Session Pils
Notch Brewing

Session PilsSession Pils
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Pilsner - Bohemian / Czech
Ranked #237
Ranked #43,049
3.63 | pDev: 12.67%
Notch Brewing
Massachusetts, United States
Session PilsSession Pils
Notes: Czech style pale lager known as Světlé Výčepní. The 10 plato strength (4% ABV) is the most popular in the Czech Republic, as opposed to the 12 plato strength (5% ABV) that is more familiar in the US. Brewed with European malts, Czech Saaz hops and soft water.
Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 243 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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SarasotaSteve from Massachusetts

4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nice light tasty pilsner served on draft with a fluffy head and golden color. Good carbonation, very refreshing and low alcohol content. Perfect beer for a warm summer afternoon.

Aug 01, 2020
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Damian from Massachusetts

3.82/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.75

Drank from a 12 fluid ounces, 355 ml can purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Best by 20 JUN 20
Served in a Willi Becher

Gorgeous appearance. A super tight and creamy, bright white, two-plus finger tall, meringue-like plume rose above the ever-so-slightly hazed, brassy yellow body. The head slowly receded to a thick cap that left a curtain of drippy rings in its wake.

Bready malts came through strong in the aroma. Somewhat doughy and fairly sweet. Slightly musty. Touch of dry, powdery, lager yeastiness. Some lemon and hay notes appeared as well.

The flavor profile was similar to the nose but less punchy. Crackery, pilsner malt notes led things off on the front end. Lemon and hay were noticeable in the center. Grassy hops appeared as the liquid moved along the palate. The beer finished with more grassy and earthy hop notes and a touch of lingering bitterness.

The mouthfeel was very thin and lacking in carbonation. Even for a “session ale,” this felt quite watery. The liquid contained a super fine, mellow effervescence that made the beer seem almost flat.

Notch’s Session Pils is good for what it is - a light bodied, easy-drinking, highly quaffable Pilsner. This could definitely be a good “cooler beer” when the warmer weather arrives.

May 06, 2020
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Amendm from Rhode Island

3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A 12-oz. can needed only a light pour into a 16-oz. mug for a finger of rocky and fizzy white foam with average retention and a few small spots of lace. A light haze over light golden yellow, yellow-straw in bright light.

Earthy wood, toasted biscuit, sweet and toasted malt and mild floral hops greet the nose.

Items of the smell meet a semi-sweet, averagely bitter taste with apricot, spiced baked pears and green grape providing sweetness while hops and spices build up bitterness to a neutral finish and a lasting spicy/bitter aftertaste.

Medium+ body, above average carbonation. Smooth and session-able as the label states.

A little spicier than most, alcohol is an after thought. Fresh clean feel. Best By 05DEC19.

Aug 25, 2019
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RockHop from Massachusetts

3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Easy drinking. Cloudy gold with 2-3 finger fluffy head. Earthy, somewhat sulfury nose with grainy hop aroma. Grain, malty hop flavor with a slight hint of lemon.

Apr 07, 2019
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usernamenotinuse from Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

8 oz can poured into pint glass.
Straw yellow color, not quite clear, small bubbly white head.
Pleasant, balanced yeast/bready, pale malt, faintly orange and lemon nose.
Taste of grain, yeast/bread, cornflakes (pilsner malt), and faint lemon rind and orange. clean finish.
Light to medium-light body, medium carbonation, bright flavors, soft mouthfeel.
Overall, for me, this demonstrates how good a (non-adjunct) pilsner can be. All ingredients meld perfectly, without any one dominating, to make the subtely complex, delicious, always refreshing beer. The company says it is Czech style, though, i do not get nearly as much Saaz grass effect here; reminds me more of a German style (but what do I know - I've never been to Europe!).

Jan 05, 2019
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brureview from Massachusetts

4.07/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cloudy golden color with a 2F head in a Pilsner glass.

The aroma isn’t strong:earthy, citrus.

Excellent MF: full body, just the right amount of carbonation.

Taste: one of the most pronounced in a Pilsner I’ve tasted. Citrus and lemon.

Finish: crisp and hoppy.

Notch is one of best American brewers of the Czech Pilsner style. A great choice for a go-to beer.

Oct 22, 2018
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metter98 from New York

3.55/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Cheeky Monkey Brewing Co., Boston, MA

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a faint amount of visible carbonation. It poured with just a thin white head.
S: Moderate aromas of pilsener malts and floral hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has lots of flavors of pilsener malts with notes of floral hops and a light amount of associated bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied and clean on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer isn't overly flavorful but it is easy to drink and can be considered as sessionable.

Serving type: on-tap

Sep 15, 2018
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Bit Bar in Salem, MA.

This one pours a slightly dark straw yellow, with a small foamy head, and lots of lacing.

This is slightly minerally, with a crisp floral aroma and bready malt.

This is very simple, but very pleasant. There's a crisp mineral feel to it, with light grassy and floral hops, a very light sweetness, a solid doughy and bready malt backbone.

This is light bodied, crisp and very nicely clean, with a very high level of drinkability.

Notch continues to very much impress me with their mastery of session beers.

Feb 08, 2018
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Greywulfken from New York

3.48/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold and clear with a slim finger of head... aromas were mild, suggestive of grain and grass... flavors were similarly mild with very little bitterness... light and appropriately carbonated...

Aug 29, 2017
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Kayakguy from Massachusetts

3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

There are much better Pilsner beers available. This is the third beer from Notch that ai have tried and I am not a fan. This beer lacks flavor. No hop taste.

Jul 15, 2017
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GimmeASchlitz from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Tried on tap at the local bar.

Pours a hazy, cloudy golden color.

Smells of light citrus fruit and some herbal tones. The taste follows with lemon zest, hops, and hints of grain and malts as it warms up.

Very clean and crisp drinking. Carbonation is great. Feels refreshing.

Overall a good solid beer. Very drinkable and I can see me getting this more at lunch with a 4% abv

Apr 20, 2016
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CTbrew32 from Rhode Island

4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Golden yellow in color and cloudy. Pours a one finger fizzly carbonated head.

Aroma- Lemon, grass, herbal, spice, and cracker malt sweetness.

Taste- Nice hit of noble hops upfront followed by a dry cracker malt. As it warms up it loses some of its hop punch and a sweeter malt comes out.

Feel- Dry, crisp, and a solid amount of body at 4%. As noted before as it warms it losses some of its snap as the hops die down and malt gets sweeter.

Overall- Great czech style session pils. Good burst of noble hops upfront and a dry malt adding that crisp finish. Only knock is that after 10 minutes it loses a little of its crispness and hop punch.

Feb 10, 2016
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Jwale73 from Rhode Island

3.72/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz. can served in an SA Perfect pint. Pours a hazy straw gold with a sizzling, 1.5 inch bright white head that settles into a sold, quarter inch cap. Nose expresses some grassy notes and noble hops. Taste consistent with nose; however, there's also an interesting trace of caramel malt in the flavor profile - just enough to impart a suggestion of something sweet. Mouthfeel is light in body with a crisp carbonation. Overall, really quite drinkable. Perhaps not as clean as I'm accustomed to for the style, but quite easy drinking and enjoyable.

Nov 28, 2015
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horshack7 from England

2.98/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Appearance: It's golden and hazy with a bright white foamy head a good two fingers thick but it thins out rather quick.

Aroma: Lemon zest, peppery notes, biscuit, grainy. Hops are there but in the background There is a light dryness in the nose.

Taste: Biscuit, light buttery texture, lemon zest, grainy with a light crispness on the palate and a decently smooth finish.

Notes: A decent Czech pilsner but it could use some work a little more in the hop department and a little bit of crispness to round it out. Cheers.

Aug 31, 2015
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mynie from Maryland

3.97/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How have I not reviewed this yet?

Notch only does sessionable beers. Regardless of your opinion of session IPAs, you still have to respect other varieties of well-brewed, low-ABV beer.

Notch's pils pours pale, straw-colored with a decent head. The aroma is faint, with a little bit of herbs and hay and the smallest wisp of saaz hops.

Tastes much firmer and more robust than the aroma had led me to believe, but still balanced and delicate. Crisp barley up front with mild herbal nodes and some cereal grain, straight-up Czech pils hop profile in the back end. Quite nice.

Aug 30, 2015
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irrevjim from Massachusetts

4.09/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours pale golden, i believe it's slightly hazy but hot day so constant fogging of glass. 1/4 inch white head that seemed thick but dissipated quickly in a duvel glass, left thin lacing that stayed.
smell of mild biscuity malts and a ghint of hops, honey, mild banana coriander. smells like i want to drink it, all aromas are subtle but pretty clear and clean.
the aforementioned hints of banana,biscuit and honey in a perfect, clean balance.
this beer is very refreshing and drinkable but not watery and doesn't feel like 'something's missing'.
this is my standard 2015 beer on hand for guests who aren't but will be attuned to craft beers.

Jun 26, 2015
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Beric from Massachusetts

3.67/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Serving: Can, from the can
Served: 12 June 2015

Appearance: Had this one at a work event, so I can't comment on how the beer actually looks. Nice looking can though.

Smell: Standard 'beer' smell with hints of noble hop herbal and grassy notes.

Taste: Light biscuity malt flavors with a subtle touch of grassy hops. Somewhat bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation; very drinkable.

Overall: A drinkable, quaffable beer for sure, and definitely sessionable at only 4%, but one that is lacking quite substantially in the flavor and aroma department. I'd reach for a Summerfest in a heartbeat if I wanted a Czech pils.

Jun 14, 2015
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MadScientist from New York

3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: A light, bready malt with some Pilsner malt quality and a moderately-low spicy hops aroma. A slightly fruit ester.

Appearance: A light golden beer with excellent clarity. Pours with a finger of off-white foam made of fine bubbles. The head is persistent, slow to fade and leaves some lacing on the glass.

Flavor: A slight malt sweetness with a fair amount of Pilsner malt character. A low hop flavor that is mostly spicy with some floral notes and a medium-low hop bitterness. The balance is somewhat bitter with a roundness that seems to come from a faint diacetyl caramel flavor. The finish is medium dry with a spicy, low hop bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: A medium-light bodied beer with a moderate level of carbonation.

Overall: This is an easy drinking, session Pils with propionate Czech character. An excellent example of the Czech Light Lager style, it does have a ton flavor but it wasn't meant to.

Jun 14, 2015
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ManapuaMan from Massachusetts

4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Come on, everyone. Come on. A sub 3.6 rating? Wtf.

Remarkably tasty for the ABV. I have to assume the lower ratings have to do with not rating by style. Even when compared to “bigger” beers of the Pilsner style, Notch can hang on its own merits without needing to chip away at standards to accommodate a session chassis. The beer is damn good!

To me - it scratches a major itch: pilsener body and aroma in a package that lends itself to easy drinking for a few hours.

Clear gold body, frothy head, cracker, white bread, grass and a little floral on the nose. The hops add a bit of grassy flavor and light pepppery spiciness. Mouthfeel is crisp, clean and light. Complex but very drinkable. Fridge mainstay.

May 24, 2015
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ryan1788a5 from Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a lager glass.

A: Sunny Holden color with a very slight haze. Three fingers of rocky white head retain superbly in the slender glass. Lacing is clumpy and foamy.

S: Sweet doughy and crackery malt. Clean. Grassy and floral hops. Slight whiff of snappy lemon too.

T: Doughy and crackery malt base. Grain. Hops slice right through with initial floral and grassy flavors that are quickly followed by a strong limey bitterness. Very clean. Crackery and bitter lime finish.

M: Light bodied. Slight creamy feel. Sharp carbonation.

O: Clean, crisp, and drinkable. It hits the marks. A deserving quaff.

May 09, 2015
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SKarmic from Massachusetts

3.86/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

I picked up a six pack from Ball Square fine wines & liquor in Somerville (who seemed to know their Beer, and recommended this one)

Appearance :
Color : Pale to Golden
Clarity : Slightly hazy
Head : About a quarter inch, lackluster head that disappeared quickly with some lacing.

Smell :
Malts : Sweet with a slightly bitter finish.
Hops : Slightly floral but understated.
Alcohol : Smooth, watered down.

Taste :
There is a slightly floral taste, that's about all that I was able to pick up.

Mouthfeel :
Slightly creamy, flat and somewhat watery.

Overall :
Overall I am not terribly impressed with this Pils. It tastes like a Pils, kind of what I would describe as "table beer" - something you can drink with meals and in volume. But I have had better PIls. This one was a bit flat.

Mar 15, 2015
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BostonBrewRu from Massachusetts

3.88/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Looks like beer. Smells like beer. Tastes like beer...until the finish.

If it finished a bit better this would be my new favorite Pilsner. Instead it's just my favorite session beer.

Super drinkable. Super clean. Awesome for a $9 six pack

Feb 12, 2015
Photo of Robusta

4.74/5  rDev +30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Notch Pilsner very effectively provides a clean, crisp extremely flavorful, satisfying Pilsner with only 4ABV. Nothing against the wonderful varieties of heavier microbrews out there however Notch should be praised for their tasty , refreshing products contributions to the American beer scene.

Dec 28, 2014
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Florida9 from Illinois

3.64/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pale yellow in color. Slightly hazy. Forms a large, fluffy white head that falls rather quickly, but leaves quite a bit of lacing on the way down. Aroma is standard pils: some pilsener malts and a bit of green, grassy hops. Taste is a bit light though, in fairness, this is labeled as a "session" beer. Light pilsener malts, a hint of biscuit, and some light grassy hops. Light bodied. Appreciable, prickly carbonation. Low bitterness.
Not the absolute best example of the style, but not at all a bad beer.

Sep 27, 2014
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Bitterbill from Wyoming

4.42/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Another Notch brew thanks to Yamar 18.

This pours a pale gold with a 1 finger head of foam and again for a Notch beer, some very good lacing.

Aromas of spicy herbal hops are at the forefront. I get just a tad of a malt smell...bread? Maybe biscuit?

Wow, another brew with some great balance. Yeah, it's biscuit for the malt profile, the hops are herbal alright, just a nice crisp spiciness that doesn't go over the top. Swishing the beer in my mouth to get the ultimate experience of what a brew has to offer, I'm amazed that THIS is what I get in a 4% abv brew made in the US.

Nice lightish mouthfeel, the drinkability, at least for me, is through the roof.

Yikes, I love this beer!

Jan 26, 2014
Session Pils from Notch Brewing
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 243 ratings