Pilsner Style Beer | Churchkey Can Co.

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Pilsner Style BeerPilsner Style Beer
44 Ratings
Pilsner Style BeerPilsner Style Beer

Brewed by:
Churchkey Can Co.
Washington, United States

Style: German Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Inside each Churchkey can, craft beer lovers will find a delicious Pacific Northwest-brewed Pilsner-style craft beer. The recipe for which was originated by Portland-based home brewers Lucas Jones and Sean Burke – who have been crafting home brewed beer in their garages for many years, and are passionate about their beer and the community they cultivate with it – the Churchkey Pilsner is made using only the highest quality ingredients. The body of the beer comes from the light, grainy pilsner malt taste, accented by a smooth clean bitterness. The Saaz hop taste and aroma featured in the Churchkey Pilsner make for a uniquely complex, yet sessionable beer at 4.9 percent ABV and a 29 IBU.

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Ratings: 44 |  Reviews: 23
Reviews by Jinsequa:

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More User Reviews:
Photo of woodychandler
2.03/5  rDev -40.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This was not just a CAN, but a steel CAN! Major ups and big props to both MSUBulldog and BeerTunes (?) for sending me a total throwback. A church key, for those not in the know, is a combined bottle and CAN opener, the likes of which have not been needed since the advent of the pop top CAN. There was a "The Rockford Files" episode in which a parolee tried to impress Jim Rockford by crushing a CAN on his forehead until Rockford explained that CANS were now made of aluminum, in which case he ripped a phone book in half. Impressive then, less so now. I remember my first sip of beer - it was Carling Black Label in a steel CAN in our living room as my late-Pops talked strike strategy with his union steward when I was 5 y/o. This brings back memories ...

From the CAN: "Opener required"; "Crafted in the USA"; "Est. recently"; "It's worth the effort"; "The harder it is to achieve your goal[,] the greater the satisfaction."; "Please recycle this CAN and everything else you CAN."; "Drink very responsibly"; "Flat Top Steel CAN [-] An old forgotten experience new again. Back to simple times with simple tools that change an interaction into an experience. For the first time in nearly 50 years, an often forgotten beer experience is available once again. We hope that you will join us in paying homage to an era of hard work, community, and some great stories."; "Our Home Brewers [-] Creators of our Pilsner Recipe [-] Our home brewers[,] Lucas Jones & Sean Burke[,] have been crafting home brewed beer in their garages for many years. They share these brews with their friends at backyard BBQs and over the holidays as gifts. They love this hobby and are passionate about their beer and the community they cultivate with it. We are very excited to have these two all-AmeriCAN guys create the recipe for the Churchkey Pilsner. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do. To find more about Lucas & Sean, please visit ChurchkeyCANCo.com".

Color me deeply unimpressed! I opened one with markings "141 300222 0515121402" on the bottom and it immediately began spraying beer everywhere and when it became manageable, I poured it into a glass only to be confronted with a brownish-grey cloudy mess that smelled highly metallic. I then attempted a second, unmarked CAN with the following results:

I still got a fountain of beer but I acted quickly to get as much of it into a glass as possible. I initially had two fingers of off-white head, but while I worked to get my kitchen cleaned up, it fell away to nothing. Color was a cloudy lemon-yellow with evident floaties. Nose smelled of grassy Saaz hops, which seemed better than that first attempt. Mouthfeel was thin with a grassy. lemony taste along with a metallic tang on the tongue. Finish was semi-dry, but the metallic taste really seemed to linger. If this is nostalgia, you CAN keep it!

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Photo of Mora2000
3.26/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to 5000 for sending this can my way.

The beer pours a yellow color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of grain and corn notes in it, as well as some biscuit malt. The flavor is similar. I get a lot of the sweet malt notes from the biscuit and pilsner malt, with some grain and corn notes thrown in. I also get some nice grass from the hops and a low amount of bitterness. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.5/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can - read all about the design elsewhere.

For the record, I don't think is a cool idea. I think it's pretty damn stupid. I used a standard can opener and poured this into a pint glass.

appearance: served in an ale asylum shaker pint, pale hazy copper body, sticky white foam. all things considered, pretty nice looking pils

smell: light floral aroma - lemongrass, light citrus, bready

taste: really not a bad offering - a bit derivative for the style - grassy citrus hops, herbal and floral, light biscuit tones

mouthfeel: delicate and fresh, light bitterness

overall: ok - packaging is a bit gimmicky so we'll see how long this lasts

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Photo of tempest
2.53/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a can at EuroMarket. Hmm, I dont think this is supposed to pour a hazy amber. The flavor isn't terribly pleasant either. I don't see a best-by date on the can, but I'll be sure to revisit this beer. In the meantime, I've got an opaque, lightly acid lager with a mild, spicy bitterness and a sweet, bland barley taste. Yeah, I really hope this is an off can. I go to EuroMarket often enough to know this hasn't been on the shelf for more than a couple months.

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Photo of tomb_ride
2.74/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Photo of GRG1313
3.46/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tone77
3.23/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A big shout out to woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. steel can. Uh-oh, she's a squirter. This beer came gushing out and finally settled to a rich golden color with a 1 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet and malty. Taste is malty, some grains, a bit of an unusual metallic taste lingering at the finish. Feels light in the mouth and overall is a mediocre beer.

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Photo of Rutager
3.38/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fancy tin can!

Appearance. Pours a clear straw with half a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell. Light sweet grains and some grassy hops.

Taste. Grassy hops, some sweet light grains with a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel. Medium-light body, medium-strong carbonation.

Overall. I liked it. The can is kinda fun too.

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Photo of evilkorova
3.25/5  rDev -4.4%

Photo of Docer
4.03/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: (4.5)

- Pours a clear straw-yellow brew. Big fluffy white head, about 4 fingers, pillowing and slowly settling. Lace is left alla bout, and a thick bed sits behind. Pretty pilsner for sure.

Smell: (4.0)

- Right as I poked the can, I got a wonderful hoppy aroma. Wonderful creamy bready and grainy smell with an earthy herbal and grassy pine hop. This puppy smells good, and full flavored.

Taste: (4.0)

- Nice bready creamy pislner. This puppy is packed with spicy hops, earthy, bitter and pine-like. It has a wonderful bite and grainy flavor, like a true pilsner should. There is however a slight tinny taste or metallic taste that sits deep in the back row.

Mouth Feel: (4.0)

- This is a chewy dry pilsner for sure. A spicy burning dryness sits behind from a rather medium bodied pilsner which is very well carbonated. So well-carbed that almost every can in the six-pack was bulging at both ends.

Overall: (4.0)

- The beer is a solid and tasty recipe. I am impressed with it's great pilsner taste and quality. It's tough for me paying $10 for a 6-pack, but it is a higher-than-usual quality pils. Other than the slight off-flavor, it is solid and drinkable. The packaging is rather cool. I guess it's nice to have Two Beers right next door, otherwise shipping a beer for packaging to them from afar might up the price quite a bit on it.

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Photo of Beardo
3.11/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.41/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Black Raven pint glass. Pours a cloudy straw yellow amber with lots of fine particulates. Massive white head with good retention and huge lacing. Aroma is very mild Pilsner wheat with a hint of mineral, subdued. Flavor is better, with light toasty malt and citrus with decent in-style spicy hops with little herbal element. I was pleased that this beer fit the look and flavor of a classic Pilsner. Fairly light flavor, but decent moderate hops. Light to medium bodied. Nothing stands out and a slightly mineral aftertaste in the finish, but a nice job for something that appeared to be fairly gimmicky (flat top can that you need to use an old fashioned punch can opener to open).

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Photo of metter98
3.58/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear light pale straw yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high dense white head that died down a little but has excellent retention properties and consistently left a thin head covering the surface along with lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of bready and grainy malts in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell but has some added notes of grassy hops, a light to moderate amount of bitterness and some hints of sweetness. The bitterness stands out in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. It's somewhat clean and crisp and also has some dryness, the latter of which lingers through the finish.
O: This isn't one of the best pilsners I've ever had, but punching the holes in the flat top with a churchkey is an interesting experience, and the small triangular hole delivers a more precise pour compared to a punch top can. Overall, it's an easy to drink beer.

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Photo of warpedrevolution
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Zorro
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bit of a gimmick here but that can be nice if done correctly.

I got the aluminum can version.

Clear yellow colored beer with a small white colored head that doesn't last.

Smells of toasted grain and caramel candy. Hop presence is mostly grass.

Starts out with a strong mineral water taste and a bit of astringency. medium bitter with some metallic taste. Little bit of caramel and hay taste.

Mouthfeel is is good.

Overall kind of an average pilsner out of a novel can.

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Photo of Timmy13T
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of irrgalaxy
3/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of dbrauneis
3.68/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear pale straw yellow in color with moderate amounts of visible carbonation near the surface of the beer. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy & frothy white head that slowly reduces to a thin film covering the majority od the surface of the beer with a medium sized very thick patch and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Just shy of moderate amounts of bready and grainy malt aromas.

T: Upfront this beer is slightly sweet with moderate bready and grainy malt flavors followed by lighter amounts of grassy hops. There is a light amount of bitterness which lingers through the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Clean and crisp with light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This is an easy to drink and enjoyable beer - not the greatest pilsener ever but not a bad one either. I enjoyed the somewhat gimmicky can that required a church key to open it. I would enjoy another of these.

Note: This beer was to celebrate the birth of my first daughter - it seemed appropriate as I first read about this beer right around the time we found out we were expecting and finally found it to try the week before she was born. I guess this beer matched the timing of our pregnancy.

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Photo of draheim
3.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Great, first BA to review this one. And I have to say, looking at the brewery website for some information about this beer, the focus seems to be a lot more about the unique, old-school flat-top steel can you open with a churchkey than it is about the beer. So I don't know if this is intended to be a German or Czech style pilsener, not that I really understand the difference anyway. You guys can correct my choice if you think it's wrong. Anyway, on to the review.

12oz steel can into a weizen glass. Pours a buttery yellow w/ a thick white pillow of head, vigorous carbonation. A ring of sticky lacing is left behind.

Aroma is clean, slightly grainy pilsner malt and Old World hops (Saaz, according to the website). Really mild.

Taste is light, airy, a little grainy (but in a good way). Grassy and lemony with a nice bitter hoppy finish. A good drinkable session beer.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, smooth.

Overall I'm pleasantly surprised by this one. I'm not a big pilsner fan but I enjoyed it.

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Photo of goldendenizen
3.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pretty tasty pils from an unknown brewery. Unknown=a good thing. Born on date says mid Sept. Today is 2/26. I realize it is in a can and it is a pilsner. Id be willing to check out another one of their beers.

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Photo of Antg8989
4.27/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a pale yellow with very little head. Aroma is slightly more hoppy and spicy than other pilsners I've had. Taste is smooth clean and very straightforward. Very decent for a pilsner. And loving the church key open method.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.97/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz flat top steel can into a pint glass.

Appearance: pale golden hue with a light touch of haze that creates a slight matte appearance. Lazy but good effervescence is present, but there's very little head, possibly due to the way I poured.

Smell: sweet, enticing malt aroma and a good dose of lightly spicy noble-smelling hops. I like it.

Taste: sweetish malt with a little bit of graininess but not the sourness which sometimes can occur with grain present. Hops are way out front with a spicy, noble character and a decent but balanced bitterness. Quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied with a good level of carbonation and a refreshing prickliness. I like it.

Overall: a tasty and refreshing Pilsner. The can is admittedly gimmicky, but I actually kind of like it. I feel like an old man when I drink it -- perfect for doing outdoor chores around the house.

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Photo of jpuetz
3/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of FamousShoes
3.11/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had the first one right out of the can and couldn't shake the taste of steel. I waited a day and had another, poured direct into a pilsner glass. It was much better, though the head was very bread-like. (Scientifically speaking, there's user error to be accepted in that but I had the same result when I poured my first can from the previous night into a glass. And, a day later, I went into the second knowing I had to compensate for the pour. Could be me.)

I really like the churchkey part of it. Makes me feel like I'm drinking a beer with my 19-yo Dad. But I feel pretty picky about a pilsner, and I'm not blown away. I can't find a "best by" date so it could be that these are a little past their prime, but I'll be saving the rest of the sixer for its novelty.

I wanted to like it more. I love American pilsners. I love the idea of getting a beer I need a churchkey to open -- and I was on the veeerrrryy last end of that era. But I didn't love the beer itself, so I ain't gonna deal with the hassle if I don't gotta, y'know. I'd definitely pick up a different style or give 'em another chance, though.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.29/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Produced 12/2/14.

Pours a hazy honey gold with a foamy white head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, grass, and slight hay aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, grass, and slight sweetened corn flake flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of earth bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer that is drinkable, but nothing too memorable for an American take on the style.

Serving type: can.

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Pilsner Style Beer from Churchkey Can Co.
Beer rating: 3.4 out of 5 with 44 ratings