Kelowna Pilsner | Tree Brewing

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Brewed by:
Tree Brewing
British Columbia, Canada

Style: European Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
The clean, crisp taste of our traditional European Pilsner is complimented by just the slightest taste of hops. Smooth and light to medium bodied this is an excellent beer for any occasion.

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User Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Ratings: 71
Photo of Bunman3
3.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have a soft spot in my heart for this beer. It pours and looks like most Euro lagers, but the good folks at Tree have managed to add a lovely twist to this beer. I like the malt/hop combination that sets this brew apart. It is easy on the palate, but substantial enough to enjoy of its own accord.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.68/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tall can poured into a pils glass. A dark golden yellow with an inch of bright white frothy head that keeps its shape rather well.

Crisp clean aroma. Subtle graininess and buttered toast, floral/herbal hops. Hints of caramel and musty vanilla bean. Palate is similarly mellow, flavorsome but far from robust. Corn flakes, white bread, grass, hay, faint licorice and flower bulb, radish, tarragon. A grain husk astringency comes on late. I want to say I'm getting a marmalade or lemon fruitiness but this is ephemeral.

Thin bodied and highly carbonated although the latter is not overdone. Finishes clean and with a classy smooth bitterness. A slight whiff of sulfur perhaps, and a root cellar mustiness. Drinkable, not cloyingly sweet. Decent noble hopping. A few rough edges but these add character in my estimation.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 500mL can into a pint glass.

Appearance: rich golden hue with a haze-free body and a very strong effervescence. Head is a thick finger of pillowy white foam. I'm not sure what more you can ask of a Pilsner-slash-pale-lager.

Smell: sweetish malt with a bit of grain and even a bit of fruitiness. Not much personality, and not much in the way of hops.

Taste: simple, with a little bit of sweetness and grain, much like the aroma. Bitterness is light but present. This is a totally serviceable pale lager.

Mouthfeel: light body but with tons of carbonation which keeps things interesting enough.

Overall: like I said, totally serviceable. The beer is par for the course when it comes to craft lagers. I'm doling out extra points here to reflect its easy-drinking quaffability.

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Photo of Scrylol
2.64/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a nice golden color, with a two finger foamy and bubbly head that sticks around for a while. I can see lot's of bubbles rising up. Looks pretty neat.

Smells pretty grainy with a very slight honey. No hops from what I'm getting.

Lot's of grainy taste on the front with what seems to be a slight skunky taste to it on the back of the tongue, and in the aftertaste. Slight earthy notes. No presence of honey or hops.

Mouthfeel is pretty watery, with lots of carbonation tickling the tongue. Even when I'm halfway through, there's still tons of bubbles rising.

The appearance looked really pretty, but sadly that was all the good this beer was. The beer styles itself as a Pilsner, and so compared to other pilsners, this one is really lacking. As a Pale Lager, probably more appropriate.

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Photo of Converge
3.61/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml can poured into a 22.3oz pilsener glass.

A - Pours a clean golden-straw color with the slightest off-white head billowing above. Lots of visible carbonation. Head sticks around as a frothy cap and laces much better than expected.

S - Barley malt, mild grassy hops, corn, and a touch of skunk. Not a very encouraging aroma.

T - Barley and corn, slight hoppiness, and a touch of honey upfront. Finishes with a metallic twang that I don't really love. Lacking in the hops for sure. A little skunk to it. Relatively clean, but a little cheap tasting. As it warms subtle notes of buttery bread and ripe fruit appear, but do little to turn this profile around.

M - Lots of carbonation, borders on fizzy. Lighter body, but it could be worse. Fitting for the style.

D - Pretty much an unoffensive and drinkable lager, with a bit more flavor than the average swill. As a lager this is pretty good stuff, but compared to some pilseners out there this really falls short; especially in the hops department.

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Photo of haley
2.93/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: About right for a pilsner. Bit of head when poured; retains edge lace. Medium-high carbonation.

Smell: A sweet slightly stinky malt aroma. A bit honey. A bit biscuity. Can't detect hops. Actually smells a bit salty, like the sea.

Taste: Quick-fading honey sweetness, then some bitterness. Maltiness in between and in the aftertaste. Moments of wateriness though. Hop flavour barely perceptible, but the bitterness builds on the tongue. Also slightly butterscotch.

Mouthfeel. Does seem nice and creamy when I sip it with air, but really the body is pretty thin.

Overall: Good malt flavours. I find the beer inexplicably harsh. Maybe there's not enough body to balance the flavours. I think they should have gone for a little more flavour complexity. It would be nice to taste a bit of hops too. I think some of the aroma and the butterscotch indicate diacetyl.

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Photo of maclean25
3.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a pair of 500 mL cans. It pours with a little creamy white head. The body looks like golden apple juice. The aroma is heavy with grains with a little honey and orange. If I could describe the smell in one word, it would be 'harvest'. The taste is more like cider. It as a sharp malt and dull hops. It is a slick, smooth, and somewhat light, beer. I find it has a light-to-medium body and low carbonation. Overall, a solid pale lager; better than expected but not fantastic.

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Photo of CanuckRover
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Head vanishes quickly into the golden beer. Visible carbonation.

Grainy, grainy, grainy. Plenty of bready malt on the nose, but I'm missing the grassiness I'm looking for.

True to the aroma, grainy malt is the dominant flavour. Hops are disapointingly absent. Longing for some fresh zing from continental hops and a good grass seed aroma to really put an exclamation mark on the fine malt.

Mouthfeel helps with the overall refreshing character of the beer. Nice crisp carbonation.

Nice enough, needs a good hit of hops.

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Photo of biegaman
3.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kelowna Pilsner shows faint signs of carbonation but its almost brassy colour suggests plenty of malt. The beer looks like it was made from gold leaf. I'm not sure whether to drink it or to trade it in at the jewelers for cash. Although bubbles are visible, no head ever materializes (except off the pour, but that quickly faded).

It smells like I've just untwisted the knot off a loaf of white bread. It's such a soft-smelling breadiness - like Wonderbread's cousin that doesn't have all the additives and preservatives. Indeed the malt has a wonderful effervescence that is rarely, if ever, present in pasteurized pilsners. I want to make a sandwich now.

If it weren't for the very mild hop flavour that comes with belching, this beer could almost transport me back to my childhood - it tastes just like soft, spongy, bleached white Wonderbread. There's even just enough water minerals to impress a slightly salty quality.

That may sound an undesirable thing to most, and I hate to think how insulting it must sound to the brewmaster, but all I mean to convey is that Kelowna Pilsner has a fantastically bready malt character. It is every bit as flavourful, clean, and wholesome as any bona fide German pilsner. In fact, I find it superior to many of them.

Kelowna Pilsner is a gratifying pale lager if ever I had one. Beers so clean and simple yet flavourful are surprisingly rare, and even less often are they as good as advertised. Having a beer like this you understand why pilsners were able to do as much for the beer world as Gutenberg did for books. A beer like this should be easily and universally appreciated.

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Photo of Long813
3.98/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden body owth three fingers of white fluffy head. Retains it's head for most of the session and leaves some patchy lacing.

S: Basic pilsner notes of grains and straw. Some malt base, but quite weak overall.

T: Good amount of distinct hoppy grains, with a touch of fruitiness to it.

M: Light bodied with medium-low carbonation. By the end of the drink, it seemed almost flat with the minimal amount of carbonation. Water like texture and a dry grainy finish.

O: Good offering by Tree, but not my top choice for a Pilsner.

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Photo of nighthawk
2.84/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

500mL can with best before date poured into pilsner glass.

Clear, golden body with lots of carbonation feeding a persistent half-finger of head.

Very sweet bread notes form the basis for the aroma. Bit of grassy hops in the background. The more I get my nose into it, though, the more it seems to smell like cooked, tinned corn.

A bit less sweet tasting, still breast with mild bitterness and more unfortunate, lingering cooked corn.

Nice light body and sparkly carbonation.

I find myself unable to get past the corn aroma and flavour. Good, drinkable refreshing beer behind it, but I ultimately won't be going back for more of this one.

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Photo of joemcgrath27
3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - crystal clear straw golden, generous white head dissipated very slowly, consistent lace ring
S - grainy, grassy, dank resin odour, mild sweetness with some metallic
T - hops hit the buds first with fresh grassy resiny greenery, followed by bready grains, mild sweet citrus, with a crisp and slightly metallic finish
M - light, crisp, and refreshingly carbonated, the dryness starts subtle but builds through the finish
O - an honest to goodness straight up drinkable pilsner, thank you once again Tree

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Photo of evlu1441
3.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml can poured into a pub glass.

This beer has an interesting clear/coppery gold colour with a nice foamy head.

A nice bready malty aroma dominates. This is a fairly standard lager. Standard, but good so far.

This is a very smooth drinking beer with a nice medium body. Some sweet maltiness comes through off the bat with some faint vanilla flavours too. There is a little bit of hop bitterness towards the end, but not a ton. It is a nice flavourful lager, but not too complex.

Overall, I'm not sure how much of a "pilsner" this really is, but it is a nice flavourful lager. I'd drink this over many other popular beers.

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.61/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- I gave this a fairly hard pour and was greeted with a soapy white head that settles rather quickly into a densely populated foam layer. The lacing is quite good, leaving behind a fair bit of whispy foam on the side of the glass. It also has a viscous look to it as a liquid film sticks to the glass as well. The color is richer than a lot of Pilenser style brews, being somewhat hazy and a yellowish golden hue.

S- Different than what I would have expected, that being more on the malty side of the spectrum rather than the bittering Saaz hops, although they are there modestly. There is a balance of cream and grassy dryness present, but yeah, quite sweet in the aroma overall.

T- Hmmmm, more of the same here, with a yeasty buttery sweetness upfront with moderate hop bitterness right on the finish. It's actually quite good but I wouldn't call this a Pils really...just a decently crafted all malt lager.

M- For this style, it is more medium bodied than anything, with creamy fine carbonation helping to break the flavors onto the palate. It really is like buttered bread. To steal a wine term, this brew is kinda flabby.

D- Overall, this isn't a bad brew, just not what it's stated to be...that said, I'd happily and quite easily drink this all night at a pub as it's an unoffensive beer, just a little soft on the hops and heavy on the malt perhaps. I would still buy this over many other beers if I'm looking for something just to drink without having to think too hard about what I'm putting into my mouth....give it a try for sure!

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Photo of CrazyMike
3/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Has a golden yellow appearance with thick head. Smell is very grassy and malty.

Taste is sweet with bread like malt. Very grassy and earthy. Medium bodied with good carbonation. Aftertaste is the real downfall, way to bitter, but has a lingering malty taste.

Overall, this seems like a Pilsner that tries to be different, but ends up being unbalanced. It is okay, but not one of the better beers in Tree's collection

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Photo of prosper
3.04/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a straw colour with a puffy white head. Some particulates, like dust in there.

Smell is decent - malty, with some earthy noble hops.

Taste is underwhelmingly average. Not much of anything happening there. Some light hops, some malt, but not particularly clean tasting, and fairly evenly balanced - not as bitter as I'd like. This is definitely a 'pilsner' in the american mass-market lager sense with a slight craft twist to it, but it's clearly not targetted at the craft-beer crowd. There may be a slight cardboardyness here too, or maybe it's a trace amount of a kilned malt in the grist.

Mouthfeel is fuller than I expected, and almost silky, though the finish is rather dry.

Drinkability is only OK. For the money, there are other beers that I would choose, though. This one offers nothing interesting enough to make you want to have more.

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Photo of ericj551
2.69/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Kelowna Pilsner pours a clear yellow with a nice head that fades fairly quickly. The aroma is grainy with hints of sulfur. Grainy, dry malt dominates the flavor, with a moderate bitterness. The hop flavor is mild despite the bitterness. Some sulfur appears in the finish, which is crisp and dry.

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Photo of andrenaline
3.75/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear golden copper colour with the slightest haze, thin layer of head with little retention that dissipates to small islands of bubbles leaving some fine lacing, and displays copious amounts of visible carbonation in the body.

S - Scent is dominated by the buttered bread and grassy, leafy greens. Very mild lemon hop presence on the finish.

T - Breaded corn malts followed by grassy hops on the finish. Nothing mind blowing here, but nicely balanced.

M - Medium body, perfectly carbonated, goes down smooth with the slightest dry feel on the finish. Quite nice indeed.

D - Overall a tasty beverage. Nothing that will knock your socks off, but it's easily sessionable and the flavours are enough to keep you coming back for more. Tasty offering from Tree that should appeal to the masses.

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Photo of Noxious26
2.94/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

500 ml can poured into a pint glass.

Nice clear gold colour. Bright white head is one inch on the pour. Slowly recedes to a tight cap with decent lacing. Moderate amount of carbonation bubbles.

Mild hop aroma. Not much scent at all really.

Cooked veggies and a little tinny of the start. blends into a mild floral hop finish.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. A little harsh on the palate.

Even though it calls itself a pilsner on the can. It's really more of a north american lager. Not bad, but Tree has alot better beers.

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Photo of bark
3.78/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The colour is straw yellow; the liquid is a bit hazy at first. The high head is compact and white. Some lacing occurs.

The smell is medium strong with a light fruity flavour. Minerals, spicy and hayish notes of noble hops. Some sweetness in the background.

The taste is soft and balanced. On one hand it is quite mild - on the other it got some complexness. The bitterness is low. I found notes of grass, straw and hints of white bread. The aftertaste is a bit hoppy, but the bitterness is still mild. Some spices and a touch of salt and sweet malt. It fades very gracefully.

The carbonation is medium strong; the bubbles are small and soft.

A very pleasant and highly drinkable beer, very close to the German "Gold Lager" style.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can: Poured a bright yellow color pils with a medium size foamy head with some retention and minimal lacing. Aroma of lightly sweet malt notes with a dry finish. Taste is quite refreshing with nice notes of lightly sweet malt and dry finish with light crisp notes. Body is about average with good carbonation. Well done though more Noble hops would have improve the recipee.

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Photo of Garin
1.84/5  rDev -45.2%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

It pours pale golden yellow with a fine white fast-sinking head. It is absolutely full of suspended particles. I'm afraid to try it.

Aromas of .... erm. Not much in the way of aroma, I'm afraid. If I try really hard, I can imagine a bit of graininess but that could just be imagination.

The flavour is also almost non-existent. In the far back I get a glimmer of bitterness, but not even really any sweetness. There is a tiny touch of acidity. What's going on? It's not bad exactly, it's just not... much of anything. I guess there really IS no aroma, and even the primary tastes are practically non-existent. I'm searching for umami, but no dice.

The mouthfeel is medium-light, and actually about the only thing in this beer that is sorta ok.

Given the suspended solids, I'm going to chalk this one up to poor quality control. Shame on you, Tree. I have another can in the fridge, I hope it's better. HOWEVER, the review stands, as quality control is absolutely no excuse for me.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bring on the tallboy! From a 500 ml can, on to the beer:

Golden and attractive with it large billowy head and and large carbonation bubbles running through its body. The head retention is good, and as is the lacing. It's sweet in the nose, a little citrusy and lime edge. Nice.

There's a little metalic flavor in this lager. And there are also little flavors of citrus hops, unfermented grain, and straw. A little tingle on carbonation in the mouth, it's light, and goes down easy.

A decent lager from Kelowna, BC. Good for washing down a meal.

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Photo of OskarL
3.41/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear pale golden, yellow color with a dense two finger head that has good retention and leaves lots of sticky lacing.

Smells of grain, bready malt and some grassy hops.

Taste is sweet grains with bread-like maltiness backed by grassy floral hops and some bitterness.

Has a light/medium body with medium carbonation which makes it crisp with a dry finish.

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Photo of pootz
3.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

can, fresh:

Pours a lightly hazed gold with a tight white 2 finger cap that lasts well and laces. Moderate carbonation

Aroma is woodsy-botanical with some robust bread dough malt tones and just a kiss of green apple.

Soft mouth feel silky delivery. Up front the bready malts mingle with the woody-leafy hallertauer and spalter hops, lovely soft mineral palate, finishes in perfect balance between biscuity malts, earthy hops and soft mineral mouth from the water.

A great summer patio lager...not really in the Czech style, ...more like a soft Bavarian pilsner made with old style hop varieties...excellent! I'm a lager head and I could drink oceans of this at a session.

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Kelowna Pilsner from Tree Brewing
Beer rating: 3.36 out of 5 with 71 ratings