Pilsen Callao | Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston

28 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Pilsen CallaoPilsen Callao

Brewed by:
Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Dogbrick on 08-16-2002

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 28 | Ratings: 45
Photo of puboflyons
2.72/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

From a can shared at a tasting event among friends on April 23, 2016.

The pour is yellow with a white foamy head that dissipates quickly.

The aroma has a Euro-malt character that is kind of dough-like with thing grassy hops.

Thin body.

Same sort of malty-bready taste with a mild bitter finish. Pretty much what I expected.

 327 characters

Photo of wordemupg
2.57/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

310ml bottle into wine glass 1/8/11

A pale golden yellow with enough bubbles to feed a finger of frothy foam that quickly falls to a thin film leaving a few thick distinct rings of lace

S not much really some skunky lemon maybe? faint regardless

T not far from the smell but with some faint grassy hops and the lemons not skunky, oh wait a minute the skunk comes out on the finish

M I think the tap water here has more body, not as much carbonation as I could see and the aftertaste leaves something to be desired

O looks great but tastes a little light struck, considering its a 3$ 6pack I'll cope

just another basic bottle form Peru, not the best one I've had though but I'd see this being a little better if the bottle wasn't green and the brew wasn't light struck

 778 characters

Photo of grover37
2.25/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Clear, yellow with a finger of head reducing to nearly nothing. Slightly malty and bready with some earthy hops. Tastes almost exactly like Heineken. Somewhat smooth finish and medium carbonation, not overly fizzy though. I could easily drink a ton of these, but I'm not so sure I'd want to.

 291 characters

Photo of megahurts4
1.5/5  rDev -47.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pilsen Callao is a mediocre, ordinary pilsner. It is not very refined or great tasting.

It reminded me of what Tecate is to other Mexican beers. All I could taste is barley flavored water that was slightly gritty. This was hands down my least favorite of my Peru trip.

 269 characters

Photo of daliandragon
2.83/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This review conducted from year old notes from my traveling journal.

Another common beer in the Lima supermarket where I shopped for groceries in that congested mess that is Miraflores. Less available than Cristal or Cusquenena in most of the country.

Not much to see or smell: light color and corny nose with nothing to recommend. Flavor starts sour and adjuncty but does contain noble hops. It is like it heard what a pilsner tastes like and is doing its best imitation. Finish is also passable. Superior to cousin Cristal, I could drink several at a time without hating life, not always the case with Peruvian lager.

 622 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.08/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle consumed inside Jose Chavez Intl. Airport: Lima, Peru. On to the beer:

Pale and straw yellow is the color here, a decent but shallow head sits on top of it all. Not a lot of firepower in the nose...ít smell's adjuncty, although I must admit it isn't terribly offensive. A mild taste hits and soaks inside my mouth. There's some grain, mild pale malt, a tad of husk in the back. Good and refreshing crispness in the mouth, which provided some balance to the flavor.

Not special about this lager, but it hit the spot after an 8 hour flight from Los Angeles to Lima. Cost me $2.70 US inside Lima's airport, not a bad value for an airport.

 653 characters

Photo of janubio
2.2/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

330 ml bottle. Very pale colour, it looks like water when pouring. Good head with many bubbles that doesn´t hold much. No lacing.

Smell: Fresh grass only, and even faintly.

Taste: Taste you said? Water.

In the mouth is just something fresh and clean, some bitterness, that's all. Drinkability I guess it's good when it's very hot and you haven't a real decent beer near you.

 380 characters

Photo of roblowther
1.65/5  rDev -41.9%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I try to be objective. I fail. It looks like fizzy pale lemonade with almost no color whatsoever. It has a thin white head, and small bubbles that drag it over the line of abyssmal. It has no smell at all, unless sour is a smell. It tastes slightly sour, and slightly acidic. If that's possible for a beverage devoid of taste. It has more body than you'd think, with decent carbonation. You can drink it if its really cold and you're really thirsty and in Peru looking to appear local. Otherwise, run. Run fast.

 511 characters

Photo of kenito799
2.23/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into a tall glass at Pio Pio, Jackson Heights, Queens.

Unassuming standard macrolager look and smell..malt, hint of skunk. Wet and cld, but not really crisp and refreshing...a bit of heavy slick almost sweet taste. It is light, it is not a beer worth going back to if there are other choices.

 313 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.1/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, light yellow body with a thin, wispy, white head.

Smell: Oh, what a cereal nose, accompanied by light floral hints and a faint note of grain.

Taste: Light pale maltiness with a distinctly cereal sweetness. Floral, spicy hops, lightly bitter. Drying, crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Reasonably refreshing -- I suppose that's the politest thing one can say of this beverage.

 444 characters

Photo of ATLbeerDog
2.05/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a clear pale with a small almost non existent head. Smells of corn and malt. First sip tastes of malt and corn with a mild hop presence. Very light bodied and typical of beers from Latin America. Not too bad when I compare it to all the others I have had from Lima.

 271 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.55/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Simple amber with a skinny slice of off-white foam. A decent number of bubbles manage to keep the head at a respectble height for a few minutes, but then quickly begin to lose the fight, leaving almost no lace in the process. Ho hum. Another generic looking world lager.

The nose is sort of golden malty with very little hoppiness. It certainly isn't hoppy enough to be considered a German pilsener. Given the name, that's probably what the brewers were shooting for. I'm still waiting to be even slightly impressed.

Pilsen Callao has more malt flavor than hop flavor, but is essentially balanced with respect to sweetness and bitterness. Neither one is present to any great extent, as is often the case in a pale lager. Pilsener still doesn't fit, although I suppose there are underhoppped versions of that style like there are underhopped versions of every style.

The flavor profile includes simple cereal grains with a light sugary coating. Musty hops (probably German in origin) sneak in at the midway point to tighten things just a bit by the finish. There really isn't much going on here and I've already dug as deeply as I care to dig.

The mouthfeel is actually okay. It's light, yet it doesn't immediately fade like many poor quality light-bodied beers. Maybe a fraction more malt than is usual? The carbonation isn't bad either. At least the beer is neither fizzy nor flat.

Pilsen Callao is my second beer from Peru. Cristal (from this same brewery) was damn near identical in terms of quality. I had to re-read that review since I long ago forgot what it tasted like. This one isn't destined to be remembered either.

 1,631 characters

Photo of garymuchow
3.42/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I guess this should be #29 in countries categories. Not high expectations. Twist cap.
Definitely fresh German hops aroma with classic sweet and sour combination and light backing of malt. Typical and not bad.
Slightly cloudy for style, otherwise gold color, rather bright white head that was smallish for style and settles rather quickly.
Flavor is somewhat flat, lacking crisp, bright, snappy flavor qualities I like in German pils. Nicely balanced hop/malt flavors with the former stronger. Not particularly bitter, in fact pushes more sweet (expect for the sourness). A kinda' brief finish. Somewhat heavy sourness up front.
Appropriately thin body with decent smoothness and easy drinking quality. Carbonation is about right.
This is alright. I'm not greatly dissappointed and it's certainly better than many foreign (non-traditional beer brewing countries) beers I've sampled. In a hot climate and if this is cold enough, this might hit the spot just fine.

 961 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.52/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured a light straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft doughy malt and a spirited noble hop.

The taste consisted of a suprisingly robust grainy malt and grassy, yet spicy, noble hop. There was a good biscuity finish.

The mouthfeel was a bit on the lighter side for the style.

Overall a suprisingly authentic pils. Certainly the best Latin American beer I have had to date.

 447 characters

Photo of kguyty
3.35/5  rDev +18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A pretty good beer. This is the first beer that I have had from Peru. It is a decent beer, nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. It pours a nice golden color with a decent head that disappears quickly. Good carbonation and a crisp taste make this beer easy to drink.

 269 characters

Photo of Vancer
3.06/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

All things considered, this was a decent brew to quaff – it’d make a good summer session or lawnmower beer, but the import costs would prohibit that a bit.

Crystal clear sunshine yellow with a fizzy white head – which did leave lil’ spot laces all the way down the glass. Aroma was rough – lots of veggies, corn, and euro skunk, had to let this thing air our for a few minutes. But the taste had some sweet malts, balanced with some decent hop bitterings.

Not much going on, but affably enjoyable.

 508 characters

Photo of Drew966
3/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pilsen Callao pours a light golden color with a white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. Decent aroma, malty and a bit of hops. Very light bodied, crisp flavor, nicely balanced hops and malt. No off flavors, easy to drink, a pleasant surprise. Definitely worth a try.

 271 characters

Photo of RBorsato
3.18/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear straw color with a decent white head and nice active carbonation. Standard macro-like adjunct aromas and flavor. Has some redeeming light malt and light fruit character. Light bodied, crisp and clean lawnmower beer with a dry adjunct finish.

This is as much a Pilsner and Miller is ... Not bad to try and to check Peru off my list...

Per Label: "Desde 1863"

Per 6-pack Carrier: 5% ABV

Best Before: 07/18/07
Tasted: 10/28/06

($4.99 / 6-pack)

 462 characters

Photo of hreb
3.19/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served cold at the Machu Picchu restaurant in Union Square, Somerville, MA. This beverage accompanies my cau cau (tripe) meal along with some tasty (and acidic) ceviche.

Beer pours pale yellow with big bubbles and almost no head. Not much color, not much aroma either. Taste is crisp and refreshing and fizzy, but not unacceptably so. Hop bitterness is pleasant but not complex. Malt flavor is marginal. Better than I expected for a South American lager. Watery consistency without any lacing.

This is a refreshing and inoffensive beer with a crisp taste that gives it points for drinkability. But not particularly noteworthy for any reason besides being from Peru. I'm not at all disappointed, I'd even consider this a good summer beer for regular drinking if I could find it cheaper than the local microbrew lager, etc..

 840 characters

Photo of biercircus
2.83/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I had this at a Peruvian restaurant, El Pollo Inka, near Los Angeles. The beer was decent, not amazing, but definitely drinkable. It went well with the rotisserie chicken I had.

A- golden yellow, a few bubbles, not much of a head.

S- faint hops and citrusy smell

T- some depth with a little bit of hops, a little sweet, but mostly dry finish

M- light, refreshing, crisp

D- good South American pilsener. definitely better than a Corona. Didn't need a lime to cover weaknesses in flavor.

 500 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.4/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a light head with perhaps, maybe close to good retention. But not really. Color is a bright, effervesant yellow. Lots of good lacing in this brew.

Smell- Natural frsh cut grass and hay. Some light hop bitterness mixed with light malting as well.

Taste- A light and well balanced malt and hop brew. Hints of nature abound all over the mouth with this brew.

Mouthfeel- very crisp, soooo crisp one could even call it tart.

 449 characters

Photo of whynot44
3.37/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice clear gold color with a modest white head that disappears quickly with only a trace of lacing.

The aroma is flowery, sweet with a hint of spice.

The taste is pretty standard pilsner, not bad. It starts with light sweet malt, finishes slightly dry with a enough hops to cut the sweetness.

Crisp, clean, refreshing, lgiht/medium bodied, easily drinkable.

 369 characters

Photo of schrist275
2.91/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

hmm.. head developed on bottle after opening and before i could pour it. color comes out to be a very nice pils yellow.. maybe even darker than the average by a hair. head came and went in the time it took to write and read the above.. left little lace, carbonation is average, look is average, head is sub par, smell rides in as almost a skunky rotting flower.. little heavy on the skunk..(no date on bottle) taste is light pils with no aftertase carry thru.. just a nose tease follow up. a fair beer.

 502 characters

Photo of bditty187
3.33/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Clear, sickly pale gold in hue, there is a fair amount of animation racing towards the bubbly white head. At the apex the head was a solid two and half fingers in height. The retention was good, after a moment it started to fade in size, before long it was a small, tight cap that lasted awhile. The subsequent lacing was unorganized and spotty but it did leave lace. The nose was clean and void of any off-putting aromas, thankfully. There is some sweetness that unfortunately reminds me of dozens of lousy Pale Lagers. Behind the sweetness there are faint suggestions of spice, from the hops I hope, with some lemon hints and flowers. The bouquet is inoffensive but not quite inviting. Still, I am not fearful to take a sip. The palate is easy drinking but tasty. Yes, I said tasty. Of course it is tasty for what it is… a Pale Lager from Peru. In other words, expectations were low. Still, there is a good bite of hops and it is ideally crisp. Acidic finish. Flowery. The bitterness is moderate but it is strong enough to cut the sweetness until the aftertaste, here the beer becomes tacky in the mouth. This is more of a knock on drinkability and not taste. The more I sipped the more I realized that this is boring, okay, maybe simplistic is a fairer characterization. At least it is not offensive. Very clean and refreshing, both are qualities typical of a lager. Medium in body with moderate but stiff carbonation, fitting for the style, overall the mouthfeel is good. If you want a beer from Peru, Pilsen Callao is your beer. It is potable and I have no problem drinking and liking my glass. I purchased a single 12-ounce bottle in Omaha for a $1.70, the experiment paid off this time.

 1,694 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
2.65/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Move along, nothing to see here. Pale golden color with a medium white head that fizzed out pretty quickly. Very little lacing. The aroma is lightly malty with a kind of sweet biscuit character. Crisp and light bodied and on the malty side. There are some hops but really not enough to keep this interesting for long. The finish is a little soft and watery but there is definitely worse out there. Below average on the whole but better than I was expecting.

 457 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Pilsen Callao from Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston
2.84 out of 5 based on 45 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.