William Brennan's Golden Pils
Capital Brewery

William Brennan's Golden PilsWilliam Brennan's Golden Pils
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Capital Brewery
Wisconsin, United States
German Pilsner
Not listed
3.36 | pDev: 17.86%
Jul 13, 2017
Jun 06, 2003
William Brennan's Golden PilsWilliam Brennan's Golden Pils
Notes: None
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Photo of dhannes
Reviewed by dhannes from Wisconsin

3.49/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured chilled from a bottle into a Perfect Pint:
Look--Rich golden hue with ample off-white head...I rarely give 5s, but for a Pils, this was outstanding.
Smell--Very faint...faint aroma of grain, maybe honey...somewhat off putting.
Taste--A bit on the lighter side, but more flavorful than so-called light AAL pilsners on the market; touch of malt, very light on the hops. Perhaps a hint of honey, along with a hint of bread...not much going on here, but what is there is rather enjoyable.
Feel--As pils go, this seems to have more body than most, but still a nice session beer.
Overall--I was pleasantly surprised on my first sip, but then disappointed as I continued to drink. The house beer for a local grocer that will be closing, this beer won't be available after September. I am hoping to get another mixed 6-pack before then, and this beer has a 50/50 chance of making the cut.
Jul 13, 2017
Rated: 3.04 by nchacos

Oct 08, 2014
Rated: 4.16 by Drewsio

Sep 02, 2014
Rated: 2.5 by superfriend from Wisconsin

Aug 31, 2013
Rated: 2.75 by npendres from Wisconsin

Aug 12, 2013
Rated: 2.25 by UWBadgerFan4Life from Wisconsin

Jul 20, 2013
Photo of waitforit
Reviewed by waitforit from Wisconsin

2.74/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5
Poured into conical pint glass.

A: Transparent golden-orange body. Airy whitish head.

S: Crisp and mild. Boring.

T: Very crisp, with a little bit of syrupy aftertaste. The rice or corn in an adjunct lager is noticeable.

M: Slightly more full-bodied than a typical lager, with a slightly richer aftertaste.

O: Not a bad beer, but nothing I'd pay more than microbrew prices for.
Jul 08, 2013
Photo of richkrull
Reviewed by richkrull from Wisconsin

2.68/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5
I wasn't real impressed by this beer. Kind of a bitter aftertaste. Nice golden color though, very little head. I thought I'd like this a little more as Brennan's has a great beer selection in their store. I might give it another shot though as my wife did really like it.
Jan 03, 2011
Photo of BeerFMAndy
Reviewed by BeerFMAndy from Wisconsin

3.47/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. 3149 on the neck (Aug. 14, '09).

A - A tall pour puts up close to three fingers of totally white head but it sinks back down with some haste leaving it with almost no lace. The color is a crystal clear and fairly well carbonated pale straw yellow.

S - A light skunk haze forms then dissipates from this light aroma beer. Pilsner malts and a mineral water salt thing give it a slight feel of authenticity while the aroma, regrettably, has little hop contribution.

T - Hops really don't have much to do with this brew. The flavor is basically a pretty solid helping of pilsner malts. A subtle hint of minerals gives the flavor a hard edge.

M - Strong carbonation leaves the finish with a sharp bite and paired with the hard mineral flavor, it's a hard beer. Medium-light bodied.

D - Not bad but I think Capital can do better than this. The lack of hops is sort of unnerving with it being a pilsner but otherwise it's an alright beer with decent drinkability.
Apr 02, 2010
Photo of mikesgroove
Reviewed by mikesgroove from South Carolina

3.63/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4
Grabbed this one as an extra recently. Another gem that I had never heard of but decided to give a try last night with dinner. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, it was consumed on 10/06/2009.

The pour was nicely done, typical for the style with a crystal clear golden color and a big two inches of white head. Fell down smoothly leaving a decent amount on the sides and the bottom of the glass. Nice carbonation was apparent throughout the glass as well as rich bubbles of foam came whirling up to the surface. Aroma was lighter then I would have liked. Grain and bready malts with a light touch of pine in the background. Crisp and clean taste, lightly dry with little to no aftertaste involved here at all. Light on the palate and highly carbonated. Smooth, easy to drink, and relatively refreshing.

Overall a classic example of the style though nothing here is really sticking out to me in terms of setting it apart from the crowd. Still decent though and not a bad offering.
Oct 08, 2009
Photo of birchstick
Reviewed by birchstick from Colorado

3.33/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5
A - clear, golden color with a decent head

S - kind of a faint nose with grainy malt

T - tastes of grain, lemon, and a bit of cereal. Pretty straightforward and clean. Also it is a bit more flavorful than your typical pislner. Finshes with a bit of grassy hops.

M - thin but well-carbonated

D - not my favorite pilsner, but it was decent enough. I was originally going to pass on this until the beer expert at Brennan's told me that this was brewed by Capital. I couldn't pass it down and I wasn't disappointed.
Jul 24, 2009
Photo of Winter
Reviewed by Winter from Wisconsin

4.25/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Pours a clear golden with large effervescent bubbles. Malty, bready aroma wit a kiss of hops. Medium-bodied mouthfeel that's soft from the carbonation. Initial flavor has a nice bready, maltiness to it. There's a slight fruitiness and nuttiness that exists in the middle. Hop bitterness toward the back is balanced nicely with the pilsner's malt sweetness. There's some graininess from the hops that emerges though. The crisp finish ends cleanly.

This is the first of Brennan's own label that I've tried and I have to say that it's a very solid and enjoyable pils. I should have expected no less from Capital Brewery.
Nov 07, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
Reviewed by ChainGangGuy from Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5
Appearance: Pours a clear golden body with a thin white head.

Smell: I can't get over how frigging devoid of any aroma some of these beers get. There's no aroma beyond a light, light floral note.

Taste: Sourdough breadiness and a touch of lemon with a metallic bitterness on the quick finish. With such a near-absent aroma, I guess I shouldn't have expected much in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel: Thin-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Bland and lifeless.
Aug 23, 2007
Photo of mynie
Reviewed by mynie from Maryland

3.24/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Purchased at Brennan's in Brookfield Wisconsin.

Pours a very dull yellow with a mild and quickly dying head.

Smells like a little bit of weedy pilsener and an even littler bit of hops. Pretty damn tame.

Tastes even tamer. No fruit esters of spoilage. No skunking, either. Just tameness. How does that happen? That's not age, is it?

Incredibly light. Like, a light macro only with a nice, lightly hoppy afteraste.

If I had any reason to think this was spoiled, I wouldn't have posted this review. I'll try it again if I ever get a chance, but as for right now I'm going to have to say "pass" on this.

EDIT: I think my palate was still messed up after having drank some foul Gleuk bock. It got more flavorful as it warmed. Still, it was pretty bland, but better than I had initially graded it.
Jun 09, 2007
Photo of terrabyte
Reviewed by terrabyte from Wisconsin

3.47/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
Pours a hazy, extremely light-yellow color with a 4 inch puffy head. Maybe I poured too aggressively. As the head recedes it leaves behind a large amount of lacing.

Aroma is quite strong, a base of corn-like grains followed by a grassy hops, white spices, and a citrus background.

Flavor was lighter than I expected from the aroma. Cracker dough, straw grains, and citrus flavors.

Mouthful is nice, slightly thick from grains, but a little foamy. I really should have served this one a little colder. That's what happens when I jump styles in the night.

Drinkability is good. Not my favorite style, but I think if served colder, it would be a good quencher.

I asked the beer expert at Brennan's and he said that although this may seem similar to Capital Special Pils, they had assured him they were a different recipes. He seemed confident, but hopeful.
Apr 26, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
Reviewed by BuckeyeNation from Iowa

3.88/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Faded gold with a sparse cloud of fine yeast being buffeted by multiple streams of bubbles. The eggshell colored cap is the beer's best feature. It's frothily creamy and is impressively tacky. As it deflates, thick sheets of Swiss cheese-like lace are plastering themselves all over the glass.

I don't know if the nose is quite hoppy enough, but it's still a good one. It's nicely balanced between lightly sweet cereal grains and moderately musky noble hops. I'm guessing that Saaz and/or Tettnang are present... which isn't exactly going out on a limb.

Wisconsin Golden Pils is much hoppier than it smells. Prior to cracking the crown, my thought was that this would be a second-rate 'store brand' beer that Capital shied away from being associated with (since the brewery of origin is noted only by fine print on the neck label). I couldn't have been more wrong.

I like Golden Pils more than I like Capital's own Special Pilsner. Although, to be fair, I have to revisit that one now that I have more palate experience. There's just enough pils/pale malt to provide a solid platform from which the hops can do soaring, majestic swan dives. This is still a balanced beer, in a hopheaded sort of way. The flavor is sweetgrassy with a hint of zippy lemon zest. I have a feeling that my bottle is pretty fresh.

The mouthfeel is exactly where it ought to be for a German pilsener. It's midway between light and medium (probably favoring the latter) and has a creamy silkiness that is the mark of all well-brewed beer. This stuff was built to session.

While visiting Brennan's Farm Market last month, I couldn't pass up a few bottles of the 'house beer'. When I learned that it's brewed by Capital, I thought it had a chance to be pretty good. I never dreamed that it would be this good. If you find yourself in Madison, be sure to drop in for a sixer or two. This is good stuff.
Apr 19, 2007
Photo of NeroFiddled
Reviewed by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Brennan's Golden Pils pours a hazy golden-amber beneath a frothy head of white that holds pretty well and leaves some very nice rings of lace throughout the glass. The nose is interestingly hoppy and malty with a kind of worty, grassy character that comes through in the flavor as well. The malt is very grainy and straw-like, and in combination with the grassy, spicy, and mildly herbal hops, it's very reminiscent of partially fermented beer. I immediately thought of a kellerbier, but it's a bit fuller and more malty than that. It's not sweet, but it has some residual maltiness to it. Solidly bitter, however, it still finishes dry with lingering notes of grassy, spicy, and herbal/mineralish hops.
Feb 17, 2007
Photo of pmcadamis
Reviewed by pmcadamis from Illinois

3.39/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
A - Applejuice color and clarity without much of a head. A thin wisp of haze is all that covers the brew after a minute or two. Swirling brings up a better head than pouring....weird.

S - Good crisp German pilsner smell with some sweet smelling malty aromas and nice gentle hops. All is as it should be.

T - Crisp, clean, well hopped and bitter. A good basic pils. LIght orangey hop touches and clean saltine cracker malts.

M - Extremely dry and sandy feeling. This stuff sucks the spit out of your mouth! I like it!

D - I'm not a huge fan of pilsners, but they do have one outstanding characteristic that is also found in this beer...and that is sessionability. I could drink a few of these and not get bored.
Jan 18, 2007
Photo of beveragecaptain
Reviewed by beveragecaptain from New Jersey

4/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
I got this beer at Brennan's market in Madison, thinking they brewed their own. Later, closer inspection of the bottle revealed that this beer is made by Capital Brewery, and sold exclusively at Brennan's. This beer has a clear, dark golden color. There are lots of rising bubbles. Sweet malty aroma with herbal hops. The flavor is pilsner malt with a lemony citrus flavor. Turns bitter with slightly spicy German hops. This is no light on flavor pils. It's crisp and refreshing. Good version.
Jul 14, 2005
Photo of RedBaron
Reviewed by RedBaron from Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
A nice honest pils from a good Wisconsin brewer, Brennan's (known, too, for their most excellent market).

Appearance: Truly golden (!), clean, with the right amount of CO2.
Smell: Fairly floral German hop aroma, and a little malty sweetness in the nose. Pleasant.
Taste: Very good. Starts with a complex, yet earthy, grassy malt sweetness, but finish with a dry hop flourish.
Mouthfeel: Wonderfully balanced for a pils, leaning towards being a more beefy lager beer slighly emphasizing the malt, but there's a enough reassurance in the dryness of the finish that you'd expect from a well-made pils.
Drinkability: Real nice. I had this fresh bottle after a dinner of spiced cod (paprika), and a Punjabi eggplant salad. Very tasty, and it the spot.
Jun 28, 2005
Photo of cokes
Reviewed by cokes from Wisconsin

3.95/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Brewed by Capital and sold only at Brennan's Markets.

Pours a sparkling gold under a slight white foam.
Nose is grainy, grassy and subdued.
Saltine cracker dryness up front with a quick pang of fruity sweetness a la caramelized apples. Husky midsection is quelled by a alluring hop spice. Akin to a fleeting amalgramation of nutmeg, vanilla, rosemary and dried leaves. I figured this would be dumbed-down, but that is not the case.
Light bodied and immensely drinkable.

This is the rare beer that I will recommend from Brennan's, given its track record of mistreating their beers. But three months from now, these will be old like the rest of them. Nevertheless (and fresh), this is yet another worthy lager produced by Capital. Similar to, yet spicier than their Special Pilsner.
Jun 06, 2003
William Brennan's Golden Pils from Capital Brewery
Beer rating: 80 out of 100 with 21 ratings