Prima Pils
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

Prima PilsPrima Pils
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Pilsner - German
Ranked #10
Ranked #5,437
4.05 | pDev: 11.85%
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States
Prima PilsPrima Pils
Notes: Prima! It’s a German exclamation of joy. It’s a recognition of accomplishment. It’s what escaped from our lips the first time we sampled this mighty pilsner recipe. With heaps of whole flower European hops and fine German malts, we achieved the bracing herbal bite and smooth malt flavor that we sought. Prima… an exclamation of Victory! Prost!

44 IBU
Reviews: 2,173 | Ratings: 5,479 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by the Alström Bros:
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap @ Redbones. Presented as a crystal clear, pale golden beer with a wicked tight white cream head with plenty of lace stick.

Aroma was a hop attack on the nose ... quite spicy, herbal and perfume-like.

Hops! All hops. A dry beer with an amazing hop character that's spicy, prickly to the palate with loads of earthy herbal characters. Malts are bready and subdued by the strong hop presence. Thin tropical fruitiness and a sweet tea-like backbone. Dry grain finish.

More hops than your average pils, but that was the point and the wonderful thing about the art of brewing ... you don't always have to follow style to make a good beer. Personally, I loved the defining over-the-top hop character. Without it ... it might just be any old pils.

Paired nicely with homemade sausages, catfish fingers and greens.

Nov 11, 2002
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Jason from Massachusetts

4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bight pale yellowish golden colour with a very active carbonation that hold the near perfect lace together.

Very expressive in the hop department with herbal and spicy aromas and flavours that solidly dominate the senses but not to the point of being overwhelming. Touch of biscuity doughy maltiness within, very clean with a dry long lasting hoppy finish.

Perfect with some spicy homemade sausage at Redbones. If you like your pils with more than enough hops this is the one.

Nov 11, 2002
More User Reviews:
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RoyalT from Michigan

4.46/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Very light in color with a beautiful foamy head that left a gorgeous lacing on my glass.

Smell - Light, grassy hop aroma with a balancing sweetness. It looks and smells like a pils, but how does it taste?

Taste - I've found it very frustrating that American brewers can't seem to mimick the exceptional smoothness and traditional flavors of a German Pils. This one hits the nail on the head.

The malt flavors are in the background, of course. The grassy and floral hops caress the tongue gently but distinctly. There's some sweetness to be had, but it's the signature hop flavor that leads this one to the Promise Land.

Mouthfeel - Masterfully light and smooth. Be careful of your first sip - you might empty the glass with it.

Drinkability - I used to love drinking a pils outside in the middle of the day, walking around cobblestone Bavarian streets in search of the tastiest bratwurst stand. This one takes me back. Another winner from Victory!

Update - I first rated this with a 2003 vintage to thought it would be fun to re-review it with an '04. This really is an amazing Pils. It's on the big side, mind you, but has to be one of the best session beers sold in the US. I'm upping my Drinkability rating by half a point and praying to the empty bottle.

Update - I took a studious look at this beer again in 2009. Six years now I've been drinking this Pils and it hasn't lost it's luster. I reviewed three bad beers in a row tonight, dumping most of them in the sink, so need something reliable.

The Prima Pils is just a beautiful beer. The head especially comes up just right and is one of the prettiest beer toppings I've ever seen in my life. The rest of the beer is top-notch as previously reviewed, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a better American-made effort at the style.

Oct 08, 2003
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oberon from North Carolina

4.07/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice yellow/straw with a medium but nice retained head,pretty highly carbonated.Smell was nice and malty with some sweetness.Taste starts malty and somewhat irony but has a lingering dryness to it,somewhat complex for the style.One of the best if not the best pilsners I have had real nice and highly drinkable.

May 20, 2003
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mothmanscott from Georgia

3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a medium straw producing 2 fingers of white, moderately lasting head & patchy lacing. Aroma is biscuity malt, floral & light lemon hop tones, some faint grass. Taste is similar with crisp, clean grain, bread & more intense hop notes. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium+ carbonation, slight pepper in the finish.

Mar 06, 2017
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RaulMondesi from California

4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, my peeps, I think it’s safe to say that I have finally found my Pilsner! Prima is glorious and delicate like Audrey Hepburn shopping for a new clutch. On top of that is a smooth grassiness like Simba rollin’ around the jungle floor before Scar offed his father.

Just goodness here, my peeps.

Feb 17, 2018
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Goatdavemac from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Too hoppy for my taste, but if you are looking for a hoppy pilsner, this is your beer.

Aug 20, 2014
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried at USBTC Tasting at Jungle Jim's Cincinnati. It's a mo-ped for Ale drinkers: they enjoy it, but they don't want to admit it to their Ale drinking friends. In reality, this is about as good as a pilner gets. Though no amped up body, hops, or foreign character, it's simple and to-the-point. A nice pilner malt base with characterful hops (may not be classic noble versions) and maybe an American hop or two for a better citrus and acidic hop finish. Lightly earthy and dusty, and a body that is on the upper end of the style scale. Although many will proclaim the Pilsners should not contain esters of any sort, I find that a pleasant, light estery quality of pears and a nectar-like perfume aroma compliment the beer well. Because of esters and basically no dms or acetaldahyde, the beer may use ale yeast? Finsihes very clean and very crisp. No doubt a best-of-style beer!

Jun 17, 2006
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gvickery from Texas

4.05/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall it’s outstanding. Look, smell, taste is everything you want in a great Pilsner. My only beef is with the IBU’s, cut the bittering hops down by about 10-15% and this will be one of the best in the world. It’s stil great as is. I’d say top 5 of US pilsners for sure. Cheers

Jun 29, 2018
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BuckeyeNation from Iowa

4.77/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lucid lemon yellow that isn't quite dark enough to be considered gold or amber. The lid is a shade darker than cumulus cloud white and is soft and fluffy. The foam persists for a while and leaves a small-moderate amount of lace in fat, broken rings. The nose is wonderful: all soft lemony hops with just a hint of earthiness.

Prima Pils is hugely impressive beer and I'm not a big pilsener fan. Hops are dominant, with that same lemon zesty, grassy character that is noted in the nose. This beer is beautifully hopped! It has just the right combination of citrusy flavor and hop bitterness to go along with a fuller than normal body (for the style) and a crisp, drying finish. Another solid beer from Victory.

Prima Pils is, without question, the single best German (American) pilsener that I've ever had. It would be enjoyable at any time of the year, but would be even better, no doubt, on a scorching summer day. Too bad it isn't available around here because I'd never be without it.

Mar 04, 2004
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Schlitz74 from Illinois

3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This is an above average beer, but this is not spectacular. I poured it in to a Sam Adams glass and had little head and it had grainy color. The smell was descent, it left very little lacing in the glass. it is worth a try.

Oct 19, 2016
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Parmesan from Colorado

4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L: Bright straw gold color, with a very creamy frothy white head and some nice fingers of lacing on the glass with a lot of carbonation bubbles.

F: Floral earthy hops on the nose with a hint of lemon, followed by a very nice bready malt aroma. A very inviting smelling beer.

T: Floral and earthy hops, some spicy noble hops, all balanced out by a strong bready malt flavor. It finishes with a nice pleasant bitterness. A very good drinking pils.

F: Clean, light and crisp, very easy drinking

O: This is one of my favorite pilsners, it is definitely hoppy for a pils, but definitely a great summer spring beer.

Apr 04, 2016
Photo of Squire
Squire from Mississippi

4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Light clear gold color with world class white cap and lacing.

Aroma of rich malt and herbal, floral, spicy hops.

Taste is a bit hop forward with rich malt quickly following. The hops posses an herbal aspect that's a little more pronounced than I usually get with a Pils style which I suppose is an American brewing touch. Otherwise the hops are bright, spicy and have that firm hoppiness often found in European Pilsners. Malt remains like a percussion instrument providing a bass line while hops sing merrily along.

Medium texture with balancing carbonation.

I was looking forward to trying this one and was certainly not disappointed. Remarkably good and I'll look for it again.

Dec 25, 2018
Photo of cjgiant
cjgiant from District of Columbia

4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled BB end of March, 2017
Pours with a little more chill haze than it ends up with when it is a straw yellow/white. The body is mostly clear and you can easily see laconic bubbles rising to the surface.. The head doesn't grow too large, even with a fairly vigorous pour. The head has a foamy soapy look and provides nice lines of lacing.

The nose has a grassy/crackery note to it. The pilsner malt comes out nicely, and the bittering hops are not rushing at my olfactory sense. There's perhaps just a little citrus - a sweet-tart little spritz in the mix as well.

A medium bodied beer, the up front notes come mainly from the malt, a thick cracker-like taste. A grassy background grabs my palate's attention as it focuses on it. As the hops come forward, there's a brief note of cardboard. Fleeting, the grassy hops some forth to shake my tongue. There is a decent little effervescence here that is mildly distracting to me but might be considered refreshing to others. The lingering notes sometimes seem to have a little unripe grapefruit pith to it.

A classic beer that was one of the first beers that turned the tide for me on desiring a hoppy, more bitter beer. Fond memories, for sure, but I still really enjoyed it these many years later.

Feb 02, 2017
Photo of HopDevil
HopDevil from Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Victory Prima Pils is the very definition of crisp and dry, and, if you look in the dictionary under refreshing, don't be surprised if they show a bottle of this beer as an example.

The cloud of hop aroma that wafts into the nostrils upon opening a bottle of Prima Pils announces that this is definitely not your customary Pils and accurately predicts the flavor that follows. While some yeast nose is evident, the clean fresh herbal hop aroma overwhelms the malt but what a heavenly odor to a hophead like myself.

A mountain of firm antique white lather piled up on the pale gold colored beer as I carefully poured the Prima into my pilsner glass. The lovely head was long lasting and left a patchy, frothy lace on the glass as it stubbornly receded. Prima in the glass is brilliant and clear of any chill haze. Effervescent bubbles were seen visibly drifting slowly up into the foamy cloud above.

The taste was predominately hops - herbal with a hint of grassiness. Prima rewards you with a satisfying hop flavor without succumbing to bitterness. Yes, Definitely noble hops and totally mouthwatering! Further along the taste buds I detected a very slight astringent or husky graininess with only a ghost of residual malt sweetness (my sweet receptor taste buds may have long since been burned away however) with no fruity esters, diacetyl or citrus notes in evidence. The after taste is hop heaven, dry and very enjoyable. This is a beer that is an excellent compliment to most meals but may tend to dominate delicate flavored dishes.

Prima Pils is a beer I savored and enjoyed very much and I predict that in future I will often have a glass of it's hopy fragrance and golden color in my hand. Like they say " A victory for your taste"
if you have a taste for hops that is.

Jan 04, 2003
Photo of malthead
malthead from California

3.91/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great appearance, clear amber with a very nice 2 finger white head. Smell is dominated by hops, I can make out the usual pine, with a little citrus, but nothing else. Taste is hoppy, but still balanced. Primarily spicy hops at first, then more herbal as it goes on... very nice. Good mouthfeel, nice level of carbonation. Great drinkability, goes really well with food. Super-hoppy for a Pils, but overall just a really nice beer, even for someone who doesn't like hops too much.

Aug 07, 2004
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daliandragon from Maryland

4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Terrific head retention, accompanied by a classic light golden color and oodles of carbonation bubbles in an otherwise clear body. Nose is remarkably fresh smelling with plenty of mellow hopping and a citrus twinge. Obviously tthe "grainy" typical pilsner smell is also present but this is a better example than most. Lacing also impresses even beforre the first sip.

Tight, tasty flavor that opens with malt and finishes with a broad river of open ended, piney hops. Aftertaste is satisfying and long lasting. Mouthfeel is clean and refreshing. Extremely European tasting.. If I didn't know better I'd have sworn this was an import, which is praise, particularly in this style. Tough to top on either shore.

Dec 19, 2006
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mnfinnkidd from Minnesota

3.43/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tried this one in preparation for a beer dinner.

Stray yellow in color. Very clear. White 1/4" head that quickly fades. First taste is of hops. More than the average Pils but it helps out. It's very smooth and tasty. Not your average Pils. The malt and hops balance out nicely. I think this one might be a great starter for my meal...

Dec 06, 2006
Photo of Spidey13
Spidey13 from Kentucky

3.23/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Prima Pils pours very clear and a very pretty bright yellow color and has a fluffy, white head. The nose is very nice, with lemon zest and noble hop aromas dominating.

The taste has a bit of sweet malt, along with more lemon notes and grassy hop flavors. A harsh hop bitterness shows up on the end, which quickly dominates the flavor in a way that is not very pleasant for me. The mouthfeel is about right on for the style; medium/thin with a fairly high amount of carbonation.

Overall, though I appreicate what Victory is probably trying to do - make a hoppy, craft pilsner - the bitterness is just a bit too harsh and out-of-balance for me.

Nov 15, 2008
Photo of BigMike
BigMike from Pennsylvania

4.51/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Brown 12oz. bottle.
Drink by date of sept.8 2008

Pours a crystal clear pale yellow with a nice head. Very little lacing remains after a few minutes. Lots of carbonation looks almost like ginger ale.

very light hop smell. Fruity with a slight citrusy aroma.

Taste is lightly hoppy and citrusy. A very crisp and clean after taste.

A great example of a pilsner. This would make an exceptional session beer.

The only time i drink pilsners is in the summer and today is a great example. Temp is pushing 100 and these Primas went down smoothly.

EDIT: Jan. 28 2010.

When i first reviewed Prima Pils i wasn't a huge fan of Pilseners and i don't think i gave a fair review. I purchased a Prima Pils glass from victory and a bomber of fresh Prima today. Let me tell you, if there is a Pilsener thats even close to this one i would love to try it. This really is an amazing beer. So delicate yet flavorful. The head is so fluffy and creamy and leaves gorgeous lacing all the way down the glass!
This is a world class Pilsener and a world class beer for that matter.
It doesn't need to 100 degrees as my original review said to enjoy this. Its about 30 outside right now and this is tastuing just fine.

Jun 09, 2008
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remllof from North Carolina

3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tall pilsner glass. The way this beer looks in a tall glass is fantastic. A nice decent head with nice carbination and a transparent golden color. Smell is a big hit spiciness of hops. Some maltyness to it but a bit overwheaming hit of hops. Mouthfell is light and refershing. Overall a decent beer from Victory. This is one I would pick up on a hot day

Feb 08, 2009
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professorchow from Massachusetts

4.14/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Rated yesterday but the rating didn't go through. Can't recreate the details now, but as an ale drinker and hophead, this is my favorite pilsener to date.

Sep 02, 2016
Photo of Ish1
Ish1 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

May 22, 2016
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Michaeldmanley from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Feb 14, 2013
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jnardone235 from New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -13.6%

Sep 03, 2012
Prima Pils from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 5479 ratings