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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 UCLABrewN84
3.82/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled on 1/1/12.

Pours a slightly hazy light gold with a 1/2 inch foamy off-white head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Tiny streaks of lace form sparsely around the glass. Smell is of grain/bread and some fruity and grassy aromas. Taste is of grainy malt with slight fruitiness and some herbal hop flavors. There is a mild bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a crisp level of carbonation with a prickly mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good pilsner that is easy drinking and quite tasty.

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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 mactrail
3.38/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Very light color. Nicer than average head, and what you'd hope for in a pale lightweight beer. Main impression is the sharp, acidic flavor. Lingering bitterness. Best quality is a spiciness. Touch of raspy flavor along with the hoppiness. Very light body with not much mouthfeel.

An odd beer to be served in cask, I thought, after tasting it. Serves up warmish, which is probably not ideal for an overly crisp lager style. I have not had this in the bottle. but probably would be better for carbonation and chilling.

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

Clear, sun-faded flax with a gentle dusting of suspended particles. The head is pure white, frothyfirm and resembles stiffly beaten egg whites. Although it looks sticky enough to deposit a good deal of lace, very little ends up on the glass.

The nose is better than decent and consists of wall-to-wall noble hops. It's spicier than it is floral and possesses a pungent grassiness along with a whiff of citrus oil. I'll say one thing, there's plenty of power. If you like Hallertau and Tettnang, add at least a half point.

It takes a lot to impress me where pilseners are concerned, but this beer delivers. It has a snappy, mouth-filling flavor that is heavy on the hops. It's also more firmly malted than most. All that malt provides a modest sweetness and is just barely able to keep the hop explosion from outrunning its support.

The flavor is similar to the aroma and is spicy, floral and citrusy, in that order. Bitter lemon peel makes an appearance at the midway point and dominates the medium length, surgically clean finish. The body is a wee bit closer to medium than it is to light and the carbonation is energetic. Abundant carbonation is usually a negative for me, but I like it here. It keeps things lively and mirrors the spunky, in-your-face bitter hoppiness.

Sudwerk Pilsner (why can't we all agree on the proper spelling?) is pretty tasty stuff. This is coming from one who doesn't make a habit of drinking pilseners unless they're called Prima. Cranking up the hops is a sure-fire way to get on my good side and that is, no doubt, why this beer appeals to me as much as it does. What else is there to say? I like it.

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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 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 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 ejimhof
3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Poured with a no head that and no lacing.Color is a very light yellow.

Smell: very flowery with no hop aroma.

Taste: smooth with no real flavor that stands out.

Mouthfeel: light bodied average beer.

Overall: slightly sweety and refreshing. Missing any hop bite at all.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

04/18/06- Recieved via trade with BA member SethB.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with a expiration date on the front label. Poured into my Red Nectar pint glass.

Appearance- Fairly deep golden in color. 3/4 inch head which quickly fades. Very minimal lacing.

Smell- Light hoppy scent to go with a grainy-malty scent. Not heavy in nose at all. What is there is pleasant though.

Taste- Higher on the malt side than many pils I've had. Decent hop kick. Not too bitter. Malt brings a bit of an overly sweet taste though...which is actually kinda a nice change of pace.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation level.

Drinkability- Very crisp. Hits the spot on a warmer day. Sessionable possibly. Pretty good pils.

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Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK, so this is a milder German pils, more along the lines of Bitburger than Prima Pils. The aroma and flavor are heavy on the light but toasty malt, but there is a little spicy lemon in the finish. There's a decent balancing bitterness and fine drinkability. This beer is just on the more approachable, less bitter end of the style spectrum. That is to say, it taste a like a good, but not very bitter German pils.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.45/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a translucent pale golden yellow with a thin head and left a little bubbly lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was pretty variou grains with citrusy, sweetness from the malts, and slight spice. The taste was more citrusy with very very mild hops, grainy character, and mild dry zesty notes. The brew was light in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, mild hoppy, citrusy, and dry finish. It drank good but was too dry for me considering it was a pilsner.

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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 Gueuzedude
3.48/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottle Date of 07.18.07, Sampled September 2007
Pours with a frothy, initially three-finger thick, lightly tanned, white colored head that sits atop a brilliantly clear, gold colored brew. The aroma is fairly grass-like; the hops mostly accentuate this character, but even the malt contributes to it. Other aromatic notes of lemon grass, soda crackers, crushed pale malt and a touch of something like fresh cut weeds / wild flowers are also found in the nose.

Crisp, with a nice hop bit. The beer tastes quite dry up front, but does pick up a touch of malt sweetness towards the middle. The beer finishes with a clean, biting bitterness that really cuts through the palate. Touches of herbal hop character join with a hint of lemon zest, but I definitely feel like this could use a bit more late hop additions to round the beer out a bit. This is quite in line with the German style of Pilsner though. The malt character is fairly simple and plays a supporting role here; a touch of soda cracker malt character, hints of biscuit notes and wisps of honeyed malt sweetness. This is nice and light on the palate, and with its light body is quite easy to quaff a couple.

This is a pretty decent version of a Pilsner, one which I will be happy to drink again. It just seems to not hit the level of a great Pilsner though; something is a bit lacking.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a mostly clear straw color with a chill haze. Little head and no lace. Aroma of bready malt, herbal hop and a bit of citrus. In the taste, pilsner malt and smaller, slightly citrusy hop character with lemon notes. Medium bodied, well carbonated mouthfeel on a pils that is easy to drink. Overall, this was a decent pils with good flavor.

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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 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 Gusler
3.5/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer after is disembarking the 12-ounce brown bottle sets in the Pilsner glass a luminous gold with a towering bright white head and the texture semi-creamy, as it erodes the left over lace a thin but concealing sheet upon the glass. Nose is the prototypical pilsner crisp and clean, sweet malt with the start perfectly malted and slightly sweet, the top is light to moderate in its feel to the palate. Finish is biting in its acidity, the hops archetypal and the aftertaste desert bone dry, a drinkable beer.

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Photo of illidurit
3.23/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle poured into a pilsener glass. Pours clear pale gold with a fluffy white head leaving some spotty lacing. Aroma is nice fresh bread, none of that corny character you get with lesser pilseners. Very bread crusty. Flavor is grainy and bready with light floral hops, maybe even a miniscule fruity tinge. Not really a snappy crisp beer; body is a tad bloated for the style. Minor bitterness, a little sticky on the finish. Nothing special.

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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 beerguy101
3.67/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Gold color. Small head. Aroma is malty. A medium bodied pilsner. Fresh and clean. Nice spicy hops, with a mild malt backbone. Pilsner are not one of my favorite styles, but this one is very drinkable. Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter.

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Photo of nickd717
3.72/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from Whole Foods Los Altos.

Pours a really damn pale straw color with a one-finger white head and good lacing.

Aroma is grassy hops, pale malt, and some graininess. Very nice.

Flavor is good but just a little buttery. Pale malt and grains with a nice hop bite which is very grassy and a little floral.

Crisp on the palate with medium-light body and some real hop bitterness.

This isn't a favorite of mine overall, but for the style it's very solid.

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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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Photo of DogFood11
2.46/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

suitable head, chill haze, golden. Appetizing appearance.

Heavy on the malts, Coarsely hopped and it saves the day. I've had success so far with Sudwerk's beer, this is the exception. The crispness and thirst quenching ability is missing. Watery with some sweet malted barley combine for an unsatisfying debacle.

Not for me.

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