Elm City Lager | New England Brewing Co.

very good
396 Ratings
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Elm City LagerElm City Lager

Brewed by:
New England Brewing Co.
Connecticut, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Named after New Havens historic nickname, this is a true German Pilsner made with all German ingredients.

Added by UnionMade on 03-31-2004

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 396 |  Reviews: 165
Photo of chrispoint
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of DrunkyBuddha
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of matthewpaul
5/5  rDev +31.9%

Photo of WHbeerlover
4.94/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been drinking Pilsners now for about four years after my first introduction to this style on a trip to Germany. Prior, I preferred stouts and porters. After four return trips to Germany mainly on business, I'm hooked. As a prior home brewer, I can appreciate the difficulties of brewing this style. Flaws can not hide and short shelf life are a couple reasons decent Pilsners are not the easiest variety to find in stores and or restaurants.

Since the return of my first trip, I been in search to replicate the experience of enjoying a German Pilsener. The Elm City Lager comes very close. Next to Prima Pils, this is the next best thing. Keep in mind I prefer to support my local brewer.

A- Pours a straw or pale yellow that has a slightly hazy hue with a hardy medium to heavy head.
S- A well balance Germain Pils with a bouquet that starts with floral and citrus hops upfront followed by slightly sweet, grainy malts.
T- Tastes clean, and crisp with a wonderful light malt profile and a hop finish. Again, very well balanced. Slight bitterness in the middle, finishes light, dry with a hint of floral.
M- Medium + bodied for a pilsner with medium to heavy carbonation.
D- Great flavor and balance. Extremely drinkable and not too filling.

Stock up.

Serving type: can

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Photo of brianlapointe
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of jryanj927
4.75/5  rDev +25.3%

Photo of Bendurgin
4.69/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this into a pint glass. The pours is light see through yellow with a bit of a cloudy body. About two fingers of a creamy, fluffy white head sit atop and retain nicely. This looks amazing! The smell is of grain, wheat, oats and other earthy aromas. Subtle spiciness and lemon zest finish this strong. The flavor is grainy and full of pilsner malts with a touch of bitterness at the finish. This one is really rocking my socks! Nice and light with great flavors give this a nice mouthfeel and outstanding drinkability. This is just what I wanted tonight. Bravo!

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Photo of geexploitation
4.62/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours with an attractive clear golden color and little head. Lacing on the glass. The nose is simple and fresh, featuring German hops with a fine-grain roughness to them and some lightly bready malt notes. Not too forward, but easy going and pretty. On the palate, light sweetness mixing with light, green bitterness before drying out and getting quite a bit more bitter toward the end. Juicy carbonation and the perfect combination of smooth malts and just a touch of rough hop oils to make things interesting. I can't say enough about this lager. It's so easy to drink and yet so tasty; every element of it is spot-on to style and well-developed in its own way. Just an excellent lager. If only it were around 4% ABV instead of 5%, it would be one of my all-time go-to session beers.

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Photo of NO_FRILLS
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first review--- lets start with a go to pilsner that i love year 'round
A- golden, plenty of carbonation
S- grainy and bursting with chalky malt notes... slight citrusy twang
T- Crisp, light and malty... heavily german-styled pils, very refreshing and dry
M- Light and very easy drinker yet still substantial
O- A go-to beer since finding this gem when i moved to CT... A really nice, local, and always fresh german-styled pils!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

New England's Elm City Lager should clearly dismiss the foolish notion that there are no good beers in a can! From its beautiful appearance and seductive aroma, to its superbly balanced flavor... it's a winner! A bright-white dollop of creamy foam rises above its clear golden body, and holds quite well, leaving rings of craggy lace throughout the glass. The nose is clearly laden with bright and vibrant Hallertau hops over a delicately sweet pilsner malt base. In the mouth it's smooth and gently crisp with a fine-bubbled, median carbonation and medium body. The flavor delivers a superbly balanced combination of clean, lightly-sweet pilsner malt; grassy, lightly citrusy, floral and mildly herbal hops; and a supportive bitterness that keeps it's malt in check and leads to a dry finish. Superbly done and on par with some of the best examples from southern Germany!

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Photo of Manoftyr
4.52/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance-Pours a hazy straw-yellow into the pokal glass, moderate head with excellent lacing, the head quickly recedes to a film.

Aroma-Nice and spicy mix of noble hops steals the show with aromas of lemongrass and early spring flowers, some biscuity notes in the background but this is primarily about the noble hops.

Taste-Similar to the nose, some crackery pilsener malt upfront lays a foundation and then the noble hops do their thing making for a crisp, dry and spicily refreshing beverage.

Mouthfeel-Crisp, light and with lively carbonation; perfect pilsener body.

Overall-A great, quality pilsener; glad to see more good lager styles cropping up in the US.

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Photo of dpianka
4.51/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

date of tasting: 5-11-2013
place of tasting: Barley Vine - Bristol, CT
beer: Elm City Lager
brewery: New England Brewing Co.
brewery location: Woodbridge, Connecticut
type: Lager
style: Pilsner
abv: 5.0
glass: mug w/appearance test in tasting glass
temperature of beer: 45F

Appearance: pours a thick rich head, color is like looking into a crisp and refreshing haystack

Smell: good evening Germania. Something about the smell of pilsner makes me feel like I’m laying on a checkerboard blanket somewhere in the rolling hills of Germany with a bratwurst in one hand a pretzel in the other and one of those beer hats with the ready accessible straws for easy drinking on my head.

Taste: there is a pile of fresh cut kentucky blue grass mixed in with hay and sprinkled with a touch of kumkwat bitter rind and all.

Mouthfeel: rich, creamy, somewhat heavy. very smooth, it coats my tongue and the roof of my mouth like pepto bismol.

Overall Impression: love this rendition of a pilsner. A little lighter in that sparkling hoppiness I am used to in Pilsner, but I really enjoy it.

Food Pairings: bratwurst, pretzel w/IPA mustard, kielbasa, a grilled mortadella sandwich on crusty Italian bread with mayo and a pickle, Golabki, pasta with blueberry sauce.

 1,257 characters

Photo of burymeinhops
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of pixieskid
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, another great lager in a can...the East Coast seems to have these on lock down.

Great golden color with a dense off white head.

Crisp, clean, and slightly slick mouthfeel with good carbonation. Nice fresh hop notes upfront with notes of pine, grass, and citrus. Has a nice presence of grains with a lingering dry bitterness.
Drinkability is off the charts and I have to say that this is an excellent example of an American brewed German Lager..

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Photo of jfcaa193
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of Stoneman78
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Delaney's Tap Room on a recent trip to New Haven
A- Pours a super clear hue of light yellow, head is mostly diminishing, light lacing
S- Mostly clean and crisp malts, some light grain and yeast, slight hops
T- Crisp bread malts and lager yeast, slight bitterness in the middle, finishes light and dry
M- Light-bodied, watery texture, good carbonation
D- This is a solid lager that would make a great session beer, good flavor and balance, alcohol is well-masked, extremely easy drinking

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Photo of MrSeth
4.48/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice bright gold color with a 2" white head. The head held up for a while and when it fell in the remaining suds kept a ring around the glass for the duration of the drink. The smell is a pleasant surprise, spicy cinnamon and clove with some gentle hops aroma.
Good thin body, chock full of [slightly] sweet malt and it becomes bitter and very dry at the finish. The finish is also on the short side, which I prefer in a beer of this style. The drinkability is excellent which makes the reasonable price a good thing. It pairs well with an ultra chic plate of hot dogs and bowl of Boston baked beans. Woo-hoo! Enjoy.

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Photo of Aggie69143
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer many times over the years,i recently bought a sixtel for my home kegerator,wow what a difference serving on tap than in a can,plus it was kegged 2 weeks ago.Great beer from a great local brewery{lucky for me 5 min from home},go n/e go.Great german pills with an american twist,highly recomended a top 5 german pills hands down!

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Photo of jakester
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this from a friend of mine. I drank it (for some dumb reason) in a goblet. No date appears on the can.

Pours a clear straw yellow/light gold with a 1 1/2 finger head of white foam. The head falls to islands and a ring, with good lacing. Carbonation appears pretty high.

Aroma is light bready pils malt, light citrus/grassy hops, and maybe a very slight touch of DMS just when you pour it. The DMS goes away very quickly. This has a very good smell, which lasts for the duration of the beer.

The first flavor is light bready malt, followed by a decent level of hop bitterness, and then citrusy/grassy hop flavor. This is damn tasty. Well balanced. Residual sugar is low to medium. Aftertaste is fairly long pils malt and noble hops.

Mouthfeel is clean and crisp, very refreshing. Body is low to medium, with a decent level of carbonation zing. Finish is clean and slightly dry, very pleasant.

I don't know if this is available in Pa., but I hope it is. I would get a case of this tomorrow. Very well made pilsner, clean, crisp, and hoppy. It would be a wonderful session pounder.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another day, another CAN!

From the CAN: "Here you have a craft brewed German Pilsner. At NEB we brew this traditional style with traditional German malt and noble hops. Clean, dry, and hoppy! We protect our delicate yet flavorful pilsner by packaging it in this protective, lined [CAN]. Drink it. It's good! [undersigned] Chris [? and] Matt M[?]".

My pour created a nice, big, thick two fingers' worth of foamy, bone-white head. The color was a light yellow with NE-quality clarity. The nose was properly hoppy and a welcome relief from some of the swill that I have been exposed to recently. The mouthfeel was medium with a definite Saaz hops presence on the tongue. The can read "lager", but this was a pilsner, through and through. The finish was mildly dry and quite refreshing. I wish that I had some more of this, I'll tell you.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz can, no freshness date. Purchased from Grand Vin Wine & Spirits.

It pours a straw gold with a very impressive head of foam that leaves some lacing behind when it shrinks.

It has a good Pilsner smell to it..a nice balance of malt and hops.

The taste has some mildly sweet notes balanced by a good hop bitterness mostly of the aspirin variety, but not over done like I've tasted in some brews. Good job of keeping that in check.

It really is *quite* delicious and one of the best domestics of the style that I've tried.

On the high side of light bodied with medium carbonation, I like the mouth feel and I reckon the drinkability is great. A very nice treat for myself.

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Photo of FatSean
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I love German pilseners. Poured from a 12oz can into a 12oz 'mixer' pint glass.

Very nice golden color with a thin head and decent lacing.

Smells of biscuity malts and some grassiness.

Tastes of the biscuit. The grassy scent carries over making the beer seem a bit coarse on the finish.

Mouthfeel is excellent, very to style with carbonation.

I could drink this all day. 5%, light crisp flavors and finish. Just my kind of summer beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of lager yeast, light malts and a good amount of hops, everything you would expect from a good pilsener.

T: The taste is starts out very bready but with very little sweetness despite a hearty malt character. Then a nice hops presence comes in quickly and provides an excellent balance. The after-taste is bready and slightly sweet.

M: Very smooth and very crisp, light-to-medium body, medium-to-high carbonation, dry and very clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not very filling, excellent representation of style, this is a good beer to just keep on drinking for an entire evening or to just pop open with your meal.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.35/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a Harpoon 100bbl tulip.

A: Crystal clear straw body with an inch of creamy, super-fine white foam. Good retention and lacing. Lovely looking Pils.

S: Simple, clean, and balanced. Bready malt, grassy hops, and nothing else. Awesome. I wish all Pilsners smelled this good.

T: A little spicier than the nose, with the malt pushed off to the finish. Again, very simple, very enjoyable.

M: A little on the full-bodied side for the style, with ample, soft carbonation.

D: Not quite as crisp as some Pilsners, but still very quaffable (especially when, as this keg clearly is, fresh).

Notes: I'm generally not a huge Pilsner fan, but fresh Elm City is still a joy to drink. The only example of the style I really prefer is Prima, but only because that is so heavily focused on the hops. Elm City, especially when not terribly fresh, becomes a bit overly sweet for me, but if you get it fairly close to the source it's just a beautifully done lager.


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Elm City Lager from New England Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 396 ratings.
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