San Miguel Pale Pilsen
San Miguel Brewery Inc.

San Miguel Pale PilsenSan Miguel Pale Pilsen
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Style:
Pilsner - German
Ranked #835
ABV:
5%
Score:
66
Ranked #49,970
Avg:
2.75 | pDev: 22.18%
Reviews:
115
Ratings:
272
From:
San Miguel Brewery Inc.
 
Philippines
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  6
Gots
  53
SCORE
66
Poor
San Miguel Pale PilsenSan Miguel Pale Pilsen
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 115 | Ratings: 272 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by TheLongBeachBum:
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TheLongBeachBum from California

2.38/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Presentation: 320ml brown glass bottle shaped like a Belgian-style stubby typical of something that delivers Duvel, Bornem, Piraat, Gulden Draak, et al. Sealed with a red and silver colored crown cap. My bottle is from the Philippines and looks very much like that pictured in the BA Database. White screen printing labels this as “San Miguel Pale Pilsen”, with the words ”Pale Pilsen” and “San Miguel” also screen-printed on the front and back of the neck respectively. The backside describes this “Expertly Brewed Beer since 1890” as…..”A truly satisfying beer, with a refined well balanced flavor. Perfected and brewed for over a century. The only beer that nourishes true Filipino friendships”. No strength listed, but a freshness fate of 19Jun07 appears to be inked on the crown cap.

Appearance: Clear golden body has a pale straw strength to it. Thick white cap sits at 1” deep after the pour and stays there for some time until it relaxes down to a broken covering with a few minutes on the clock. Little lacing adds some extra presentation but not much. Streamers rise quickly and throughout. Decent enough looks at the start but they do fade with time.

Nose: Nothing at all exciting about this, run of the mill standard Euro Lager “pong”, you know the kind, fading hops with a metallic sleight which tends to exhibit a little skunk in the finish, though I know this beer to fresh and well cared for, the skunk is actually more cabbage like at times. Despite the low cabbage aromas, there is a clean aspect and bite to the nose but it's not appealing.

Taste: Very low key flavor wise. Pale looks are reflected in the strength of the tastes. Simple effort here, hopping is feint, the malts are distinctly delicate and the overall presentation is of a Pilsen that is brewed for the masses. Hits up a profile that is something akin to a Mediterranean Lager with some Belgian Macro Pils thrown in for good measure.

Mouthfeel: It may be thin but despite this it is balanced and exhibits enough to keep it of interest, probably more so on a hot day. Desperately thin but still balanced though.

Drinkability: Easy going, but the metallic trait blended with the low end cabbage trait does tend to detract from this offering after only one bottle. But it’s nothing terrible, and experience has been that often you work beyond this when stuck in places that have nothing else to offer “beer wise”, and I could certainly work (read: drink) past it if I had to.

Overall: Stuck in a hot humid Philippines, I would probably opt for something like this over the bigger well known World Mega brands also available out there. That said, it’s not one for the Pilsen purist, but travelers familiar with the ubiquitous Euro and/or Asian Pils will find nothing out of the ordinary here, but nothing exciting either.

Sep 12, 2006
More User Reviews:
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woodychandler from Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +50.9%
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.

Mar 06, 2011
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DrDemento456 from Pennsylvania

2.76/5  rDev +0.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Weee! So this was a dollar find at my local Beermuda. On top of that I kind of hate pilsners! On top of that the rating is shit! Good thing I am drunk!

A - Well damn no carbonation just a mild lace ring that settles to nothing. Color is on par with a yellow pee color maybe a touch darker.
S - Smell is not too offensive mild corn adjacent and some sweeter malts. No real skunk so I can't see why the low rating unless it tastes like ass.
T - Well it has the corn, then goes slightly sour, then fades to watery nothing BUT it doesn't have any hard water taste or skunk so in a way the WORST German Pilsner is still better than most American swill. Not that I would drink it again but I would prefer this over Bud or Miller.
M - Light to medium it DOES have some body and mild flavor.

Overall for a dollar I have had worse but for a low tier German Pilsner it was not too hard to swallow.

Apr 11, 2014
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bylerteck from Canada (ON)

2.63/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Had a bottle of this at a bar in Ho Chi Minh served by the nice beer girl in a tiny San Miguel dress. From notes.

A - Poured slightly darker than gold. Bright with a one finger white head that left spotty lace and a film of retention.

S - A little corny with sweet grain. Feel like I've written that far too often lately. Pretty typical Asian lager.

T - Not bad. Sweet grain and lot's of light sweet malt. A touch of corn, but nothing too bad.

M - Good carbonation, a light body, and a sweet clean finish. Smooth.

O/D - Not terrible. Standard and acceptable. Fairly smooth flavour made this go down well, but I certainly didn't think too highly of it.

Mar 25, 2013
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MichialTanner1 from Texas

2.81/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Dec 12, 2015
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valkyre65 from Texas

3/5  rDev +9.1%

Dec 09, 2011
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tone77 from Pennsylvania

3.07/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has a pale yellow color with a 1 inch head. Smell is rather mild, some grains. Taste is crisp, refreshing, a bit mild, some grains, bitterness at the finish. Feels light in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a mediocre beer, much better when I was drinking it on an isolated beach one night in Bohol with some locals.

Feb 07, 2011
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JuicesFlowing from Kansas

2.51/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Stella Artois chalice.

First of all, The bottle label is exactly that of the San Miguel lager, however the label says Pale Pilsen Beer. It's a little confusing since the label for the Pale Pilsen is different than the bottle I am drinking from. However, if the label says Pale Pilsen, so be it.

Look: A murky, faded straw colored body sits under a fizzy white head that recedes to a wisp of white with a small white collar around the glass. Very light minimal lacing.

Aroma: Sweet to the nose, not unlike a soggy breakfast cereal. The wet grain aroma is really overpowering and there is just a faint aroma of skunk on the back side.

Taste: The beer starts out chewy and really sweet with malts and a thick grain bill. It evens out with a bitter, dry grassy taste and finishes with a carbonated metallic bite.

Mouthfeel: Dry, carbonated, a little harsh.

Overall: Kind of a mess. Too sweet. Then when it "balances out" it just gets thin and metallic somehow. I am glad I only bought one bottle.

Jun 20, 2015
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BeerSingh from India

2.92/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Chose this over Lowenbrau..

A : Typical golden coloured lager. Poured a thick fluffy head at first but immediately disappeared without a trace. No retention and hardly any lacing

S : Smell was dominated by toffee and malts. It got me very interested. No hoppiness at all

T : The taste was quite bland, except that the zing from the carbonation was poking you everywhere. Faint maltiness and sweet - matching the toffee smell. But just no hops at all, I mean what happened - did they forget to add them ?

M : Thin and quite watery, except for the nagging carbonation (should have been accompanied with some body)

D : A standard lager / pils to boot

Nov 09, 2009
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krome from Illinois

2.75/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Nov 06, 2017
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r0nyn from New York

2.86/5  rDev +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.

Aug 27, 2010
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Thehuntmaster from South Africa

1.7/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

330ml bottle 5,0% Abv.
Served cold in a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Dreadful light yellow body, tons of carbonation and a large white head that disappears very rapidly.

Smell: Blegh, horrid nose. Sweet adjuncts, stale vegetables and quite metallic.

Taste: Light, bland and rather unpleasant. Sweet, adjuncty, stale grain, metallic with a stale after taste.

Mouthfeel: Light, watery body with unpleasantly high levels of carbonation.

Overall: Shit... Not much more to say.

Aug 24, 2011
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jbierling from Michigan

3/5  rDev +9.1%

Oct 20, 2012
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SonOfKyuss from Virginia

2.99/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

May 05, 2017
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Spineypanda from Texas

3.06/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Has a light straw color, with a little head that does not last long.
Smells a bit like every pilsner I have had before. Nothing special.
Tastes really light and has a little sweetness but nothing much else. A decent beer that is quite refreshing.

Not horrible but I do not think I would drink it again over other beers.

Mar 17, 2010
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allforbetterbeer from Colorado

2.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle into a goblet.

Lightly flavored pale lager with a striking resemblance to American style adjunct lagers and strikingly little in common with the traditional pilsener style. Light corn and sharp grainy flavor interact with a limp bitterness that comes off with light harshness and little flavor. There is a little cooked vegetable and commercial white flavor as well. Light body and pale gold color. Not much to praise. I quite enjoyed San Miguel Dark, so this was a disappointment. It would be better if they didn't call it a "pilsen" style beer. Not the worst adjunct lager around for sure.

Sep 20, 2012
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RSpencer from Florida

1.75/5  rDev -36.4%

Dec 10, 2012
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FreshYeti from Washington

2.3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Looks like a pilsener. Head is more pillowy than american adjunct lagers that I’m used to, but still soapy enough to dwindle to a thin layer as I type this.

Smell is a cross between coors and corona. That beery macro smell with an extra hint of skunk sweetness.

Taste: whoa. There’s definitely something different here. Honeysuckle, brown rice, sugar cane. With so little backbone, the 5% ABV is detectable. Further swigs reveal leafy greens, tree bark, and green bell pepper. I’m glad I tried it because it’s something different, but I can’t say I’m enjoying it.

Jan 04, 2017
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chefhatt from Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I poured the beer into a pint glass. The color is a pale yellow color with huge white head on top of it. I smell a little bit of malts but no hops. It taste very nice and smooth, not much to talk about. It has a nice mouth feel to it. I could use this beer as my go to beer when i don't have any craft beer.

Sep 21, 2010
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AgentMunky from New York

3.92/5  rDev +42.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 355mL bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Transparent dull gold with very impressive thick, chunky head with decent retention. Heavy lacing. Lots and lots of bubbles.

S: Fruity and floral. A seriously strong smell. Beery/grainy scents underneath. Impressive range and depth of smells for a pilsner.

T: Light-bodied and vaguely fruity with a mild sweetness. Carbonation initiates a tingliness which provokes the beerier grain and malt flavours before a watery-smooth aftertaste carries it out. Very nice.

M: Light, refreshing, enjoyable. Smooth in the mouth and easy going down.

D: Insanely drinkable. The most quaffable pilsner I've come across. Easily sessionable, sippable, or consumable in any manner you choose. Definitely worth picking a few up.

Jun 19, 2010
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sokol_1993 from California

2.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Stronger taste than many other mass brew in Southeast Asia, but was somewhat metallic.

Mar 28, 2019
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smithj4 from New York

2.89/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Apr 17, 2015
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soju6 from Missouri

2.87/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

A: Pours a clear golden color with abillowing head that fades to bits of lacing.

S: Aroma of malt sweetness, bit of citrus with some grain.

T: Taste has a bit of a hops nip with amild malt sweetness and grain. Mild bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Light body, crisp smooth and refrshing.

O: Perfect beer for the hot humid weather in Manila.

Jun 04, 2013
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UCLABrewN84 from California

2.78/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear gold with a 1 inch foamy bone colored head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small patches of lace form randomly around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain and some sticky sugar-like aromas. Taste is of grain, sugar, light fruit, and some slight herbal and almost plastic-like flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is somewhat poor beer with some slightly off flavors that really doesn't do much for me.

May 17, 2012
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OldTime from Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Apr 08, 2012
San Miguel Pale Pilsen from San Miguel Brewery Inc.
Beer rating: 66 out of 100 with 272 ratings