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Elm City Lager | New England Brewing Co.

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very good
164 Reviews
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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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 164 | Ratings: 393
Photo of warnerry
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No can date. Generous extra from woosterbill. Cheers, Will.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden brown with one finger of white head. Head doesn't last long, but leaves nice lacing.

S - Light sweet malt and very faint hops. Pils malt is evident.

T - Taste is pretty grassy, with a touch of lemon and moderate Pils malt presence. Finish is nice, with a lingering bitterness.

M - Light, crisp mouthfeel, with a moderately dry and bitter finish.

O - I would take Prima Pils ahead of this, but still a nice pilsener with a good flavor profile. And the cans just scream "Take me camping". I would get this again.

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Photo of DCon
4.05/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received a 12 FL. OZ. can of this in a trade w/ rjacobs6. Poured from the Green/White Colored can w/ a New English Ship on the front into a 16oz Dewey's Pizza Pint Glass. Has 7 06 12 A3BC on the side of the can, and not sure if this is a best by date or what...

Aroma- The aroma is made up of the average pils attributes with malt and sweetness. It does have a light flowery note too. Very clean and appropriate.

Appearance- Pours a 2 finger head that has better than average retention. Has a nice golden colored body with a clear background. Leaves thick lacing on the glass.

Flavor- Very malt sweet, crisp, and shows a light-medium hop influence with the flowery and noble character. Has a light-medium bitter finish while being semi-dry.

Mouthfeel- Light-Medium Bodied, Medium-High Carbonation, Clean, Smooth, and actually leaves some noble hops on the palate! Awesome!

Overall Impression- I'm not sure if I just haven't had a pilsner in a while or what but this one was beyond refreshing! Good amount of noble hop character and went down better than most brews of this style. Would recommend trying if you can get brews from New England but not a must. If I could, I would keep 1-2 of these in my fridge at all times for after a tennis match or workout. Great, refreshing lager/pils.

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Photo of GallowsThief
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of a can into a pint glass.

A – Cloudy and very pale on the pour. Massive 3 fingers of stark white billowing, bubbly head.

S – Malt, lemon, touch of sour.

T - Light malt sweetness gives way to equally light hop bitterness. Citrus notes with lemon. Little bit of spice with a little bit of herbal taste.

M – Crisp and clean on the palate. Bit fizzy. Light to medium body.

O – Solid German pils that is infinitely drinkable. Has a nice light taste and would make an ass kicking summer brew.

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Photo of rjplumer
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild creamy lemon aroma.Bright yellow with a mild haze. Pillow head that lingers for awhile. Medium bitter and sourness but not offensive. Has a nice clean finish. Not bad overall but seems to lack a stand out feature. I would drink one again as it is refreshing and drinkable.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

light amber pour produces a huge head of white that quickly drops off. aroma is full of grain, lots of bready notes, hints of light, very light euro hops and tons of malt. each sip is clean, crisp, clear and refreshing. nothing great about this beer, but its simplicity and ability to stay true to form should be commended. light aftertaste has a touch of corn and a light crispness that make you go back for another round.

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

Pale straw, golden color with a small white head on top. Somewhat bitter and sulfury aroma.. Strong hop bite right upfront. Lingering hop flavors. Grainy taste to it. Slightly sulfury and yeasty. Good crisp mouthfeel againt the hop bite. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Nice German pils for sure.

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Photo of philbe311
3.8/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Just shy of a full finger's worth of crisp audibly fizzy pure white head... Almost zero retention gives way to a full sheet of lacing... Swirling medium and large sized carbonation bubbles rise throughout... The color is a pale golden straw color...

S - A rich layer of noble hops... Some golden raisins... Bready malts... Some wheaty grain notes... Lemon zest... A very faint floral character... Simple, straight-forward, and spot on for the style...

T - The euro hoppiness takes center stage on the palette... Notes of fresh cut grass... Some orange and lemon zest... French bread... A subtle spiciness... The slight hope lingers...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... Subtle carbonation... Crisp... Clean... Refreshing... Ever so slightly on the dry side of the ledger...

D - A simple unpretentious quality brew... Quaffable and refreshing... Crisp... Clean... Quite enjoyable... Loaded with flavor and complexity for a 5% ABV lager... My first New England Brewing offering leaves me excited to the try the other I picked up on a recent trip through the area... A top notch lager...

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Picco in Boston.

Pours a clear light golden color with a white head that leaves decent lacing.

Smells of crisp pilsner malts with good amounts of leafy and slightly floral hops.

Tastes more robust than it smells. Smooth pilsner malts up front are joined quickly by light citrus and leafy hops. Midway through the malt influence sweetens things just a bit before fading out into a moderately bitter ending. Mouthfeel is good, with solid carbonation.

Overall nothing stood out as superb about this beer but it’s certainly easy to drink and is worth a shot.

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

Poured from 12oz can into a clear mug. Single purchased at Ancona's (Ridgefield, CT) for $1.89.

A: Slightly hazy slightly amber-tinged gold with short, 1-finger ivory, small-bubbled head with average retention and a few random lace streamers.

S: Soft pale pilsner, mildly bready maltiness mixes with a haylike, herbal hopping. The hops aromas are too muted.

T: The flavor is not offensive but is too sweet and honeylike for the style. The bready character fades quickly to a mineral note that is a little astringent. The hops are again muted and haylike without much bite and they lend a soapy bitterness as their overall contribution. The aftertaste is honey and light yeast.

M: The body is light and on target, but the carbonation is too low for the style, leaving it too coating and not dry and scrubbing enough for the style.

D: It's not a bad beer, just in the middle of the pack. Elm City Lager could use more bready maltiness with a sharper hoppiness that leaves the soap at home and ramps up the carbonation for much more crispness.

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Photo of xerotime
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a shaker pint glass.

Brilliantly clear golden color with a dense off white head.

Aroma of grain with a slight noble hop character. Crisp and clean with great carbonation and a light body. Drinkability is fantastic given the low alcohol and high flavor. Perfect for those hot summer days. A wonderful American version of a traditional German lager

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Photo of modernartblues
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this one fresh from the canning line (freshness is key with this beer)

A: straw body with nice 1" white head, nice rings of lacing, pretty

S: love the hopped up pilsners, fresh this one has those great grassy/herbal hop notes

T: similar to prima pils and others, this one offers a touch of hop bitterness, balanced out by a light malt sweetness, simple, but elegant

M: good carbonation, light, the definition of drinkable, but flavorful

D: when its fresh, I can and will drink this all day, Drink It. It's Good.

O: been loving this beer recently, as I have been on a pilsner kick

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.99/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Liked Sea Hag, LOVED Stout Trooper and Gandhi Bot. Figured Elm City at least needed a purchase out of respect to a great New England brewery.

A-Pours a decently hazed vibrant blonde. Head is as white as as a fresh t-shirt. Leaves reliable rings of attractive lace. Now looking down an almost empty glass, the lacing is not reliable, its smothering. Good lookin' pilsner. Enough said.

S-A but skunky. Yeasty and German hops are the leaders in the nose. Overall, a pretty pungent smelling pilsner. Hops are grassy and clean. The malt is light and fresh.

T-German Pilsner is not my most highly regarded style of beer. That being said, I find this offering to lie on my side of the spectrum. Once it hits the palate, the hops are clean and brisk. The hops are almost, soapy. Somehow this is not a bad thing. The bread crust malt is the perfect complement to the bracing German hop. Excellent balance here. The Pilsner style is very hit or miss with me, and I will say this one hits the right spot.

M-Lighter body. Smooth, crisp, clean, natural...all the things a Pilsner should be in the feel. Carbonation is restorative, and begs for another sip in order to rekindle the bubbly sting on the tongue.

O/D-This style is far from my favorite, but this specific beer is pretty damn tasty. The malt is the key here. It balances out those spinach-tasting hops quite well. A bit sweet, bready, hoppy, and even. Once again, NEBCO delivers. Mildly shocked to realize that Sea Hag IPA (Perhaps my favorite style of beer) is so far my least favorite branch from the NEBCO tree. Got a six pack of Elm City for nine dollars and some change; regretted the purchase after I walked out of the store. Not regretting during the session.

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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 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 Thorpe429
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a can at Julio's on my way to EBF. Served in a Hill Farmstead wine glass.

Pour yields a bright yellow beer with a very nice white head and quite a bit of lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward mild grain plus a touch of light Noble hops. The flavor is slightly bready with some grain and hay. Not too much spicy hop flavor, but there is a decent amount of bitterness in the finish. Feel is light and only moderately crisp, though not as much as I'd like for the style. Fairly drinkable and a nice brew on a rather warm Spring evening.

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Photo of cooch69
3.75/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy deep yellow with a HUGE head. Very agressive with a thick bubbled, soapy head.

Sweet pale bready malts in the nose with some light fruity esters.

Taste was pretty creamy and smooth. A decent amount of noble hops in there. A bit pronounced upfront and a bit more fruity than some other Pilsner's but it became really light when paired with some food.

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Photo of ngeunit1
3.98/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a bright hazy golden yellow color with a finger of frothy white head. The head has pretty decent retention and laces nicely down the glass.

S - Aroma is full of bread/yeasty elements mixed alongside a bit of grassy/piney hops for balance. Just a touch of malt comes through beneath.

T - Starts off with some light malt flavor with some bread flavor mixed in. This develops a bit and some spices join. Through the middle a bit of the hops come through and with some spices The finish is a mix of some hop bitterness and some yeasty flavor that lingers nicely. Very nicely balanced.

M - Medium-light bodied and fairly carbonated. Super clean and crisp mouthfeel overall. Very clean finish.

D - Very drinkable. Clean and crisp from start to end, but still enough flavor to keep it enjoyable. The flavor is really nice all around.

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Photo of trappistlover
3.52/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

(12oz can). Pours clear golden with white head. Aroma of florals and grass. Taste is a sweet malt backbone with a definite hope bite up front and at the end. Medium bodied with slick texture. Finish is slightly bitter and has a bite. Not bad at all....

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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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Photo of jaxon53
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Maybe one of my favorite brews at the moment. Served this chilled, in a pint glass, from a twelve ounce can. Haven't had a bad brew from NEBCO yet.

Appearance: Elm City Lager pours out a crystal clear, light gold color. Upon closer inspection, some very fine sediment is seen floating around. A rather hard pour results in a massive three finger head that is fluffy and bright white. Head hangs around a bit, and slowly dissipates into a thin layer of white foam. Some random, webby lace was left sticking to the glass. Some tiny carbonation bubbles were noticed streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Clean nose on this brew. Nice earthy malt backbone stands out to me first. Light hops bring a bit of balance. A yeasty element is noticed. Light notes of hay linger in the backgound. A somewhat European-esque nose. Very straight forward and inviting.

Taste: Again, crisp and clean. Sweet, bready malt is the opener to this beer. Very light hops hit the palate. A bit more of the yeast and some grain. Some what grassy and spicy. The Five percent ABV goes unnoticed. Finishes clean, smooth, and dry. Bitter at the end.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, smooth, lighter mouthfeel. Medium bodied. Just what I expect from this style. Moderately carbonated.

Drinkability: A very drinkable, sessionable brew. Great on a hot summer day.

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Photo of russpowell
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this from my long-time trading buddy, Bitterbill; cheers Bill!

Pours a super effervescent & slightly hazy straw color with 4+ fingers of ivory colored head.
Very good head retention & above average lacing, never really clears up

S: Breadyness, grainyness & grassy hops

T: Follows the nose plus some soapy hops as well, plus ever slight lemon presence as well. Grainy & bitter as this warms, crispness & soapyness rule the day along some flinty notes as well. Finishes crisp, slightly bready with lemony, grassy & soapy hops leading the charge

MF: Medium bodied, firm carbonation, okay balance could've used more malt IMO

Drinkable enough, a good, not a great Pils, but easily the equal of many I've had in Germany

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Photo of Homebrew35
4.16/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge 3 finger white head bubbles up on the pour into my SA pint glass. Pale slightly hazy light golden body. Smells of sweet malt, bready, some lager yeast. Tastes sweet and smooth at first, some english hops mid palate, grainy, lager yeasty crisp finish. Medium carbing, medium body, highly drinkable and can't wait to session this one some time.

$1.70 for the single.

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Photo of number1bum
4.02/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The pour is a very slow one as these cans are extremely carbonated, overcarbonated frankly, and even into a nonic it billows into an enormous, rocky head and takes a few minutes to fully pour. Pretty clear golden color with some nice bubbling action.

Smell has a very nice grassy hop aroma with some lemon as well. Has a light sweetness to it as well. Very nice noble hoppiness and definitely a nose that rivals the very fine pilseners from PA.

Taste also has a nice, fresh noble hoppiness, grassy and lemony with subtle spicy note as well. Light sweetness like the nose, and a subtle breadiness as well. Some hop bitterness in the finish as it's quite crisp and clean as well.

Mouthfeel is where I'm going to knock it for the overcarbonation, because it's so spritzy that it hurts. Light-medium body but the carbonation is just too much.

This is a really nice pils and one of the best domestics not made in PA I would say. I need to get a growler of this at the brewery next time I'm there because I bet the carbonation is better and the beer is therefore even better as well. Quite enjoyable.

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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 nrbw23
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a pale straw-yellow with a head that peaked over the rim of the glass. Head has pretty good retention and left some nice lacing.

S- Smells of wet grass, earth & grain. A touch of a few floral hops coming through, and bit of pepper spice. Overall, fairly mild and tame.

T- A bit more hops than I expected. Herbal earthy bitterness and a bit of grass. A bit of malts to balance things out.

M- Light in body and quite a bit of carbonation going on here too.

D- Its easy to drink for sure. Not sure how often I'd go after this one.

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Elm City Lager from New England Brewing Co.
3.79 out of 5 based on 393 ratings.
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