Southern Tier Brewing Company

Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Pilsner - German
Ranked #166
Ranked #29,789
3.8 | pDev: 10.26%
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States
Very Good
Notes: When we set forth to brew a Pilsner, we wanted to pay homage to a region that is legendary in its brewing tradition. This beer is brewed the German way, and you can taste the difference. We even sourced the hops and malts from Germany! It’s light, easy to drink, and it goes just as good in a boot as it does in a stein. We use German Pils malt, 2-Row malt and wheat to create a firm malty character with a crisp finish. This traditional Pilsner malt bill is complimented by German Lager yeast and German noble hops. Pilsner’s 40 IBUs help it finish dry, the way a German Pilsner should.
Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 164 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of jadpsu
jadpsu from Georgia

3.26/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Purchased in a pick 6 at Shangy's in Emmaus, Pa.
Pours a very light, clear pale straw yellow with a pretty decent snow white head that has fairly good retention, but then disappears leaving no trace of head.
Aroma: grass. graom. cold metal, mild floral hops.
Taste: Light, sour, maybe as tint of lime, lemon in the hops. Not impressed
Feel: Thin, I can't find the malts.
I do not see the German Style they claim.

May 10, 2018
Photo of puboflyons
puboflyons from New Hampshire

3.47/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the 12 fl. oz. can stamped 1/24/2018. Sampled on May 1, 2018.

It pours an olive-yellow color under a big but fading white foamy head. Some lacing.

The aroma brings out a good character of Euro=grainy malts, biscuit, lemon zest, grass, and an off-putting vegetable oil sensation.

Light, refreshing body.

Sweet barley grain malts in the taste with a more notable lemon character that was hinted at in the aroma, but more notable in the taste. This has the elements of a typical German Pilsner but just doesn't quite make the grade as far as I am concerned.

May 01, 2018
Photo of brewme
brewme from Massachusetts

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked-up as part of a mixed fifteen-pack of cans at Kappy's in Norwell for about twenty dollars. Not my normal style of brew, but this is good, would buy again.

Apr 29, 2018
Photo of Profundobaso
Profundobaso from New York

3.6/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look - poured from a 12 oz can. Straw yellow in color, two-finger head and considerable lacing. Seems well carbonated.
Smell - grassy, some citrus, with a hint of sweetness.
Taste - Moderately hopped, with the flavors of the noble hops present. Nice crisp finish.
Feel - Light bodied, medium-high carbonation, and a standard 5% ABV.
Overall - an above average pilsner, definitely much better than the adjuncts. Easy drinking and, overall, a pretty tasty beer.

Mar 25, 2018
Photo of Pencible
Pencible from Virginia

3.03/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was better than the mass produced beers that call themselves pilsners, but it was not really that great either. Very grassy and maybe a bit skunky.

Dec 30, 2017
Photo of JimKal
JimKal from North Carolina

3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale clear yellow from the canned version. Decent head that leaves pretty quickly with some lacing. The carbonation was minimal. Some light bitterness in the taste but it really could have used more of this. Mouthfeel was light. Decent lager but not one I will seek out.

Dec 25, 2017
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear golden hue with a nice head and slight lacing.
A-Lot of grass lemon hints.
T-The taste follows the nose.
M-A light bodied beer with decent carbonation.
O-Decent pilsner.

Dec 24, 2017
Photo of brentk56
brentk56 from North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours clear and golden, with a massive head; looks just like a pilsner should; clumps of lace hang around

Smell: Bready with lime and grass tones

Taste: Bread forward with the lime arriving quickly; somewhat grassy, through the middle, with a crisp, dry finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate to high carbonation

Overall: Never thought of Southern Tier as being a brewer of German style lagers but they have done a nice job here

Dec 23, 2017
Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
1000lbgrizzly from Illinois

3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Perfectly clear pale yellow body with a soft, fluffy white head that leaves soft, fluffy white lace. The nose offers pilsner malt and corn, a bit of soap. The taste is clean, my first time ever saying that for a pilsner, probably because it only displays a bit of that pilsner malt which I find to be a dirty flavor (as in actual dirt), and instead offers a warmer malt, like the vanilla/bread-like flavors that come from wheat. The lavender/soap flavor still hangs around in the background with the mild bittering hops. The body is smooth despite the moderate carbonation, all in all making this one easy to put away.
This might be my favorite pilsner, probably because it had few pilsner-like qualities. I could still detect that namesake malt, but it was subdued and a host of other, cleaner (IMO) flavors filled in for it. People talk about beers for "sour beginners" and "stout newcomers", this should have been my "pilsner gateway".

Dec 14, 2017
Photo of brewerdrew
brewerdrew from Maryland

3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Served in pint glass ... nice straw color a very clear. Head dissipates fast

Clean mouth feel with a hop bitterness but not much Hop flavor

Decent Pilsner but certainly not one I am running to or seeking out

Sep 29, 2017
Photo of Gmann
Gmann from New York

3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw color, slightly hazy, with a pillowy white head. Small wall of lacing on the glass.

The aroma is of subtle grass and lime. A bit spicy. Not a super strong aroma but it is spot on.

The taste is light with grassy and lime hop notes. The malt is light. Not necessarily cracker like but it's dry. A touch of metal in the finish.

The feel is light almost watery with prickly carbonation. Dry with a grassy bitter finish.

An ok Pils. Needs a little more presence.

Aug 20, 2017
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky from New York

3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce can into a half-pint stein. Stamped 18 May 2017.
Fluffy head with heavy lacing. Mild effervescence. Pale gold.
Smells pleasantly sulfuric with a light sweetness. Floral hops.
Mmm, yes. This is the beer I've been looking for. Mild citrus, beautifully crisp lager that's compellingly unique (read: lagery) without being upsetting at all. Clean and lovely and imminently compelling. Highly recommended.

Aug 10, 2017
Photo of mikeg67
mikeg67 from New Jersey

2.66/5  rDev -30%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can. Pours pale straw with tall, long lasting, fluffy, white head and lively carbonation. Aroma is of biscuit malt and light hops. Body is medium and smooth. Taste is of herbal hops and biscuit malt. Finish is long and dry. Ok brew.

Aug 09, 2017
Photo of Brenden
Brenden from Ohio

3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Bright pale-yellow with a creamy white head that rises to about a finger. Froth continues to build and hold the head steady. Lacing is moderate in density, leggy and persistent.
S: Grains up front and throughout, a touch of biscuit, leaf and herb with a somewhat nondescript pith. Yeast is dry.
T: Grains persist in the flavor, a touch of spiciness in the floral and herbal hops balance against crackery malts with a lemony undertone.
M: Light-medium with a bite, plenty smooth and extremely crisp all the way through. The feel is the best aspect of this one.

Aug 07, 2017
Photo of schoolboy
schoolboy from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It's nice to see one of my favorite brewers doing something that's not an ale and succeeding so nicely.

It opens nice and clear and yellow with random sized bubbles. The aroma faintly teases you with yeast, malt and some finishing hops, all appropriately tame.

The taste is nothing you shouldn't expect - generally tame as well, but very nicely delivered, with a clean aftertaste.

Recommended whether or not you know what this style should be like.

Aug 05, 2017
Photo of FriedSlug
FriedSlug from North Carolina

4.04/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Clear, pale gold beer with a white head that left no lacing. Smells like grain, citrus and yeast. Tastes a bit sweet with grain, yeastiness and a little spice and lemon zest at the end. There is a bit of bitterness and floral notes at the finish. This is a pretty good version of a Pils and quite enjoyable.

Jul 15, 2017
Photo of Vetbidder
Vetbidder from Pennsylvania

3.79/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

See through golden look to this beer. There is a sweet malt aroma with a slight hop edge. Flavor is pretty tasty, sweet bready malts and some noble spicy type of hops. Decently carbonated with a medium/thin mouthfeel. This holds up well, crisp almost like a better version of a Euro pale lager.

Jul 01, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

3.62/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into pilsner glass, the appearance was a yellow gold color with a quickly dissipating white foamy head. Messy sticky foamy lacing running all along the glass. The aroma has a clean sweet bready malt subsiding along a crisp sweet grassy hoppiness. Semi-bitter, here and there. The flavor leans towards the bready/biscuity sweet malt. Hops are there still, like a grassy sweetness. Smooth bready malty aftertaste and finish. On the palate, this one sat about a light on the body with a great sessionability about it. Low carbonation is felt. Smooth body. Overall, nicely done malty sweet German pilsener that I would have again.

Jun 27, 2017
Photo of MurphyMacManus
MurphyMacManus from Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12oz. can into pint glass.

Look: Fizzy, slightly cloudy yellow beer. Head is short-lived, but I think I poured improperly.

Smell: Spicy, a bit of citrus, and a mild sulfur note from the hops. There's clean malt under there, but hops dominate.

Taste: Clean malt backbone gives way to spicy hop characters up front with a citric bitterness in the drying finish. Hop bitterness is pretty high and it totally dominates the malt flavors.

Feel: Tight, biting carbonation that amplifies the spicy flavors from the hops. Light in body and easy to drink.

Overall: Good pilseners are excellent session beers, and this fits the bill. Really nice on a hot day, but far more flavorful than a "lawnmower beer" (adjunct lager). If I'm going to drink fizzy yellow beer, I'd choose this.

Jun 16, 2017
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan from Maryland

4.58/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

So admittedly I had this beer after about 10 hours in the sun and no food for about 5 hours. Plus, I had not had a beer in 3 days. So this was the best tasting Pils I had ever had. Will have to revisit when I can make a more reasoned appraisal.

May 30, 2017
Photo of AndrewMichael
AndrewMichael from Virginia

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz can, drank straight from. A grainy aroma, with only a hint of hops. A bit of bitterness on the taste, as expected for a German style pilsner, but at the same time, was just a touch underwhelming and wanted a bit more.

May 28, 2017
Photo of JRed
JRed from New Jersey

4.24/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Transparent golden in body with white bubbly head. Aroma of honeysuckle, lemon, fresh grains. Tastes of lemon, honeysuckle, cereal, wheat, pear. Light bodied with light carbonation. Refreshing and the subtle fruit is a nice touch.

May 27, 2017
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1 from New Jersey

3.56/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

DATE: May 25, 2017... OCCASION: Cavs/Celtics Game 5--get in and get out with a win!... GLASSWARE: Penn State pilsner... pours a clear-as-crystal light golden body with copious amounts of bubbles... surprisingly, the off-white dissipates into a murky muddle and variable coral lacing... an aromatic lemon-citrus hit pleasantly introduces flowers and a light, buttery biscuit... secondary hints of subtle spice--pepper, mainly), lively, biting hoppiness early, with a dry release... fruitiness (apple, pear), crisp lemon and sweet biscuit... a refreshing beer whose profile is solid, maybe greater than the sum of its parts... not outstanding, but a nice case mate for the Overpack'd I bought last week...

May 26, 2017
Photo of tigg924
tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.54/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours clear, bright yellow in color with 1/2 inch head. Taste is simple but excellent. Notes of grain, biscuit, and light grass. Light bodied, sweet, with medium-low carbonation. Wow is this a good beer. So clean and smooth. Easily my favorite of Southern Tier's non-Blackwater or seasonal beers. I could drink this one all day. One of the better domestic pilsners I have had in a while. Excellent beer.

May 07, 2017
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Jugs_McGhee from Texas

2.77/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

"Pilsner." "German style lager." "Brewed with hops and malts imported from Germany." DOB 03/09/17.

5.0% ABV. "INGREDIENTS: German Pils malt, 2-Row malt & wheat, Spalter Select, Magnum & German Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops and German Lager Yeast"

CAN: Standard pull-tab. 12 fl oz format. Uninteresting label design. Acquired as part of a Southern Tier 14 pack for ~$25 after tax and deposit in NYC.

APPEARANCE: Pours a typical thin white head atop a vibrant pale copper body. Not the bright yellow of many pilsners, to its detriment. But it's clean, obviously filtered, and the body is aptly devoid of any yeast/lees. Head retention is poor (~30 seconds). No lacing adheres to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

AROMA: Helles malts/pilsner malts, a blip of syrupy malt extract sweetness, generic grassiness from Noble hops. A bit sweet judging by the aroma for the intended style.

Aromatic intensity is average. Betrays no off-notes or overt booze, but the slight syrupy aromatics do have me a bit concerned.

TASTE & TEXTURE: A bit fuller bodied than most pilsners, lacking a light-bodied refreshing feel on the palate. Smooth and wet, but a little to thick, flirting with a syrupy feel. Well-carbonated, with a nice prickly crispness that plays well with its subtle softness. Softer water and a lighter body would help this along.

It's indeed syrupy in taste, hinting at malt extract. Pilsner malt gives this the bulk of its neutral malt backbone, but it isn't a horribly fresh tasting brew malt-wise. Southern Tier's use of wheat malt doesn't seem to have helped this any. Magnum gives this a subtle fruitiness which is unwelcome in a traditional pils; of course, if Southern Tier was as interested in doing a traditional German style pilsner as their marketing wants us to believe, they wouldn't have used a bittering hop released in 1993 (or wheat malt, for that matter).

The balance isn't quite dialed in, and the mouthfeel needs lightening up. Simple fare, but there's some subtlety to it.

OVERALL: A great pilsner is effortlessly drinkable - the kind of beer one could easily handle five of in a single sitting. Unlike world class expressions of the style, Southern Tier's attempt doesn't make me demand a second after having the first.

Nontraditional to its detriment, but not a bad brew. It's an approachable pale lager but I wouldn't go out of my way to get it again. Very hum-ho work with some odd ingredient choices.

Low C (2.82) / AVERAGE

05/07/17: 2nd impression from another can.

A: Ugly dull yellow-copper colour. Looks a bit watery. Head is off-white and frothy enough, albeit thin and weak. Lasts a good 5 minutes after a vigorous pour.

Sm: Pilsner malt. Grassy hops. Unwelcome malt sweetness.

T & Mf: Slightly syrupy, and definitely too thick - unrefreshingly so. They went too heavy on the malts. Attenuation is off for the style. I suspect hard water was used given the mouthfeel's weight and heft on the palate; this ain't soft.

O: Another subpar American attempt at the style. Lacks the delicate and subtle features of the best European-brewed expressions of the style. Save your money and go with Rothaus Tannenzapfle or Pilsner Urquell instead. Hell, even Warsteiner or Bitburger.


May 07, 2017
Pilsner from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 164 ratings