Lionshead Pilsner | Lion Brewery, Inc.

161 Reviews
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Lionshead PilsnerLionshead Pilsner

Brewed by:
Lion Brewery, Inc.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by psugrad98 on 11-01-2002

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Reviews: 161 | Ratings: 471
Photo of kojevergas
1.98/5  rDev -34%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 fl oz can purchased at a bodega in Brooklyn, NY for $6 per 6 pack. Aluminum. Standard pull-tab. Royal red and gold label design.

"Deluxe pilsner beer." No ABV listed.

Clear clean pale copper body colour. White frothy head. ~5 minute head retention.

AROMA: Plain pilsner malts. Baked bread. A blip of buttery aromatics. Clean ester-free lager yeast. Low residual sugar sweetness (though well above average for the style).

Aromatic intensity is low. No metallic off-notes or other faults.

Aroma suggests an inoffensive but imbalanced (overly sweet) lager with corn adjunct lending fermentable sugars. No Saaz/Noble hop aroma; this hardly seems like a proper pilsner.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Overly sweet from utilization of adjunct (seemingly corn/maize). Clean lager yeast leaves no trace of any fruity esters, but there is some buttery flavour potentially indicative of diacetyl off-flavour.

Not balanced well by any means, but it's not metallic or otherwise off in flavour aside from the tolerable diacetyl. Pale malts and pilsner malts dominate, unchecked by any Saaz/Noble hop bitterness. Definitely too sweet, but not quite syrupy in spite of being way too thick and sticky for the intended style. Smooth, wet, unrefreshing. Medium-bodied where it ought to be light-bodied.

OVERALL: A poorly executed attempt at a pilsner, but not an awful beer when judged as an adjunct lager. At this price point in New York City, it's better than many malt liquors and budget macros (think plastic bottle screw-tops in 24+ fl oz format), but I'd sooner go for Ballantine XXX or even a watery macrolager over this. It's not difficult to drink per se, but its low quality and off-putting thickness really hold it back. Poor work regardless of intention, Lionshead is not a beer I'd recommend to anyone. Trader Joe's Simpler Times remains a superior go-to budget beer option.


04/24/17: revisiting this given it was the only affordable option to bring to an event.

Buttery. Too full-bodied for a pilsner. Throws off some corn adjunct.

Far from light-bodied or refreshing. No Noble or Saaz hop character is present here at all. Drinkable but off. At least it's not metallic or watery, but then the slightly syrupy texture of this makes me wonder if going the other way and making it watery would have been the better play.


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Photo of bory7
3.99/5  rDev +33%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

OK, I've read some reviews and people have have not been entirely fair. Keeping in mind that this is a pilsner, aka low fermenting yeast, low temperature fermentation, etc... Plus the alcohol content is a whopping 4.5%. Are people seriously expecting the hops of a double IPA or the flavor profile of a saison??? This is meant to be a light refreshing beer that you drink exile mowing the lawn. Also, as i mentioned before, because the of the low temperature fermentation, you cannot achieve bold flavors because not enough sugar gets burned off (which is what creates the different bold flavors), and since not enough sugar is burned off, less alcohol is produced. However, based on other beers of similar stature, this beer carries a nice light refreshing flavor and smells and looks the part.

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Photo of Bwise73
3.93/5  rDev +31%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours gold color , thick head that goes away pretty quick. I really like this beer and the price is great! I wish there was just a little more hoppines to it.

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Photo of RJIV
3.18/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours a translucent dirty orange color.
Little to no head on the pour.
The smell is light with hints of sweetness.
The body of the beer is very thin and watery.
Taste upfront is caramel sweetness that turns into day old water (kind of stale, but still drinkable).
The aftertaste is unoffensive with a slight lingering note of caramel.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Pale gold small white head no lace. Smell is slightly sweet and grainy. Feel is mildly sweet with moderately high carbonation and mostly dry finish.

Taste is slightly sweet and grainy with mild toasted grain and light spice with hint of floral hops and finish is crisp and dry. Overall not the best but mediocre exceeded my expectations to be honest

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Photo of Trombone69
2.22/5  rDev -26%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Not too good. Definitely one of the cheapest beers in the store. And I am not opposed to paying less.

Taste is overly sweet. There is something a little nasty on the finish. I'm not sure what.

I won't be choosing this one again.

I like the can design. The carbonation level seems OK.

It's not awful, I guess. It's just not really good.

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Photo of Kenharkerjr
2.66/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3

I went looking for some cheap beer because money is tight this weekend. I found this, 12.99 for a case of loose cans. At first I thought it was a typo, but it was right. It came out to 13.90 with tax. I saw this beer on an episode of "The Office", so I assumed it wasn't god-awful. and it isn't. It is close, though.
Appearance, I poured some in a glass, just to see for the review. Very light.
Smell- almost non-existent. All I smell is aluminum from the can and a faint Budweiser smell.
taste- Again, almost non-existent. Not bad, not good. Reminiscent of Bud Light or Coors Light, and this isn't a Light Beer. I can't imagine how watery the Light version is.
Mouthfeel- Flat and dull. Swallow fast and keep it cold. Definitely could use more carbonation.
Overall-You get what you pay for. 14 bucks a case, I was expecting worse. If you're in a pinch this is a lot better than Natural Ice, Old Milwaukee, or any of the other cheap and awful beers. If you can afford better, though, then get better.

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Photo of Deerslayer210
3.4/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Ahhhh lions head. What can I say. This might be the best basement bargain beer in a bottle. Oh yes, buy the bottle or give it a " drain poor". In the bottle it is an outstanding cheap drinker, but they must buy the left over cans from steel city, the taste coming out of a can is of licking the aluminum shavings off the brewery floor. And stay away from the light version too, the regular pilsner is light enough. So if you need a cheap bottle that goes down easy and will please most on a hot day. Drink up my friend... Bonus the mind teasers under the caps can keep a group of local drunks amused for hours of cheap fun!

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.14/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a deeper straw, light amber color with a billowy two finger pure white head. The head fades rather slowly over time, leaving only a very nice level of supper foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is lighter overall, but consists of a slightly bready and corny smell. There is a bit of a caramel aroma mixed with some notes of a light fruit and musty aroma as well.

Taste – The taste begins with flavors of some caramel sweetness, a bit of breadiness mixed with a decent amount of a corny sweet flavor. As the flavor advances some lighter fruit flavors come to the tongue along with a bit of a musty grain and papery taste as well. There flavors take the taste to its end, leaving a somewhat musty grain and sweeter taste to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly lighter side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the average side. The feel is quite appropriate for the style and makes for an easy drinking brew.

Overall – Nothing fantastic, but for the price and as a session beer it is a good go to on any occasion when drinking is more a background activity.

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Photo of tone77
3.42/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I had this one in a bottle before and was unimpressed. Much better from a can. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, a touch of corn is present. Taste is crisp, refreshing, some malts and corn, very easy drinking. Feels light in the mouth and overall, at this price point, makes a good session beer on a hot summer day.

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Photo of BigDaddyJohn
2.82/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Don't want to spend too much time rating a beer like this but here it goes:

Bottle: Couldn't find a born on date. Poured into a Pilsner glass.
Pour: thin white head that dissipated in <1 minute.
Look: Standard golden color you would expect from a Pilsner. Lacing is faint and doesn't hold on glass.
Taste: weak, but better than a BMC.
Finish: not much here either, better if you quaf it!.
Overall: not terrible (but not the "Deluxe Pilsner" the the label trumpets) but I paid $5.89 for a sixer. I expect more beer for my hard earned money. Add $2 and get a really good craft is my suggestion. In it's defense, it wouldn't be bad to pour a couple back on a hot SC summer day. Forget, serve very cold.

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Photo of KYGunner
3.48/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The pilsner poured as a pilsner should with golden coloring and loads of carbonation.

Scents of cereal malts and bready, barley-like tones the smell is full in the nose but a bit "cheap".

The taste is crisp and refreshing with bready, cracker like cereal tastes. Very malty, this pilsner is tasty and blends well with the Cajun food I was eating.

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Photo of themind
3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I received two bottles of Lionshead from a friend and I must admit I felt as if I was bottom dwelling with the crabs and sea urchin in the deep sea. The simple thought of drinking what I considered an automatic drain pour caused me to become victim of random and uncontrollable convulsions. Since I agreed to contaminate my tastebuds with this rancid formula I defiled my beer glass with this expected pool water. Well I must say to my surprise it was actually a decent brew. Although I would not sit at home to relax and grab a Lionshead, at a soft ball game I could drink this stuff all day long.

Bottom Line: For under $15.00 bucks a case this stuff is a steal and an alcoholics dream!

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Photo of Hendy011
3.43/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Golden, head that quickly fades, leaves some lacing in the glass
S - smells like corn husks
T - tastes like corn, taste lingers for a while
F - little carbonation, goes down easy
O - Supposed to be a pilsner - doesn't really taste like one. It's a great beer for the price - 16 a case, tax included in PA. As a college student, this beer is my go-to for throwing back 10-15 in a night.

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Photo of chinchill
2.41/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can with what appears to be a 2012 date stamped on the bottom.
Pours a deep golden color with a short-lived white head.
The aroma is poor, actually just plain bad at first, but improved to poor after airing. The taste is more palatable than the aroma suggests, but that is not saying much. This is a weak flavored lager that tastes like the cheap beer it is. Thin body is a bit watery and astringent.

Think light lager, not "Deluxe Pilsner" as per the can, and you'll be much less disappointed.

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Photo of psusarahkate
2.1/5  rDev -30%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This is my first beer review ever, so I thought I'd start with a simple beer like Lionshead. I was first introduced to Lionshead my sophomore year at Penn State. Being from PA, I often see this beer at parties. It's cheap and decent tasting (considering it's inexpensiveness and sessioning ability). Most importantly, it's a crowd-pleaser! Each cap has a riddle on it with pictures, and you try to decide what phrase the pictures mean. This beer does not smell good (nor do I think it was even meant to be smelled). What does it smell like? Well, the only good descriptor I can give is that it smells like beer. It smells like a frat house the day after they had a big party and spilled a lot of Natty on the floor. It pours an orangeish-gold, very clear, no head. Its taste is very watery with mild carbonation. It has more beer taste than other session beers like Miller lite, Coors lite and Bud lite, but less than a regular Yuengling. Also, its mouthfeel is very light too. This beer is a good choice IF it's used what it's meant for - buying, serving, and drinking in bulk. One of the better session beers out there. People at your party will think "Thank god, not another party with only Bud Light... Oooh a puzzle!"

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Photo of jwc215
3.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours bright golden (a slight shade darker than average) with a large foamy white head that descends very slowly and holds up pretty well. Little lacing sticks.

The smell is of cornbread, a hint of grainy malt and some non-descript hop touch.

The taste is sweet -- corn and a slight touch of husk. A hint of non-descript hops balance sweetness in the abrupt finish.

The feel is oily, rather slick, but smooth. Light-bodied and easy to drink.

Overall, it's you average/typical adjunct lager, on the sweet side. Not bad for what it is, and rated as such. Inoffensive, there are worse "lawn mower" beers out there for sure.

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Photo of mikeg67
1.73/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

12 oz bottle. Pours golden with a short lived white head and soda-like carbonation. Aroma is sourdough and hint of hops. Body is light and smooth. Taste is sourdough, some sweet malt and cooked vegetables. Finish is short and sour. I don’t understand why college kids by cases of this crap.

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Photo of Brad007
2.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Ahh, another adjunct lager and I still have that sixer of 'Gansett in the fridge.

Pours a light gold/yellow with a frothy head. I like the color. It's not so flat.

Aroma is crisp and actually full of hops. Hmm. Is this a Pils? Pretty damn close to it with a good dose of baked bread on the nose.

Taste and mouthfeel are WATERY! Sure, there's still that hint of baked bread but nothing else. Wow. At least the bottle was cheap.

Close, but no cigar.

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Photo of cyclonece09
2.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a 14 oz "pint" glass. Pours a nice straw color with little head. Smells slightly of grain, but not much else. Tastes of a regular adjunct lager, but has a fuller taste than most. Carbonation is good and goes down smooth. Overall, an average beer.

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Photo of xnicknj
2.46/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle

Pale yellow with a froth of white head. Bubbly and effervescent with a few spots of lacing.

Grainy and bready in the nose with cereal. Light touch of lemon peel and steely malts.

Faint crisp hops with plenty of graininess. Kind of like cereal with a bit of hop flavor and some underlying notes of bread. Finishes somewhat refreshing and clean.

Lighter medium body, well carbonated, pretty watery and fast on the palate. This isn't bad for an adjunct, but it's not what I'd consider to be a good beer either.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
2.73/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, a small pils like hop and a small skunkyness. In the taste, A small pils hop and a small sweetness, quite muted across the board. A small hop bite, but mainly smooth with a medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a note of dry to clean to no aftertaste. Very muted, eh, nothing to really write home about.

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Photo of TheMultiYeast
3.2/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear golden yellow with a thin white head.

Has a crisp pilsner aroma with mild spiciness. Cereal grain and steel are strong too.

Taste follows nose into grain and very mild, floral hop profile. Metallic aftertaste and light spice.

Almost too easy to drink as the glass is almost empty by the end of the review. Highly carbonated.

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Photo of CowsCanBark
3.08/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ah, good old Lionshead. I used to party all the time, it was a great beer for the price, and still is. At $14.55 for a 24 pack, 12 oz. bottles, can't beat it.

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

Appearance: Average. Pours a piss yellow with a two-finger head that quickly dissipates into nothingness. Zero lacing left as I drink.

Smell: Blah, corn, rice, barely a hint of hops. Little bit of malts.

Taste: A little bit above average, especially considering the smell. Sweet, but not overbearingly so, watery, but also not overbearingly so. Corn adjuncts, light hops, light maltyness. Really no bitterness at all.

Mouthfeel: It's a light body with mild carbonation, really easy drinker.

Overall: Average taste and overall beer, but it's great for the price, and is certainly better than Bud, Miller, or Coors.

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.71/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ale yellow with no head to speak of what so ever, really just a clear, over carbonated mess of a look for me. but a trudge on. weak grains, touches of light corn and bready notes abound here, again not that i was expecting a ton of wonderful flavor here, but it could have been more then the wet cardboard that i got. clean and crisp, light feel worked for the style and it went down smooth

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Lionshead Pilsner from Lion Brewery, Inc.
3 out of 5 based on 471 ratings.
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