Kaiser Pils | Pennsylvania Brewing Company

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Kaiser PilsKaiser Pils
200 Ratings
Kaiser PilsKaiser Pils

Brewed by:
Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: German Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
A German-style Pils with pale gold color and good body, this crisp, clean and very bitter beer has pronounced hop aroma and is made with the famous Hallertau hops. Kaiser Pils is brewed with triple decoction mashing. A beer worthy of an Emporer.

Added by aaronh on 02-03-2003

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Ratings: 200 |  Reviews: 94
Photo of akorsak
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The one special Penn offering that I neglected (at least to date) to track down in bottle form. That may change...

A: The pils is a pale straw color, brilliant and unremarkable. A decent sized white head insulates the body of the beer.

S: The aroma is primarily grainy, lighter malts. The aroma is highlighted by a spicy herbal noble hop aroma.

T: The body is a strong continuation of the nose, showing off a bready malt side that has a peppery finish. The hops are crisp, cutting through the malts with a noble, grassy herbal taste.

M: The mouthfeel runs thin at times but generally is robust with malt flavors throughout.

D: The beer is not as strong as it would let on, so I can envision polishing off a bottle.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at Capones. Pours a clear yellow. Thin head with nice lacing. Fairly hoppy smell. Nice bite in taste. Mouthfeel is smooth & very drinkable. I would put this a notch below Sly Fox/Victory/Troegs but a quality pils overall. Recommended.


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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.13/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-Tap at the Penn Brewery.

Clear white body with a big white fluffly head that has good retention and leaves some nice sticky lacing on my glass.

Smells of nice floral hop notes and a light, pilsner style malty body.

Hoppy up front, a little piney and citrusy. Finishes out like a normal pilsner with light maltiness. I like this beer, it reminds me a lot of Troeg's Sunshine Pils, another pilsner I enjoy in the summertime. Mouthfeel is light and effervescent.

Pretty drinkable, light and balanced.

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Photo of Deuane
2.56/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Golden yellow body with thin white head that disappears quickly and leaves a thin ring of lace.

S-Sweet maltiness and the smallest wafting of hops.

T-Instant corn-like taste to me. Others say they have tasted hops in this brew but not me...maybe my hop threshold is too damn high anymore!? This is a very disappointing brew to me.

M-Medium-ight body and bit sticky with a slightly sour finish.

D-Not really into this one. Drinkable but barely. I want more crispness and hops....less of that damn corn flavour...quick, someone get me a Two-hearted!

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Photo of bigdeuce
3.25/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A pretty good beer, got this at the actual Penn Brewery restraunt this past weekend. Oddly flavored, a german beer with some hops. Pours a nice head, a medium body, very light color. Smells of piney hops, but just seemed average to me. Did not seem to be a style I can point to. I will try it again but not the best beer I have had. Never seen this in a bottle, like mentioned, had this at the brewery.

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Photo of plaid75
3.63/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy medium straw hue with a two finger foamy white head. There was good retention and good sticky lacing.

The smell featured a light grainy malt and a smattering of noble hops.

The taste was well balanced and all around light. Some hop spice creeps in toward the finish.

The mouthfeel was of average fullness for the style.

Overall a standard no frills pils. Fresh taste was key.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Light transparent straw yellow body with thin head that disappears quickly. Little lacing is left behind in the glass.

S- Smells of light refreshing hops.

T- Initial taste is somewhat bland. Almost like there is nothing there. Then the hops start to appear. The finish is all hops and a bitter hop aftertaste remains on the palate.

M- Light body and medium carbonation. Not watery.

D- This is a great refreshing brew on a hot summer day. Its very light and refreshingly hoppy. Good summer session beer.

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Photo of jcdiflorio
3.92/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at the Penn Brewery in a pint glass filled to the rim with just a coating of white foam,Clear,golden color fair amount of carbination with some strings of tiny bubbles.

Moderate hop aromas Perfumy/floral with a light sweet maltiness with a bit of nuttiness and some fruityness. Clean and inviting aromas.

Toasty with light sweet malt tastes,grassy,tart,finishes with a clean,crisp cirtus rind feel.

Light body with some rough,grainyness. Very drinkable and refreshing. A great beer for summertime.

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Photo of jhicks12
3.93/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this on draft at the brewery. Poured into a special kaiser pils glass. Appearance was a nice straw yellow coler with a strong white head, about a 3 finger head. Nice smell good hop presence. This beer has a nice balanced taste and mouthfeel with a nice hop aroma and aftertaste in the end. Nice pilsner...if i was big on pilsners i would get this a lot.

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Photo of JoeMagarac
4.7/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I live about 10 minutes from the Penn Brewery, and make a point of buying most of the cases of beer I drink at home from them. For a while, I did this more out of principle than anything else: the brewery is close, the beer is good, and at $20/case (if you buy it at the brewery) you get craft-made beer for the price a local distributor might charge for mass-produced stuff. But while I liked Penn Brewery beer and was happy to have it at home, none of their varieties really made me or my guests stand up and say "wow!" the way the occasional specialty beer at a bar might do.

Until I discovered Kaiser Pils! This is simply an incredible beer, balanced yet bitter, dominant yet drinkable. It's far and away the best thing Penn makes (at least in my opinion), and is one of the best beers I've had in more than a decade of drinking. The appearance and smell are good but unremarkable -- clear straw and mild grain -- but the taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability are simply outstanding. This is in all respects a high-quality pilsner, except that every sip brings a late hop bite that is like the Mona Lisa smile: subtle, yet something to reflect on and return to again and again.

I can't for the life of me understand why Penn keeps this stuff under wraps the way it does: it's only available sporadically by the case, and then in bottles with another beer's label turned upside down ('cause they don't have any labels for Kaiser Pils yet). That tends to increase the mystique when I serve it to guests -- they wonder what I'm giving them and where I got it -- but it makes no sense to me. The last brewery staffer who sold it to me explained that it's their most popular brand among "beer drinkers" (as opposed to Coors Light drinkers?) and that a recent venture capital expansion should make the beer more common. I hope so, if only for the sake of everyone not lucky enough to live in Western Pennsylvania and within a short drive of this incredible beer.

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Photo of xzqrut
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured out a nice light golden color, with good carbonation. Beer gave a very nice head, with excellent retention, and great lacing. Smell was mild, with malt and hops aromas. The taste of this beer was what won me over, an excellent bitterness to it that really stuck out. Very crisp and clean mouthfeel, probably could have sat at the bar and had a multitude of these. Highly recommend it if you enjoy a nice bitter pils.

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Photo of rabsten
4.33/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap from the Brewery itself.

First, I confess I'm more of an ale guy than a lager, and when I do go lager, it's usually a Vienna or Red. That said, this was a fine, fine beer. If all lagers were of this quality, I'd be a happy man.

Poured into its own stemmed glass (it says Kaiser Pils right on the side; I liked it so much I bought it), clear yellow-amber with white head. Good carbonation. Good lacing.

Floral hop aroma over thick malt. The malt was stong enough to suggest a scotch ale or something, but the hops held up to it.

Taste was much hoppier and less malty than expected. Balanced, smooth. Very nice.

A crisp mouthfeel, somewhat dry, but very drinkable.

The brewer came out to chat and said this is available in bottles in the fall. Good. I'll pick some up then.

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Photo of jdmorgan
3.9/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer had a light yellow appearence that still appeared to have a bit of body to it along with a nice medium white head. The smell was of light malt with a bit of hop aroma as well. The taste was light with a slight malt aftertaste that illustrated that amount of flavor that was present in this beer despite its color. The hop flavor was well-balanced with a medium bitterness. The mouthfeel was good with a crisp and clean taste along wtih a medium carbonation. Although I don't normally drink pilseners, this beer had a good flavor and hop characteristic that I found enjoyable. If you enjoy lighter beers or pilseners, this is definately worth a try.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.68/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance – This guy was just gorgeous! It’s a light yellow in color but not that transparent-looking piss-water color. The head was white as the driven snow and showed good retention. It never did go away and left a nice film along the inside of my pint glass.

Smell – The light grain aroma is sans the nauseating sweets and creamed corn that you find with most pitiful efforts at the style. There’s not much else to this bouquet and there doesn’t need to be.

Taste – The grain flavor is tremendous. It’s one of the best that I’ve had. It's like stripping grain straight from the husk. There is actually a bit of husk flavor in this beer, which is just how I like it. Boy, you can really tell the difference between this and the Add-junk beers on the first sip.

I enjoyed the lack of sweetness here. There is just a touch; not any more than you’d get from eating cooked grain, and it’s very mild like maybe what you’d get from licking a cut green apple wedge. It is a very clean flavor that really made my day.

Mouthfeel – This is actually a bit bigger than light-bodied. It is crisp and refreshing with just the right amount of quality carbonation. The finish really lingers on the palate, too, ending with a mild bitter tap.

Drinkability – This is one of the best American-made Pilsners that I’ve had to date. The beer just disappeared from my glass in leaps and bounds.

Comments – A super-big BA thanks to skyhand for dragging this one all the way back from PA for me. Cheers!

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Photo of Sammy
3.61/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the brewery. Staff raved about it. A good pils, good not get a scent because of a bleached glass. Bit of head. Good dryness and mouthfeel. Smooth and appropriate carbonation. Crisp, fresh and refreshing. This is the one to have in bottles.

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Photo of crookedhalo
4.3/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours up a standard straw pilsener color, by the time it was served to me the head had subsided, leaving some heavy-duty lacing on the side of the pint glass. Light bready aroma with hints of biscuit and a healthy dosage of low alpha kettle hops. Man, do I like the crisp, hoppy pilseners. This one delivers- with a crisp, malty body and a nice, bitey finish. Sharp carbonation. Superbly balanced and constructed. It has been about five years or so since I last had this beer and it was five years too long. My favorite beer from Penn, I wish it was available all year.

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Photo of Illinick
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at D's
A: Clear pale golden/straw in color with slight rising carbonation. Unfortunately the bartender displayed his lack of pouring skills as this brew was handed to me sans head. There was a slight ring, but I've had this brew from the bottle and know of the very white, decent sized head. Good lacing throughout.
S: Clean nose with pale malt scents and slight sweetness, crisp fresh hops scents in there too, as well as some slight herbal and earthy notes. Just a clean, good smell.
T: Crisp flavors of pale malts and crisp, dry hops. Slight sweetness with some bready-like malts peeking through. The hops have a slight bitterness towards the end of the sip, but in a good way. Clean flavors that create a delicous, authentic tasting brew that anyone will enjoy.
MF: Light to light-medium that finishes semi-dry.
Overall: A great, clean tasting brew that will definately be enjoyed by beer geeks and the nonexperienced alike.

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Photo of Mitchster
4.14/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks go to beergeek279 and cupbeerman for bringing a growler of this limited edition to Michigan for Trbeer and I to enjoy.

Uses 2-row barley malt, Hallertau Perle and Spalter Select Hops, and triple-decoction mashing.

Pours out to a clear pale golden, forming a small white head with no retention and lacing. Somewhat flat from the voyage with minimal carbonation, so keep that in mind for this review. Aroma is fresh with floral hops, a little touch of vanilla, pale malts, and a pleasant touch of grain husk. Aroma of crisp, mineralized brewing water is distinct. Taste is like the aroma with a nice Euro-pils floral hop note...the mild bitterness is accentuated by the mineral content. A touch sweet and a touch bitter...nicely balanced. The finish is very crisp and clean. Goes down nicely with a medium-light body.

An excellent pils that has to be exceptional fresh from the tap. Would love to try their other stuff. Cheers!

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Photo of stirgy
4.18/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer on tap at their brewery. Poured ultra clear and was golden yellow in color. Bright and glowing with a thin filmy head that left a small amount of lacing on the glass. Nice pleasant grainy malt aroma. The taste is light, yet sharp with an assertive floral-citric hop bite. Crisp and clean, light and tast with a light to medium body of malt. This beer has a pleasant bittersmoothness and overall very clean and enjoyable. A great American version of a classic style.

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Photo of Suds
3.83/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer on tap at the brewery. It’s a bright yellow colored liquid with a respectable white head. It’s completely clear with moderate carbonation. There’s a slight hop aroma, maybe a little less aromatic than I hoped. Still, the smell is nicely spicy and flowery. Taste seemed a little grainy, with a distant maltiness. The centerpiece of the beer is a bitter, crisp, peppery hoppiness. It finishes with a teriffic lingering bitterness. Very refreshing and clean. I could certainly have a number of these with a plate of German Potato Salads.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.32/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served up on tap at D's, was my beer I sipped on while hunting for new beers in the beer cave, and the second one was reviewed and then lastly after the review I found it to complement my Chicago style Vienna all beef hot dog. Appearance: Crystal clear golden nice frothing white head leaves nice uneven bands of lacing. Aroma: Slightly bready with some biscuit malt, and peppery Saaz very nice pils one of my favorite all around Penn brews just a great pils I would like to get a keg of this beauty for my house here in Morgantown I think it would go over well. Taste: What a crisp and flavorful pils I wish this one would replace the Penn Pilsner, great malty backbone a beer to be enjoyed especially if you like Saaz authentic German style pils, definitely a beer to be enjoyed when available. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied very smooth great carbonation. Drinkability: Incredible definitely one of my favorite microbrewed pils of all time, doesn't match up to Victory Prima but it's awesome.

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Photo of beergeek279
4.47/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Penn Brewery. The color was golden, with a good head. The smell was of hops. The taste was fairly hoppish, with more flavor than most other pilsners. Mouthfeel was well-carbonated. Drinkability-wise, could have these all day long.

Penn Pilsener is certainly a fantastic beer, but this is even better! It's a shame we only see this one from time to time, because this may be one of the top pils in the world! A great beer, and one I'll certainly be looking forward to upon its return next year.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Visit Penn's restaurant and brewpub whenever Iam in Pittsburgh,I have had three of there beers on tap and liked all of them.Poured a really nice golden color with beautiful pillowey head that stuck around for some time.Spicey hop aroma with malt background,good spritzy element to this beer.Spicey/zesty taste with a good hop smack,really goes down easy.One of the best pils I have had either from this county or from Europe.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.03/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Best by date is notched for February-) – Presentation: 12 oz brown long-neck bottle with an upside down Crew Lager label. Stated on the website it says this is a limited bottling of the “Brewmaster’s Private Stock”. Aaron who sent me the samples stated that was why the label was upside down because Penn never actually made an official label or as least not as of yet. 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, grainy, bitterness, lime or pine note…crisp. Great brew…

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Photo of aaronh
4.48/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kaiser Pils is a beer that is occasionally offered at the Penn Brewery on draft over their 14 year history. This bottling is limited to about 150 cases. It's listed on their website as "The Brewmaster's Private Stock".

This beer pours a brilliant golden color. The clarity is striking, as is the two finger, white, pillowy head that forms atop the beer. The head looks dense enough to float the bottle cap upon it. It displays excellent retention, as the head never fully subsides. As such it leaves a nice lacing on the glass. Steady carbonation trails can be seen from the bottom of my Munich pilsner glass. The aroma is a touch of malt with a big hop scent. Pepper and florals abound in the aroma. The taste is again very hoppy for a pilsner. The malt is barely detectable, but a strong, spicy hop flavor dominates. The finish has stong bittering which lingers through the aftertaste with a bit of a pine note and a hint of salt. The mouthfeel is crisp and clean and very refreshing. It also removes just about any other flavors that were in your mouth. This would be great with spicy food. The drinkability is excellent. I imagine this is what the German Pilsners taste like when they leave the brewery. This beer was released on January 31, tasted on February 3. Gotta love fresh beer! A great offering from Mr. Pastorius and the crew at Pennsylvania Brewing.

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Kaiser Pils from Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.72 out of 5 with 200 ratings