp but not too dry. Becomes more bread like as it warms.

M--medium body. Starts thick and then thins out as it goes down.

D--Definately drinkable. A nice departure from the current winter beers out now (writing in January and its 8 degrees F). Would like to try this in the summer.

Overall a great beer with a lot of flavor for this style.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy amber with a decent off white head that does not really stick around too long. Nose is a bit woody with a slight perfume to it. Flavor is much more robust than I was expecting. Thick tree character with a stringent sweet edge that has an overall thick caramel tone to it. Feel is smooth on the liquid with a fairly low carbonation. Very drinkable. A very well made brew with a lot of body and character to it. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.07/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

brought by my uncle from pittsburgh on thanksgiving

A- 3/4in sudsy almost white foam settles quickly leaving fingers of sticky lace over a clear golden apricot brew with tiny rising bubbles.

S- malty sweet toffee, cream corn, alcohol, grains, and squash

T- fresh dry bitter hop taste subdues as it warms, corn husk, pale barley, pear, white grape, and a slight herbal medicinal citrus twang

MF- crisp and medium bodied, medium carbonation, goes down super smooth

D- could be my new summer beer,, chuggable

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Photo of tempest
3.63/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I think there's some identity confusion between the "pilsner" on the label and actual style, but it's still a good beer regardless. It doesn't have the rich caramel malt of a SA Boston Lager, but there's still a smooth sweetness with a touch of esters. A crisp, grassy hops note finishes out the beer to make it a nice, clean lager with character.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burnished gold with a significant contribution from orange. The ivory colored cap has a better than average look. Its gently rocky surface sticks to the glass in spots, leaving behind tattered sheets of lace as it descends.

The nose is capable enough without being a standout. I'd like more of a toasted maltiness than is present. There really isn't much of a contribution from the malt at all. Only the Hallertau hops are noticeable and they don't exactly bowl me over with their brilliance.

Thankfully, things improve quite a bit on the taste buds. If the nose is a disappointment, the flavor is a more than pleasant suprise. A brewery's 'flagship' beer had better be good, or there's no hope for them at all.

Pilsner's best feature is the interplay between a lightly toasted, cracker-like, malt sweetness and a perfectly counterbalancing herbal, spicy, German hop bitterness. This is one of those beers whose list of ingredients doesn't excite (me at least), but that is much more delicious than the sum of its parts. I could drink a lot of this stuff. Solo... with meals... tailgating... you name it.

The mouthfeel is surprisingly full for the style. Maybe it's the carbonation deficit, but I like the way it lingers on the tongue and allows one to focus on all the various flavors in turn. The malt sugars keep it from being crisp and clean, which is more than fine with me.

After the smell test, I was concerned that Penn Pilsner would be nothing more than another forgettable, Euro-style lager. It's much more than that, though. It's a very good example of a style that too few American craft brewers will tackle. Even though I've only had two beers from these guys (St. Nick Bock), I'm mightily impressed so far.

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Photo of PorterLover83
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This came in a sampler pack that my wife "let" me get on our anniversay in Pittsburgh. We bought it direct from the pub.

I poured the 12oz bottle in to a pint glass and it had a ordinary appearance for the style I believe. It was a light gold color. The smell was pretty much of adjuncts like corn. It was a good crisp smell. The taste pretty much followed suite with the smell, it had sort of a corn laced taste, but was crisp and refreshing. Hit the spot so to speak. There was barely any head, I don't know enough yet to know if there should be for this style. :( It felt great in the mouth and I feel would be a good summertime beer. It was pretty drinkable because it wasn't too heavy in the mouth or stomach. I would very much get this again if I am ever in Pittsburgh again to visit the brewery or can find it somewhere here in Ohio.

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Photo of jkrich
4.5/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness date; purchased at Jungle Jim's in Fairfield, OH. Served in pilsner glass - poured a deep, clear golden color with a sustained, white head.
Spicy, perfumy hop aroma.
Tasted very clean, malty and bready with just the right amount of noble hops to balance the flavor; dispite the dominant malt flavor, the hops never allow beer to become cloying.
Medium body mouthfeel - nothing is overwhelming on the palatte.
This is an extremely drinkable, light version of a vienna lager which leads me to question the name, "Penn Pilsner." Even the brewery website describes the beer as a "vienna lager." In any event, I quality lager I highly recommend; despite the lightness of the beer, the taste is complex and remains appealing.

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