Elm City Lager | New England Brewing Co.

very good
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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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Reviews: 164 | Ratings: 394
Photo of fank2788
3.59/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can served in a mug
Extremely pale yellow in color with a good sized chunk of bubbles on top that are kept up there by the high carbonation. The smell is of grassy and herbal noble hops and a bit of biscuity malt or clean wheat. The hops come through in the forefront of the taste but any hop flavor is short lived and gives way to a generic bitterness and astringent flavor. There is a little of the malt actually just enough to leave the finish a touch on the sweet side but overall it is quite neutral. Carbonation is high and the body is light and refreshing a clean slightly sweet finish invites the next sip. Overall I wish there was just a bit more assertive hop flavor in this to go along with the bitterness but that aside this is a very easy drinking solid pils.

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Photo of GOBLIN
3.89/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Not quite blown away by this beer but man is it delicious ! Really, it has a nice clean and crisp taste and feel as well as a great touch of noble hop flavors. Terrific pilsner.

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Photo of PatrickCT
3.86/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. can into a 16 oz tumbler. 2 finger head with a vigorous pour. Dissipated quickly.

a: A pleasing light straw color. Slightly hazy.

t: Crisp grains, light malt, grassy notes, dry finish.

mf: Crispy and refreshing

o: this is a nice easy pilsner and a great everyday beer...a good beer to convert a macrobrew drinker.

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Photo of scotorum
3.77/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the 12 oz. can into a Harpoon IPA glass.

a; Clear gold with a huge white head which required additional pours to keep from overflowing. The head receded rather slowly to heavy even surface foam and fairly dense lacing. However after the glass was full it appeared that most of the carbonation had escaped on the pour, relatively few (but tiny) carbonation bubbles left.

s: Grain.

t: Good grainy light malt with slight citrus note. Dry finish.

m: Light to moderate, good body for a pilsner.

o: A better than average pilsner, definitely get a sense of quality all the way. A refreshing warm weather and/or thirst-quenching brew.

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Photo of CTbrew32
4.04/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not much more you could ask for in a pilsner. Appearance is the typical clear straw golden and highly carbonated. Smell mainly consists of pilsner malt with some citrus notes. The taste is very clean consisting of a sweet nutty malt followed by light citrus hop that blends together for a nice finish.

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Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A thanks to the legendary woodychandler for this beer. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Beer came gushing out of this can upon the crack, resulting in a yellow/whiteish color with several inches of head. Smell is of grains, lemons. Taste is malts, grains, lemony, refreshing and easy drinking. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall makes for a good session beer.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.49/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Clear yellow body with a small white head. A bit of haze. No lacing. Medium collar.

Smell - Pilsner malt. A bit of cracker to it. Grassy hop in there, too.

Taste - The grassy hop comes out a ton here. Covers up some of the cracker malt. Pilsner malt comes back out in the finish. Bitter bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Crisp. A hint of sweetness as it warms. The hop bite helps this a lot.

Overall - Aggressively hopped for the style, which I don't mind. Still quite drinkable. I can see how the bitter back end could turn off some people, though. Definitely worked as tonight's cooking beer.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.28/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. can into a Pizza Boy pint.

Pours a foamy 1.5 finger white head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear goldenrod. Lacing is thick and ringed with good cling. Solid.

Nose is semi-sweet with a mellow, light hop presence. Not much else.

Opens crisp and sweet with a biting hop bitterness in the back. Pretty clean overall but the hop presence reminds me of earwax a bit. Not really flavorful. Just bitter. End is more of the same with the resin-y, sticky hop bitterness lingering well into the aftertaste. Its average.

Light bodied with moderate to ample carbonation. Quenching and prickly in the mouth and goes down mildly dry with a dry and crisp finish and a slightly lingering aftertaste. Pretty refreshing, which is just what I want from the style.

A decent take on the style but still not one I'd revisit. Drinkable overall and crisp and refreshing but I just can't get over the type of hop profile here. Dirty, bitter, and unflavorful. Its still a solid representation of the style but maybe this one just has a bit too much flavor for me.

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Photo of lostinfla
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can picked up on vacation earlier in the spring. Poured into Sam Adams glass.
Crappy pour (my fault ) ended up with a huge overflowing white head. Settled to very nice meringue and coating.
Great color that is bright yellow , slightly opaque.
Good carbonation.
Taste was bright and fresh, and went down smooth.
Only negative was the aftertaste which seemed slightly chemical in origin. Maybe the beer is too old?

Not bad for the style...

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Photo of stephenjmoore
4.12/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

A- Very pale straw colored body with tons of frothy foam. Can actually gushed a little when it was opened. Head is slightly off-white, but a foamy mess.

S- Pilsner malts, sweet grassy and citrusy hops, some dried grass aromas, hints of white bread.

T- Very nice mix of bready pilsner malts with a potent grassy hop flavor with lots of citrus.

M- Over carbonated. Not sure if I got a batch that was a little too lively, but it is very foamy and very bubbly.

O- This is a great pilsner. Fantastic hop presence and great flavor.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap a coalhouse in Stamford ct. Pours a golden straw with a bit of white lacing. Nice crisp bready malt and some nice hop aromas. Not typical lager skunk. Great flavors of bready malt with a nice dose of fruityness and a great hop finish. This isn't your typical lager and a fantastic one at that. Perfect for this weird 85 degree May day.

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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.

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Photo of Sam21
3.84/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Canned in mid-April according to the case box I picked the 6-pack from.

A- Slightly hazy pale golden color. Pale straw color. Nice bleached white head with sticky lacing.

S- There is a nice snappy grassy hop aroma atop a simple bready malt base. Simple, appetizing, and clean.

T- Clean and balanced. Bready malt base supports a nice grassy hop bite that picks up midway and cuts through nicely in the finish. It truly is simple and balanced. Perhaps the lightest touch of citrus.

MF- Light, but with a substantial enough body to carry the flavors nicely. Carbonation is mildly prickly, creamy, and fits nicely.

O- This is a solid pilsner with great balance. New England simply does not disappoint.

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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 mnrider
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. Can

A: Pours a pale hazy golden blonde. Nice large fluffy white head.
Excellent lacing and pretty good retention.

S: Sweet and creamy. Slightly bitter citrus hops.

T/M: Crisp with some nice carbonation. Tasty noble hops lean
towards a lemony citrus taste. A nice malt taste comes in to balance
the beer out a bit. The finish is on the dry side with some of that hop

O: New England Brewing Co. makes some great beer, and this Pilsner
is no different. It has excellent dirkability and a great taste. Well worth
a try, especially If your a fan of this style.


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Photo of yamar68
4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks brooklynbrews for hookin' it up!

Pours a pale straw gold with a thin finger of paper white head that laces well.

Clean and fresh - subtle citrus is overpowering with hoppy pine qualities. A bit of caramel malts, tastefully bitter.

Honestly, this is never my style but it's hitting the spot after a long work day. Conifer notes really dominate, but still highly drinkable.

My first beer from NEBCO - it won't be my last!

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Photo of cruzmissile72
3.65/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was recommended to me by a fellow customer in a store very near the brewery.

Pours a nice blond/straw color. The head dissipates very quickly leaving only a slight white line. Moderate lacing.

I noticed floral aromas and smells quite a bit. Nice hoppiness with a dry finish. All in all a nice pilsner that would be a good session beer.

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Photo of PicoPapa
3.68/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this a ton of times and finally now decided to review it. 12oz can in the new yellow and green cans, so its safe to assume it is pretty fresh. Pours a translucent light golden yellow color with an inch of frothy white head. Some lacing. Aromas of cut grass, floral hops, some grains, and sourdough bread. Taste is grassy with some floral hops upfront followed by a slightly sour finish. A bit bready. Crisp and really drinkable. Bit of a floral bitter aftertaste. This is my go-to beach beer. Overall, solid offering for a style that can be somewhat boring.

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Photo of Pahn
3.66/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz can into Duvel tulip. New yellow cans that just came out, so fresh.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch fluffy white head that dissipates quickly. Pours a clear straw yellow, and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Musty, with a slight lemony aroma. Uninspiring.

With time, some fresh white bread aroma comes out, which is nice. Not much else though.

Taste: Malty and lemony up front, with a great bready finish. Slightly high hop bitterness, works well. Herbal hop notes really open up with time, both spicy and almost cologne-like. Mild lemon flavor persists. Pretty good melding of hop and malt flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light side of medium bodied. Creamy. Moderate/high carbonation. Nicely dry finish.

Overall: This is a pretty satisfying beer. The high bitterness doesn't get in the way of the more delicate hop flavors or those occasional flashes of bready freshness. Still, most sips lack a level of clarity of flavor that I expect from a good pilsner. The sum of its parts is good, but in subtle beers like this I want to be able to zero in on the parts more closely and be rewarded for it.

If that seems too abstract or self-indulgent, I'll just say that the flavor is muddled but good. It delivers the German hops and pretty-well-done malt, but I can think of other beers that do both better.

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Photo of davey101
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

New style yellow can...meaning its pretty damn fresh. Props to NEBCO for the label change, much more appealing!

A- Super clear light yellow body with lots of rising carbonation. Massive fluffy white head forms, but settles down quickly to a patchy cap with large bubbles. A bit of sticky lacing.

S - Grass, light piney hops, a touch of lemon zest, and toasted grains. Very simple yet inviting.

T - Its all there. Starts off with some lemon and grass, then fades into the toasty grains and malts. The finish is light yet hoppy with a lingering bitterness. Mouth feel is thin and watery with decent crisp carbonation.

O - Pretty decent pilsner with a low hop profile but a lot of lasting bitterness. Was hoping for a bit more grain and toast, but oh well. A decent session beer on a hot summer day.

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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 OtherShoe2
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours light gold with a big foam head. No lace.

Nice citric hop note and some light spicy maltiness.

This is bitter up front, with malt coming second. Bitterness and malt are crisp and clean in the finish, but this is a bitter brew. Looking for grassiness and not getting any.

Lighter bodied.

Good version of the brew, but not for the faint of heart. Bold flavors, very enjoyable.

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Photo of alexgash
4.22/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. can.

Clear, clean golden straw body. Finger of gauzy, frothy, off-white head. Some fuzzy lacing. Fresh hay, a little sea air, honey wheat bread, and a little snappy, peppery citrus zest. Nice.

Sweetish, doughy malt up front. A little toasted grain perhaps. Spicy, peppery hop bitterness comes on soon enough and makes for a snappy, refreshing beer. A little honey mid-palate. Dry finish with lingering peppery hop bitterness. Moderate body with a nice, lively feel. Very quaffable, especially on a hot, humid summer day.

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Photo of n2185
3.55/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a clear straw yellow with a finger of white head that recedes into a thin cap with no lacing.

S: Crystal and pilsner malt aromas up front sweet biscuity notes on the finish.

T: Similar to the aroma, the pilsner malt flavors hit first with sweet biscuit notes. The finish has a slight hoppy bitterness.

M: Light body with medium carbonation, this beer is light, dry, and drinkable.

O: A solid pilsner overall. Not much complexity to it, but it's enjoyable and drinkable.

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Photo of horshack7
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured into a Pilsner glass is pale and golden. The head is around an inch thick and light and airy.

Aroma: Nice lemon zest in the front. Orange peel, grain, buttery, a touch of grassy notes.

Taste: Sweet tropical fruits and some simple syrup. Grapefruit, malty sweetness, it's fairly hop forward. On the palate is a crispness with a buttery texture.

Notes: Very solid very drinkable. Cheers.

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Elm City Lager from New England Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 394 ratings.
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