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San Miguel Pale Pilsen | San Miguel Brewery Inc.

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San Miguel Pale PilsenSan Miguel Pale Pilsen

Brewed by:
San Miguel Brewery Inc.

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 08-09-2002

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Reviews: 96 | Ratings: 218
Reviews by Rmatuszak2:
Photo of Rmatuszak2
3/5  rDev +9.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of woodychandler
4.15/5  rDev +51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A college chum of mine recently did some overseas charity work and brought back various southeast Asian CANs for me. More proof that it pays to advertise where The CANQuest (tm) is CANcerned!

From the CAN: "Since 1890"; "Expertly Brewed Origial Full-Flavored"; "A truly satisfying beer with a refined, well-balanced flavor. Perfected and brewed following over a century-old tradition of brewing excellence."; "Expertly Brewed and Produced by San Miguel Brewery Inc. for Domestic Sale Only"; "Keep the Philippines clean. Dispose of properly." The reverse of the CAN depicted one of the stubby bottles of my memory! I do not remember this ever being CANned, frankly.

It was a tougher Crack! than usual, perhaps because the vent was more oval-shaped than circular, plus I got a little squirt across my fingertips since it was a brimful CAN. I got excited and went with a heavier Glug than I had originally intended, raising three fingers of rocky, foamy, bone-white head with decent retention. Color was Straw-Yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4) with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to see through the walls. It is windy & cold out there! Today is Sa, 13 Feb 2016. Nose held a slight lemony tang along with a metallic twang that is more like what I remember. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, not really watery, but not much beyond it, either. The taste was actually quite clean, belying the nose. It had a very light malt sweetness and there were not any appreciable hops, but it was much like I remember it. It was always great cold out of the cooler on those swelteringly hot, humid days in the PI. I like that they are CANning it now and if it were available stateside, I would put some in my summer cooler.

My original bottle review, dtd 10 March 2011 follows:

San Miguel?!? Hoo haa! How about SammyGooGoo, as that is how it was pronounced on hangover-ridden mornings in the PI (Philippine Islands)? I was once a young man with a sensibility that might have done me proud, but after my first (of many) liberty port visits to Subic Bay/Olongopo City on Luzon, my boundaries were stripped away. Barrio Baretto and Uncle Sam's Saloon were the sites of both my first Around the World and my first public sexual act (in a hammock to loud applause). Blewed, screwed and tattooed all for less than $20. was the battle cry and SammyGooGoo fueled the madness. Hell, we called it Flip (sorry) Roulette, because it was often "Green" - underfermented and ready to finish fermentation in your gut and erupt at the most inopportune moment. You never knew until it was time. I won a LOT of money for my prowess with this beer and the squat little bottle still fits my hand like a glove. I miss the painted label bottles, though, and God help you if you broke one. They were like gold for their Deposit/Return value and were closely watched. That and they were the perfect height for the Peso/Banana/Lotion Dancers. Use your imagination.

From the (paste-on) Label/Bottle: : "A truly satisfying beer with a refined, well-balanced flavor. Perfected and brewed following over a century tradition of brewing excellence."

A finger of bone-white head with limited retention. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-plus quality, allowing me to look into the neighbor's kitchen. Nose was surprisingly malty and lager-like. Nice! Mouthfeel was medium and it had a really pleasant German-Pilsner taste in the mouth. Not a lot of hops, but not diluted with adjuncts, either. Frankly, I do not remember it being this good! Finish was clean, semi-dry, refreshing. Suddenly, I was back with my brown honey-honeys, jaggin' the Marines, lolling in the oppressive heat just before monsoon season. Good times, bro, good times.

 3,693 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
2.5/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of tbryan5
2.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Weizenmensch
1.75/5  rDev -36.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

A squat brown bottle with a gold label and no freshness date.

Pours a pale yellow with a medium-density head which dissipates quite quickly, leaving a spidery lace. Not-too-fizzy with large bubbles.

Unpleasant skunky odour that kind of smells like a hot fart. Otherwise this beer has a serious composure and demeanour of faint grassy hops and definite adjuncts which smell like melting plastic.

Taste is worse still. Adjuncts come out of the woodwork and stain the underside of one's tongue. Nothing pleasant to speak of, really. It's drinkable if served very cold, but don't expect anything a true Bohemian pilsener would offer in abundance.

Mouthfeel: Acrid, with bubbles where there shouldn't be.

A very cold beer for a very hot place. Perhaps I was harsher on this beer than I would be if it hadn't followed a particularly hit-the-spot Bavarian Hefeweizen. I'm getting more of them, nothing like them on a cold winter's eve, or a hot summer's day, or any day in between. No more money on this ordinary San Miguel crap though.

 1,044 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.09/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pours clear, bright yellow in color with 1/2 inch head. Taste is corn, grain, grass, and sugary malt. Very sweet--almost like a non-alcoholic beer, with light body. OK to slightly above average example of the style. Perfectly drinkable, but I prefer others in the style.

 274 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
1.75/5  rDev -36.1%

Photo of GuidedByVoices
2.75/5  rDev +0.4%

Photo of Marius
2.5/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
2.49/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A 320ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2012 (on the cap). Acquired from Chi Yip, an oriental specialist shop in York. The label is printed onto the bottle, and the ingredient list includes cereals/sugar.

Poured into a tulip pint glass. A clear, pale golden colour with good carbonation. Forms a decent head of creamy white foam that lasts for a minute or two before subsiding. Aroma of light malt with plenty of corn/overcooked veg and a hint of stewed hops. Slightly sweet. Deteriorates rapidly as it warms, resulting in an unpleasant DMS-laden nose.

Tastes of ultra-light malt with a mild, dry finish. Faint notes of corn and stewed veg. A subtle sweetness, with a hint of staleness and solvent in the background. A very mild bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, but watery and insubstantial. Slightly astringent. Aftertaste of corn/stewed veg.

Not good - doesn't come close to a decent pilsner. This is adjunct-laden crap, and the aroma/flavour fully reflect that. Bland and weak, with nasty off-flavours and a touch of solvent/alcohol. I can't imagine this being decent, even in the Philippines. Avoid.

 1,126 characters

Photo of Robertas
2.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of valkyre65
3/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of vfalstad
3/5  rDev +9.5%

Photo of rastaman
2/5  rDev -27%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Very light yellow colour, head fades very fast. Very thin, a bit fizzy, tastes like water, very bland, which is pretty much like any other beer froM San Miguel.

 160 characters

Photo of r0nyn
2.86/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a mug from a bottle.

Appearance is a pale golden hue, transparent and full of bubbles. Big, fat white head that takes its sweet time in dissipating. Smell is decent, with malts and grains easily detectable, but not really much else happening. Wasn't expecting too much out of a pilsner anyway.

Taste is malty upfront, with a bitter bite and just a hint of hoppiness. There is a very mild sweetness behind it all, providing some contrast to the astringency. Aftertaste is just lightly bitter and on the dry side. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, as expected of a pilsner, but quite bubbly, so much so that the carbonation was a bit of a distraction. Not that it took away from my overall enjoyment of the beer, but it certainly has to be noted.

With a low ABV and an easy-to-stomach taste, San Miguel is a great beer for a social gathering, especially one with Filipinos. It's a decent, if unspectacular brew that does its job.

 938 characters

Photo of biboergosum
2.56/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

330ml squat bottle. 'Enjoyed for over a century', proclaims the back label.

This beer pours a crystal clear, pale golden straw colour, with two fat fingers of puffy, rocky, and cushioned white head, which leaves a nice display of drooping sudsy lace around the glass as it fades away.

It smells of semi-sweet corn and a lesser grainy malt, a musty, um 'fruitiness', and earthy, herbal hops. The taste is more sweet, pithy corn and wan bready malt, some mildly interesting, indistinct spice (if only for its obfuscated point of origin), stale lemon juice, and vegetal, dead flower hops.

The carbonation is moderate, just a weak edginess throughout, the body on the light side of medium weight, and smooth in the most lenient sense of the word. It finishes off-dry, the now evidently stale, corn-flecked malt waging a bland offensive against a mild booze and earthy bitterness offset.

San Miguel's offering is hardly reminiscent of pilseners of the old world, and generally just another foreign watering down of the style. A bit here, a bit there, trying to prove itself, but still pretty unimpressive overall. I can't imagine where this one would suffice, but hey, maybe that's my imagination's fault. Nah.

 1,210 characters

Photo of dacrza1
1.53/5  rDev -44.2%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.25

DATE: September 1, 2016... OCCASION: detoxing after an intense first four days of school as a second-year supervisor... GLASSWARE: Penn State pilsner... crispy, corny, funky, gassy aroma--not the way to ease into anything... the beer pours a clear pale golden body that offers energetic bubbles upward... the head is really impressive for a beer of this expected quality: thick, arching lacing sits atop a creamy, cavernously spidering web of snow-white head... back to the aroma, some grass elements suggest a light, soft hops... almost off-putting, the type of beer that one wishes would go quietly... this malty offering pounds the throat with sizzle and fizzle, oddly warm and abrasive... medium-bodied, but nothing going on up front.... slightly sweet, more syrupy and slightly carbonated.... a metallic awkwardness impounds the taste buds... this was part of a gift mix six from Judi, so I can never look a gift beer in the mouth...but wow, this lays eggs across the globe... the only cool thing about this is that i now drank a beer from the Philippines...

 1,063 characters

Photo of Metalmonk
3.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Wow, a pull tab? Cool! I'm not ancient, but old enough to remember having to avoid those damn things on the beach unless you wanted your feet sliced to shreds. But still: cool! And thanks to msubulldog25 for this rarity.

Pull tab pulled, and the pour results in a snow-white head that starts out thick then minimizes and stays for the duration at a quarter-inch. Pale lemon-juice yellow color, and super clear.

Suspiciously sugary and corny smells, although that grainy and sweet essence of a decent German pils comes through a little. A bit doughy, some steamed veggie character...all in all, not bad, but not super-impressive either.

Flavor is no surprise, and no world-class medal winner. But it's not a total failure either. Watery grains, watery honey, a touch of lemon, boiled veggies, faint sulphur, and Corn Pops cereal sweetness all intermingled. There's very little depth, and maybe no depth, if such a thing can be measured. But far from atrocious.

Texturally this kind of turned me off. Too watery, lacking the prickle and roundness of a good pils. Not a disaster, but with a flavor that could use an assist, the mouthfeel doesn't pull through.

Expected worse, but there are enough traits here that make it a better option than your typical U.S. corporate piss-lager. Of course, it's not much of an option when you can't get your hands on it, not to mention that lots of U.S. craft brewers are offering kick-ass pilsners, both traditional and imperialized. Better yet, travel to Germany or Czech Republic and experience the real deal...

 1,555 characters

Photo of Sammy
2/5  rDev -27%

Photo of tdm168
3.08/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - pale, translucent golden yellow with a soft, foamy, soapy, white head that has decent retention

S - grainy and sweet

T - grainy, sweet, corn, sugar in the finish, faint herbal bitterness

M - medium bodied, moderately carbonated

This is a clean, easy to drink beer, but it's not a good representation of the style. It's overly sweet, grainy, and ultimately, forgettable.

 377 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
2.5/5  rDev -8.8%

Photo of avisong
2.5/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Fatehunter
1.84/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A thin head on a clear, bright golden colored body.
The aroma is non-existent; the mildest grain.
The taste is mildly bitter and then watery middle to end.
A crisp texture, high carbonation and light body.
A lot going against this beer: smell, no taste and high carbonation coming up at the top of the list.

 308 characters

Photo of beerluvr
3.1/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Sampled from a dimpled German stein. Pours a clear and bright gold with a long lasting tight collar of rocky white foam, fresh grassy malty nose with some hay noted. Crisp and light, very clean with a nice residual hop bitterness...begs for another sip. Finishes clean too and on a hop note. Well made for sure...very nice warm weather session lager.

 350 characters

Photo of Momon
2.59/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

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San Miguel Pale Pilsen from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
2.74 out of 5 based on 218 ratings.
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