Prima Pils | Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown

2,098 Reviews
Prima PilsPrima Pils

Brewed by:
Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
ca. 44 IBU

Added by Todd on 07-27-2001

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 2,098 | Ratings: 5,197
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a 3 oz sampling glass.

A: A deep golden/copper hue, darker than I was expecting. Short head retention.

S: The aroma was a powerful PILS, compared to other more balanced out PILS.

T: The full bodied taste was nice while drinking a handful of light summer ales. Although there was something not quite right with the overall taste. A bit too over powering for a PILS, most people found this least enjoyable, but I felt that it was a bit over done for the style. But hops were present. . > good thing.

M: A great mouthfeel for a PILS, much better that a light yellow lagerish PILS

D: Good beer for a summer tasting, by adding a nice contrast to the lighter beers we had sampled. Good beer, but not one I would buy a six pack of, maybe a single for a tasting.

Notes: Sampled at a beer tasting at Bliss in Wauconda, IL. Compared to many of the other summer beer we had tasted, this one was the most potent and full bodied.

 937 characters

Photo of MMAJYK
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- Very bright yellow and not quite transparent. Head is minimal and bright white.

S- Fresh grassy smell. Hops, hops and more hops. I can see where this one is going.

T- Lively taste of fresh hops. Pilsner is just not my thing; a little too harsh. Pine and citrus excite this one.

M- Very bubbly and decent carbonation. Mouthfeel is one of this beers best qualities.

D- Again, I am not much on the strict, pilsner beers. But, if that is what you like, I would find this beer delightful. Not bad, but the harshness of the taste would get old to me.

 551 characters

Photo of assurbanipaul
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light sparkling yellow-gold with a medium white head. Aroma is light and sweet hops, just slightly grassy.

Taste is a bit corny, sweet light malt. Sweet body with a hoppy bite that follows the flavor. A nice dry Saazy sharpness lingers into the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is very light and drinkable. A good attempt at an aggressive pilsner for a US brewer, but I'd still prefer the Czech versions.

 407 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale amber with a small fading head.
Nose shows spicy hops in abundance, with some soft green apple and grape notes in the background. Also noticeable phenols along with bready malt.
More bready malt as a flavour, also some spicy hops and piney notes. Finishes with a pretty assertive bitterness.
Nice moderately-light body, could use more carbonation though.

 365 characters

Photo of tony223366
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pulled from my beer journal:

Reviewed in early May 2011 out of my Deschutes Pilsner Glass

A: Really bright golden color. Very clear with a nice head. Lots of lacing too.

S: Smells sweet and malty with a surprising shot of hops. Loved it!

T: A very sweet malt beginning that lead to a big hop flavor that I enjoyed.

M: Light to medium body with a lot of carbonation

O: Not my favorite style at first, however this beer was good. I can definitely appreciate what they were trying to do here.

 496 characters

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Slightly hazy (?) light lemon yellow with just a hint of gold hue. Medium white head reduces quickly to a thin cap. Light lacing.

Aroma is more balanced than I expected. Malty with a spiced fruit (citrus) quality and grassy hops.

Aroma is more malty than the flavor. There's a quick flash of malt to start, then a transition into a mild fruity (citrus zest) hop flavor with a touch of pine. It's the finish where the hopping really asserts itself. Looong bitter finish which goes grassy and drying.

Mouthfeel is smooth and crisp; a touch creamy.

Not bad overall; drinkable, though overrated in my opinion and certainly overpriced.

 634 characters

Photo of finstadp
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

The Prima Pils from Victory Brewing Company was a pleasant surprise. The beer had a light yellow appearance. It had a smell full of hops and floral notes. The beer had a lighter body mouth feel. The taste was light and earthy with hints of hops. This was a very nice Pilsner.

 275 characters

Photo of TeamSeinfeld
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up to see why it was ranked #1 among German Pilseners on this site. After paying $9.50 for a 6 pack I thought that this had better be damn good for this price, wrong. Although a decent beer it is far over priced and over scored by other reviewers. Prima Pils was far to carbonated, its carbonation was that of Busch Light which does not boast flavor only drinkability. For the style it has too much hops. To me it tasted very similar to Summit Pisener where you can get 12 for this price. All in all not that bad but why people rate it so high for this style?? I would call it American style hop pilsener.

 617 characters

Photo of caddybuyer
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle.

A-Straw colored with filtered clarity and a decent foamy head that laces nicely.

S-Wow..a pils with real hops. Hops and grassy..decent.

T-Clean, crisp, refreshing and hoppy, for the style. I'm not a huge fan of pils, but trying to be objective here. A decent effort.

M-Well balanced overall.

D-Good beer for a summer day, but not something I'd go out of my way to try again.

 407 characters

Photo of cpn920
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap and it poured a straw like color with a foamy haead that was gone quickly. Smelled hops and than more hops. Taste was not what I was expecting and maybe that is because i'm not well versed in the style. My problem was the overwhelming hop flavor. Sometimes hops are over done and IMO this is one of those instances. Finish was almost metal tasting. Beer was light and well carbonated. Not my favorite beer. Probably won't come back to this one as there are too many other beers that I like a lot more. But I still think this is a great brewery...just not this particular brew...maybe the style isn't for me???

 620 characters

Photo of FollowedMyFolly
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Prima is an excellent Pilsner. I drank it on a buss trip to the Victory Brewing Co. which was three hours from my hometown. The mouthfeel was easy and smooth and no harshness in the after taste. I'm thinking that it is the little twist that Victory puts in to make it their own. Cheers!

 286 characters

Photo of WillieMoe
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As pilsners go this is probably the best around, at least in my neck of the woods. It pours a golden color, a bit sharper than most pilsners. Smell is mild. It has that grainy pilsner taste, but goes down fairly smooth. Has a bit more hop flavor than most pilsners, but overall the taste is pretty smooth. Not the best Victory has to offer, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better pilsner. I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I was hoping, but I think it's just because I don't like that grainy pilsnery taste.

 512 characters

Photo of SteelerNation
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Crystal clear which is great for the style. Pours a somewhat dissappointing 1 finger head with signs of overcarbonation. Sub Par lacing.

S: Grassy hops, yeast, and green apple.

T: Doesn't have the the super grainy pilsener taste that I am used to. The hops are very assertive in this beer and define the taste. More bitter than your average Pils. A grassy and grapefruit hop flavor combination. I think the taste fits the style more than most highly hopped pilsners. The flavor isn't 100% there though and the beer drinks a tad too watery.

M: Light and borderline watery. Dry finish.

D: Good but not great. I'd probably forget about it if it weren't made by Victory.

Overall I am a huge fan of Victory, but this one fell a bit short. The hops and color are good, but everything else is lacking. Mouthfeel is too watery, like a crossover brew. I'm not impressed by this one.

 883 characters

Photo of ElijahCSkuggs
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Slightly foggy golden/straw colored with a very white colored thin layered head. Nice flimsy retention and an alright lace as well.

The freshness and yard-work come through strong. Hoppy, piney and lemony.

Bitter and strong, that has a biting character of hops. There's an underlying fruit character that's similar to grapefruit. Crisp, dry and sports a long aftertaste that is kind of hit or miss with me.

This is a rather good German beer that I would rather have than a Budweiser; it's sessionable. It's a strong tasting beer that I'll recommend, but probably not encounter again for quite a while.

 606 characters

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

This brewskie was a 12 oz. brown bottle, dated ‘best before May 29, 2004’ that I snagged in Feb. 2004 direct from VICTORY. Poured up crispy clear, yellowy light, scads of bubbles from out of nowhere like a scuba diving team is hidden in the bottom of me pint. Tight white cover that fades to a slick, and slides down the sides. Mixed bubbles.

Scents of wild flowers in a Spring field with a babbling brook breeze. I think some maltiness escapes too.

Flavor is of a true America beer, like an old fashioned beer that Dad drank. There is the flatness of a warmed wheatness a la PBR or Miller High Life, but so as not to offend the VICTORY ilk, I must add it’s more refined, lemony notes, with smooth easy body, despite the physical initial presence of bubbles, that dies by the third sip.

This pilsner is a watery drinker. If you can dig pilsners, this is ideal due to the robust pilsner flavor, which is an oxymoron of beer sorts.

Last swigs: Pilsners never were meant to set the modern day beer lover tongue world on fire. In that regard, Prima pils is a contrarian offering that balances out most beer fridges with a softer grace of a trad pils that smells and tastes of an American wheaty beer. Highly drinkable due to a naturally tasty watery feel, but bold Pilsner kick.

Beer is good. Happy pils beering.

 1,331 characters

Photo of Furlinator
3.53/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours cloudy light gold with a 1/4 inch white head that quickly fades to a ring and thin cap on top and leaves strands of lace.

Smell is of roasted grains and bready malt up front with floral accents.

There is strong hop bitterness upon first taste with a malty aftertaste and a trace of honey sweetness.

Texture is medium bodied with medium carbonation.

A solid, sessionable, hop forward pilsener.

 406 characters

Photo of JDV
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

White short lasting head, with a nice balanced smell. Decent amount of bitterness up front with a honey, malty sweetness following and a yeasty flavor. Good hop presence that fades into a semi quick slight bitter finish. Would try again, but not my favorite pilsner.

 266 characters

Photo of stephens101
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear pale yellowish orange into a pilsner glass. The white head dies out quickly leaving a few small fingers of lacing behind. Bubbles endlessly rise to the surface at a carefree pace, indicating a fair amount of carbonation. Smells earthy, grainy and a bit sweet. Tastes of hop bitterness at first, with the malts and a bit of lemon in the background. I'm also getting some very subtle notes of spice with a fleeting astringency at the very end. Mouth-feel is a bit above medium.

 489 characters

Photo of angelmonster
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a big 3 finger white head, body is pale golden yellow in color. The nice head almost immediately shrunk down to less than a finger. The retention and lacing overall were barely average

Smells of light straw malt. Very typical pilsner smell, light with no real hop aromas

Taste is of grassy malt. There is also slight bitterness towards end, like grapefruit. There is also faint metallic taste that comes and goes.

Mouth feel is very light. Carbonation is good and not too high.

Drink ability is above average. Beer is definitely session able but a bit boring. Would drink again but not in a hurry to buy anymore soon

 627 characters

Photo of 1fastz28
3.52/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

pours a light golden color with lots of carbonation and a strong hop smell to it, tastes hoppy with a slight malt sweetness to it, with a spicy hoppy aftertaste, the frothy head doesn't stay for long as it quickly subsides, a good beer especially for the its cheap price, a good representation of a tough brew to master

 319 characters

Photo of NEhophead
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle.

Creamy 1" white head with very solid retention. Thin and scattered lacing with solid strength throughout the glass. Clear, straw/light golden in color.

Faint lemon and floral hop aroma. An underlying corn, light malt sweetness.

Crisp hop flavors that lead to a firm, moderate bitterness. The corn/grain flavors are what drive this pilsener. Virtually no aftertase besides some floral hops. Nothing outstanding in terms of flavor, but remarkably crisp.

Light bodied; crisp, clean, and refreshing. The mouthfeel on the palate is without a doubt the best aspect of this beer.

Light and refreshing. Again nothing special in terms of flavor, but not a bad version of the style. In all honesty, I'm not a big fan of the style, but Prima is a good version IMO. Worth a try if you like the style; if not, give it a shot anyway, you might be converted.

 878 characters

Photo of json83
3.51/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Taste similar to a porter with 159 calories per bottle at 5.3% ABV. Not a fan of this similar porter style taste. The aftertaste is strong/bold, a bit better than the average. You can taste the hops and malt strong and it has the heavy feel of a Guinness with less calories. This pilsner is good but not for me.

 311 characters

Photo of pmcadamis
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lemon yellow slightly hazy brew with a thin white head that quickly recedes to a fine smoky haze. A good swirl does, however, bring back a good cap. Quite a few wet arcs lace the glass.

Smells clean and refreshing, but pretty weak. I can smell sweet grains and some thin hops.

Tastes much better than it looks and smells. Very big acid hop presence that borders on sour. Lemon rind and unsweetened grapefruit are unaccompanied by any sort of balancing malt. Very acrid and astringent. This brew is like a sharp biting blade of tart hops.

Mouthfeel is appropriately light and quenching. Good carbonation level....not to bubbly like some pilsners. Drinkability is somewhat lessened for me due to the very acidic and sour hop profile...but strangely I found myself craving another.

This is not a bad beer. I like it for what it manages to accomplish, but it's not my cup of tea (glass of beer?)

 903 characters

Photo of CortexBomb
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pour is straw yellow with a dusting of white head on top. The aroma is crisp malts, a bit of biscuit on the edge.

The flavour starts out flowery, and gives way to a solid biscuity middle. The floral aspects hang out on the back of the tongue, adding some depth without taking over. Slightly astringent on the finish, but overall solid taste.

The mouth on this is about what one would expect, not very thick, some hop action but not a tonne. The drinkability is also par for the course, I would have given it a bit more love here but for the finish.

The bottom line: Victory has put together a solid take on the style. This would easily be up into the 4.0 range if the finish was better though, as the front and middle segments of the taste are easily in that rating category for the class. Altogether, given the price this one probably won't be in my regular rotation, but I would try it again if I ran into it on tap.

 921 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Aroma is slightly sulpher tinged and sharp with hops. Lemonade yellow with a huge three finger thick head that is frothy and bubbly. Fore is grainy/malty with a lot of sweetness from that malt. Hop profile is lower than I thought it would be. Definitely a great warm weather beer here as it is quite quenching.

 310 characters

Prima Pils from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.06 out of 5 based on 5,197 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.