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

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Reviews: 2,098 | Ratings: 5,196
Photo of bier_uber_alles
2.92/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

nice golden pour - good start.. smells like hops and pine. Hmm.. tastes like hops and pine. I'm conflicted, I thought I was drinking a pilsner, not an IPA???

I'm not sure how people can call this a pilsner with a straight face. for the style, the bitterness and profile are way to extreme/off. It's getting really annoying how americans add hops to every damn style of beer and then rave about how awesome it is. nuking beers with hops does not make it better.
I wonder how i'd feel if this beer went by a different name, maybe just Victory Prima. perhaps I'd be more open to liking it, but as it's currently named and marketed, it's a bastardization of the style.

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Photo of RJBeverage
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle into a mug.
A pale yellowy-tan color, with a quickly dissipating white head.
A pleasant if somewhat generic beer smell, nothing jumps out. The taste is tangy, a citrusy bite, but not sweet at all. Hops bitterness is present in the taste and a bit strong in the aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is thicker than the pale color led me to expect.
If you like the type this may be a good beer for you, but I don't care for the bitter aftertaste that hangs on the tongue. I won't be going back to this one again, but that's just my taste. I wouldn't stop anyone else from drinking it.

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Photo of corby112
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light cloudy golden color with nice sized white foamy head. Weak aroma with hints of hops, wheat and citrus. Bland flavor of pilsner malt, subtle hops and straw. Easy drinking session beer that is a little too bland and watered down for my taste.

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Photo of ahatch551
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden color high carbonation very little head retention.

Slightly hoppy but sour aroma.

Good hop flavor but a little one dimensional, weak malt backbone, not especially well balanced.

Dry mouthfeel, good for style but not exceptional.

Fairly simple beer but drinkable.

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Photo of ElGuapo
2.95/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

a little spicy and hoppy for me. it was not a bad beer, but i can't say i will buy it again. much like the hop devil, it was a bit much on the sharp side.

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Photo of tempest
2.96/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Its been several months since I last had this beer, and I wonder if I might have an old barrel this time around. Looks great, yellow and gold with a nice white head. Smells sweet and a bit hoppy. Taste is similar, but it lacks crisp flavors. The hops dont have much flavor and he malt flavor is pretty plain. It just kind of tastes like a light pale ale. It thought it was okay and it still drank nicely, but this wasn't the beer I expected.

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Photo of Rifugium
2.96/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: ?

I'm obviously not a pils guy, but this one's not too bad, and it's seen quite often in bottles and on tap. Clear golden-yellow pour, with a bubbly white head that recedes to a thin layer, leaving a bit of lacing behind. Floral hops on the nose, grainy. No surprises here. Taste of pils malts, grains, biscuity, light and crisp, floral hops with a touch of citrus zest, fairly bitter and drying. Light body, pretty easily drinkable for the style, but overall just not my thing.

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Photo of saradad
2.97/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a 12oz glass, the head forms and dissipates quickly, leaves some lacing down the glass. The color is a lemony yellow with quite a lot of carbonation. The smell is not that impressive, citrusy hops mostly. Nor is the flavor that impressive, not bad but not great. Mostly the citus from the hops overpowers the malt. I really don't think this is a bad brew, but it's certainly not one of my favorites.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
2.97/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at Prime 16 in New Haven, Conn.

A: Poured a clear pale yellow with a strong carbonation and a great white head of foam.

S: Smells faintly of citric hops and mostly Euro lager graininess.

T: Not for nothing, but this isn't that great. I was looking for some aggressive hopiness for a pilsner, but instead, got mostly boring pilsner. That said, it was crisp, clean, slightly hopped and thirst quenching, but not what I was hoping for.

M: Mouthfeel is crisp and carbonated; refreshing.

D: It paired well with my citrus vinagrette dressing, but I probably wouldn't get a six pack of it or re-order it by itself.

Maybe I just got a bad bottle, and maybe I'm biased against pilsners as a boring style to start with, but I just couldn't get into this one.

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Photo of MichialTanner1
2.98/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Update) I'm revisiting this one 4 years later than my initial review and still don't get it. Folks rave about Prima Pils on BA, but I read through my evaluation here and nothing has changed. I'm going to name this one my "Blair Witch Beer", because that movie just didn't scare me like it apparently did everyone else.

Poured into my only pilsner glass, of course. Nice clear pils with a white, thick (yet temporary) head--could have read this typing through it.

The smell doesn't tell me much about how this beer will taste, which I don't expect too much from pils. It does seem very fresh and grassy, though, reminding me of garden vegetables--cucumbers, kale.

The first thing I taste is pine, which I am very leery of in beers other than IPAs--this tends to mask the alcohol taste, which shouldn't be necessary in a 5% ABV. I think low ABV pils should be a showroom display case for hops--I want to be able to really taste and try to identify the hops, but I can't (hey, there's a picture of a hop on the label). There is a floral taste at the finish of a drink that is kind of nice, but is quickly snuffed out by that pine-alcohol thing.

It's not bad and I could probably drink another, but I'm surprised that it is at the top of the list for this style. Oh, crap--I think the camera man just got eaten by a demon...

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Photo of umtox
2.99/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Clean and light with a fair amount of carbonation and a good head

S: Hoppy, bitter, but with a definite skunk undertone

T: Clean, a bit bitter and refreshing, a bit of a limestone or brine flavor.

M: Crisp on the palate giving way to bitterness

D: Not the lightest pils, but definitely a decent session beer.

This is a pretty decent pils minus the smell. Would find this especially refreshing on a hot day.

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Victory- Prima Pils

Appearance- Yellow. Bright piss yellow with a decent white head that dissapates after a sip or 2.
Smell- grassy hops. Light not too strong.
Taste- a very hoppy pilsner, slight bitterness.

Overall- yet another hum-drum Pilsner. Better than most, but this beer would serve its purpose on a Beirut table more so than served up in a glass. At $6.74 for a sixer I think its a little pricey.

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Photo of Danimaleatdrums
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from bottle into a pilsner glass.

Color is golden straw, thin head that dissolves quickly to sides, some left on top.

Smell is citrus, hops, and yeast.

Taste is citrus and honey, bitter long after.

Mouthfeel is prickly with carbonation.

Overall, a decent enough beer, but I was led to expect better. Good as a beer, but I don't think it represents the style.

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Photo of matty
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'm not has a big fan of this beer as everyone else seems to be.It's a pale yellow with average smell.The taste is a strong bitter bang in the face.I'm assuming that this style of beer is not for me.It also seems that I am in the minority.So go out and buy one and judge for yourself.

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Photo of alexskovan
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a cloudy dishwatery yellow, with a thin head that dropped quickly. Aroma is big on the grapefruity hoppyness that is all the rage these days among "quality" American beers. (Are the Europeans still mocking our beer for tasting like water, or do they now sneer at it because it tastes like grapefruits? Not that I CARE, mind you, what the good people of Euro-Land think about my great country. But still, I do hope that this insecure need to hop the hell out of our beer in order to compensate for Macro will go away soon.)

Taste is ok, not the punch of hops that I was expecting, but still not right for a beer that calls itself a Pilsener.

This beer is not the WORST abuse of the style that I've ever tasted from a micro -- and of course, it is much better than a macro. But to call it a Pilsener -- no. Sorry. No.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
3/5  rDev -26.1%

BB 24 Dec 14 bottle at 40 degrees into standard pint glass
Aroma of malt and maybe a hint of fruit
Head small (< 2 cm), white, frothy, very rapidly diminishing to a 1-2 mm ring and layer
Lacing poor – rare small island of tiny bubbles
Body very light yellow, clear
Flavor begins extremely bitter; this bitterness lasts past the beer and completely overpowers any other flavors; no malt, no alcohol, no diacetyl, no fruity esters.
Palate light, watery, lively carbonation

Appearance 2.75, Aroma 3, Flavor 3, Palate 3, Overall 2.9375. Final weighted score: 2.975
There is no hint of malt after the nose and there is no lasting dense head or lacing. The bitterness is more than expected or wanted, probably too much for the style.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.02/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear yellow-gold with a large, bright white, foamy head.

Smell is banana bread, or is it cornbread, with bitter grass, a little piney cologne, and even some pungent funk. I get tortilla chip as it warms.

Taste is astringent hops, grass, grapefruit rind, and pine tar. This is wild, and somewhat harsh--I see why this was considered, and still is, extreme for the style. Lemon and light wheat are also there.

Feel is quite dry and bitter.

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Photo of Naerhu
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Opaque gold body with huge fine head spattered with a couple of lava bubbles. Loads of lace.

Light roasted malt and oily lemon aroma. Something smells belgian.

Sweet pale malt at first fading to a dry harsh hoppy flavor. I am surprised at the harshness dispite only medium bitterness. Citrus flavors abound.

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Photo of fitzy84
3.07/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Very drinkable Pilsener. I felt it was better than most American-styled Pilsener's. It had a very, very crisp taste while being great in hop and malt balance. But for being an accessible drink, I felt it could have had more of stronger flavor than its light, golden taste. This was definitely a drink many people could drink that would be a very high quality beer. However, its lightness and watery feel left more to be desired.

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Photo of Beejay
3.07/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: A hazy lemon/grapefruit color. Very large white head on top.

S: Piney grassy hops, perhaps a touch of floral. Slightly earthy with a bit of bread in the finish.

T: Earthy and piney bitterness right off the bat. After that it doesn't seem to go anywhere else. The bitterness is almost too much, and I don't get a strong noble hop flavor from this.

M: Light in body, and the carbonation seems to be lacking a bit.

D: Meh overall. Seems like it is a miss on the noble hops, the bitterness is too much, and it lacks the clean crisp flavor I expect for this style. It seems like everyone goes gaga for this beer, but for me it is a pretty big miss. Thought I would give it a second try and I am still not impressed.

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Photo of SixpointJMH
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this pilsner is probably one of the more flavourful brews within the style that i've sampled, and probably the most flavourful of those that adhere closely to the style, but it's still nothing spectacular. it pours a moderate golden colour thats a bit darker than many other pilsners. it's a tad less carbonated than a typical pilsner too, which is nice. head is thin and short lived. the smell is a bit buttery and hoppy. the taste is actually pretty good here, solid for a style i'm not particualry fond of, but still nothing to write home about. there's a slight sulfur flavour in the back throughout, which i find to be typical of the style as well. here it was subdued some which was nice. again, this is more in line with the traditional pilsner style. if that's your thing, than this is a brew you'd probably enjoy more than i. give me a hoppy, sweet troegs sunshine pils or the limited rouge 12th street pils any day over this one. a bit of a disappointment overall.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.09/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a light yellow hazy color with a touch of gold. Good solid head with fairly good retention.

Has that classic pilsner smell, I need to find out what that is exactly, and bumps it up to a snappier version. A faint hint of citrus, but overall a faint nose without much to it.

Taste - without hesitation, the most unique pilsner I've had to date. I didn't pick up much hop aroma, but it sure is there in the flavor! Refreshing carbonation, the pilsner malt quickly gives way to a bitter hop bite. Not a lot of depth to the hops, but a solid grapefruit sourness on the finish. A lingering aftertaste of citric bitterness, but no development beyond the grapefruit taste.

Mouthfeel is very crisp via good carbonation. What would be an average body is enhanced by the hop level. And what would typically finish cleaner for a pils stays around longer via the oiliness of the hops

Drinkability - A little more bang than I would normally expect in a pils, this is an intense beer. The freshness date said to enjoy by Jan 24, '03, so technically this is 6 months past peak. A fresh sample may improve scores, time will tell. For as much as I am impressed by the flavor uniqueness, that same character also limits its drinkability as you don't expect quite so much aggressiveness in a pilsner style. Maybe this should be classified an India Pales-ner Ale? :-)

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Photo of beeragent
3.09/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pilsner glass, from a 12oz. bottle. The beer pours a clear straw, with lots of carbonation. The aroma is very skunky, with a slight hint of malt. The taste is a nice citrusy hop flavor up front, followed by a not so great grainy finish. Not much in the middle. Light mouthfeel. A very sessionable pilsner. Overall, I was a little let down by this one. Victory is an incredible brewer, so I was a little dissappointed that it didnt measure up to their other brews, IMO. An okay beer, but not worth paying almost $9 a sixer.

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Photo of GreenWBush
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Now here's a beer i've been waiting for with baited breath. I get quite angry about the lack of quality session beers to be had in the craft-world, especially the dearth of tasty pilsners. Perhaps my expectations here were just so high for a style so subtle I was setting myself up for a let-down.

Prima Pils pours out of the Hopleaf bar tap a shiny brass with a voluminous head. Its phenomenal head-structure creates a ferocious meringue atop the pitcher.

The aroma is that of lightly toasted grainy malt and huge Saaz-y hops...and not much else. A few plastic flavors make me think 'munich malt'.

Taste is...well, a huge let down. A nice bready - not grainy - malt flavor fills the mouth, then the lime-like citrus hop charge starts. The bitterness is not particularly high, but I just can't get around this odd and off-putting raggedness. Doesn't sit well on the tongue. One pint is plenty. Near-puckering almost sour flavor drags down the score, despite the bartender's claim of a fresh keg.

I appreciate the effort of crafting a flavorful pilsner...just not the actual resulting beer. Perhaps this draft-offering was just an off-batch. I'll look forward to trying this again, however, as legions of Victory fans can't be wrong.

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Photo of jslot38
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint Glass from Bottle, Freshness Date Marked

I'm not sure I understand this beer. While I'm sure I didn't receive a bad batch, I'm going to review the beer in front of me. It poured a pale yellow, completely transparent. The bubbly white head disappeared to a coating, and then to nothing, minimal to no lacing. A slightly yeasty smell with a few hints of clove and lemon peel. No dominate taste, certainly no lingerings. Not at all what I expected. Hops are hidden, malts aren't prominant, there is certainly something missing. Any detectable hops do show the common characteristics of a pilsner, a bit zesty, cloved, and a citrus twangs come through, but nothing is at all continually noticable or overwhelmingly appealing. I give points for its simplicity and drinkability however.

This, and I'm relatively new to the category, wasn't what I was expecting, and was overall a disappointment. Not nearly Victory's greatest.

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Prima Pils from Victory Brewing Company - Downingtown
4.06 out of 5 based on 5,196 ratings.
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