Penn's Best N.A.
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.

Penn's Best N.A.Penn's Best N.A.
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From:
Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
 
New York, United States
Style:
Low-Alcohol Beer
Ranked #65
ABV:
0.5%
Score:
70
Ranked #30,440
Avg:
2.84 | pDev: 25%
Ratings:
40
Status:
Active
Rated:
Apr 14, 2022
Added:
Feb 13, 2005
Wants:
  2
Gots:
  6
SCORE
70
Okay
Penn's Best N.A.Penn's Best N.A.
Notes: None
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Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Photo of gshak
3.65/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
by gshak from Texas

For a NA beer, this one is alright. In blind taste test, the only thing that would probably give it away against the macro light lagers is the mouthfeel, but other than it holds its own against any of the name brands especially after working up a sweat on a hot sunny afternoon. And at $2.99 a sixer, I'm grabbing a pack of these on every beer run.

The appearance isn't really going to win any awards. It starts spritzy and the head dies down almost immediately. No lacing observed. 3
Smell - Very muted smell, and since I'm usually drinking these ice cold, there isn't much I can sense. Faint biscuity smell of mildly toasted grains, and that's about it really. No hops to speak of.
Taste - Toasted grains, and just a kiss of earthy hops to even out any semblance of sweetness. Very balanced in terms of taste. Impressive.
Feel - Thin, but for a NA lager, this works to its advantage. I can easily put down a few of these in a hurry.

Overall - a fantastic take on a NA lager. All of the chilled hydration and none of the effects of alcohol.
Well done!

Apr 14, 2022
 
3.18 by mdshensky74 from South Carolina on Mar 26, 2022
Photo of GlenFarclas
1.94/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.75
by GlenFarclas from Connecticut

Honestly, no better and no worse than your average light AAL. It's really just sort of, I don't know, almost unfinished. Anyway, at barely 3 bucks a sixer, if you're a busch lite/bud light drinker I'm, guessing this would do fine? I'm not sure what I'll do with the rest of them, maybe I'll throw em into a session, maybe just leave to hang out in the pantry, gravy? Marinade? I dunno. I will say, there's nothing off about it. It's just very much barely beer.

Edit: I'm finding NA lagers seem the hardest to hit, not sure why that is. But just good old bitter pale lager so often seems to be hit or miss. I don't want to rate this too low however because I'm certain it has a market and it does that job well enough.

Jan 08, 2022
Photo of Guppy314
2.46/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by Guppy314 from District of Columbia

From a can, pours as a clear nicely carbonated gold with essentially no head. Practically no aroma but perhaps "mineral water" and slight malt. Taste is like a carbonated beverage with a bit of malt and hops with just a slight sweetness. If I were to drink this in a blind test, I'm pretty sure I'd declare it to be a "novelty soda" rather than a type of beer.

Jan 01, 2022
Photo of yetijosie
4.2/5  rDev +47.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4
by yetijosie from Texas

tastes like a solid cookout beer, good all around imo, will definitely buy again ;)

Dec 21, 2021
 
3.02 by BuddyZ from Pennsylvania on Dec 12, 2021
Photo of flagmantho
2.87/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
by flagmantho from Washington

Poured from 12oz can into a dimpled mug.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a light effervescence and a thin layer of foam that dissipates almost immediately.

Smell: extremely light malt aroma with a dash of sweetness. It's appropriate to the style it's emulating, but not very interesting.

Taste: light malt, a bit on the sweet side up front, with kind of a watery finish. It's like if a light beer were extra extra light. It's not terrible, but there's not a lot here.

Mouthfeel: very very light indeed, but a big carbonation that almost makes up for it.

Overall: this is definitely not the worst NA beer I've had; it just doesn't have enough personality to be either good or bad.

Oct 19, 2021
Photo of jlindros
2.07/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5
by jlindros from Massachusetts

No can date
Pours a light fizzy frothy 1 finger head with med retention, touch of lacing, crystal clear light pale to tan color

Nose has very little to it, a bit of mineral water, hint of malt, a bit of a skunky like character, touch soapy as well

Taste is light as well but not terrible, a strange malt sorghum like thing, stale grains, wood pulp, hint of fruity character and hint of hop bitterness

Mouth is thin and watery

Overall terrible, I would rather just drink water, why, seriously why?!

Aug 04, 2021
 
Photo of John_1947
3.12/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by John_1947 from Virginia

When I was forced by medical conditions to stop drinking alcohol, I switched to N/A beer. I was disappointed by the cost of most of them, however, considering that alcohol taxes are a major factor in the price of alcoholic beverages.

Then I discovered Penn's Best N/A, sold at Total Wine. It's not the best flavor, but the price is right. I buy it by the case, and drink it every day.

Apr 07, 2021
Photo of tigg924
2.11/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
by tigg924 from Massachusetts

Pours clear, gold in color with one inch head. Taste is slightly sweet American adjunct lager. Light bodied, high carbonation. If you want any cheap adjunct lager but no alcohol this is the beer for you. For me many non alcoholic beverages are so much more interesting. A hard pass in the future.

Dec 25, 2020
Photo of teromous
2.67/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
by teromous from Virginia

From the bottom of the can: "F119 1315:29"

Appearance: The body of the beer has crystal clarity and ranges in color between light and medium gold. It has a medium white head that slowly fades to a well-maintained short cap. Good retention. Not much in the way of lacing, but the beer overall looks outstanding.

Aroma: There is a very light cereal grain aroma and a noticeable metallic scent.

Taste: Up front there is a sweet cereal grain flavor and a touch of noble hop character which makes its way to the middle of the palate. Towards the end the hops disappear and it finishes very sweet.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is light and it finishes wet and sweet.

Overall: The beer is drinkable but it has a strong sweetness to it and the metallic aroma isn't doing it any favors. Even as a "Non Alcoholic Malt Beverage" (as indicated by the can) it just doesn't feel well-crafted. I wouldn't really recommend it and I probably wouldn't pick it up again.

Jan 28, 2020
Photo of almoje
3.48/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
by almoje from Colorado

This stuff pretty quickly became one of my favorite NA beers. I'm sure someone with a more refined palette would laugh, but I honestly cannot distinguish this as NA. Granted, that's mostly due to the convenience that it's 'copying' your run-of-the mill, watery, low-ABV mass-produced beers like PBR or Coors Light, but it's a great trick! After trying a handful of craft non-alcoholic beers that are trying too hard to innovate, it's nice to find something just plain drinkable. Didn't even pour it, right from the can it just tastes and smells and feels like a big-name cheap beer.

There's another side that, of course, this isn't going to convince anyone that's not already sold on non-alcoholic beers, as it doesn't really do anything exceptionally or notably well. If you're already on board though, I think this is a great one to pick up a dozen or so of and toss in the garage. Highly drinkable, reliable, and cheap!

Dec 12, 2019
Photo of hophugger
2.48/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5
by hophugger from Virginia

Pours a light, golden yellow. Initially decent head and seemingly good carbonation but in a matter of seconds, the head has completely vanished and there are only a minute amount of baby bubbles rising. Smell is almost non-existent with a bit of toasted malt. Taste is very light with again, very light flavors of bitter malt and a lot of water. Mouthfeel is like tap water and there is literally no finish to speak of. Trying to fair when rating because it is a NA beer, but come on, I am sure anon-alcoholic beer can be brewed that has some decent flavors?

Apr 09, 2019
Photo of bchkrl
4.03/5  rDev +41.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by bchkrl from Minnesota

After 30 years of being a H.F.A., I've FINALLY followed my doctor's orders and stopped drinking because alcohol wreaks havoc with my ADHD/Bipolar medications. But, as a German descendant, I really like the hoppy, malty taste of beer. So here are my top four non-alcoholic brews:
(4) Labatt's Blue NA
(3) O'Doul's Amber
(2) Clausthaler Original
(1) Clausthaler Dry Hopped
So where does Penn's Best NA (a captive brand of Total Wines) and brewed by Fred Koch in Rochester, NY fit in? Frankly, it depends on the specific can I open. Some Penn's Best cans taste of burned malt (remember Postum?), but most have a pleasant, slightly cereal taste without the excessive malt sweetness of other NA brews (e.g. Beck's). At 70 calories per can, it's probably healthier than either sugar or aspartame soda pop when I'm kicking around in the garage and it's not much more expensive. And, unlike real beer, it doesn't seem to add to the beer belly we Germans are prone to. What's not to like about that? Rock on!

Sep 16, 2018
 
3 by 1Jose from California on Jun 24, 2018
Photo of guiri
4/5  rDev +40.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by guiri from North Carolina

The reason I've rated this a 4 is because I have grown to like it and like it a lot, but above all, because of the price. A six pack is only around $2.50 and with someone with super low income, this is the ONLY bear I can find locally that I can afford. Are there others I like better? Yep, there are but I can't afford the damn things.

NA beer costs more than regular beer and I kinda think it sucks.

Jan 29, 2018
Photo of gandres
3.03/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by gandres from Philippines

12 ounce can poured to wine glass
Sight: Pale, very amber, clear, small foam
Smell: not a lot of aroma, but no bad smell as well
Taste: low bitterness, some sweetness
Mouthfeel: nice carbonation, medium follow through, rapid drop
Overall: good beer

Dec 01, 2017
Photo of JustCamIt
2.65/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5
by JustCamIt from Virginia

It's decently priced and tasty for a low alcohol beer. I've drank cases of these over the years as my post run recovery treat. Plus, an ice cold can feels great against overworked knees.

Sep 26, 2017
Photo of Davidstan
3.1/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by Davidstan from Alabama

For an NA at 2.50 a sixer i will be back. Sometimes i will have an NA just to get off the alcohol for a nite or two a week. This is a sweet malty beer with surprising real beer taste.

Sep 05, 2017
 
3.23 by KensWorld from Florida on Aug 28, 2016
 
1.45 by sisterofba from Maryland on Jun 02, 2016
Photo of dbrauneis
2.37/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
by dbrauneis from North Carolina

A: Pours a crystal clear medium yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising quickly from the bottom of the glass and faint golden yellow highlights. The beer has a two finger tall sudsy foamy bright white head that reduces to a large patch of mottled medium thick film (made up of medium to large sized bubbles) surrounded by a very thin film covering the majority of the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light aromas of grainy malts with a light to moderate amount of corn adjuncts. Slightly sweet and just a hint of grassy hops.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of slightly sweet grainy malts with a moderate amount of corn adjuncts. Hints of grassy hops in the finish which contribute a light amount of bitterness which does not linger. Light metallic + chemically flavors that linger.

M: Light to medium bodied with slightly heavier than moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin/watery in the finish.

O: Nothing special here and not the one I would grab if I was looking for an NA beer - combines some of the worst aspects of BMC with thinner mouthfeel. Skip this one, even at $.49.

Feb 21, 2016
Photo of WildKarrde
3.16/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
by WildKarrde from South Carolina

Look: I'm not one to really care about the look of a beer all that much. I usually drink it from the bottle. Since this comes in a can, I drank it from a glass and therefore did see the appearance. This looks like a normal, average beer, so I rated it an average 3/5.

Smell: Light smell of hops, almost indistinguishable when stuffing your nose in a half empty glass full of it. Nothing remarkably pleasant or disgusting. I'd like to smell more hops as I pull it to my mouth for a swig. 2/5

Taste: Don't think of this as a beer replacement... think of it as a soda replacement. It has a definite, but light beer flavor. If soda were made of hops instead of corn syrup... this is probably how it would taste. Since this is a beer site, I'm rating the taste at 3.5/5 (compared to other NA's). If it were being compared to soda, it would be 5/5.

Feel: Very carbonated. Like a sparkling water, or a soda, minus the pain of corn syrup eating away your tooth enamel. Nothing special, so an average 3/5.

Overall, it's an average product. A great replacement for soda when you want something non-alcoholic. Compared to real beer, it's very lackluster, but compared to other non-alcoholic beers it certainly has a step above most I've tried, with their unnatural sweetness added. When adding cost to the factor, at roughly $2.50 per 6-pack, I give this product a generous overall rating of 4/5.

Aug 28, 2015
Photo of Safa1
3.5/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by Safa1 from California

Before I was able to think about it I drank the whole thing. Tastes just as much like beer as most pee macros. For real. I enjoyed this.

May 31, 2015
 
2.75 by warpedrevolution from Illinois on Mar 28, 2015
 
2.75 by tdm168 from Pennsylvania on May 02, 2014
Photo of Roger3574
4.95/5  rDev +74.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5
by Roger3574 from Florida

I drank O'dules Amber for many years,and my store was out of Amber.

Penn's Best was next to the Amber space It was made in Pennsylvania and I was aware of the beer brands Pittsburgh Brewing made so I tried it.
Penn's Best is now my favorite N/A beer and the price is very good.

Aug 26, 2012
Photo of tone77
2.26/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2
by tone77 from Pennsylvania

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light golden color with a 1/2 inch head and high carbonation. Smell is very mild, some corn notes. Taste is virtually non-existent, nothing offensive, just very weak beer flavored water. Feels light in the mouth and overall left me wanting a beer.

Feb 27, 2012
Photo of sliverX
1.61/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1
by sliverX from S. Georgia & S. Sandwich Isls.

Poured a typical straw yellow with a rocky white head that faded fast to a ring around the edge
Smells sweet and reminds me of white grape juice, yep thats all I pull from it.
Taste.... Take 1 part cheap beer, 1 part white grape juice and about 8 parts water and that's what this tastes like. Nasty in my opinion, If I had to give up beer this would never be an option.
Mouthfeel is a but heavier than say water or coors light and well carbonated.
This is just not drinkable, it's torture I feel bad for the sink drain even.
Thanks Woody...

Aug 28, 2010
Photo of woodychandler
3/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3
by woodychandler from Pennsylvania

CAN you believe that this is my sixth NA beer of the afternoon and in CANs, no less?!? I will be glad to take a break, however.

From the CAN: "Quality Since 1863"; "Smooth, Refreshing Brew"; as of Sa, 15 July 17, identified as from Fred Koch Brewing Co., Rochester, NY. Hmmm.

I got it poured into a glass, I left it briefly to settle so that I could pour the remainder out of the CAN and the head completely disappeared! Color was an odd pale golden-yellow. It was not as light as lemon-yellow, nor was it as deep as a gold. Interesting, plus it had NE-quality clarity, which is expected. Nose was cereal sweet, but I am thinking that is more the standard for the style and almost to be expected. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a light lager-like taste on the tongue. Finish was lightly sweet and somewhat tasty. Not bad, but not cooler worthy, either.

May 29, 2010
Photo of nicholas2121
2.48/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5
by nicholas2121 from Ohio

Penn's Best N.A. is a Low Alcohol Beer, brewed by the Pittsburgh Brewing Co. This brew has an ABV of less than 0.05% I got may hands on some of these for free and said why not. This brew pours out a light amber color with a small head. The smell is light with grains and malts. The taste is light, with a hit of malts and grains. The mouthfeel are just like beer with water. Penn's Beast N.A. is a clean and smooth brew. I would drink this brew if I wanted a brew with out the buzz. This beer is just what it is Low alcohol. Overall I'm giving this brew a 3.5 out of 5.

Apr 18, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.51/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3
by ChainGangGuy from Georgia

Appearance: Pours up a clear, yellow body with no more than a thin, dispiriting ring of white bubbles on top.

Smell: Incredibly mild, clean nose with only the faintest hint of sweet malts and little else.

Taste: Just a mere hint of light pale malts with a mere shadow of perceived sweetness and imparted graininess. Transient hint of ill-defined hop character and almost nil bitterness. Quick, clean, but weak finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium carbonation. Watery, why-don't-I-just-drink-water mouthfeel.

Drinkability: So clean and mild that it's a very empty experience. If a fine beer is a rich, vibrant oil painting, than an NA beer is a blank sheet of white paper.

Aug 13, 2009
Photo of cjgator3
2.47/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4
by cjgator3 from Florida

12oz can

A- Pours a pale golden yellow color with a white head that actually leaves a pretty decent amount of lace and retention.

S- The aroma is a faint amount of grain with just a touch of hops. There's not much going on in the aroma. It's pretty faint and barely smells like beer.

T- The taste is light and crisp with some grainy malt and a small hint of hops in the finish. Not bad, there's nothing really offensive in the taste but it does lack in flavor.

M- The mouthfeel is light bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D- The drinkability is obviously pretty high considering the low amount of alcohol. It is a decent No Alcohol beer that is one of the better that I have had within the style.

Dec 11, 2008
Photo of WVbeergeek
1.83/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5
by WVbeergeek from West Virginia

Appears a pale straw hue with a large white quickly dwindling head. Aromatics provide tart acidity and mild corn and rice sweetness. I'm also getting some apple juice like tones as well, kinda smells like a Jolly Pumpkin brew minus the oak barrel effects, yeah right. Flavor is no really beer like again more tartness mild sweetness some apple juice like flavors arise in the taste. No real hop character going on, yep another nonalcoholic brew not worth drinking. I picked this one up for my pregnant wife while on vactation as a novelty. Mouthfeel is carbonated water. Drinkability overall is piss poor, what's the point. At least if it tasted good we need some non alcoholic imperial ipa's on the market.

Jun 29, 2008
Photo of Ricochet
3.18/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4
by Ricochet from Ohio

I liked OM's NA and agree that it was one of the best NA's I've had. Now, there's a new NA in cheaptown that I can buy late-night from a grocer in Pitt.

This was 2.49 for a 6 pack! It wasn't chokeable and resembled Sterling. It was a funny note that I could not guess, and then it came to me. Sterling without alcohol. But for an NA, I'd rate it much better compared to Sterling, also compared to OMNA, a close second.

It was a darker amber, a plus. It smelled sweet, but there were hops there, almost exactly like OM. Mouth? Beer. A little bit heavy on the carbonation and a little sharpness of soda water scores against it.

Taste, well, does it have any? Yes, it's hops, it's grain, it is a beer like substance, better than some of the other NA's. I guess the label "All Natural Ingredients: Water, Malt, Yeast, Hops"...means there are no adjuncts, and it doesn't have a nasty cheap beer aftertaste, but all NA's thus far had that "missing element", expected.

For the price, you know, this really is a pretty decent NA so it gets a higher score for price/drinkability. It's another NA I'd pick up if OMNA is not available.

Oct 29, 2005
Photo of pentathlete
2.42/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5
by pentathlete from Virginia

Totally clear medium yellow. No head. No bubbles that I could see, no wait, there are a few. Smell is a little less overt than city water, but nothing foul. Taste is watery malt, more water than malt. No hops. Again, nothing foul, no skunkiness, no off flavors, just nothing assertive. Mouthfeel is thin, extremely watery. This can be consumed, but it doesn't taste much like beer. The O'Douls Premium was better.

Ready for the price? 89 cents for a can at Total Wine in Midlothian.

Aug 29, 2005
Photo of tgbljb
2.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
by tgbljb from Pennsylvania

picked up a six-pack to use as spacers for a Sunday afternoon picnic. Poured a medium amber color with white puffy head. Smells a little sweet with some malt noted. Taste is extremely light, but at least not offensvive. Finishes very refreshing. For an NA beer, this one is pretty good.

Aug 29, 2005
Photo of Suds
1.93/5  rDev -32%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5
by Suds from Missouri

My wife picked this up from the supermarket the other day. Granted, I didn’t expect much, but this is a fairly drinkable NA beer. It’s light yellow, with excessive carbonation. Thin head that quickly falls to nothingness. It’s got the expected wateriness, and the look and feel of an adjunct lager. Aroma and finish have a nice hoppiness, and there’s a grainy feel to the beer as well. I’m not asking her to buy any more (still not sure what she was thinking), but it wasn’t undrinkable.

Feb 13, 2005
Penn's Best N.A. from Genesee Brewing Co. / Dundee Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 70 out of 100 with 40 ratings