Sudwerk Pilsner | Sudwerk Brewing Company

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: 106
Photo of washburnkid
3.68/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew is a pale straw color that is almost totally see-through. A big frothy head leaves good lacing and retains as a ring throughout the session. Aromas of fresh-cut grass. Flavors are really refreshing and clean, similar to the aromas. There's a bit of metallic that pulls through, but it doesn't pull much from the fact that this beer is really refreshing. Light mouthfeel and easy on the palate makes this a good pils for summer and BBQing.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 rayjay
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery. Beautiful beer, clean and crisp. Firm head, great retention, and just the slightest haze. Hoppy lager nose, just slightly skunky in a good pilsner kind of way. Excellent taste; great hoppy bite with a clean malty profile. Some residual sweetness. Grassy. The profile of the water stands out a bit much. The mouthfeel is a bit too sweet and sticky for the style; not as refreshing for the style as I'd prefer. A very good pilsner, certainly well-crafted and true to style. Recommended, and it's right off the highway if you're passing through. Cheers!

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 RedwoodGeorge
3.09/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This brew poured a light straw color with practically no head. What little head there was went away quickly leaving no lacing on the glass. While I expected pilsner-like carbonation, this had practically no bubbles working up the glass.

The smell was interesting with a strong grassy hop note along with a more subtle malt and a sweet apricot-like note. The taste was pretty much the same as the smell, a complex combination of hops, malts and again, apricot. There was no crisp hop finish as one would expect.

Mouthfeel was nice for an ale, full bodied and slightly syrupy but this isn't an ale. This beer lacked that crisp, clean pilsner touch that I was hoping for.

Overall, not a bad brew - I'll probably drink it again. Next time I'll be expecting something more ale-like and won't be quite as disappointed by the lack of crispness. It did have some nice complex flavors and certainly kept my interest throughout the entire glass...

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

It poured a golden straw color with a medium head that disapated fairly soon. The smell of hop's and citrus was pleasant enough, but not really outstanding. The taste was just average as far as the citrus flavor and hop's. Nice balance on the sweet/bitter after taste, with the after taste of bitterness staying on the tongue for awhile. Good average beer, nothing outstanding here for a pilsner!

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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 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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Sudwerk Pilsner from Sudwerk Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 106 ratings.
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