Pilsner | Steamworks Brewing Company

very good
33 Reviews
no score
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Brewed by:
Steamworks Brewing Company
British Columbia, Canada

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-15-2005

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Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 106
Photo of Lewnanny
3.46/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

A nice rich yellow color SRM around 2. The taste have a bitterness of 30, and have a nice touch in mouth.

The 500 ml can have a nice decoration and is attractive.

I will drink this beer again for sure.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

awesome bottle, this is a cool beer, maybe a little older than it should ideally be, but i still really liked the one i had. thanks to a recent windfall of cool beers, i was lucky enough to have one with the hockey game last night. its a robust example of the style, more hoppy than most, and with the slightest haze to it in the glass that makes it look a little different than the masses. good tall white head though, and a floral hoppy nose that i like a lot. its well yeasty for the style too, on the edge of being one of the main flavor agents in this beer, bready and traditional, but with a slight tang to it, a dried citrus brightness maybe, really neat with the base malt. it makes the feel awesome too, bigger and frothier, almost milky, but then still clean like a pilsener should be on the back end. its a trip through the style i havent taken before. i wonder how much its changed with a little age on it, is it just going stale in a really flattering way, or is it different to begin with. no date that i can see on the bottle, so its hard to know. overall though this was really enjoyable, a nice mix of really refreshing and drinkable but also really hearty and satisfying. beer drinkers session beer right here.

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

500ml Can. Pours to a generous white head and clear gold color. Aroma is a textbook Czech pils with spicy Saaz hops in the nose and clean sweet malts. Flavor is spot on and the leafy hoppiness lingers. Exemplary North American rendition of the style.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This Pilsner comes out of Vancouver and from a 500 milliliter can. On to the beer:

Sparkling light golden straw-colored, topped with over an inch of foamy white head. Very good retention on the top. The aroma is modest; light fruitiness along with hay and grass, typical Pilsner aromas. Regarding the flavor, it has a yeasty fruitiness to it with accents of hey, overall tasting quite yeasty for a pilsner. It's a light medium body beer with pleasing crispness and easy drinkability.

This Vancouver-based pilsner is as solid as a rock. Made for drinking after a hard day at work.

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Photo of Tomais
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

355ml bottle poured in a 330ml stange glass
~ 5 months before sell-by date
This is a lovely beer. With some reservations, it's approaching my favourite pils ideal.

L: Looks like a pils: pale yellow; big head, but that fades very quickly with almost no lacing.

S: I'm going to have to get another bottle for the smell -- I *can* smell, I just find it hard to pin down the details ... can smell citrusy hops, and a lovely full bitterness which doesnt come through very much in the taste.

M: I didnt pour it agressively enough initially, and there was far too much carbonation. There was a bit left in the bottle so I poured from a bit of a height -- the head overspilled the glass, and then I felt the beer was a bit flat. Oddly it felt much better after leaving it stand a minute.
This is a very light beer, really easy to drink -- there is a hint of oiliness to it, but nothing off-putting about that.

T: Taste is hops, citrus: a little lemony, with a nice amount of orange/marmalade/peel. The rest just carries this through (there's no other strong characteristics) yet it does it so nicely. There is some bitterness in the middle and towards the finish, but it fades out. There's not much going on in the finish, and the after-taste is a little empty which is disappointing.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a finger of head on a clear golden body.
The aroma is bread and lemon zest. Nice.
The taste is mildly malty sweet, mild bitter end. Good balance.
The texture is crisp and fizzy.
A nice pils.

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Photo of headlessparrot
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours from the tall-boy can a clear straw gold capped by a finger or so of loose white head that recedes quickly to a couple islands but leaves some lacing. Lots of visible carbonation.

Smell is a crisp hop snap, lots of grassy, hay notes. Some biscuity, crackery malt. Slightly pepper. A touch vegetal. Slight hints of fruitiness, maybe apples? Taste is clean, bright. Well-balanced. Biscuit, cracker, hay and grass. Slight resin? Light body, perfect carbonation.

Arguably the best pilsner made by a Canadian brewery (Check yourself, Steam Whistle). Not exceedingly complex, but absolutely nails the style, and is a delight to drink--crisp, clean, super refreshing.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy yellow 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, earth, floral, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, earth, grass, and hay flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with solid aromas, but the flavors are much better and make this one tasty and super easy to drink.

Serving type: can.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml can poured into tulip 14/6/15

A clear golden yellow with some tiny suspended particles, two fingers of loose soapy foam falls quickly leaving just a few random patches

S grassy and spicy noble hops, a hint of lemon, dry cereal and floral notes, basic but solid

T mimics the nose, lots of noble notes, a well hopped pil, not a whole lot going on but about right for the style

M light bodied, crisp with a fairly clean finish with just a little spice and lager yeast

O I had no idea what to expect but this is a rather agreeable summer beer, simple but so is the style, I could drink another

I think this might be my first from this brewery, I've been looking at it on the shelf for a while and it was my wife bringing me a random beer that finally got it in my glass

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Photo of Bunman3
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A very enjoyable Pilsner - perfect for summertime, grilling and patios! This stands up well to many of my favorite Canadian pilsners - the Saaz hops and crackery finish make it very easy to drink.

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Photo of PorterPro125
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Serving Type: 500 mL Can

A- Pale Golden topped by a thick 2 finger head. Head has great retention and leaves lots of lacing on the glass.

S- Grain, light citrus, and a hoppy spiciness.

T- Follows the aroma well except there is more of a hop presence. Quite a bit hoppier than your average Pilsner but quite nice.

M- Medium body and medium carbonation.

O- A refreshing Pilsner with a little bit of a hop kick.

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Photo of TheBierdimpfe
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Slightly hazy pale straw color with some nice activity. Thick, almost creamy, white 3 finger head lasting around 10 minutes with some strong legs.

Aromas and flavors of citrus, grains, fruits, floral and herbal spices (saaz). Well intensified crisp taste of slight lemony and orange sweetness with a pleasant floral and earthy bitterness feel.

Very light body with prickly carbonation. Balanced finish ending with a bitter clove spiciness and a strong grassy feel on the tongue.

Overall : Good craft; nice flavors, well intensified, but lacking some freshness and a little too thin.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Indicative of the mounting backlog here at Chez Woody and especially of The CANQuest (TM), I have no idea where this one came from! I was going to say that it was in the final batch from my ex-local, in-person trader, tone77, who has moved out of the area, but there is room for doubt. Ugh. If you sent it and would like credit, just speak up. I know my traders, BTW.

From the CAN: "Steam Powered Since 1995"; "Malts: Pilsner [;] Hops: Spalter, Tettnanger, Hallertauer & Saphir [;] Colour: Golden [;] IBUs: 30"; "Recycle for Redemption".

It is a 500-ml. CAN from CANada, so following the loud Crack! and the spritz that resulted from a brimful craft CAN, I attempted an inverted Glug. The CAN was so full that I could barely get it upended before I had to begin backing off. It is at times like this that I wonder if #TheOldLady isn't right and I am just trying to make a big mess. Nah. Not when the result is two-plus fingers of foamy, puffy, bone-white head with good retention. Color was Straw-Yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was laden with Saaz hops and now my mouth was watering. I do not mind German Pilsners, as such, but I will eschew them in favor of Czech Pilsners when they are available. Mouthfeel was soft, caressing my poor, bruised tongue. The taste was clean, grassy, Saaz-driven with a hint of biscuit malt lurking in the background where it belongs. I just looked at the list of hops on the CAN and it is impressive! The more of it that I drank, the more I reveled in its clean taste and unwavering hoppiness.As a hophead, this was my idea of a nightcap. Finish was crisp, clean, dry and at just 5% ABV, a definite CANdidate for a summetime cooler. Czech it out!

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Photo of GFM
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Can poured into a pilsner glass. Clear pale yellow pour with a respectable white head and ample carbonation, moderate lacing. Biscuity, grassy aroma. Tastes a bit bitter. Overall: Has the look and feel and taste of a pilsner. Admittedly, Pilsner is not my style of choice, and it's difficult for me to judge this one on a relative basis. My sense is that this is a good but not exceptional example of the style. (7.0)

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear pale yellow in color with moderate amounts of active visible carbonation and light to moderate amounts of lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall foamy white head that reduces to a large patch of wispy very thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of grassy and spicy hops over the top of bready & cracker malts.

T: Upfront there is a light to moderate flavor of bready and cracker malts. That is followed by moderate flavors of grassy and spicy hops with a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness.

M: Light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Crisp.

O: A really enjoyable clean and crips Czech Pils that is extremely easy to drink. Glad I got the chance to sample this one while visiting. I really like the hop profile of this beer.

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Photo of metter98
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear straw yellow in color and has a slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles on the surface.
S: Moderate aromas of grassy and spicy hops are present in the nose.
T: As in the smell, the taste has flavors of spicy hops along with notes of grassy hops, the latter of which lingers through the finish.
M: It feels medium-bodied, clean, and rather crisp on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I really liked the grassy and spicy aromas and flavors of this beer, both of which make it a very good representation of the style.

Serving type: can

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Photo of mactrail
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Color is more pale yellow than gold, with a fine white pile of foam in the tall wine glass.

Aromatics are bold to help out the wispy weight-- grassy, resiny, and lemony.

Flavors are sturdy and full of a grainy, citrusy taste. Bitterness creeps up linger long on the tongue.

Crisp mouthfeel and a very light body. Sharp and it gets sharper as you sip.

Thoroughly drinkable, though very bitter by the end of the glass. From the 500 ml can purchased at the BC Liquor Store in Ladner.

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Photo of ghisty
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

appearance: very clear, pours thin almost watery, but gains color at the head,
a thin white gold , clear, fine, sharp.

smell: faint grain, hops, a dry wheat, oats maybe. not strong nose, but as is the style.

taste: like flatbeard, and grain, the oats come through again, only slight in the taste.
has a good sharp start, perfect pilsner range of flavour, no offensive over done notes of wheat like some offerings of similar style.

crisp, but not long lasting on the sharp side, it levels down to a nice wide carb letting those notes of grain really come out with the after taste, its dry but not overly. refreshing mouth, doesnt leave a dry mouth, but still cuts like its dry pils.

its great. I had this once before but from a can and on the move, fishing i think.
so naturally it wasnt the best being served all wrong and warm even.
but it was good enough to make me want to try it properly.
and now that fishing season is over, I can fully enjoy this round pilsner,
with its airey color and its crisp grainey range.
one of the better pilsners available where i live.

 1,096 characters

Photo of leaddog
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a pale straw with a finger of bubbly white head.

Smell - spicy hops, toasted grains, hint of grassy malts, hint of sourness.

Taste - Similar to the aromas with the spicy hops, toasted grains, and hint of grassy malts.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with light to moderate carbonation. Finishes crisp and dry alongside a hint of bitterness from the spicy hops.

Overall - A easy drinking Czech Pilsner. Although its a not a stand out in this style, it certainly is refreshing and sessional.

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Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

355 ml bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Light gold with a moderate amount of creamy, slightly fluffy white head. Particularly sweet fruity aroma: Apricot and strawberry notes, honey, hay, grape skins, white bread, hints of lavender, musty vanilla bean. Dare I say the aroma is almost too sweet and lacking in the expected floral/spice elements, although these lurk in the background. Palate is similarly full of berry and pear flavors, although there is a pleasant crispness in the finish, where the expected grassy hop notes finally emerge. The hop bill listed on the bottle seems wicked in principle but in practice I'm not so sure for this style. Saphir is fruity for a German bloodline and that cider-like sweetness from the nose carries through right until the end, where one expects more of a palate cleanser. The residual sweetness fits the Czech style although the body is too thin and the malts are subdued. I am getting more spice and herb notes late. Unique pilsner and I can see the appeal. I'd look for a more classic take on this style.

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Photo of mick303
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%

Poured from bottle from BC Variety pack at the LCBO. Colour was a clear light golden colour, with some good lacing.

S - light grainy malts with a light floral aspect, slightly honeyed, earthy hay aromas.

T - full malt feel, clean biscuity malt, also notes of pear and crisp hay. Some floral and cranberry notes, has a good balance initially then develops a bit more malty sweetness. But also a lot of crispness on the finish. Overall it has a balanced subdued floral hay character, ending is crisp and has a firm mineral character.

M - overall quite a full satisfying feel to it, lot of pilsner malt character. Full creamy carbonation and a refreshing crisp character.

Overall this was a good interpretation of a czech pils, which was actually quite forthcoming with some nice malt character, hops were complimentary but fairly subdued, all around it was a balanced and flavourful brew. Thought they did a pretty good job on the style, maybe not as aromatic as it could be, but a solid all around pilsner that is well executed, even if it isnt an all time favourite.

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Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%

There's a lot of mass-marketed brands masqueraded as Pilsners but most of the proper ones have an immediate, telltale sign: a distinctly pale straw-gold colour with a brilliancy that almost mimics the yellow-ness of lemon curd. I've found that it's not uncommon in the best examples to also note a near-green tint and prominent filminess. And of course a sturdy, well constructed head that lasts. All these features describe Steamworks Pilsner to a tee.

As far as me and my nose are concerned, a hop bill comprised of Spalter, Tettnanger, Hallertauer and Saphir is as good as a passport in identifying this as a bonafide German pilsner - nevermind that it's actually made in Vancouver, Canada or that its brewer considers it "an homage to the original Pilsners of the Czech Republic" (were it truly that he'd have used Saaz).

This distinctly pungent yet floral and fruity bouquet has ambrosial (to a beer geek anyway) notes of rose petal, juicy tangerine, lemon zest, and even a bit of key lime. I can't get enough of the stuff and each round of intense sniffing must immediately be followed up with a big swig which, itself so delicious, must in turn be followed by again more long, hard smelling.

It's a wonderful back-and-forth, and I'm sure I'll continue to want for it long after this glass is empty. Were this available locally I'd certainly be buying in bulk. That's the beauty of a pilsner done right: it has meaningful flavour yet mindless drinkability. It offers complexity in a carefree package. I am savoring the taste of the graham cracker-like malts and the grassy bitterness on the finish - but this thing is disappearing at an alarmingly fast past.

It's a shame that so few beer drinkers ever get to experience a pilsner the way it's traditionally intended to be: distinguishably aromatic, with a prominent but pleasant bitterness and a rich yet straightforward maltiness. Large-scale breweries around the world have popularized bastardized and emasculated versions of this wonderful style - it's great to see Steamworks setting the record the straight. Pilsners everywhere aught to be more like this one.

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Photo of DenisKolkin
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%

355 ml bottle picked up as part of the BC craft brewers sample pack. About 2.25 CDN per bottle. Served cold into a Keith's pint glass.

Appearance - clear, rich yellowy golden color. Capped by a finger and a bit of thick white foam. Nice amount of lively bubbles. Good retention and some lacing left over.

Smell - impressive smelling pilsner. A nice floral aspect mixes with the grassy aromas, but there's a hint of graininess and even a fruity aspect maybe some tangerine and passion fruit. Delicious smelling pilsner.

Taste - crisp and clean tasting before a big juicy citrus and passion fruit or maybe mango comes and charges your taste buds. Some floral aspects and a solid light grain base, but the fruitiness of of this pilsner is the star. Obviously it's only fruity to an extent we're not talking IPA or APA levels here, but the hop presence is large and the result is delicious.

Mouthfeel - light body but with a prickly carbonation, yet very smooth. Very nice feeling in the mouth.

Overall - one of the best pilsners I've ever had, if this ever becomes a staple in Ontario, I have probably found a new go to beer. If everything else in the sample pack is as good as this, ontarios lucked out with steal of the year.

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355 mL bottle from a BC Craft Brewers Guild sampler picked up at the LCBO; no apparent freshness info. This brewery has some awesome label art. Served well-chilled.

Pours a clear golden-yellow colour, crowned with one finger of frothy, white head which soon recedes. In its place, a soapy cap and collar remain, in addition to a few swaths of lacing. Nice aroma - grainy pilsner malt, crackers, lemon and grassy hops. Definitely reminiscent of some of my favourite Czech-made lagers so far, but how does it taste?

The answer? Superb - this is just an excellent pale lager. The flavour profile is delicately balanced, with grainy pale malts and doughy sweetness starting things off, and the enjoyable noble hop bill finishing things off. Very grassy, with lots of lemon zest and some lightly earthy notes that offer a mildly bitter finish that lingers briefly into the aftertaste. This is a light-bodied beer, with heavy carbonation that prickles the tongue and provides a crisp, refreshing mouthfeel. This lager is a pleasure to drink, and I wish I had more than one bottle so I could test its sessionability. Yeah, that's the ticket...

Final Grade: 4.1, an excellent A-. I've had only a handful of domestic-made Czech pilseners, but Steamworks' Pilsner is one of the best. This is an approachable, well-made, highly quaffable pale lager that beer geeks and macro lager fans can enjoy equally, leaving the majority of 'craft lagers' behind in the dust. Absolutely worth a shot, and a worthy inclusion in this sampler pack. I'd drink this regularly if it were available locally.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.76/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for $2 or so

Appearance - Clear gold/yellow colour with an average size fizzy and frothy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is a fair/good amount of lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Grains, malts, corn, light hops

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation. I can taste grains and lemons mixed with malts and some corn. There are also some hops and a cracker flavour.

Overall – Refreshing and crisp, and not a whole lot of adjunct flavour. A great summer beer and something I'd drink again on a hot day.

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Pilsner from Steamworks Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 106 ratings.
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