William Penn Colonial Style Lager | Horny Goat Brewing Co.

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William Penn Colonial Style LagerWilliam Penn Colonial Style Lager
33 Ratings
William Penn Colonial Style LagerWilliam Penn Colonial Style Lager

Brewed by:
Horny Goat Brewing Co.
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rockwell on 05-25-2008

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 33 |  Reviews: 29
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue VII:

Colonial Style Lager? Back in those days, most beers were brewed with molasses and corn, and were ales to boot. Lagers were not really in full swing until later in the 1800s, but we'll stop splitting hairs and get to the beer.

Clear brassy amber color, lacing holds together well enough while quaffing. Faintly flowery with a hint of fruity esters, bubble gum and a layer of malt sweetness in the aroma. Smooth and slick medium body. Sweet toasted bread flavor from the malt. Ghost-like fruity twang with a hint of earthy and herbal hop. Bitterness from the hops is tame. Maltiness seems wet and perhaps a little watery--essentially it ends up being flat-toned. The dry finish is of faded toasted grain.

With the likes of a few readily available craft lagers, this isn't close or even comparable; one-dimensional. Still drinkable, but unremarkable.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of MisterDeeds
2.65/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a reddish-amber. Light carbonation, and a quickly fading head.

Sweet aroma. Smells extremely malty, and maybe some caramel in there.

Tastes average. I seem to taste the hops first, and then the sweet malt, which seems odd to me.

It seems to have a metallic copper-like finish.

I won't name names here, but it is clear that another notable figure from American History would not appreciate the attempt to bite his style (and his label.)

Not un-drinkable, but why mess with a Quaker when you can party with a Patriot?

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Photo of sarahspat
3.27/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Clear dark amber/brown. Off white head which settles quickly. No lacing.

Smells very malty: caramel and biscuit aromas come through srongest.

The taste is as malty as the nose suggests, but it also has a very nice hoppy edge to it. The tastes of Granny Smith apples, banana, caramel and biscuity malt are most prevalent and they complement each other well. However, there's a metallic character to the finish that's a little off-putting, and seems to become more abrasive as it warms.

The mouthfeel is medium, nothing particularly special to report. Good carbonation. Goes down easy enough, but the weird metallic taste does hurt drinkability a litle.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.78/5  rDev +16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a crystal clear deep amber-red body with a antique tan head that last a few sips as a thin film. There is a gentle carbonation of big bubbles gliding to the surface.

S- This beer has a fragrant aroma of apples during the pour. With each sip the smell becomes more caramel malt than apple with a light toffee note and a soft nougat smell at the finish.

T- The soft toasted malt flavor at the beginning is dry and blends into a soft herbal snap of hops then comes the tangy apple finish. There is a soft sweetness to the apple finish but it is is very apple juicy in flavor.

M- This beer has a light mouthfeel with a tigh fizz at the finish and no alcohol heat.

D- This has some nice full flavors for a lager but there are some off qualities mainly the apple that get in the way of the malt flavors.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz single, seen it on the shelves at rileys for a while, finally just bought it as ive been collecting some filler

appearance: poured into a bells pint glass, straightforward amber body, light cream head with very light retention

smell: light traces of sweet apple, caramel, toasted nut, malt

taste: rather uneventful lager with high sweetness - toasted grain and nut, caramel malt, sweet apple. Not bad

mouthfeel: creamy, but a sweet sticky aftertaste

drinkability: ok

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Photo of BierFan
3.42/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

No freshness date to be found on the bottle. The label says it's brewed for "Commonwealth Brewing Company" which is located in Lacrosse Wisconsin. Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: I was expecting this to be a pale lager so I was really surprised when I saw the dark orange/brown body. The head was only about an inch high and it didn't stick around for long.

Smell: Super sweet caramel candy and toffee with a ripe banana fruitiness.

Taste: The taste is kind of a letdown after experiencing the nice sweet smell of this beer. I've never had a lager from a brown bottle that was skunked but I think it might actually be a little bit skunked.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.41/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. # on the bottle but no date or info about the beer.

A - Crisp and lightly cloudy redish-amber color. It poured with a tan-ivory thicker head but has since gone down to a ring and a thin layer. Spots of lacing are left on the glass.

S - The overly present hop aroma smells off. A bit like iced-tea powder mix. Somewhat astringent, it is also very grassy. The thin malt aroma in the background smells of caramel and Vienna malts.

T - The off aromas translate to the flavors producing a gross beer. The mouth-puckering astringency and grassy notes could be from simply over-hopping this beer. No real malt flavors. A residual cooked corn sweetness and caramel touch in the background. Spicy alcohol on the finish with a bit of citrus.

M - Watery and light-medium in body, the main feel in the mouth is the grassy astringency. No pleasant.

D - Not good. I don't think its pleasant in any regard. And after about half the beer, down the drain it went.

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Photo of nghab
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Colonial LAGER? That doesn't quite work historically, eh? :-) Obviously positioning itself for the Sam Adams market, and is a reasonably worthy alternative. Not bad, flavourful, but the malt is a bit heavy-handed....

Aroma: Sweet caramel malty aroma, some faint fruity notes, not much hop

Appearance: medium copper colour, great clarity, small but lasting creamy head

Flavour: Very malty, a bit much on the caramel character. Bitterness is medium-low, needs more hop to balance. Sweetness lingers into the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, some creaminess.

Overall drinkability: It's not a bad beer, but the overwhelming sweetness makes it doubtful that I'd want more than one at a sitting.

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Photo of happygnome
3.27/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a: pours an amber color with strong amber orange hues with about a quarter inch of head that disappears fast leaving a slim ring of lace around the edge of the glass and traces atop the beer very little carbonation rising to the top
s: caramel malt hints citrusy hops nice crisp aroma
t: sweet malts slight hop bitterness balances the sweet taste nicely
m: light to medium bodied beer with little carbonation

overall this is a nice brew i really enjoy it

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Photo of Vendetta
2.6/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours dark amber, thin head, no lacing.

Smells supremely malty.

Flavor is buttery caramel malt, dominating, very powerful. Almost tough to drink. This is a really in your face type of maltiness, and I couldn't really drink more than one of these brews. It wasn't that bad, just not really my thing.

The mouthfeel is creamy malt, goes down well. Drinkability is a bit off since the taste is so unbalanced, but still worth trying.

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Photo of krukster
3.46/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- A dark amber color with medium lacing after the pour

S- Aroma is fairly strong with a smell of sweet caramel. Very pleasant aroma

T- A slight fruitiness with a hint of caramel. Slight hoppiness, intially good, but after taste left something to be desired

M- Slightly heavy, definately not light.

D- Not bad. Could probably drink 3-4 in a session. A half decent showing for a lager style. Definately have had better, but also had a lot worse.

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Photo of Foam
3.11/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A great price for the 30 pack of cans($14 here in Pittsburgh).
5.2% ABV
I usually describe this to people as a poor man's Fat Tire Amber.
Obviously not that good but almost as good for much less money.
One of my top 5 favorite cheap but drinkable beers.

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Photo of Tone
3.56/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear, amber color. 1/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of yeast, pale malt, sweet malt, hops, and toffee. Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Lager. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, yeast, hops, and pale malt. Overall, looked really good and had a better than average tastes as well. More complex than I was anticipating.

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Photo of KarlHungus
2.39/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This beer pours a clear amber color. The head is half an inch in height, and recedes quickly into minimal lacing. The aroma is has some faint caramel, but it is really hard to detect. The taste is a little more up front, however, it is still bland. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with annoyingly high carbonation. Overall, this is a very weak beer that I will not be drinking again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottles into a glass mug. Light brown with a slightly off white head.

Smells malty and sweet.

Tastes of toffee,; malty and bready on the forefront. Mellow and unoffensive. One dimensional, but decent for what it is.

Full bodied and smooth.

Drinks pretty easily. A solid, malty lager. Good for the price.

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Photo of Deuane
3.41/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Surprisingly dark copper with a medium, light tan head that reduced to a thin cap and left spotty lace.

S-Aroma is faint. A miniscule waft of musty apple and some caramel malt sweetness.

T-Bright, fruity, caramel malt with a quick sharp hop bite. A sharp, and thankfully quick, mettalic tatse comes through at the end. Pretty nice...but, as with most lagers, all the flavour is fairly short lasting.

M-Medium body and rather "heavy" feeling. A rather robust beer for the style. Fairly sharp but not as crisp as some.

D-Much better than expected. This is a fairly flavourful and robust brew. Given it's price point this would make a good beer to have on hand when you "just want a beer" or have some macro lovers over. Although this might be to flavourful for them!

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Photo of garymuchow
3.88/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has really attractive packaging. I was immediately drawn to it and it basically lead me to purchasing it, knowing nothing other than what's on the bottle. I know that can be dangerous, but what the heh, I was in the mood for a lager.
Based upon the previous reviews I'm less excited, but who knows.
Aroma is a mixed woodsy, grainy hop malt combination. Some watery malt sweetness more towards caramel.
If poured aggressively has a 1/2 inch dark looking head and fizzy sound, which becomes creamy looking in time and leaves nice rings with each drink. Definitely amber (of red, brown, gold) very clear and lots of bubbles rising.
Flavors starts with a nice sweetness right up front. The malt flavors also move to a toasty, caramelized taste that pushes burnt, but doesn't' cross it for me. Then the assertive hops present with both flavor (tea like) and bitterness. It all finishes with a moderately long finish that is both malt and hops and mildly dry.
Smooth for a lager. Rather intensely carbonated with extremely fine bubbles that in the end seem rather filling, but a overall decent feel for style.
I really don't mind this. It offers quite a bit of flavors and good balance. It warms up nicely and continues to offer interesting flavors. I really like the sweetness up front.

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Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -8%

Photo of SykDoc
3.18/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. It pours a healthy amber color. A minimal off-white head is formed that reduces to minimal lacing and eventually a mild fizz at the corners.

The aroma is primarily malts and an initial fruitiness. With time, it does become more caramelly.

The taste is again of caramel/malts. The hops does come through, but mildly. There is a fruity sweetness at the end, similar to the initial aroma.

The mouthfeel is noted with a light/medium body. There is a sweet and sticky feeling that lingers on the tongue. There is a fair amount of carbonation.

I do feel this is a fairly drinkable beer because it has a fair amount of flavor and does not have any component that really puts me off, just not the best either.

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Photo of ATPete
3.77/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Pours an amber color with a small tan head. Sweet toasted grain on the nose, corn husk, musky but over all surprisingly decent. Good medium body, this is not a watery lager. Sweet roasted malts are most apparent, followed by big ripe fruits and a respectable hop blast that creates good balance and leaves a grassy bitterness on to the finish. Very clean, the water used shines through as being good quality. I must say i was expecting a Sam knock off here but this was a good beer with its own characteristics. I'd recommend it!

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Photo of BDIMike
3.24/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very clean and highly carbonated amber color. However, the carbonation creates no head.
Smell is of purely malts. A good toffee and caramel smell.
Taste is much like the smell. There is a good malt taste, especially the toffee malts. Not much else to the taste.
Mouthfeel has a good thickness to it. Also a bit of thickness that I like in an amber.
Drinkability is good because the beer is smooth and drinkable. However, there is not much to the taste, so I wouldn't want to drink more of these. This beer looks much like a ripoff of Sam Adams Boston Lager, but besides the bottle, there is not much similar. This falls way short on taste...

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Photo of Scrapss
2.86/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got a case of this for $11.00 from Duffy's in Pittsburgh PA. I was thinking "what the heck, an 11 dollar case?" To be honest, the color is fantastic, head a little lacking. The color and smell is a nice and malty, reminds me of Sam Adams Octoberfest (from 2007) a little. The taste is a pleasant malt but without a lot of hops. The mouthfeel, to me, is pleasant enough. The drinkability suffers due to lack of depth. To be perfectly honest, this is pretty much Sam Adams Boston Ale (not lager) without hops. I like it for 11 bucks.

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Photo of ibashmuck
3.21/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer. Poured a small foamy head on amber body. Smelled of caramel, sweetness and hops, which was exactly the same on the tongue, with the hoppiness being moderate. Nothing overly exciting or worth mentioning. Fairly easy to drink, but rather bland. I'd swear, if the hops were a tad stronger, that this would be an ale instead of a lager.

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Photo of armock
3.7/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured an amber color with a tan head that leaves some lacing behind

S - Is mostly of sweet malt

T - Follows the nose sweet malt with caramel and a touch of apple

M - This beer has a medium body with high carbonation to it

D - I was pretty impressed with this beer and brewery that I've never heard of before this worth trying if you can get it

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Photo of ETM
2.93/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The beer looked a lot darker and a bit thicker than what I expected, not bad. A balding head. Noticeable lacing on glass. The taste was about what I would expect from an affordable beer from lacrosse. The pros: it felt like I was drinking beer that wasn't off-putting or watery. The cons: the malts were over-powering and the hop flavor was disappointing- weak and boring.

I would go with something else, but I didn't feel bad about dropping $6 on a sixer. The label is cool.

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William Penn Colonial Style Lager from Horny Goat Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 3.26 out of 5 with 33 ratings