Pivo Pils | Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

very good
292 Reviews
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Pivo PilsPivo Pils

Brewed by:
Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by UCLABrewN84 on 07-22-2012

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Reviews: 292 | Ratings: 1,915
Photo of Dmbphoenix
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Have not had a pilsner in a while so this was a nice treat. It pours a very pale yellow into the glass. Crisp from start to finish with hints of green apple. Called a hoppy pilsner but the hops are uber subtle.

Mouthfeel is that it lingers. On the. Palette. But finishes
. Very clean.

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.06/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautifully clear beer, with a an excellent head.

Smell you would normally associate with lagers. Not sure if I can identify exactly what it is.

Nice hop balance without being too aggressive.

Another home run for Firestone. They now how to brew true to style, and I would gladly drink this over many imports.

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Photo of snaotheus
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 07/07/13. Poured pretty vigorously.

Pours clear yellow with a big fluffy head, which fades pretty fast. Lots of carbonation. Appears to be a lot of lacing accumulating, but in actual lace, rather than in sheets. Smell is spicy and yeasty. Straw. More yeast. Slight pine aroma, which I assume is hops. Not overdone, which is a bit what I was expecting when an American brewery labeled it a hoppy pilsener.

Taste is sweet but crisp, honeysuckle and a slight bitter flavor. Some breadiness.

Mouthfeel is rich, not as crisp as I was expecting, but pleasant. Overall, this is good. I like it.

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Photo of kemoarps
3.44/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

So... I suppose I should give a little disclaimer at the beginning here. I will admit I do not really like Pilsners. The malts and yeasts combine to create what I can only feel is a stale flavour. That being said, I can still recognize well crafted content.

This pours as you would imagine a pilsner to look. Pale straw yellow, minimal white head.

The nose presents pilsner malts and yeast. Not much else. Smells fresh.

The aroma gives way to the palate pretty straightforward-ly. Malts, yeast, a bit of bitter on the back end. As mentioned above, I'm no expert on pilsners. This seems like a talented presentation of the style: generally crisp and clean. My main complaint is that there is a weird... afterfeeltastething... reminscent of baking soda/alum on the tongue. A texture that is difficult to put into words.

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Photo of Dave2010
3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an ok, average beer when compared to other types of beers, such as IPA's, but in the Pilsner category this is probably the best pilsner I've had, but I don't like Pilsners. Take that into account when reading this. No mistaking it, this is a Pilsner, it tastes like a Pilsner, and looks like a Pilsner, but the taste has something most Pilsners miss, and that's some flavor. Set this beer down next to a Budweiser and just by looking at it, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, but after tasting it there would be no doubt. I would say people who prefer IPA's over Pilsners and Lagers will still not really like this beer, or find it average at best. However, Pilsner drinkers (Czech and German beer drinkers) will find it refreshingly better than most Pilsners that come out of the US.

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Photo of bump8628
4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

6 mos out from the bottled on date, but it's been refigerated so should still be in good shape. Hazed straw gold. Big hoppiness and bitterness for a pils, even this far out from bottling. The dry-hopping stands out with an oily grassy flavor. Complex herbal notes are nice. Malt is minimal, simple cereal notes. Dryness is spot on for the style. A solid pils that stands up well to all but the best German examples but with the west coast dry-hop twist that sets it apart.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a very white and clean head that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. The beer itself is a very clear and yellow gold. The has a strong hoppy smell that is balanced out by the sweet pale malt smell that balances the beer very well. The hop smell is earthy and certainly dry-hopped. The taste is similar to the smell but with a stronger hop taste than malt taste. The hop is as bitter as the smell. The mouthfeel is very smooth with biting carbonation. The feel is very crisp from the beginning to the end. Overall, a very good pilsner and better than some of the others that are available.

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Photo of blindtiger24
4.23/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Completely clear golden hue. Incredibly active carbonation with small, champagne sized bubbles. Decent head on the pour that thins out but is sticky on the side of the glass.

S: Citrus and floral scents like lemon verbena jump out. Sweetness of honey and doughy biscuits come through on the nose as well.

T: Great earthy, piney bitterness right off the bat that mellows out. The malt backbone arrives later in the after taste, providing some sweetness. Refreshing and tasty.

M: Interplay between hop smack and pils clean flavor is nice. Carbonation is noticeable, alive, and adds to the flavors jumping off the tongue. Finishes very clean.

O: It's cool to see a hybrid style displaying some of the best qualities of each. Good in it's flavor and extremely good in its drinkability. I think this is a solid choice no matter warm or cold weather.

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Photo of steveh
3.04/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

The BAers are raving about this beer, so I think I know what to expect...

Bottled on 7/26/13, so not terribly old.

A -- Good clear straw yellow with a good-looking white head that settles pretty quickly to a thin cap.

S -- Spicy, piny hops with mild DMS.

T -- Fleeting malt sweetness up front that is quickly overwhelmed by hops with a spicy, resiny character and near astringent bitterness. The sweet maltiness tries to make a comeback in the finish, but the resiny bitterness holds tight into the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft to dry with a light body.

O -- While drinkable enough, clearly not what I'd call a Pilsner -- of either German or Bohemain variety. The lack of any real malt character and the resiny hop bitterness make this beer more akin to an IPA (big draw there, no?) than a Pilsner. I'm sure this is Firestone's answer to the IPL, and thus the excitement from BA members, but I'd sooner know that "Pilsner" on the label is giving me that style.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a crystal clear yellow-straw color with a big fizzy white head. The head has a decent level of retention but fades over time as large bubbles pop within, eventually disappearing and leaving a lighter level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is heaviest of a grainy smell mixed with some citrus lemon aromas. Along with these smells are some grassy and floral aromas as well as a bit of a biscuit and cracker like smells.

Taste – The taste begins with a malty cracker like taste with a moderately strong showing of some lemon flavors and a bit of floral hops. Some lighter sweetness is present upfront which when mixed with the lemon give an almost lemonade like flavor. The light sweetness fades as the flavor advances with the taste becoming more dry toward the end. Along with the drying out of the taste, so too comes other hop flavors of a grassy and herbal nature. Furthermore a grainy taste comes to the tongue more toward the middle of the tongue with it getting more and more potent to the end of the flavor. With a little bit of the lemonade sweetness returning to the flavor once again at the very end, one is left with a nice lightly sweetened and hopped grainy flavor to be left on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly heavier side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is average. The thicker body of the brew helps accentuate the grainy and hop flavors quite well, really allowing these nice flavors to stand out on the tongue

Overall – A rather pleasant and easy drinking pils. With a slightly higher hop profile then the typical pilsner this is a nice switch up from the standard.

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Photo of CA_brewster
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale yellow color, crystal clear, thin white head, good carbonation, light lacing. This beer has a sweet malty aroma with a lot of hop presence. Taste is malty but the saphir hops really come through nicely in the taste as well. Nice crisp mouthfeel and quite refreshing. Overall a damn tasty beer.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.5/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear, straw yellow with a large bubbled white head. Great lacing. Bright hoppy aroma, notes of lemon zest, dill, and grass. Nice clean malt in the aroma as well. Taste starts with a firm bitterness up front, moves into a spicy and juicy hop flavor, surprising for a pilsner. Light bready and candy malt flavors move in as well, slight acidity to the finish, gives the malt a nice 'twang'. Mouthfeel is light, beer is well carbonated, gives it a nice bite. Overall, this is a spectacular beer, I am not to sure about this being a very authentic german pilsner, but it is certainly delicious.

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Photo of eclaycamp
4.82/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Really excited to try this one. Firestone Walker is one of my favorite breweries on the planet, and I absolutely love a great pilsner. I have high expectations for this one.

Pouring the 12 ounce bottle poured into my neo-classical pilsen glass the first thing I noticed was that this is the definition of brilliantly clear, with a frothy small head. You can literally read through this beer. Bubble formation is small and tight. Color is extremely light – 2 to 3 SRM – think light straw and you’re on the right track.

The first thing you’ll notice when drinking this beer is that there is a pronounced Noble hop presence up front. The hop profile seems somewhat flowery, herbal, and spicy in nature. That’s backed up with malt sweetness. If you take the time to rouse the beer a bit brings out a light sulfur lager characteristic that isn’t unpleasant or unwelcome.

You don’t care about any of that though. What’s important is how the beer tastes. I’m pleased to report that this beer is just as delicious as I had hoped that it would be. The flavor is amped up all over the place. Typical pilsners have some hops; this beer has more. Typical pilsners emphasize malt sweetness, this one is sweeter. Some folks are going to complain about the fact that this is “too hoppy” – something I think is a little bit ridiculous, given the beer’s name and all. I personally really like the amped-up hop profile, as it’s something that could easily be overdone but here it’s restrained and works beautifully. The hops are difficult to discern – I get some lemon characteristics, for sure, but also earth and herbal, like fresh tarragon. The malt backing this up reminds me a bit of a lavosh bread – cracker-like but substantive.

As you finish taking a drink, you’ll notice that there is a slight bitterness that lingers on the tongue a little bit, though not as much as an IPA. I find that the beer can easily be described as “clean, crisp, and super dry”, which to me would indicate a deft touch in regards to fermentation and appropriate lagering time. There’s very little in terms of alcohol presence, and the light body of the beer seems to encourage volume drinking.

An unparalleled home run from the folks at Paso Robles, this is a beer that crosses off all the boxes for me. Pretty much a flawless beverage in my opinion. The hop profile may chase some folks away, but that just means there’s more for me. Awesome.

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Photo of anarchia
3.75/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours light yellow, lots of bubbles, small and sudsy head. Crystal clear. Aroma is all hops, very flowery with a dash of citrus. Taste is lemon, then pine with a bitter hop finish. Sparkly mouthfeel. Crisp and refreshing. Nice left coast interpretation of a German style.

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Photo of mactrail
4.26/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pale golden in the Ommegang chalice with a modest foam. Spritzy mouthfeel. The effusive perfumey aroma sends clouds of glory from the first snootful. This is such a simple yet distinctive flavor and aroma, but it's so nice when well done. I think it's worth noting the hops, which are more complex than typical. They say Magnum provides the bittering with Spalter Select hops for the aromatics, and dry hopped with German Saphir.

Clear and crisp. You wouldn't call the body "thin," since there's a surprising malty foundation, but it's appropriately light and tangy as you sip (or gulp). Lovely flowery nose with a more resiny tang than typical for the style. Just bitter enough, and doesn't call attention to that aspect. The right balance, overall.

Another excellent brew from Firestone Walker. With all the interesting competition from crazy new breweries in southern California, I'm glad to see these guys continuing to set standards for quality. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Bottlecraft in San Diego.

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Photo of McStagger
3.67/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Re review. I originally hated on this beer, but have drank it a few times since my original review and decided to try it again. Bottled on 9/26/13

A: Poured into a pilsner glass. Light straw, two fingers of bleached white head. Lively carbonation. Large bubbles appear at the edge of the foam. Crystal clear. Head retention is fairly high, as is carbonation.

S: Light straw, grassiness, a bit of toasted biscuit in this. Hops are of the noble variety. Floral and herbal, with a bit of sulfur peaking through.

T: Front is a bit of baked goods. Toasted cracker malt that carries through to the finish. Light fruitiness, some stone, but mainly apple and a bit of lemon. Aftertaste is saltine cracker with a bit of bitter lemon peel peaking through. The finish is fairly dry and crisp, but lacks the "clean" feeling.

M: Light bodied without being thin. The carbonation, while vigorous, only adds to the refreshment and doesn't distract like it so easily can.

O: A nice American take on a German pils. Dry finish, but not very clean. There is a big, toasted biscuit aftertaste that is a bit distracting.

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Photo of tzieser
4.33/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

it's clear to me that firestone-walker has perfected the ale. i have yet to try one of their lagers, the most difficult style to brew, in my opinion. can firestone-walker perfect the lager as well?

A: crystal clear, bright golden in color with a whispy white head that slowly settles into a thin lacing. strong carbonation.

S: lots of lemon and pine hop aroma with notes of grass. subtle malt sweetness is there. saphir dry hopping helps. one of the best smelling pilsners ever.

T: crisp and flavorful. lots of pine and a bit of lemon hop flavor with a cracker like malt sweetness. beer is light, crisp and dry throughout. finishes clean and dry with a light mineral aftertaste. pretty sure i could drink these all day every day until the end of time. what a beer.

M: nails the crispy mouthfeel. not many brewers can do that right.

hats off to Firestone-Walker again. this might have dethroned Victory Prima Pils as my favorite US made pilsner. glad to see a good lager come from the west. well done!!

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Photo of augustgarage
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Harriet pils glass. Brilliantly clear pale straw liquid with three fingers of pearling dove-white cream up top. Dense lacing, superior retention.

Sweet floral aroma suggests honey, wildflowers, graham crackers, and a touch of citrus - dry-hopping with Saphir brings out their best qualities, though I don't find them as grassy/herbal as more traditional noble hop varieties.

Very pale but clean malt base is a gentle foil to support the delicate intricacies of the hop - rosewater, kumquat, and a moderate drying bitterness lead into a slightly crackery, almost salty finish. Super crisp and fresh - a simple but well crafted lager here.

Light, soft, yet zippy mouth-feel.

Very good, if slightly bland German pils here...could use a bit more malt character or tweaking of the water to bring forward qualities other than a perception of cleanliness maybe, but I'm nit-picking now.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.11/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle. Pours clear straw yellow with a big frothy white head that retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is sweet bready malts and noble hops with a little fruit.

The flavor is sweet toasted malts with a good size grassy noble hop finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with smooth carbonation.

Overall, a solid hoppy pils.

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Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 8/26/13
OMG, it looks like a Pilsner. From a bottle into a pilsner glass. Crystal clear straw/gold, TV commercial carbonation, inch of head, thick lace. Looks like a quality brew.

Pale malts, agressive grassy and citrus hops dominate the smell. Slight mineral and saltine note in the background.

Grainy pale malts and citrus to start, lawn clippings (grass) follows. Very smooth finish. Wonderful going down.

This goes beyond being a solid pilsner. I grabbed a single 12oz and wish I had picked up the full sixer. I'm pretty sure this will be my Hardly Strictly Bluegrass brew this year.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.3/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

There was a time not long ago where Firestone had a bottled dunkel lager as part of their year round lineup. Pivo is the first bottled lager that I've seen out of the brewery since that time, however my expectations of Firestone are higher now than they were then. Here comes 12 ounces of hoppy lager. On to the beer:

Strings of visible bubbles race from bottom to top of this pale yellow colored beer. Topping it is a head of ½ inch, holding some of its retention. Lots of little strings of lace cling around the glass. The aroma does justice for the beer's name. It's clean and crisp with a zippy hoppiness, honeysuckle, and grass.

Just a few sips in and I'm already experiencing one heck of a pilsner experience. The hops are bright and clean with their flavor. Bitterness registers as moderate and appealing. Just a clean and crisp experience that's very easy to drink.

One of the better American-made pilsners to come across my palate. At three months old, there's still a lot of life in this beer. Not only a quality beer, but one of the biggest surprises of 2013.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours a bright yellow/gold color with a nice, frothy white head and tons of great pilsner carbonation.

S - Lemon, lemon peel, grass, lightly musty, and some citrus.

T - Assertive bitterness from start to finish, a little malt sweetness up front before being buried with a wall of citrus, grassy pine bitterness. Coats the mouth with bitter lemon peel and lingers for a long while after.

M - Medium body.

O - A nicely brewed pils and very enjoyable.

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Photo of GuinnessAtRogerWilco
3.27/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle given to me by one of my good beer customers when he was out in the area. Supposedly, FW is going to start sending their full core lineup out to NJ in October, so I've been told, though right now we can't get Union Jack, so we'll see. Poured into a Weizen glass because I don't have any Pilsner glasses, so this is my best improv.

AP: Like coloured water with a light gold/yellow tinge. Can see right through this. Constant stream of bubbles flowing from bottom to top with a 1" foamy white head that settles down a 1/4" with a good amount of lacing on the side of the glass.
AR: Very bready and yeasty with cereal grains and dry grass. Very light floral/herbal notes in the background. Honestly thought I'd get more hops in the aroma, but mostly this smells like a typical Pilsner.
T: Much like the aroma, but a bit more doughy. A faint bitterness on the aftertaste, again only with very light floral/herbal notes and maybe a trace of some spice like coriander and white pepper. This is decent, but I was hoping for more in the taste in the way of the Saphir hops. I've had German beers with Saphir hops in them before that were more assertive than this.
M: The visual would make you think this would be very carbonated, but it's only moderately so, though enough to make for a creamy mouthfeel and a dry cleansing finish.
OV: A bit underwhelming, TBH. A decent Pilsner, but not as hoppy as advertised, IMO. I just didn't get enough of the Saphir hop flavour nor much spiciness.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with bottled on date 07/17/2013 printed on the label. Got a single of this in a mixed six pack from the local Binny's. My second review of a Firestone Walker beer on BeerAdvocate.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours a brilliant clear lager golden yellow with two fingers of soft fluffy bubbly bone white head. Some scattered lacing, but not much.

S - Smell is bland: dusty malt, grain, corn, earth, some light citrus, and a bitter type of smell that I can only describe as oily and "fishy".

T - Taste is a bit more impressive than the nose. Crisp carbonation, bready malt, grains, some pine, and the very apparent presence of earthy German hops. Has some of that same crisp bitter German hop presence that I tasted in the Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA.

M - Feel ends quick, clean, and dry.

Overall, a smooth, clean, easy drinking beer, but it was less than memorable. It suits the style, but I guess it just wasn't for me. There was something here I didn't enjoy very much. A simple classic pilsner, worth trying at least once.

Firestone Walker Pivo Hoppy Pils ---3.5/5

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Photo of schleprock
4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This beer pours a golden straw color with a nice thick head. The head quickly escapes but as you drink it, the lacing on the glass is perfect.

The carbonation is subtle on the palate and noticeable in the glass. There is a good amount of hop bitterness to this, but not overpowering.

The aroma has grassy and citrus notes with a little bit of pils malt coming through.

This beer has a light body to it and is very easy to drink. It has a dry slightly bitter finish remaining on the palate.

This beer is worth a try and worthy of purchasing over and again.

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Pivo Pils from Firestone Walker Brewing Co.
3.98 out of 5 based on 1,915 ratings.
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