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Sudwerk Pilsner | Sudwerk Brewing Company

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very good
50 Reviews
Sudwerk PilsnerSudwerk Pilsner

Brewed by:
Sudwerk Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 01-29-2002

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Reviews: 50 | Ratings: 105
Photo of IntriqKen
4.57/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle brewed on 06.21.06 with a note that it is best within 90 days of brew date. This is approx. day 78
A crystal clear medium pale yellow fills the glass with a small white head that melts quickly to rim hugging lacing. Moderate sized bubbles push constantly to the top of the glass.
Aromas are bread and cracker pale malt and a touch of light floral hops.
Taste is a wonderfully balanced bready pale malt with just a hint of sweetness that melts wonderfully into light floral hop with just the right touch of bitterness.
Drying aftertaste with a little lingering sweetness
Clean mouthfeel.
I love a good Pilsner..either Czech or German...but have trouble getting anything fresh from Europe and Pilsners do not age well at all. They are also much more susceptible to light and temperature changes than are most ales. Then again, most domestic Pilsners I've had either suffer from the same freshness problems coming from the opposite coast, or are merely craft versions of BMCs with corn or rice flavorings present to my palette.
Sudwerk is bright, clean, refreshing and very satisfying. I will be looking for this again and again.

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Photo of pjwilson
4.43/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i went to school for in Davis so i drank alot of Sudwerk before I was a BA. Back then i didn't really give a damn as long it was wet and cold. But now that i give a damn how does it hold up? Well this has got to best West Coast pilsner i've had to date.
NOTE: I'm reviewing this from the bottle. I've had it fresh on tap before and it's even better. Taste and smell are both 5's on tap.
NOTE2: crap. says best within 90 days and mines 120 days old. I can tell 'cuz it's bit duller than on tap.

Appearance: Pours into flute glass. I giving it a 5 because i think for style it would be impossilbe to beat this. Dark straw color, nice head and carbination that doesn't end. Bubbles forever like champange.
smell: no skunk(almost expect it with a pilsner sometimes) mellow malts, nice floral smell. Balanced

Taste: Fantastic. It's got just enough bitterness for us "Pilsner Hop-heads" (just came up with that one) But there is also a malt-sweetness in the back ground. It's a very balanced beer...with some balls and character too it.

MF And D: great and goes down smooth. There are many lagers that go down easier than this but you actually wanna taste this one. Their Helles goes down easier but this has more character.

More: Damned if theres a better Pilsner inthe West than this. I've hung out in the Czech Republic and drank the beer.(it was great) But lagers travel bad. So sitting here in California this is always gonna be better than a Pilsner Urquel that traveled 6000 miles to get here. Do yourself a favor and try this.

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Photo of mentor
4.4/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Well, I hope Sudwerk makes good beers as I was given nearly a case of their stuff as a reward for my volunteer efforts for 2005 GABF. Stamp on the label reads 101205....which I think is the bottling date they claim. Funny, because this means the beer will be bottled two days from now.

Pours a sticky nearly white head over a clear dull light straw colored liquid. Smells, yeah, like a pilsner. Noble hoppy of dirty and earthy tettnanger hop character, but yet has a touch of aromatic oil freshness to it. Nice malt sweet to boot that almost reminds me of 'Cold Mountain' (a gingered beer). Tastes, yeah, ginger-like. Bready, sweet, and with a hint of zing like a ginger-bread cookie. Honey and strong Vienna Malt. Ahhhiiieee...*like* it (for those who don't know, that means "I like it"). A little bit of hop bitter and a very floral hop aroma in the back of the throat during the aftertaste. While ginger-like hops dominate, there is a malt sweet beneath that keeps the beer in check. Yeasty mixes with dark hop character, almost like spalt hops. Well done Sudwerk, I'm glad I got some of your beers, can't wait to try the Maerzen. Md-thick body and moderately carbonated.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed on 4/13/11 but smells and tastes fresher than most local pils I get. Pours a pale straw colored light yellow golden hue with a big bright white head. Fine speckled lacing forms on my pilsner fluted Miller High Life glass. Aroma is herbal, citric/grassy, with hints of flowers going on amongst a pale malt base. Extremely drinkable pilsner perfect for the style, really nice honey biscuit malt sweetness underneath the noble hop bitterness with herbal lemon grass Saaz notes balancing out the pale malt sweetness. Mouthfeel is light bodied with ample easy going carbonation, dry finish with the hops doing their job. Overall a quality beer that I may have to seek out by the case I haven't seen it around but it was available at D'z I'm going to check distribution and order a sampler or a case of this.

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Photo of russpowell
4.3/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an effervescent light gold with 2+ fingers of pearl colored head. Great lacing & head retention

S: Grassy, perfumy, slight bready notes

T: Follows the nose, some dryness, soapyness & crackery notes up front.Hay notes mix with some apple skin & peppery hops. Finishes crisp, soapy & somewhat bready

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation & great balance

A well put together Pils that goes down so easy, I close my eyes & I think I'm back in Germany, well done!

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.27/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a sixer for a small gathering and had a couple left at the end so I set a 12oz'er aside for review.
Appearance: clear light golden color, a compact and short-lived white head, and occasional clumps of carbonation floating lazily to the surface.
Smell: sweet grains, slightly bready. Some mild floral hops notes but mainly malt-heavy.
Taste: slightly fruity-sweet out of the gate. Hayfield grains and hints of yeast take control. As each pull moves along, the brisk bite of herbal hops clamp down on the tongue and depart with a faint mineral bite.
Feel: light, crisp, and refreshing.
Overall: very easy drinking. One of the better German pils I've had; well-crafted and holds very close to the style perameters. Worth picking up if you see.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
4.22/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured into SA patented Boson Lager glass...

A: great clarity through a yellow golden brew with a 2 finger white head. retention is okay, leaving a thin sheet of bubbles. also leaves good lacing.

S: smelled the herbal and earthy noble hops as soon as i popped the cap. this beer is spicy, buttery, and doughy, which i think sums up what a true czech pils should smell like. Damn close to my favorite czech pils, Pilsner Urquell.

T: grainy, breadsy malt upfront, however not as doughy or buttery as the aroma. Hops take the mainstage here, again spicy and herbal with more of a lemon peel twang. long and bitter hoppy finish.

M: soft, medium body pils with a fizzy carbonation, finishing off dry and slightly sticky

Overall, this is a pils that attempts to capture that authentic czech flavor and does so very well. It's hoppy character is not to the point of overload, but remains enticing enough to satisfy even the biggest hopheads. This beer is reasonably priced and reasonably drinkable. Would buy again. Cheers

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Photo of natasharai
4.13/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured with a small white fizzy head that dissipated leaving no lacing on my glass. The beer is a very light yellow and totally clear.

Smell: Sweet fruit, pears, fresh flowers, basic caramel malt.

Taste: Sweet fruit, pears and white grape, light citrus hops, floral flavors, sweet honey ending.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, nice carbonation, sweet syrupy/sticky, refreshing.

Overall: Good drinkability, very sweet, pretty refreshing, even tastes good as it warms up, which many pilsners don't. Nice subtle flavors, a little sweet though.

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Photo of oberon
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have wanted to try some Sudwerk lagers for quite awhile I took the chance to aquire some when given the chance.Poured into a pilsner a spritzey light straw color with a thinner but well retained white head quite nicely carbonated quite a pleasure to look at.Delicate is a phrase I have read and heard about for this beer and that is a perfect adjective for it, light floral and lemon aromas a touch of toastiness.Flavors start out with a quinine type salinity with a hint of iron with lingering light lemony finish.Iam a hop head and I like double everything but this "delicate" pilsner in my mind is a gem and an absolute gem to drink,I could see myself in a hop vined beer garden eating some schnitzel with a slice of lemon with this gem on a sunny summer day and its American to boot!

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Photo of Troyone
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light golden color with a frothy white head, lots of action and no visual for sediment.

Some Pilsner hops aroma with a bready pale malt smell.

Pale malt grain taste, somewhat bready, with well balanced Pilsner hops that leaves a Herb aftertaste.

Light bodied, resinous, with lively soft carbonation.

Drinkability is incredible, everything is well balanced and their consistent.

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Photo of argock
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a stemmed small clear glass goblet. Best by 12 12 11 stamped on label. Single purchased at Zain's Liquors for $2.25.

A: Clear golden with fine carbonation and short 1/2-finger white tightly bubbled head with solid retention and lacing.

S: Sulfuric and minerally with a crackery grain character and grassy, herbal noble hopping. Right on target for style.

T: This is an excellent version of a sharp German pilsener with a crackery, dry pale malt base with clean, crisp, and moderately bitter noble hops with a mineral, sulfuric finish.

M: Crisp and moderately dry with light-medium body and medium carbonation to keep it clean.

O: I think the sum is greater than its parts -- this is an exceptional pilsener with just the right balance of sharp bitter hopping with crackery maltiness to hit the German version of the style on the bulls eye. Nice job Sudwerk. I would love to get a fresher version the next time around.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.08/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I could easily drink the entire 6 pack. Some apple breaks through & slight peppery hops. Finishes crisp, bready, and maybe a hint of corn. A sweet taste to start, with not much hop at all.
Very drinkable. Milder German pils. Color is a very light yellow. This beer was better then I hat anticipated.

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

A very pale yellow colored beer with a tall white head.

Smells of toasted malt and toasted grain. Some lemon and a mineral herbal aroma. There is a spicy hay aroma here that almost smells like saffron.

Starts out with a hard water flavor and a bread yeast and hay flavor. Strong hop flavor and some bread pudding malt flavor. Reasonably hi hop level, more herbal than spicy though.

Mouthfeel is good.

Pretty good drinkability. Strong herbal Pilsener that was no problem at all drink.

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Photo of bosco7
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light straw color with a big ass head. Head disappears quickly leaving no lace. Perfect clarity.

Pepper, spices that I can't put my finger on, and grass in the nose. Subtle aroma.

Big malt presence that is nicely balanced with spicy noble hop flavors. Flavors include some caramel, hard candy, black pepper, and finishes floral.

Light bodied with a bit of bite from carbonation. Very impressed with this beer. Should be rated higher.

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Photo of Jason
3.96/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with a bottled on date on the side of the label, also states "best within 90 days of bottling date".

Appearance: Pale golden straw colour with a rich and dense creamy white lace.

Smell: Bready and yeasty with a ghost like hint of sulphur and a touch of herbal hop.

Taste: Moderately bodied with a crisp malty palate of straight pale malt, sweet bready grain melds well with the sweet herbal / floral hop character. Hop bitterness is assertive but not dominant, it leaves a sharp bite with the carbonation and husky grain. Some residual sweetness and yeast in the end with a cracker-like grain flavour.

Notes: Hands down one of the best German style pilsners to grace my taste buds. A very well crafted brew that is certainly even if not better than a German beer of the same.

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Photo of bcm119
3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light straw color with a fine white lace. Faint but classic Pils aroma of dry grass and a slight honey-like sweetness. Cracker and grain pale malt dominates the medium-light body. Hops are gentle and grassy, contributing to a refreshingly clean finish, which also shows a wisp of grainy sweetness. Very true to style, but not as bright and lively as a Trumer; possibly a bit too round or under carbonated. Still, a good pils that hits the spot.

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Photo of marc77
3.93/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliantly clear dark straw hue. Steadfast porcelain white head leaves wispy lace. Aroma dominated by a softly herbal, grassy and floral mélange. In flavor, an initial snap of bready sweetness yields to notes of dry cracker. Lemon peel bitterness and mild grassy, chlorophyll hints provide a static hop flavor. Stalwart base of husky grain. Moderate in body for style and siutably dextrinous. Finishes abruptly and dry, with fading hints of clean, fresh hay and an odd, but enjoyable trace elder flower ester twang. A well rounded pilsner with subtle malt character. Seemingly a German and Czech hybrid.

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

Pours to a one-inch head and straw-gold color. Moderate lacing. Aroma is spicy Saaz hops and decocted Pilsner malt. Flavor is a balanced blend of noble hops and pale malt to balance the hoppiness. Mouthfeel is average. Overall a very good Pils. It is one of the better domestic German Pilsners around.

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Photo of Tone
3.92/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a hazy, straw color. 5/4 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, pale malt, hint of caramel malt, yeast, slight hop, and a hint of yeast. Fits the style of a German Pilsner. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp, with an average carbonation level . Tastes of sweet malt, pale malt, hops, hint of wheat, and strong yeast. A good pilsner; nice body, aroma, and blend.

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

Single bottle from Total Wine, on to the beer:

Pours crystal clear straw color into my flute. Very pale color, but that's how pilsners are suppose to look like, right? Big fluffy head on top. In the aroma, there is a big kick of spicy hops, and a little bit of pale malt. To taste, it has a good balance of malt and hops, with the hops being more noticable. It also brings that zestiness to the palate, almost like lemon pepper. Very easy and smooth on the palate and down the hatch.

A good example of a German Pilsner, and a very good representation in the hops depeartment.

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Photo of Phil-Fresh
3.88/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Light grain malts and moderate noble hops with a slight sulfury aroma.

A: Light golden color, very clear with a fairly thick white head. The white head wasn’t all that long lasting***
***said beer was poured into a shaker pint, rather than a Pilsner glass.

T: Moderately crisp with a semi-dry finish. No noticeable sweetness, moderate hop bitterness flavor.

M: Light bodied with moderate carbonation.

O: Pretty solid effort; the beer exhibited pretty classic German Pilsner aroma. However, the beer could be a bit crisper, finish drier, and be a slightly more refreshing.

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

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours a classic clear golden, with a soft white head, great clarity.

S: Floral Saaz hops, moderate intensity.

T: Soft, sweet bready malt matched with a floral hop bitterness. Flavourful and well balanced.

M: Light-bodied, smooth, crisper than the Helles.

D: I probably like the Helles' flavour more, but this beer is and all-around better lager IMO. Classic European flavour and look, good job by Sudwerk.

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

The color is a light white / gold straw, w/ a sparkle to it. The aroma is of hops & hints of malt. The head is small, compact white and frothy. Very slow carbonation. On the nose there is a german hop aroma, a slight grassy aroma and bready malts. Mouthfeel is sharp and crisp.Light body. On the palate the flavors consisted of toasted white bread and some citrus hop bitterness. Good Pils...

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Photo of rallison
3.86/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden color with a 1/2 finger white head that mostly dies.

Smell unfortunately has some diacetyl notes. Hopefully this won't translate to the taste..

Luckily, it doesn't really. Good, clean flavors. Light grainy malt profile (with a tiny touch of sweetness) with a touch of sharp, spicy hops. Finishes with an appropriate bite. Luckily, the diacetyl from the nose doesn't really show up in the taste. Very clean drinking.

Mouthfeel is well carbonated and finishes nice, sharp and clean. Pretty dry as well.

Drinkability is exceptional.

Overall, not the absolute best pilsner I have had, but a solid, drinkable one indeed.

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

There is a soft spot in my BA heart for true to form presentations like Sudwerk is creating. This label and bottle cap just screams authentic. Label explains best within 90 days but the code perforations were illegible.

Pours as a light pallid golden straw hued pils topped with a bright ivory microscopic dense cap on top of champagne like bubbles.

Nose is a middle line between between true Czech pilsner and a crisp celery vegetal leafy welcoming.

First swigs: Bright leafy action abounds. If this isn't loaded with Saaz hops, then I don't know what is. ***Correction: Website state all Hallertaeur and Tettnang*** Boo-yah! Snappy crisp hops slides down the gullet.

Sizzled tight dense carbonation. Plenty of frothy fizz. Clean aftertaste with a hint of lingering mint. Nearly a cream ale feel here with a butery twinge.

Last swigs: Went well with my left over pizza for dinner. Worth a shot for the pilsner enthusiast. Actually, worth seeking for the pilsner enthsiast. Thanks Ken!

Beer is good. Happy CA pils beering!

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Sudwerk Pilsner from Sudwerk Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 105 ratings.
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