Blue Paddle Pilsener | New Belgium Brewing

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Blue Paddle PilsenerBlue Paddle Pilsener

Brewed by:
New Belgium Brewing
Colorado, United States | website

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 07-18-2001

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Reviews: 416 | Ratings: 1,312
Photo of constantine_272
3.61/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Golden pale yellow with white head. Highly carbonated leaving a good thin foam layer that persists and makes sticky rings on the glass. Looks thin and pale, but I like the carbonated look.

S: Wheat and bread grain. Reminiscent of spent steeping grain. Touch of alcohol and yeast. Smells warm like nutmeg. A touch of metallic on the nose. Smells good mostly but there's not much depth.

T: Better than I expected. A tiny touch of sweetness kicks in at the beginning, but it quickly turns crisp and slightly tangy. A flavor of dried leaves builds and is followed by light mineral and copper flavor that hits the back of the tongue.

M: Refreshing, except for the mineral aftertaste that finishes long. Not so thin like other lagers. There's enough there to keep you aware there's a good amount of ingredients present.

O: I often detect mineral notes in lagers and count it against the experience, but here I don't mind it. It's a bit more subtle and balanced by other qualities and a good crispness. Overall one of the better lagers I've had. The pieces on their own aren't anything to brag about, but put together it turns into a great hot weather session beer.

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Photo of larryarms847
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean and clear light golden yellow with high carbonation.

Toast and slight noble hop aroma.

Toasted biscuits, clean aftertaste.

Light-bodied, high carbonation.

Overall, a crisp and light refreshing pilsener.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.33/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle with a freshness date. The side blurb is incomprehensible marketing gibberish, so it loses points for that.

Clear, golden, good looking beer beer. Smell is sweet creamy wheat and hard water. Light, creamy, sweet, with a dull bitter finish.

Decently hopped, just not especially tasty. In a can, I would like this for boating or camping.

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Photo of gpogo
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A- Clear golden yellow body with a small white head. No lacing.

A- Pale crisp pilsner malt. Grassy herbal hop notes.

T- Pleasant bitterness throughout. Light crisp pilsner malt flavor. Dry finish. A bit on the hoppier side.

M- Light body, moderate carbonation. Crisp and enjoyable.

D- Pleasant warm day beer.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.73/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Well within best by (November). Poured into pilsner glass.
Tight aroma and more soft pils malt than anything.
Very attractive looking beer with big full head and lots of sticky lacing. Pale straw, very clear.
Bready, nutty and grainy malt flavors, soft bittering that lasts through the finish once it starts. No hop intensity - more blended than contrasting.
Nice soft feel and appropriate carbonation.
Boy this drinks nicely and easily. Not as robust as some, but a nice drinker on a summer evening.

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Photo of Florida9
3.42/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Very clear gold in color. Forms a moderate sized white head. Good retention, though it eventually falls to a stable surface coating and a large ring around the edge. Lots of lacing.

S: Aroma is about what is to be expected, some lighter pale malts, some pilsner malt, and a moderate dose of grassy/herbal noble hops.

T: Taste is more of the same. Light pale malt, some pilsner to keep things interesting, and then some light herbal noble hops. However, the beer does seem to finish a bit watery.

M: On the lighter side of things, but with more body than your average American brew. Mild bitterness. Moderate carbonation. Mildly dry.

O: As with many New Belgium beers, I get the impression this one is brewed for the cross-over drinker and, while it is clearly a step up from the American Adjunct Lager, it is also clearly brewed with a heavy dose of restraint. Certainly drinkable, but nothing too exciting either.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Acquired as part of the New Belgium Summer variety box (2013) at my local Von's grocery on Sunday. Reviewed live. Expectations are below average; New Belgium tends to churn out underwhelming seasonals (with the definite exception of their winter variety box) and piss-poor bombers (Lips of Faith). "Pilsner Lager." Nothing on the bottle suggests it's a Czech pilsener rather than a German pilsener. Best before November 2013. 4.8% ABV confirmed. Serve at 3 degrees Celsius. I always like their simple label art and colorful designs. Bottle cap is branded with a red and orange motif.

12 fl oz brown glass bottle served into a conical Samuel Smith's pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Served cold, straight from the fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a four finger head of white/beige colour. No real creaminess. Okay thickness; it's kind of thin, actually. No lacing. Pretty decent (~3 minute) retention, though the ABV is rather modest so that shouldn't be difficult to execute. Hm. Head could use some honing. No bubble show. No "legs."

Body colour is a clear translucent yellow. No yeast particles are visible.

Typical of a German pilsner. Not looking fantastic, but it's passable. No overt flaws, though the head does disappoint. Below average vibrance but I wouldn't call it dull.

Sm: Straw/hay. Saaz and noble hops. It's actually surprisingly hoppy for the style. Clean barley. Sweetgrass. Grainy. Cereals. Lightly fruity, a biteen of lemon/lemongrass does sneak in. Lightly estery. A misty aroma of surprisingly respectably quality for the style; maybe this won't be as underwhelming as I thought. No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. A fresh aroma of moderate strength.

T/Mf: Straw/hay, pilsner malts, clean barley, and overdone saaz and noble hops. Not much going on here. Sweet grassiness with some light lemongrass and accompanying esters. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Some light floral character. Simple and underwhelming; little complexity or subtlety here.

To sweet for the style. I wouldn't call it flavorful.

It's crisp and clean. Smooth, but somewhat dry as well. Unrefreshing. Overcarbonated. Decent presence on the palate. Okay thickness; probably too thick considering the style. Doesn't feel at all custom-tailored to the flavour profile, but it's passable.

Not buttery, oily, harsh, biting, or refreshing.

Dr: Downable but mediocre. Another mundane effort from New Belgium. I wouldn't get it again, but for the price you could do worse for a czech pilsener. I'm happy to finish the bottles from the variety box, but there's just nothing interesting enough to bring me back. Feels careless and lazy. Not recommended. Very average indeed.


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Photo of Murrhey
3.22/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 12oz bottle into a weizen glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Two-finger creamy white head with tiny bubbles and creamy lacing. Head lasts a while, eating down in the middle first. Amber color with high clarity, a bit of an anomaly for the Pilsners I'm used to seeing. Not a bad looking beer.

S- Some peppercorns, honey, fresh-cut grass. Nicely aromatic, but like most light lagers of its type, not complex or rich.

T- Sweet honeyed malts, some crispness from Czech (maybe) hops. A very refreshing flavor.

M- Creamy and wet feel at first with a crisp bite from the hops and carbonation. Finished slightly bitter and dry.

O- Is this a great beer? No. But a refreshing one that feels right considering it is 80 degrees outside.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This poured a clear golden color with fantastic clarity and great foaming.

There’s a light but sharp aroma that’s equal parts lemony and grassy, with a hint of toast hidden in the back. The flavor is light and crisp, with the touch of lemon and grass on it. It’s lightly bitter but just enough to give it some character, with a nice finish, I liked this one more than I had expected to.

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Photo of JamesMN
3.44/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Honey colored and nearly translucent. Lots of visible effervescence and a one finger cap of off-white foam.

Aroma: Pilsen grain right of the bat. An earthy suggestion of hops. Not too much there but clean.

Taste: New Belgium tends to stay pretty much within style guidelines with their offerings and Blue Paddle Pilsner is no exception. Starting with a light hop bitterness and transitioning into a crackery/grainy malt blend, while striking a refreshing balance, this is a beer that delivers what is expected. The finish is decently crisp and there is a light lingering bitterness. Although it is difficult to truly impress my palate with a Pilsener, this one definitely comes close. At 4.8% ABV it is right near that sessioning range.

Mouthfeel: Medium in body with lots of carbonation as is usual for the style. Easily drinkable and refreshing.

Final Thoughts: A well made Pilsner that will probably impress your BMC friends. As a hop head I'd love to see a version of this beer that uses the same malt base with some West Coast hops. That would be a beer that could turn some heads. For now though, Blue Paddle is a drinker-friendly and enjoyable take on a classic. Would I drink it again? Sure.

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Photo of Kromes
3.87/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's a nice looking beer...clear gold color with a thick white head that leaves laces down the glass. It smells like a typical pilsner, sweet honey malts with a touch of herbal hop. Maybe a little waxy in the aroma. The spicy hop jumps out at first with grassy flavor and then the beer finishes with some grassy and floral hop and sweet malt. Finish has a nice spicy bitter bite. Overall a good pilsner.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
3.35/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Hotel glass (half pint, half snifter)
From: Wilbur’s Total Beverage in Fort Collins, Colo.
Price: Part of a variety 6-pack for $9.99
Purchased: May 2, 2013
Consumed: May 2, 2013
Misc.: Best by Sept. 8, 2013

Poured a golden yellow color with one finger of frothy white head. Lots of bubbles underneath. Lots of foamy lacing on the sides. Very good retention on the tops on the way down.

Smelled a weird mix of blueberry and shit to start. Not a good start. Some bread, hay, corn and cereal were involved, but the skunky poop malt kept hanging around.

Tasted no poop, so that was good. Pretty plain though, with some light noble corn hops. Still grassy and grainy.

Light body. Thin texture. Average-to-lively carbonation. Abrupt finish.

Just wasn’t a fan of this beer. Would never try it again.

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Photo of spoony
3.57/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

From a 355 ml bottle (best by May 12, 2013) into a globe glass.

A-A normal pour produces a healthy, shiny, white head that is nearly two fingers tall. The brew is light golden in color, clear, with a decent show of carbonation.

S-Not much happening here. There is a faint hop twang, very light lemon, some doughy malt.

T-The taste is a lot like the smell, i.e., very mild hops, a little bit of toasted white bread, some straw, and barely-there lemon.

M-The feel is very light, crisp, with a bubbly carbonation. Chuggable.

O-This is a good looking beer, but there are certainly better-tasting Pils out there. This one errs on the side of light and refreshing (maybe a good pool beer/golf beer), but even assuming that light and refreshing was the goal, I could use a little more taste and body here.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at 38 Degrees in Alhambra, CA.

Pours a clear light yellow with a foamy beige head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and slight grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with grain and grassy flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is quite drinkable and tasty.

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Photo of beergoot
3.94/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I would call the appearance 'superior': crystal clear and golden with one of the best looking frothy, creamy, white heads I've seen on a beer. Spot-on aroma comes across with a distinct yet subtle combination of malt and hop bitterness that is nothing but inviting. The taste focuses on on the malts with light, delicate grains at the fore; hop bitterness is faint yet well-suited to the malt character. The mouthfeel is light, crisp, clean, and dry.

For some reason, I've always shied away from New Belgium beers with the exception of their 1554 black ale. And that prejudice has been to my detriment. Based on this sampling, this pilsner is one of the best I've experienced in a long time. The beer is nothing but clean, sweet, and delicate with plenty of lager character. Well-balanced with a pleasant, subtle complexity that is nothing but enjoyable from every angle. I will be coming back to this one...

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.49/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this Czech style Pilsener from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a clear golden color, produced a nice off white head, nice retention and lacing. The aroma consisted of pale malt and citrus. Light in body, base of sweet malted grain, floral hops and lemon citrus. Overall, this is a easy drinking beer, nice session beer, not very complex but it's worth a try.

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Photo of scratch69
3.7/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I poured a bottle into a pilsener glass.

Appearance- Clear golden-yellow color with two fingers worth of lingering head. Fair amounts of sticky lacing.

Smell- Faint aroma of grain and grassy hops.

Taste- Lightly toasted grain and nutty flavors with hints of herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied and very crisp. Average amount of carbonation.

Overall- A fairly standard pilsener. I can see myself enjoying a few of these while grilling some burgers.

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Photo of tronester
3.6/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear golden, with a big, creamy off white head, that leaves tons of lacing as the beer passes through the glass. Aromas of of freshly cut grass. Taste is a citrus peel beginning, followed by some light crackers, then an herbal, zesty bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel is good. Overall a nice pilsner, easy drinking, but not dumbed down.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.32/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-golden with a nice sticky white head. Lots of bubbles

S-crisp grains with a nice hint if light honey. Fair strength

T-comes in with a great grassy bitterness along with a nutty grain flavor, almost reminds me of Cheerios. I like it! It's actually full of bold and quality flavors. There's a good matching after-taste.

M-medium carbonation with a nice crisp finish

O-I bought a 6 pack of this with out ever having it before. I'm glad I did! It's very tasty! It's a quality lager! I really don't know what else to say besides go out and try this please! It's one of the best pilsners I've ever had.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.8/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out clear like any other pilsner. Clear with a golden hue. The aroma of the noble hops emerges out as the most pungent aroma. This beer goes down smooth and the clears. There is only a light and slight bitternes to this beer. Very good american interpurtation of a Czech Pilsner where most american craft beers are going for fruitful beers.

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Photo of Jadjunk
3.43/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Blue Paddle Pilsner is brewed in the Czech Pilsner style. While Blue Paddle Pilsner is considered a year-round release, it is a challenge to find this in any local stores in the Atlanta area. The first time I got a bottle of this was in the summer Folly Pack, and I haven't seen it packaged locally since. Fortunately I saved a bottle, and am reviewing it, slightly aged, for the transition from summer months to the wonderful fall. The bottle is dated 16 September 2012, so it's a little past age, but no big deal.

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a pilsner glass. Served at 39.5º Fahrenheit.

(Appearance) Pours a thick, frothy white cream tone head with ample lacing and very good retention. The body color is a vivid golden straw yellow, mildly hazy clarity with rampant active carbonation. Appearance is nearly perfect for the style and all aspects are visually attractive. 4.5

(Smell) A combination of grassy, musty citrusy and spicy hop essence (in that order) over a substantial pale malt body with just a touch of perky sweetness on the high notes. Smells clean and crisp although a bit of murkiness may have come with time but it lends itself well to the beer nonetheless. Light and pleasing aromatics have a medium potency, the balance is quite nice and the aroma is enjoyable overall. 4

(Taste) Flavors are a touch muted in the taste, especially hop characters, which are not nearly as bright and flavorful as they were in the nose. A pale malty base is followed through with a mild grassy hop blend for a very mild flavor- the mustiness, while an integral part of the aroma is all but a whisper in the flavor of the finish. Bitterness is low but prevails slightly in the finish. Finish is expectedly clean for the style. Hop character could be brighter flavored and have a touch more dimension but as a standard Czech pilsner it isn't terrible, just not awfully original nor exciting. 3

(Mouthfeel) Mild texture, slightly dry and chalky finish. Carbonation is mild, could increase a notch or two for a more vivid texture. Alcohol presence is mild, body is light/medium for a pilsner and light overall. The textures of the beer and the carbonation were admittedly muted overall, with lots more to be desired in the overall texture than what we get here. 3.5

(Overall) Blue paddle presents itself to be a lot more bold than the taste reveals it to be. The aroma and appearance are great- bold, bright and colorful, but the flavors are very average by comparison, and half of what was expected was difficult, if not impossible to find in the resulting simple recipe. I was hoping for more than what I got, but drinkability remains high and the beer, while not a star amongst Czech pilsners, does do some things right, and is probably worth a try should you be a fan of the pilsner style. 3.5

New Belgium Brewing's
Blue Paddle Pilsner

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Photo of Fatehunter
2.76/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a pint glass. Finger of head, light clear straw colored body.
Smells doughy and like pine tree resin. It's a little off-putting to me.
Malty taste (for a lager), mild bitterness at the end, short finish.
Light body, fairly low carbonation.
Pretty average, except for the smell. Good for a summer day.

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Photo of JednoPivoProsim
3.28/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 fl. oz. bottle into a pint glass. Best before: 24FEB13. This beer is probably the first US craft beer I ever bought, 10 years ago while living in Colorado. Also, New Belgium was the first brewery tour I ever went on!

Appearance: Pours a golden pilsner body with a decent white head.

Smell: Standard grassy hop aroma. Nothing overpowering. Pleasant.

Taste: Pretty light flavor. Not very malty nor hoppy. A little bitterness on the back end, but not a whole lot of aftertaste. I like my pale lagers with a bit more depth.

Mouthfeel: Again, pretty light and thin. I prefer a beer that coats the mouth.

Overall: Unfortunately, I'm not too excited about this one. I was looking for a good go-to pilsner to replace my Sierra Nevada Summerfest when it goes out of season and I'm afraid the Blue Paddle just isn't it.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

yeah this isnt the most intriguing beer on the planet, but its a worthwhile summer sipper. it smells as german as it does czech on the malt profile, dusty and dry, sturdy but light enough to be easy drinking. the hops enter a little bit in the flavor, but its only in the finish and very subdued. this is a straight up pils, more robust than is traditional, but its not a beer for hop heads. the finish is dry after just a second, and a certain thirst quenching element is there, thankfully. it feels a little filling to me, maybe a little heavier in body than most beers from this genre, but the carbonation is good and its an easy 6pack on a late summer afternoon. no complaints with this, it just isnt getting me off ya know?

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Photo of u2carew
4.03/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz longneck
A) Pours with a finger thick, white head that settles to thin lacing on top and at the edge of the glass. Clear, blonde body. Thin, sticky lacing on the drink down.
S) Grainy. Floral notes.
T) Nutty. Grainy. Pleasant hop bite in the finish.
M) Fizzy. Crisp. Light body. Dry in the finish.
O) A pleasant pilsener. I'd drink another one.

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Blue Paddle Pilsener from New Belgium Brewing
82 out of 100 based on 416 ratings.
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