Fair State Brewing Cooperative

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German Pilsner
Ranked #14
Ranked #7,588
4.06 | pDev: 7.64%
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Minnesota, United States
Very Good
Notes: A German-style pilsner, dry and crisp with a grassy hop aroma from a large kettle addition of Hallertau Mittelfrüh. One hop, one malt, lager yeast. Simple and delicious.
Reviews: 26 | Ratings: 73 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
The-Adjunct-Hippie from South Dakota

4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

16 oz can, 7/19/19, into Batch 19 Pint glass.

Straw gold with a creamy head of 2 fingers that recedes rapidly to a 1/2 finger but stays from there on. Nice lacing too.

Aroma of some fruity esters, straw, grass, orange, and strawberries.

Flavor is delightful. Bright berry notes and even some tropical fruit pop up underneath the wall of straw and hay. Some communion wafer follows and finishes with that and some mineral and lemon as well.

Feel is crisp, carbonated, does leave a bit of starchy/chalky finish which I don't like; has a good crispness to it, no alcohol. Very wet pilsner.

Overall, a tasty and unique pilsner that I'd have again. Seems like a beer you'd bang several of at a bar for 3 hours straight.

Apr 20, 2020
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biiru_ojisan from Japan

4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear, light gold with a rocky white head.

Aroma is white bread, guava, soapy herbaceousness, lavender, and honey.

Flavor is honey, white bread, hint of lavender, and (delicious) kind of almost soapy herbs. Pleasantly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a high-ish carbonation. Slight alcohol presence.

Overall, this is a very good pils with some interesting floral/hereby notes.

Mar 11, 2020
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beergoot from Colorado

4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, golden body; lots of lively carbonation; thick, sticky white head; rings and fingers of lacing along the glass. Lightly sweet and malty pilsner aroma. Beautiful, light malt flavor; crisp with a gentle sweetness; nice hop bitterness; nice bit of spiciness. Light body; crisp; light sweetness with some hop bite.

This pilsner satisfies the palate on many levels. It is full of flavor and has some very appealing mouthfeel. Lots of character and satisfaction found here...

Dec 12, 2019
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mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a nice gold colour with a big, pillowy head that sticks around impressively for a while. Taste is grassy, honey but not as biscuity as I expected. Still a tasty brew!

Oct 27, 2019
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defunksta from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep golden color with a massive, layering white head that lasts. It leaves a patchy foam and lacing all over the glass. SRM of 8 (4.00)

Aroma: Strong aromas of lemongrass, lemonflower, and a honey, pale biscuit malt. Sort of sweet honey on the nose. (4.00)

Flavor: Much more dry yeast, grass and flowers than the nose. Wet lemongrass, hay, and more lemonflower. A strong pepperness. Then a strong American honey biscuit malt profile. A strong bitterness, but is balanced with the honey sweetness. Finishes leaning slightly sweet. (4.00)

Feel: Medium bodied, crisp. Good carbonation. (3.75)

Compared to Dakota Soul 5/25/20: Pours a lighter yellow color. Similar aromas. More lemonflower, dry grass, and honey. Less malty bread. Crispier with less of a body.

Overall: A pretty good German Pils. Nice lemonflower, dry grass, and honey. Could use slightly more body. Overall, nice German flavors as there should be. Brewed to style and quite good. (Final Rating: 3.98)
*Compare to Surly Hell next*

Jul 14, 2019
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Squire from Mississippi

4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very light golden color with white cap and good lacing.

Aroma of sweet cracker malt with an unmistakable hit of floral, spicy Noble hops. Just a sprinkling like fallen flowers and herbs in a field of freshly mown hay.

Beautiful classic Pilsner taste from the start and I mean the very start. Malt is rich, bready yet dry as a cracker, fresh and clean. Hops carry a depth of bitterness made up of primarily spice but floral elements are still there. Complex, consistent flavors well melded together.

Medium texture with balancing carbonation.

After finishing my tasting impressions I went to the web site to find this Pils is made from just one malt, Pilsner, and one hop, Hallertau Mittelfruh. All of which shows that a great deal of complexity and flavor can be brewed from just a few ingredients. That is if you know your business which these folks clearly do.

Sep 02, 2018
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MonDak_Joe1953 from Minnesota

4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 16oz can into glass. Bottom of can is stamped '03/22/18',
Clear, straw colored body. Three finger, white head upon pouring quickly calms down to creamy cap and ring. Leaves behind sheets of lacing. Picturesque display of rising bubbles.
Aroma is cracker malt, very slight floral hops, and a good dose of lemon.
Taste introduces more hop bitterness, but it is still light malt, spicy, and with a touch of lemon. Short after taste has citrus rind and spice.
Medium mouth feel, with good carbonation.
Has some complexity, and the aroma and taste have different dominating aspects, but the beer is such an easy drinker, which entices one sip after another.

Aug 05, 2018
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tempest from New York

4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Super crisp cracker malt followed by a classic floral-herbal hop edge, it's as big as it could get without overpowering the barley. Lemon and spicy rind aroma. Very clean and well balanced. Why aren't more pilsners this good? Damn it.

Jul 05, 2018
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FBarber from Illinois

4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy golden hue. Thin white fuzzy head dissipates slowly but steadily leaving a thin layer of white foam on top of the beer. Beer clears up as it sits, but remains somewhat cloudy. Lots white lacing left behind on the glass as its consumed.

Aroma has notes of grain, pilsner malts, a hint of lemony hops and a touch of grassy spiciness on the back end.

Taste follows the nose with notes of pilsner malts, grain, grassy lemon hops. Very traditional flavor profile - I'd personally like a bit more breadiness from the malts - but as it is its very well crafted. One of the best American examples of a traditional German pilsner - I'm not sure I could pick it out blind. Just a hint of grassy bitterness on the finish.

Feel is light and crisp. Lively medium carbonation. Somewhat dry finish.

Overall this is a very well crafted German pilsner - I would love to drink this more often if it was readily available. And not that price factors into my rating, but this is priced very affordably for a 4-pack of 16 oz cans.

Jun 26, 2018
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AdmiralOzone from Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold color with a medium sized white head that dissipates rapidly but leaves generous lacing. The aroma is lemony biscuit. The flavor is very lemon forward with some sweet bread and a little hop bitterness in the morning. The feel is crisp and well carbonated. Overall a tasty pilsner.

Mar 14, 2018
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Czequershuus from Minnesota

4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This beer pours a bright clear gold with a moderate head. The aroma is clean, with cracker malts, white pepper, chive, and bulgar wheat. The flavor starts sweeter than I had imagined, with cracker and wheat like malts, white pepper, lemon peel, lemongrass, and a mild toffee and cream quality that reminds me of cowtail candies. The mouthfeel is light but with a nice voluptuousness, with mild carbonation. Overall this is a really nice pils - solid body, complex flavor, yet ultimately drinkable.

Jan 27, 2018
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garymuchow from Minnesota

3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma began yeasty and with a little patience a slight floral presence showed and then a slightly tart fruity character (like lemon or lime) and a hint of sweetness. This kinda sticks around and it seems at the expense of any graininess I would expect.
Nice dense very white head and mostly clear but no where near brilliant. Pale gold.
Prominent bitterness but also a husky, herbal hop taste, but this lies background to the bitterness. Again light on the grain or graininess, although there is a bit more than in the aroma. The bitterness leads to a little tartness and a touch of puckering, and yet they is a sweetness somewhere in there. Hmmmm.
Body is prickly and sharp from the carbonation and feels less than moderate. Somewhat thirst quenching but not quite where I like it.
Solid. Fine. Worth a go and maybe a few more on a warm fall day (is where it takes me)

Jan 18, 2018
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Josh414 from South Dakota

4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is the best pilsner I've ever had. It's so damn light but flavorful. The can I had was made 7 months prior to consumption and was excellent. It has tons of tiny bubbles. A really healthy head and is super clear like macro brew pilsner but absolutely does not taste like one. Good breadiness, slight yeast and the tiniest hop bite that sits on your tongue. This is like the best miller lite you've ever had and i mean that in the best way possible. It's so fucking good.

Dec 17, 2017
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Evilyak from Minnesota

3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

very, very light. clear. full, white head that faded fast.

crackers. floral notes. a bit of spice.

taste is sweet. early floral taste gives way to a spicy hop finish.

mouth is very clean. well carbonated.

it's not one that would end up being a favorite, but i could find a use for this one.

Jul 31, 2017
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pils pours golden with a long lasting and lacing head. Nice creamy aroma. Taste is creamy and crisp, with just a hint of bitterness. Good body and feel. Overall, a top notch pils.

Jul 24, 2017
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morimech from Minnesota

3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice clean German pils. A little sweeter than I typically like my pils and the bitterness is a bit high as well. But in all I enjoyed the clean fermentation and peppery hop flavor. Light body with lively carbonation really makes drinking this a joy.

May 29, 2017
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pat61 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Brilliant straw gold, rapidly rising streams of bubbles, lacy 1" white foam cap with fair to poor retention.

S: balance between cracker, faint toast and spicy floral hops.

T: The flavors start lightly sweet, spicy, floral, a hint of apple, a trace of tart, and light cracker, leading to an assertive bitter finish. The bitterness is big but not harsh and lingers. The malt flavors are medium to medium low, yeast flavors are low, hop flavors are medium and hop bitterness is medium. The balance leans to the hops.

F: The beer is crisp and creamy, light to medium light bodied with medium to medium high carbonation that produces a little tingle on the tongue.

O: This is a flavorful and refreshing beer.

May 13, 2017
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a beautifully clear golden color with a two-finger white head of foam. It smelled grassy and floral with hints of grain. It tasted of some spicy bitterness with a caramel sweetness for balance.

May 08, 2017
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bsp77 from Minnesota

4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Extremely traditional Northern German Pilsner, executed very well. Typical notes of apple, hay and pepper, maybe more bitter than most. Very dry and refreshing.

Apr 02, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pilsener is one of those styles that is either objectively good or bad, like, good pils beers are brewed to the same small window of specs, and deviation from that is seen as a flaw, there is very little room for creativity or even subjectivity at all in a good one, all the best ones more or less taste the same. thats a somewhat limiting and perhaps even narrow minded view of the style, but compared to say stout or ipa, there is a lot less wiggle room here. that said, this is a very good and very classic pils. there maybe a little more hops than we are used to, but the varietal(s) seem to be saaz or some other noble hops, and are traditional in that sense. the malt base is right on, pale pils malt, a little pizza doughy, crackery dry, and perhaps a little lighter than is customary, which seems to make this one of the most crisp lagers ever, but its still well within the style guidelines for a pils. the point i suppose is that to make a memorable pilsener beer, quality must be its point of distinction, not some crazy recipe tweak or bit of innovation, and i think this beer somehow makes this point for me, albeit in a much more enjoyable and less wordy manner. fair state has done some far more ambitious stuff really well, but its great to see their proficiency in a style like this! great beer.

Mar 22, 2017
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mothman from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

White head. Lace. Clear golden yellow.

Earthy, zesty, spicy (sazz hops), bready, biscuity.

Crisp, clean, and light.

This is a quality pils. Tons of flavor here.

Mar 17, 2017
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NilocRellim from Minnesota

3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pours a light, clear, pale-yellow colour. Smells like pale malts, a little fruity, some earthy hops. Tastes light, crisp, a little fruity,a bit of a grainy body, slight dank hop, with a bitter finish; could use more carbonation.

Jan 25, 2017
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Taybeh from Minnesota

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

at the tasting room, on tap, into an imperial pint (which is less than ideal for a pils, but...)

a: fairly clear and very light pale golden color, big puffy 2 finger head...looks good!
s: not a huge nose...some yeast and bread dough, a little grassy hoppiness
t: Plenty of bready doughy pilsner malt surrounded by a little hoppy bite on all sides; outstanding...tastes incredibly fresh and delicious. A little twang at the end.
m: high carbonation, light feel but very full flavors, there isn't much bite from the hops but its still quite crisp.

overall: As a german pils, this is a great addition to the local scene; hops are there but the real star is the pilsner malt - liquid fresh doughy bread that is just great. If this was easier to get, I would drink it all the time.

May 22, 2015
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MNBeerGeek from Minnesota

4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

One of the better non-German pilsners I've had in a long time. Delicious crisp, clean grain, bitter yeasty and hop flavors. Not dry. Very nicely done.

May 10, 2015
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KarlHungus from Minnesota

4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

(Re-review 2/11/18, original score 4.52)

Look: gold, biology head, nice lacing. Aroma: baking bread, mild caraway, meadow plants. Taste: a whole loaf of warm bread, very light caramel, the hops spice is minimal but balancing. Feel: medium bodied, mild carbonation. Perhaps, too mild for the style. Comments: really good German style pilsner. It's nice to see a Minnesota brewery doing their pils in the German way as opposed to the ubiquitous Czech style. The undercarbonation for the style is only problem.

May 04, 2015
Pils from Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 73 ratings