Samuel Adams Downtime Pilsner
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)

Samuel Adams Downtime PilsnerSamuel Adams Downtime Pilsner
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Pilsner - German
Ranked #413
Ranked #43,054
3.62 | pDev: 10.77%
Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Massachusetts, United States
Samuel Adams Downtime PilsnerSamuel Adams Downtime Pilsner
Reviews: 98 | Ratings: 422 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by BeerMeister8:
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BeerMeister8 from New Hampshire

3.99/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oct 13, 2015
More User Reviews:
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kojevergas from Louisiana

3.53/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BOTTLE: Brown glass. Branded navy blue pry-off pressure cap. Simple label design.

Acquired: as part of a variety summer seasonal 12-pack at an HEB grocery in Austin.

Reviewed live at low altitude in Austin, TX. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Vintage: 2015. Best before: July 2015.
ABV: 5.20%.
Style: Pilsner per the label.
Serving temp: Cold.
Serving vessel: Pilsner glass.
Expectations: Average given the brewery.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: ~1.5 inch wide head. White colour. A biteen thin, but frothy enough I suppose. Leaves no lacing as it recedes. Should be creamier, fuller, softer, and frothier.

Retention: ~3 minutes. Above average.

BODY: Clear pilsner yellow of average vibrance. Clean, with no visible yeast particles or hop sediment. Seemingly overcarbonated.

Looks pretty average for a pilsner.

AROMA: Surprisingly hoppy, with plenty of floral hop character. Actually, this is some of the most interesting and deep floral hop character I've come across in a beer in a long time. Has some soft herbal hop notes as well. Shockingly fresh and appealing, and the hoppy bitterness is somehow never too much even with only pilsner malts to check it. Has slight spice, with beginnings of hints of clove. Creamy, clean, and suggestive of a shockingly complex and balanced pilsner.

Aromatic intensity: mild.

I can't wait to try this.

TASTE: Really lovely for a pilsner. The marriage of hops to malts is great; there's a harmony of deep complex herbal and floral hop notes with clean crisp pilsner malts and clean barley. The bitterness/sweetness balance is near ideal. Very fresh and enjoyable, with above average complexity for a pilsner. It's not too grainy, and it's never stale, like many inferior offerings in the style. Sure, it's overhopped if we're going by traditional conventions, but that doesn't matter since the balance is so on the mark.

Depth of flavour: High for a pilsner.
Flavour duration: Above average.
Flavour intensity: Above average.
Flavour amplitude: Good.

This far exceeds my meagre expectations, bringing plenty of flavour to the table as well as notable subtlety without compromising on balance. The subtle spiciness of the Noble hops fits this pilsner nicely, and the fresh floral and herbal hop notes are fantastic. The neck label calls this brew "elegant" and I'm inclined to agree. Very likable pleasant stuff.

TEXTURE: Highly refreshing, with a smooth and wet feel, plenty of softness, and a leavened body. Clean and approachable, but not quite as crisp as traditional offerings. It's never too thin or weak, but it does suffer from obvious overcarbonation.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy.

This soft mouthfeel lends it good presence on the palate, and helps elevate the beer by accentuating both the fresh pilsner malts and the pleasant hop notes.

OVERALL: If you pitched me this beer - a hoppy pilsner brewed by Boston Beer Co. - I'd be very skeptical. But they brought it off, and boy is it a tasty beer in its underappreciated style. This is one of those diamonds in the rough that keeps me giving every beer a chance. I suspect this will fly under the radar, but the unbiased discerning drinker will adore it. Some of the best work Boston Beer Co. has done in years, Downtime Pilsner is an obscenely drinkable pilsner that I hope they put into 6 packs. Easily the best German style pilsner I've had in the last year. Some more refined decoction would make this even cleaner and crisper, and the carbonation problem needs to be addressed, but I can't recommend this enough - especially at its very reasonable price point. I hope consumers take notice of the unnecessarily high quality of this beer, because this is a rare example of an American craft brewery doing a downtrodden style right - and taking risks doing it. So much better than I expected.

Low B

Mar 15, 2015
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.72/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz brown bottle from the brewery.

Excellent looking lacing from a pretty dense head, perfect filtered clarity showing a brilliant pale golden color. Sweet herbal hop resin in the nose, bread and very clean. Crisp, moderate body. Lots of hop oil and soft resin flavor, very herbal. Light biscuity / cracker-like maltiness. Very clean and drinkable.

Jun 26, 2015
Photo of Suds
Suds from Missouri

3.54/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoy a good German Pilsner, and this is okay, bot it doesn't measure up to great ones. It is a golden color, clear, and with a nice white head. The aroma is ready, with a little grain. Some slightly spicy hops, but restrained. Could be a little more aromatic. The flavor is malty, with a semi dry taste and hop balance. Medium in body and clean.

Apr 12, 2015
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woodchipper from Connecticut

3.29/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Aug 23, 2015
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willardt09 from North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

May 27, 2015
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Doomcifer from Rhode Island

4.15/5  rDev +14.6%

Sep 19, 2014
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BcOneSeven from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Oct 13, 2015
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jwc215 from Arizona

3.67/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Best by Sep 2015:

Pours light golden with a fluffy white head. Lacing sticks.

The smell is clean with a hint of floral/lemon/grassy notes.

The taste is clean. It has a soft citric (lemon), floral bitterness in the crisp finish.

Smooth, crisp and clean this is a pleasant, easy-drinking basic German-style pils with a refreshing dryness in the finish.

May 17, 2015
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cmbeddoe7997 from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nov 08, 2015
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Kendo from New York

3.8/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from the bottle (I bought a single at Price Chopper) into a pilsner glass. Body is clear and light - not yellow or golden, exactly. More amber-y yellow, with a small white head on top. Rising bubbles give a nice presentation. Nice lacing on the glass.

S: Bread doughy malt and straw foundation is followed by modest, earthy hops of the Noble variety, methinks.

T: Pretty much follows the nose, with straw foundation, then modest earthy hops. Reminds me of the way I perceived beer to taste when I was a teenager, so in some ways it hits the American Macro Lager memories in my brain, which shouldn't be a complete surprise given that those beers were sold as "pilsners." It finishes with some florally hops lingering on the tongue and a modest bitterness on the back of the palate.

M: Light in heft with a slightly slick feel; this doesn't have the crispness that I want in a pilsner. It's a bit "soft" rather than sharp.

O: Not bad, not great. I liked their Noble Pils better, but if they were to can this, I could see it being a pretty good seller for the summer months.

Aug 13, 2015
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direwolf00 from Rhode Island

3.74/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dec 20, 2015
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Have to go back to May 2016 for notes on this bottle. I wrote at the time it was an "average pilsner." I was exploring a lot of pilsners back then and really didn't find many that made me want to reduce IPA consumption -- though I was looking to reduce abv per drink a bit. Basically learned that I much prefer Dunkel to pilsner.

May 11, 2019
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.6/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Poured out a clear, straw-yellow color with a fizzy, white head of foam. It smelled of toasted caramel, hay and floral notes. Sweet toasted caramel taste with a mild grassy bitterness.

May 28, 2015
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3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jun 10, 2015
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neenerzig from Ohio

3.93/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank this at my sister in law's house earlier tonight. Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a mug, this beer pours a clear, medium golden color with lots of streams of little bubbles continuously rising to the top of the glass with a head that was initially 1/2 to 2/3 of an inch thick when first poured. Settles eventually to a thick foam ring lining the inside of the glass along with some decent swirls of foam on the surface. Has a crisp malt aroma followed by some zesty, citrusy hops. the taste is pretty much the same with a crisp, somewhat sweet malt presence that gives way to slightly spicy, floral, citrus hop notes. Not a very complex flavor profile, but pretty spot on for the style I suppose. has a crisp, yet smooth, light to medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. A pretty good beer here.


Apr 19, 2015
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Lucular from Maryland

3.42/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Jun 30, 2016
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brewpubmellon from Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aug 08, 2015
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travis875 from Kentucky

3.85/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Aug 23, 2015
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tempo013 from Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jan 09, 2016
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miguelre06 from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Aug 16, 2015
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JohneHoodlum from Pennsylvania

3.5/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Apr 05, 2015
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Octoberist from Pennsylvania

3.77/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Feb 21, 2016
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NickMunford from Wyoming

4/5  rDev +10.5%

Sep 30, 2014
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Adam_Lifts from Alabama

3.68/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Jun 14, 2015
Samuel Adams Downtime Pilsner from Boston Beer Company (Samuel Adams)
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 422 ratings