Baderbräu Chicago Pilsner
Baderbräu Brewing Company

Baderbräu Chicago PilsnerBaderbräu Chicago Pilsner
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Pilsner - Bohemian / Czech
3.74 | pDev: 12.03%
Baderbräu Brewing Company
Illinois, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Baderbräu Chicago PilsnerBaderbräu Chicago Pilsner
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 75 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of steveh
steveh from Illinois

3.56/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I spotted this one in a store teeming with an assortment of many beers I'd had before -- or just didn't care to try. Since I'd just seen the new Baderbräu guys on local TV excitedly espousing the goodness of their beers, I thought I'd give it a try.

I haven't had this 3rd incarnation of the 90s Chicago foray into craft brewing (yeah kids, craft beer has been around that long), but I tried the new brewery's South Side Pride -- advertising being decocted -- and was a bit underwhelmed. I liked the original Pilsner from Elmhurst, and the Goose Island rendition was good, let's see how the South Loop version fairs.

12 ounce can poured into my short Becher. No date to be found on the can.

L -- Clear, deep golden with a fizzy white head that drops like a stone.

S -- Light DMS, lightly spicy hops, some sweetish malt fighting for recognition.

T -- Grainy, crackery malts up front with nicely German-tasting hops dominating; spicy and lightly citrus. The hop flavor starts to become mildly resiny with more samples -- probably one of the newer noble varietals in use. Distinct hop bitterness in the finish and aftertaste -- I only wish the malt had a little more recognition.

F -- Crisp to dry mouthfeel with a medium-light body.

O -- It's not German, it's close to modern Nouveau Ami Pils, it's not the original by any stretch, but it's not awful either. It falls into the category of a small American brewery wanting to make a style that they really aren't familiar with -- so they make it like other new Pilsners they've tried. If only they'd talked with Metropolitan.

Oct 31, 2017
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bwood06 from Wisconsin

3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked this beer up as part of a make your own 6 pack that a local liquor store was having a special on. I had not seen this beer at that store before so I picked it up.

This beer pours a golden hue that is hazy (possibly chill haze) with high/racing carbonation that is graced with a white, frothy head that dissipates slowly. 3.5/5 The aroma is malty, clean, and hoppy (very nicely balanced). The malt is bready and only slightly sweet with the hops being very clean, grassy, and slightly peppery with just a hair of lemon zest. 4/5 The flavor profile is, once again, malty and hoppy at the same time, showcasing a very good balance that is very drinkable and flavorful. The malt is bready and grainy with just a hint of sweetness (like Cheerios) and the hops are grassy, peppery, and slightly lemony. None of the flavors are very strong, but they all work well together. The profile brings to mind a Czech Pilsener for sure, as advertised. Bitterness is light and lingers lightly after swallowing. 4/5 This is a light bodied beer that is highly carbonated which gives a scrubbing bubbles type of sensation. It is not overly dry, but it is a hair dry, and not quite as creamy and wet as some Czechs that I have had. The mouthfeel disappears upon swallowing. 4/5 This is really one of the best Czech Pilseners that I've had recently and really captures the style very well. Having had various lagers and Pilseners in Prague a couple years ago, this beer really does measure up nicely. 4/5

Aug 26, 2017
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Scottabn from Illinois

4.61/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

An excellent Bohemian style Pilsener. From a Pilsener glass.
L- Deep gold color with lively carbonation and slight cloudiness.
S- A balance of rich malt and clean hops neither over powering the other .
T- Rich, clean, malt taste with a slight spice of hops for balance.
F- Crisp and smooth.
Overall- An excellent drinkable beer any time of year. This has become my everyday beer.

Jul 12, 2017
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Ringthane from Illinois

4.23/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bought as part of a pick-mix at the local alcohol megamart just to try. Honestly, my tastes run more toward Scotch and Belgian ales, but I'm from Chicago, so pilsners are the beers of my youth -- and this is from a Chicago brewery. Was honestly surprised by this one. Crisp and refreshing (especially after sanding a cabinet outside for hours), and its faint hoppy bitterness at the end never got too strong -- leaving just a faintly bitter taste that balanced the malty sweetness. I don't know much about the look since I drank it straight from the can like a heathen, but the bit I saw was clear. I get the feeling that, if I was more of a pilsner lover, this would become my go-to beer.

Apr 10, 2017
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FBarber from Illinois

3.69/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours opaque and more orange in color than gold. Mildly effervescent. Thick frothy white head dissipates slowly leaving a thick residual head with lots of lacing, so thick its almost a white covering over the glass.

Smell is very bready - with an ever so mild floral hop presence on the back end of the nose.

Taste is again, very bready. Some mild earthy hops come through giving it a earthy bready flavor. Very simple and straightforward. The hops are rather subdued - its almost too balanced. Touch of honey sweetness on the back end.

Feel is medium bodied and a bit "heavier" than I'd expect in a pilsner. Medium carbonation. Smooth and easy drinking. Dry finish.

Overall this is a well crafted good pilsner. At the price, its a great deal.

Mar 22, 2017
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joeseppy from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Every can I've opened has had a nice froth emerging. Hop aroma with grain and malts. Malt coats the palate with hop lingering. Lively carbonation. Finishes dry with floral/grassy notes. This ended up being my Fourth of July fireworks partner. Fabulous in every way! Would buy again.

Jul 06, 2016
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

An interesting story on their website. And if anyone likes sleuthing for recipes, read their story.
I like that they revived an original craft pilsener from the early 1990s that MJ had reviewed highly.
It looks and smell like a typical pilsner, but it tasted better to me as it warmed. The hops balanced well with the malt and the carbonation low (which I prefer.)
What I especially like is that they are converting an abandoned warehouse on Chicago's southside into a brewery and the taproom is on the edges of the tourist district regenerating around the convention center. This, too, is a good story about beer.

May 13, 2016
Photo of matjack85
matjack85 from Illinois

3.64/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I got this as part of a build-your-own six pack for $9.99 at the Binny's store in Bloomingdale, IL., making this single 12oz bottle $1.67. Supposedly, the people at this new brewery are reviving an old recipe for a beer with the same name that went out of business over 10 years ago. Having never tried this beer 10 years ago, I have no idea how close they came to making this taste like the original Baderbräu Chicago Pilsner, so I can only review it and score it as to how it tastes today.

The beer poured a clear golden color, but made only a ½-finger of white head that faded quickly and left no lacing whatsoever.

The beer had a nice noble hop aroma to it - very Saaz-like, along with some pilsener malt. Herbal, flowery, and spicy. It's not strong, but very pleasant.

Spicy and peppery hop flavor with a good dose of Pilsener malt for balance. It's a bit on the bitter side but in a good way. I liked it.

Light bodied with moderately high carbonation, making it very crisp and biting.

Don't know if this is what the original tasted like, but this one is very good.


Jul 29, 2014
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BeerAdvocate from Massachusetts

3.94/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate magazine Issue #67 (August 2012):

LOOK: Crystal-clear pale amber, well-laced glass

SMELL: Aromatic malts, herbal hops, spicy, clean, bready, wild honey

TASTE: Godly smoothness, loaf of bread, balanced bitterness, herbal, peppery, salt, honey, touch of toastiness, green tea, grassy, mildly citric; clean, semidry finish

A resurrected Chicagoland area brew from a decade ago that Michael Jackson the beer critic claimed was the “best pilsener I’ve ever tasted in America.” Fast forward 10 years and perhaps that is not the case anymore, though what we have here is a very good American craft beer. Not the kind of Pils we expected, but very good nonetheless.

Dec 12, 2013
Photo of mfnmbvp
mfnmbvp from Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle, with no apparent bottled on date present. My first encounter with this beer and this brewery, given to me by a friend in a drunken haze while he cleaned out his fridge. "Chicago pilsener". I'll take it.

Poured into a Firestone Walker pint glass.

A - Pours one finger of thick fluffy off-white head with decent staying power. Body is a clear goldenrod color with plenty of bubbles rushing topside. Looks about average for the style.

S - Smell isn't packing much, but is fairly typical of the style. Dusty grain, malt, some lemongrass, and maybe some musty florals.

T - Taste is fairly typical of authentic Czech style pilseners, which is good, but not my favorite. Dirty, earthy, bitter, herbal, grainy, and malty.

M - Feel is of coarse carbonation fizzing away on the palate with a bitter, dry finish.

Overall, an about average pilsner, but in a good way. It's a simple, quick, clean, easy-drinking beverage sitting at a low 4.80% abv, and for me it is a local option, so like I said, I'll take it.

Baderbräu ---3.5/5

Sep 29, 2013
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WiscoJake from Wisconsin

3.86/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This beer has a great history on its "rebirth" (hence the Phoenix on the label). Be sure to check it out sometime.

Beer pours nicely with a good carbonation that'd you expect from a Pilsener. The smell is a nice and malty, but kinda fades out during drinking. For its style, this is a solid choice and at a nice pricepoint.

May 28, 2013
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scruffwhor from Illinois

3.42/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Light hint of amber coloring to this otherwise pale hay hued brew. Good bubbling and decent off-white head.

Some toasty aromas and just a little musty, earthy hop aromas. If you blindfolded me and I smelled this beer, I would not think it was a Czech pilsner.

Pretty toasty malt flavor to this brew from start to finish. Just a few earthy hop notes to balance the otherwise sweet and toasty malt flavor profile. The finish is smooth, but a little sticky for a pilsner IMHO. Not as sessionable as I would like my pilsners to be. Glad I tried this Chicago icon of sorts. Not a bad beer by any means.

May 20, 2013
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Back on the market after a few months' hiatus.

It pours a bright and saturated orange tone, plenty of white foam and some drippy lace patterns in the glass.
Lasting head retention, coverage remains for most of the glass.

Grassy and earthy noble hop aroma, bready and clean pilsner malt.

Very crisp and snappy with noticeable hop bitterness that lingers into the aftertaste. Crackery and dry, very clean and thirst quenching. Light bodied but it has a substantial feel, ample carbonation. Not sweet or buttery like so many other Czech Pils. A prototype of the style, very nicely done.

Apr 30, 2013
Photo of barnzy78
barnzy78 from Illinois

3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, pours golden with nice clarity, fluffy, white head sticks around awhile. Aromas are grassy hop, pilsner malt, lager yeast. Overly sharp in taste, soapy, grassy, pilsner malt, biscuity, mild herbal hops linger with some astringency. Light-to-medium body, ample carbonation, very drying on the finish. Overall, good representation of the style, but I couldn't get past the soapy taste.

Apr 28, 2013
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mazeroski from Illinois

3.97/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Based upon the original Elmhurst, IL brew. Various locations of the Country House restaurant had this on tap and I would compare it directly with true German-style pils. A co-worker I knew at the time grew up with the original owner and got me a full set of the authentic Baderbrau pils glasses. I have not had either of the resurrections of this pilsner.

Jan 29, 2013
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SerialHiker from Illinois

3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, straw yellow…some bubble action in the middle…white head formed, about a pinky finger stayed around then …(3.5/5)

Smell: straw, grains, (very) earthy, yeast, bitterness…can smell the Czech hops influence…it’s crisp and lively…a very upbeat pilsner…(4/5)

Taste: A zesty wheat ale beginning, with a bit of citrus/lemon under tone…earthy hops come roaring through in the middle “phase”, almost like a baton handoff from the wheaty beginning…noble hops all over this…drink ends very sharp and malty…it definitely takes you on a flavor ride…bitterness all over the after taste…(3.75/5)

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp, wet and refreshing…some carbonation, but nothing other than what you’d expect…tons of malt and bitterness on my palate…(3.75/5)

Overall: For not being my typical style, this is a really good ale…it’s hard to find too much fault in the flavor or smell design, but it’s hard for me to rate it higher because the flavors aren’t necessarily my favorite or one that I have too much experience with…that said, it’s very drinkable, very flavorful and actually a good experience…if you like this style or like to experiment, this brew is worth grabbing…it’s light and crisp and would go well for those who may like bud light or some other cheap American beer…(3.75/5)

Dec 19, 2012
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rhoadsrage from Illinois

4.92/5  rDev +31.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a fluted strange)

A- This beer pours a slightly hazy orange body with a swirling carbonation of tiny bubbles and a head so thick and creamy the last little pour swirls and rest on top of the foam. The head last for the full beer.

S- The full green woody hops are fresh and bright with some green citrus notes to follow and a minty hue in there aswell. The pils malt comes though softly in the finish but gets stronger on the exhale.

T- The full bold green juicy hops with some dry hop grassy notes blend with the fresh pils malt flavor that has just enough sweetness to give it a freshness without tasting sweet. There is a nice pungent green hops flavor that lingers after the slightly dry finish but it isn't bitter.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a gentle fizz that boost the hops profile in the finish.

O- This is a great beer that I would say is the holotype of an American Pilsner. I don't like the BJCP guidelines and this is what I want from an American Pilsner. Great America hops blended with clean fresh pilsner malt and dry hopping to give it that much more flavor. Very sessionable and balanced. I drank two 6-pack and know I can't find any. There are very few beers I keep on hand but this will be one of them, it is truly a gem.

Nov 26, 2012
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BarrytheBear from Wisconsin

4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle courtesy of my dad, who showed genuine excitement upon the prodigal return of this beer...despite the fact that he "never drinks beer".

Into a New Glarus glass, I have no idea what to call this type of glass, pours nice transparent yellow with a healthy swarm of tiny bubbles. Big egg white fluff has some serious longevity and the lacing is copious.

Noble hops are spicy on the nose with a dash of white pepper.

Nice pepper spice from the nose up front with a clean malt and soft bitter fade.

Mouthfeel is lush and creamy with a slight soapiness on the finish.

I really enjoyed this. Maybe it's that pilseners are growing on me, maybe it's that this is quite nice, or maybe it's both. This didn't last long in my glass and I wouldn't mind another.

Sep 28, 2012
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Redrover from Wisconsin

3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Baderbrau, boy do I remember you. Originally brewed by Pavichevich in Elmhurst, IL and then for too short of awhile by GI, I was glad to see that Argus had picked-up this beer.

12 oz brown longneck poured into my SA perfect pint, the beer is a bright gold with a fluffy and stick off-white head.

You can tell from the nose that it contains Nobel and Saz hops, they are both peppery and floral at the same time.

The beer has strong malty base that adds some grainy balance to the hops. It is a bit sweet with some plums and something earthy in the finish. The 42 IBUs are evident and appreciated.

The mouth is medium body with really well dialed in carbonation.

Glad to see this one return. It is always nice to have more quality pilsner/lager options.

Aug 18, 2012
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TMoney2591 from Illinois

3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Local Option cervoise.

A decent amount of ballyhoo surrounding the resurrection of this brew (complete with a phoenix on the label, no less), so let's see what it's all about, eh? It pours a clear amber-brass topped by a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises lightly-buttered biscuits, light grass, sweet flowers, and a kiss of mild toffee. The taste begins with a general rehashing of the smell; then in rushes a good amount of sharp grass, light greens, and citrus rind. This wave lasts only a short while, then dies away, taking nearly everything with it in the ebb. All that remains is a small impression of what had only recently been there. The body is a hefty light, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta slick feel. Overall, an alright pils, but one that's unlike any I've had before. Normally they have a characteristic flavor, one that stands alone and throughout the entire drinking experience. This one, with its waves of flavors, seems fairly unique to me, though not necessarily in a negative way (nor a distinctively positive one, for that matter). Definitely an interesting, mostly enjoyable beer.

Jun 25, 2012
Baderbräu Chicago Pilsner from Baderbräu Brewing Company
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 75 ratings