Hannenberg Pils | Grand River Brewing

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Hannenberg PilsHannenberg Pils
Very Good
30 Ratings
Hannenberg PilsHannenberg Pils

Brewed by:
Grand River Brewing
Ontario, Canada

Style: German Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A tribute to the German style of pilsner. A clear pale golden blonde body, almost fruity malts and pointly refined hops. Balanced and very drinkable Pils with great flavor.

Named after our owner Bob Hannenberg who made everything that this brewery is possible.

Added by grub on 05-11-2008

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 30 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by Ralphus:
Photo of Ralphus
3.54/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'd love to know if this beer was named after the president of the company Bob Hanenberg, even if it's spelled slightly different.

Pours a soft, clear golden colour. Showers of carbonation burst to the top of the glass creating a two finger head. The head recedes to a ring of foam maintained by the carbonation.

This batch is full of diacetyl. The nose is dominated by it and so is the taste. Luckily for me I don't find it all that off putting. In the taste, beneath the butter, you can find a solid pilsner. Lightly sweet and malty with a very well balanced hop finish.

LOVE the mouthfeel on this one. Despite the high carbonation mouthfeel is very soft. Really good. This aids drinkability as it goes down in gulps.

If the diacetyl can be brought down I think this could be a really good pilsner.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of JohnnyBarman
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Grad House at the University of Waterloo. Marketed here as "Schweitzer Farm Pilsner" as a salute to the building's heritage, but the keg says Hannenberg.

Pours a nice light golden, leaves a thin white head that lasts for half the glass. A bit of lacing.

Smell is nice, somewhat sweet and yeasty with the hops coming in later on. A bit of bread or biscuits.

A fine local pilsner, very smooth and refreshing. A sweet pilsner, with the hops and the yeast balanced fairly well. Very nice,

Certainly worth a go - another winner from this Cambridge brewer!

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Photo of Sammy
3.65/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Winking Judge with the Grand River Brewing owner Robert Hannenberg. First sample had pleasant aroma that none of us including Bill the judge identify, though there is some ppper. Second pint was totally neutral. yellowish with dissipitating white foam. Some citrus and the constant Grand River bitterness. The unfiltered pre-edition was a bit more interesting and complex in fruit that Robert puts down to apricot. Had this 16 months later at Chauncey Smith, London Canada and was just as good as above.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep golden color pils with a large foamy head with OK retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of lightly sweet floral malt with light dry hops notes. Taste is also a nice mix between some floral malt and light subtle dry European hops. Body is slightly oily with good carbonation. Crispier hops would have improved this beer but very good nonetheless.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.58/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500 ml bottle to Great Lakes pint glass. Thanks to korguy123 for this one. Bottled on March 20, 2012.

A - Pale straw yellow with one finger of bright white head. Some light lacing.

S - Light hop presence up front with some floral and earthy aromas. The malt bill adds a sweet bready aroma.

T - A crisp hop presence up front with light floral, herbal and earthy flavours. A sweet bready/cereal malt backbone provides balance. The finish is slightly bitter with the hop presence returning.

M - Light body with a slight chew. Light to moderate carbonation.

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Photo of ritzkiss
3.26/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pint on tap at Volo. Arrives a clear light golden hue with a finger of foamy head which has a little staying power. Pretty standard.

Nose is grainy and sweet, just the lightest hop presence.

Quite floral and sweet, a good dose of graininess, a hint of "generic lager" in there. Light bittering hops, but especially with the overly robust sweetness the hops are way under represented. Creamy, slightly oily body - could use a bit more carb though I think the sweetness weighs it down a bit again.

A drinkable pint, I finish easily enough but I don't think I would have a go at it again; just not crisp and quenching enough.

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Photo of papat444
3.41/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to grub for this one.

Poured from a 500ml. bottle, bottle May 14, 2010.

Appearance: A stark white 4 finger head that slowly goes down to 2. A very clear pale yellow body that gets a little hazy after emptying the bottle.

Smell: Crisp pils aroma with some corn but not adjunct-like. Not bad.

Taste: Very mineral-like which lends itself to a certain bitterness. Lots of citrus in there and ends with a distinct salty twinge. Weird but good.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is pretty good, not too high and the body is a but thin though not enough to distract completely.

Drinkability: Very easy to drink. Glides down well and i'd probably have it again.

Overall: A good pils that packs moderate amounts of flavor.

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Photo of liamt07
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Growler from the brewery, split with my girlfriend into some pint glasses. Growlered (?) on July 6, 2009, 4 days old at the time of consumption.

Poured a golden yellow, with a finger and change of head. Falls quickly to a solid white collar, leaving some light lacing behind. Nose has some very mild butter, understated fresh German hop character and some faint sweetness. Simple and adequate. Taste again has notes of mild butter, with some muted hops, light grain notes, some sweetness that lends some honey comparisons and a moderate mineral quality to the water. Light body, light bitterness and a soft/subdued carbonation. Too easy to drink (could've crushed the growler solo, but sharing is caring), and the ABV only aids this. Decent, albeit unspectacular.

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Photo of mrmanning
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Growler- Pours from the giant bottle, a slightly hazed sparkling gold topped with a one finger of white froth. No real lace to speak of. In the nose I get floral notes, and lemon zest with pale malts, and a blast of almost tropical fruits, leading to fresh floral hops and a bit of yeast. Also present is the ever there mineral/tin presence of all grand river products which is a by product of what I think is the water, but which I also find very enjoyable. I can't describe how good it smells with my words, but I'll say that it is all subtle,but well balanced and leaves me wanting to take a sip. The taste is bitter, grassy, lemony hops, with subtle sweet malts and grains. This lends a hand to a yeasty, metallic twang with a good astringent finish. Yet again, I am at a loss of words when describing the beer from this brewery. I could drink this all day long. It seems to be a great hybrid between the helles that was originally planned, and the new pilsener designation. My hat goes of to you Rob, Bob, and crew. Please keep on kicking my ass with your amazing beer.

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Photo of kinguy
4/5  rDev +5.8%

Photo of grub
4.35/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

sampled on tap at volo may 9/08.

note from the brewer on this beer: "The beer was designed as a Helles but as usual, the water we work with elevates the bitterness (approx. 13 IBU's) so I don't think we're that far off the pils. It uses the Mittelfruh and Hersbruker varieties and is 4.5%ABV".

pours crystal clear golden yellow with a small dense bright white head. the head drops fairly quick and leaves spotty lace behind.

aroma is good. touch of honey and caramel. light bready malt. hints of corn, but not in an unpleasant way - more like a pre-prohibition pils. nice light lager character. bright fresh floral hops.

taste is great. medium-low bitterness level. crackers and multi-grain bread. light caramel and honey with just a touch of sweetness. nice fresh floral hops again.

mouthfeel is great. medium carbonation level. nice fairly light body.

drinkability is great. an excellent summer brew. good balance, light on the palate. i am consistently impressed by grand river. i know i'll be drinking a lot of this one while it's around - in fact, i might have another right now!

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Photo of Derek
4.19/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Golden-yellow (closer to the colour of a Pils than the first batch) with a creamy white head. Initially some retention & lacing (decent for an American Pils, lacking for a German Pils).

S: Grassy, spicy, floral & bready.

T: Grassy, spicy, slightly steelie & floral hops; biscuity malt; good bitterness (though on the low side for a German Pils). Compared to the first batch (which was closer to a Helles), there's definitely less melanoidin's from the malt; the hop flavour seems to be a little more Hallertau & a little less Hersbruck.

M: Moderate body is smooth with a crisp finish.

D: Very drinkable.

A November '08 bottling has a little more yeast character. I don't know if the yeast has performed differently, or if the lagering has been shortened, but there's certainly some more sulfur flavours, more like the old country (rather than a new-world, more neutral yeast).

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Photo of matt7215
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

growler from the brewery. the first batch of this had to sit in the tank for a while as the LCBO did their tests. this first batch was very nice and soft and the additional time in conditioning really led to a beer that was more complex and magnificent then most people ever appreciated. the additional batches have been very good as well but i will always remember that first batch as the best lager ive ever had.

the appearance is gloden with a tight snow white head that lasts. soft carbonation leads to a more enjoyable drinking experience then you find with most pale lagers.

the aroma when fresh is of lager malts. if you get a really fresh bottle then you sometimes get some green apple but most of the time you just get a very malt forward pilsner with some light traces of hopping.

the flavour is similar to the aromas but this is a complex lager that is has many layers to explore.

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Photo of MattPS
3/5  rDev -20.6%

Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Volo, and good thing I have a corny keg in my fridge right now!

Pours a clear golden/straw yellow, thin white head, settles to a thin ring, drops lace rings on the glass. Smell is nice, sweet, grassy, honey, vanilla, lemon and floral hops, some herbal character and wheat/biscuity malt. Taste is honey and wheat, crisp citrus middle, floral, vanilla, quite dry in the finish, herbal and crisp, nice balanced bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, super smooth, very refreshing and drinkable. Well done!

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Photo of GodOfBeer
3.77/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Chancey Smith's.

Pours a straw yellow, with a small white head.

Smells malty, grassy, some spiciness, with a weird vegetable smell, almost like cabbage...

Tastes like cabbage, saurkraut? at first, then becomes grassy and mellowed out, very strange, but not bad.

I would never buy this beer again, but it was worth a try.

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Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another beer from the folks at Grand River Brewing, picked up from their on-site retail store. This time it's their Hannenberg Pils (“HP”), 4.5% alcohol by volume in their standard 500 ml bottle, bottled on December 15, 2013.

HP poured a clear yellow/gold colour, taking on more of the golden hue when backlit. An aggressive pour produced about 1.5” of bright white head which lasted for about 3 minutes before fading to a collar of foam and thin film, leaving behind some modest spotting. Its aroma was of sweet bready malts, with earthy and grassy notes as well. The sweet bready malts led off the flavour parade, followed by the earthy/grassy tastes, and ending with a mild hop bitterness. This is a nicely balanced beer, and although the flavours from the first mouth full were a bit odd, it was an enjoyable beer thereafter. I would describe HP as relatively light bodied with a crisp mouth feel and no lingering aftertaste, and the carbonation level is well suited to the brew. My favourite of Grand River's beers sampled so far…but I still have a couple of bottles in inventory.

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Photo of pootz
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Brewey:

Pours a gold-amber with a good sized rocky cap, great glass lacing. Fresh grainy nose some floral some spicy earthy tones. Sharp mouth feel, slightly dry character, lots of biscuity malts up front, not cloying, some musty tones with a sharp herbal spicy bie from hops , clean crisp finish with a light biscuit aftertaste. A good rendition of a German Pilsner with Grand River's signature touch.]

UPDATE: June 24/09....newly fomulated this Pils is better than ever...very close to Plsen taste but the hard mineral water gives a wonderful 'bite' to the hops, less sweetness and fruitnes ( new yeast?) this is an excellent craft pils...always fresh and bright.

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Photo of korguy123
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into pilsener glass.
Bottled March 20th, 2012

A- Crystal clear straw yellow pour. Finger and a half of soapy white head. Lacing is good.

S- Grass and earth, slight grain, with a little musty aroma. Hops are minimal and earthy.

T- Sweet malt, sweet biscuits, light floral hops with a smooth finish.

M- Light bodied, slightly sweet feeling (coats), good carbonation.

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Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled July 13th, consumed on Labour Day. Yellow, almost a green hue as it poured into my Guinness glass. Clear mostly, neat small and medium-sized bubbles, medium carbonation with good retention, very natural. The head was half finger white with nice lace. Some sediment in the bottle.

Smells of a spring meadow, grassy and floral aroma's. Bitterness figures prominently; tastes also of malt. Not a lot of hops, minimal at best, yet clean tasting and refreshing. This beer is almost what you expect in a pilsener lager but has more body, more dense than your average macro lager out there. Aftertaste also malty. Good drinkability, easily a sessional for anyone who appreciates a fine pilsener.

This is my seventh beer from Grand River Brewing and I'm impressed again. Lower alcohol than average without sacrificing taste and quality, good work being done in Cambridge Ontario.

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Photo of hopsolutely
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of biegaman
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fully illuminated gold with a daisy yellow center. The trim brims with highlights while the body is shaded in with a light pastel tone that is curiously heavy enough to block out much clarity. The floating bubbles are welcome signs of carbonation and the head is prominent and tight-clinging. This would make a great poster.

Warm, fresh-out-the-oven bread smeared with a grassy scented butter - that's what I'm smelling. There's also the odd hint of lemon or chamomile. Letting the air get to it unearths plenty. With some warmth and continuous swirling the aroma score is bumped with the emergence of super-earthy noble hops and lots of biscuits.

This was originally intended as a Munich Helles but ended up being released as a German pilsner. Intentional or not, it looks, smells and especially tastes an awful lot like a German pilsner to me! Morning fresh baked breads combine with hints of lemon grass and chamomile to make a delightfully light-tasting beer. There is virtually no aftertaste.

At only 13 IBU's and 4.5%, this falls right under Grand River's usual M.O. of light, refreshing, incredibly sessionable beers. There's no ceiling on how many of these one could enjoy on a hot, sunny day. The Mittelfruh and Hersbruker hops aren't too noticeable, still Germans should instantly recognize this as one of their own.

I wish I had another bottle, or six, or a continuous supply of this pilsner. If I was Bob Hannenberg I'd be proud to have this beer made in my name. It is authentic to style and wonderfully crafted. Like all their regular offerings, this is so light and quaffable that it's a beer I could see having on just about any occasion. Bad pilsners are easy to come by, the good ones not as much. Head to Cambridge if you want the latter.

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Photo of drinkininthewood
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 500ml brown bottle into a pilsner glass. Bottled: AUG 13 2008

A- Clear gold in color with small head that leaves a tiny ring around the glass. Tornadoes of small bubbles swirling up.

S- Nice doughy malt aromas, some citrusy hops as well.

T- Very nice sweet, biscuit malt flavors. Slight fruit. Hints of toasted wheat and vanilla. Spicy with whisper of cracked black pepper. Some slight grassy/herbal hops in the somewhat dry finish. Hints of lemon zest as well. Interesting.

M- Medium bodied brew with excellent carbonation for the style.

D- Incredibly drinkable and flavorfull.

Overall im not sure i would class this as a German pilsner. Im thinking more along the lines of a California common. Either way its a great brew, an excellent quaff! I think im gonna have to grab a pint on tap.

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Photo of Bestuurder
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500mL standard brown bottle into a pilsner glass. Bottled December 31st, 2011.

Pours a golden yellow colour. Carbonation is high, but not uncontrollable. Decent head, which is about an inch and a half thick receding to a nice thin lacing throughout consumption.

Heavy notes of banana and diacetyl, and milder notes of butter and czech hops. Mildly malty, but nothing special.

The palate is excited with a smooth and refined texture. Hard water does wonders to mouthfeel and head retention.

Certainly another could be consumed, but I think I stop at the one.


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Photo of Molson2000
4/5  rDev +5.8%

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Hannenberg Pils from Grand River Brewing
Beer rating: 3.78 out of 5 with 30 ratings