Lionshead Pilsner | Lion Brewery, Inc.

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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: 160 | Ratings: 467
Photo of woodychandler
3.36/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I wonder why they decided to begin CANning this beer. I had it about a decade ago when I was coerced into buying a case from a friend who runs a distributorship. I quit taking his advice shortly thereafter. Oh well, The CANQuest (TM) has an obligation to try 'em all, especially (it seems) AALs.

Following the Crack & Glug, I was looking at a finger-and-a-half of rocky, bone-white head with medium retention (it was fading, but not as quickly as its Rheingold brother). Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-plus quality clarity. Yow, but this was brighter than bright! Nose was pretty standard for the style - a lager sweetness overlain by all of the adjuncts that they could throw into the kettle. Move along folks, nothing new here. Mouthfeel was medium with a fairly pleasant sweetness on the tongue. Frankly, this was MUCH better than what I had in a bottle. I have noted this in a number of previous clinkers, reinforcing my preference for CANned beer. Finish was also pleasant, slightly refreshing, not too bad. Now, would I take up cooler space with this? It would really depend on pricing. If it was as competitively priced as it is in bottles, then "Yes!", but if it is comparable to other CANned AALs, I would probably let it sit. Damning with faint praise once again, I suppose.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.66/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: This might be the palest beer I've ever seen. Almost looks a bit like carbonated water with some yellow coloring. For me that's not a bad thing though. The overall combination of this look with the active carbonation and heavy white head and foam makes this pretty nice.

Smell: Nothing special here. Basically clean, beery grain. No problems.

Taste/Mouthfeel: More beery grain with a hint of sweetness as well. I actually kind of like this. Mouthfeel comes across a bit like soda, but is definitely an upgrade over cheap macro lagers.

Drinkability: I could definitely drink a few of these over an hour or two with zero issues.

Overall: A safe, easy alternative to macro lagers.

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Photo of ellflle
2.63/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Bought as part of a sampler case at beer outlet nearby. I found it to have a stable big head, clean appearance, negligible aroma, thin and not entirely pleasant flavor; sharply effervescent with a sweet metallic aftertaste. Not very refreshing. To be avoided. There are plenty of better pilsners.

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Photo of Cylinsier
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz.

Pours a light clear gold with sugar white head, dissipates to lacing pretty quick.

Smells of barley and mild malts.

Taste is of crisp barley malts. No real hop flavor. On the sweeter side but not quite corn sweet.

Tingly carbonation throughout.

Not a bad lager. I hate when these beers call themselves pilsners. This tastes nothing like a pils. Insofar as macro and macro-style American lagers go, though, its a better one. I'd take this over the big three any day.

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Photo of jje0314
3.54/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I pikced up a case of bottles over the weekend as a recomendation from a friend. I did not mind the $13 price, but I was thinking that it would be really bad at that price. I was releived that it was not at all that bad of a beer for the price. It is a beer that is more for guzzeling then savoring like some of the other I am used to. I thought that the carbonation was good and it had a good smell (it was not skunky). I liked this beer and I would buy it again.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up recently because I never tried it before and I like a light beer like this in the Summer. Sure, this isn't going to win any awards, but like PBR and Miller High Life, this is a decent selection for someone who likes a cheaper feel without feeling cheap.

Textbook light hue and pour to this with nearly no lacing to be seen. If you like a malty taste with hints of biscuit and a potato chip-like starch aftertaste, then this will be right up your alley. Not a "bright" taste but certainly not watered-down either. When I picture a mass-market type Pils, this is pretty much what it would be like.

This would make a great session beer and had I bought more than one, I could have easily downed them all in a sitting. It doesn't have citrus or wheat notes or is watery enough to be a lawnmower beer but nevertheless, I'd have another one of these again if I wanted to enjoy a beer and not have to think about it too much!

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Photo of JunkYardJake
2.94/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz can poured into pint glass.
Apperance is suprisingly good. Clear and golden with a ton of bubbles. Head is foamy and large with mild retention and quite a bit of lace. Smell is mild and has the adjunct beer smell. Palate is mostly sweet with corn and maybe a little caramel malt flavor. Very little by way of hops, just to balance a bit. Mouthfeel is light and bubbly with a fair amount of carbonation. Easy to drink and very refreshing. Not bad for an economy minded american pale lager.

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Photo of Milestone221
2.6/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Straw golden and clear. High carbonation. 1" head. Some lacing. Right for a "deluxe pilsner".

S- Grains and small amount of caramel. Malt as well.

T- Not impressed. Not good but not bad. Can not taste anything significant but grains. Stale and a little bitter.

M- Watery.

D- Very high. Comparable to BMC but with a little higher quality. Could be a bad bottle, but even if not probably would not have changed much.

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Photo of Seanibus
1.57/5  rDev -47.8%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours bright radioactive yellow with a huge, hyperactive head that drops away to nothing (and I mean nothing) in about a minute. Smells like wet cardboard and paint thinner. Tastes almost as good - solvent and honey with a strange sour finish and not a trace of hop character. The finish speaks of latex paint. This isn't even a good mass market beer. Avoid with great vigor.

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Photo of GNR4life2
3.59/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I live in a town thats right near the brewery for this beer. I nearly crapped my pants when I saw it in cans! I usually buy the bottles cause you can return them to the beer store and get a discount off your next case! But I chose can for my serving type cause its the most recent type I've had.

A: Its beer. Pours a medium gold with very little head.

S: A little rice and corn scent. Very pleasing but disappointing.

T: Very malty and corny but its very light. You can drink a whole can in one gulp.

M: Crisp, refreshing, light and a bit of carbonation.

D: I can drink this all day. I still have some left in the fridge. Its not a go to beer but its a beer you'd drink if you had like 12 bucks and nothing better to do.

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Photo of mynie
2.28/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Apparently this is a little bit of a big deal on the east coast. This was purchased as a single 12 ouncer, from a place in Indie where all the beers can be bought in singles. It was cheap enough and prominently enough displayed that it shouldn't have been too stale.

It doesn't taste stale, but it does taste off. About consistent with the reviews it's received. It's heavy for an adjunct, with the metal and veggie nodes more pronounced than what's typical (think old school Rolling Rock).

Barley and corn dominate everything. It's like canned hominy. At least part of that is from age, but age is unavoidable when you're dealing with a lowly esteemed regional beer outside of its homestate.

Tonight was a battle between this and Pabst and Pabst won in a landslide.

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Photo of Agold
3.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured this one ice cold. This beer is a very pale yellowish beer. There really isn't a ton of head here. It smells a bit sweeter than most adjunct lagers, but not really that astounding. It is very light. Don't really get too much hops, but they definitely come through. This is a beer that i really enjoy to relax and drink when I'm not looking for much from a beer. I love to hang out with friends with a case and see how far we can get. And i know it doesnt have anything to do with the beer its self, but i always enjoy the little pictogram puzzles on the caps of the bottles.

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Photo of clayrock81
2.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a light gold with large head from carbonation but it dies quick. Some pils grainy like malt smell with hints of sweetness and herbal hops. Has a slightly sour taste for some reason but other than that has a decent amount of pils malt that mixes with hops so it passes down easy with nothing exciting. Has a dry finish and is an OK lawn mower beer but not much else.

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Photo of Brent
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

So, how many brands can one brewery produce? Sort of like the Tootsie Pop commercial - lets pop the cap and see. Drinkable, but far from commendable. Very mass-market adjunct lager character, more like Budweiser than anything. Slight corn flavor in the malt. Nondescript hopping with a bare touch of tartness. Fine lawnmower beer fare.

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Photo of coalcracker
3/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straw colored with active carbonation. Head does not last long.
Smell: Light aroma of malt, some corn adjunct.
Taste: Light malts with only a touch of hop balance. Corn begins to make its presence known towards the end of the taste.
Mouthfeel: Very much on the light side, a little slick on the palate
Drinkability: Very drinkable. There is nothing here that is offensive. Likewise, there is more here than you would find in a macro light lager.

Overall: A light, inoffensive pilsner. Nothing fancy at all- industrial like the town its made in.

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Photo of BricksandPorter
2.97/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into American Pint glass cold. Cap has a rebus puzzle on the underside. Went to college in wilkes barre, right down the street from where this is brewed.

Pour - golden straw with a dull yellow tinge. Head is bone white and rocky, goes quick and leaves a film at the top. No lacing whatsoever.

Nose - grassy with a full malt aroma. Kind of has an industrial smell to it, but that may just be my memories of wilkes-barre.

Taste - watered down and average is really all i can say. the bottle says its a pilsner but this is far too simple to be compared to the Czech pilsners of fame. More along the line of the adjunct american "pilsner style" lagers - Miller Light comes to mind. Sweet and a good balanced hop character make it a decent taste, but overall Im not raving about this one.

Mouthfeel - actually the body and the character make this a decent glass, but the initial taste is kind of bland and does not appeal to me. Medium to light bodied, i cant imagine what the Lionshead Light tastes like.

Drinkability - a good simple beer for sitting around. Not a tasters choice but still holds a place in its economic accessibility as well as its small town, working class appeal.

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Photo of donteatpoop
2.53/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear pale yellow color with a short lived thin white head, the only indication that it had any head is a thin rim of white foam.

Smells like an adjunct pilsner, sweet corn and chemical.

The taste is an unbalanced blend of various malts with virtually no hop presence. Bleh.

Never saw the brand so I grabbed a sixer to try; the six pack was $4 so I guess I'm not surprised... Still though I was hoping for an unexpected delight like I found with Buckeye Pilsner.

Oh well.

Not recommended.

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Photo of akorsak
3.28/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle.

A: Yellow and fozzy, the pilsener looks like water with a few drops of food coloring added for good measure. As you'd guess, it is transparent. A sizeable head on pour quickly whittled away, no lace no nothin'.

S: The nose is creamy and sweet, more creamed corn than grain.

T: Much like the nose, the body is creamy and sweet, touched up with green apples. The remainder of the body is generally lifeless, save for the fizziness. It fits the bill for an adjunct lager, the kind of beer I'll drink after a warm morning at Hershey Park (oh, just like right now).

M: The mouthfeel is creamy sweet and fizzy. Nothing memorable.

D: There's no reason that you couldn't drink five or six of these at one time, but I'd rather not have to.

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Photo of stingrayvr6
1.93/5  rDev -35.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Reviewing this for the heck of it. Had this straight from the bottle, for a party beer it has the classiest appearance in a bottle with regal label. No perceptible smell, taste was incredibly light, high carbonation, very watery. A beer for someone who has no desire to taste beer. Completely inoffensive and for that reason, very offensive.

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Photo of Brenden
2.73/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is a very pale yellow, quite typical for the style. A fluffy head forms on the pour but very spritzy and bubbly; it's no surprise that it's gone within moments.
The smell is akin to a BMC light with perhaps a slightly stronger presence and a gentle underlying sweetness others don't have.
It's sweeter in the smell than the flavor, heavier on grains than other ingredients but with undertones of hops, very subtle malts, and corn husk.
There's the crispness expected but it's a bit smoother than I'd expect. It's quite thin, but not as watery-thin as a BMC light.
I would put this above a BMC light, but most of this style, the weakest and lamest of all the styles, in my opinion, are slightly more flavorful than this.

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Photo of bkeck33
3.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Lionshead hales from Northeastern Pennsylvania, a sentimental region for me. Specifically, Wilkes-Barre is the home to this brew which, frankly, was quite drinkable but nothing extra special.

The appearance is a straw-colored yellow with a very weak head and lacing. The smell was, well, like any beer might smell - nothing extraordinary or unusual. The taste was just fine, smooth and mellow. Perhaps a bit too mellow. The mouthfeel was rather weak. Despite the below average status in the other categories, Lionshead was quite drinkable, in an agreeable kind of way. Nothing special, but refreshing nonetheless.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Haven't sen this in the stores up here but for some reason ACME carries it so i bough a 6 pack home from the bar.

A- The label (which was redesigned a few years ago) is minimal and cool as hell. Poured a super clear golden straw color with lots of layers of carbonation rising to the top. The 1 centimeter high head stuck around for a bout a minute and a half.

S- Aroma is kinda sweet and almost champagne like. Bubbles flowin up ya nose. Corn champagne!

T- Flavor is slightly sweet. It tastes mostly of dull malt but there is a light hop twinge. Slight off taste that i haven't quite been able to put my finger on.

M- Feel is medium to light with a kinda of syrupy slick mouth coating. The carbonation tingles.

D- Im not a big pilsner fan normally but this is a super drinkable thirst quencher of a beer.

Drink this out of the bottle for maximum enjoyment. You can't smell the corn as much.

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Photo of losingstreak
3.8/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have tried many craft beers for much more money than Lionshead. As a cheap alternative for a party, or even for myself, it can not get better than this. I did read the reviewed and understand this is a macro-brew, but at $16 a case in Philadelphia, my friends nor I will complain.

It tastes light, yet it is called a pilsner. I do not mind, since many of them are consumed. It is a light beer in my mind, but it still has the affordability and taste that puts it above any of the other adjuncts that I have had.

It is the cheapest beer available in bottles by the case in Philadelphia and while that may detract some, it is a definite plus in my book. Brewed only miles away from relatives it is one of the best cheap beers available in my area. I am disappointed by the dismissive reviews of other drinkers.

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Photo of samie85
3.08/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. Originally consumed 12/24.

A-Pours a golden color with white head.

S- Sweet corn with maybe a little bit of caramel.

T-Sweet corn is the primary thing going on here with a bit of a bitter hop middle with a dry grain finish.

M-Light bodied with quite a bit of carbonation.

D-Very easy drinking and, while not all that interesting, it's a good beer to have around to space out the better craft beers I have. Also, the price is nice for my current economic situation.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.66/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

"The whisper of a pretty girl can be heard farther than the roar of a lion."


Corn silk yellow with lemonade colored edges. Several energetic streams of bubbles ascend to a pillowy crown of bone colored foam that doesn't appear to be very sticky. A glass that is almost completely clear is the most convincing evidence.

This is one of those offerings that smells more like an adjunct lager than a pale lager, no matter what the ingredients list includes. Since Lion Brewery uses corn, American adjunct lager is the correct call. The beer smells somewhat grainy, with a considerable amount of sweetness that is only slightly corny. Not impressed.

Lionshead Pilsner has more flavor and is quite a bit sweeter than similar lagers from those macro breweries that use corn. Whether that's a positive or a negative depends on how you like your beer. I'd probably pick it over most Miller products (of this style), but that doesn't mean that it's enjoyable or that I'd drink it a second time.

The flavor is akin to lightly sugared (and untoasted) barley and corn, with virtually no hop flavor or bitterness. There may be a hint of grassiness, but the IBUs have to be south of 20. It's clean, but not crisp, and has a shortish finish. Kellogg's Corn Pops is the flavor comparison that I've been searching for since the first sip.

The mouthfeel is pretty much as expected for the style and the ABV. It's unequivocally light and the bubbles peter out shortly after making contact with the tongue. Ho-hum.

Lionshead Pilsner is a small step above the better known adjunct lagers (looks like I didn't score strictly to style). If you prefer corn beer over rice beer, give it a go. A single bottle trial is recommended, although the beer itself is not.

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Lionshead Pilsner from Lion Brewery, Inc.
3.01 out of 5 based on 467 ratings.
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