Pilsner | Southern Tier Brewing Company

very good
76 Ratings

Brewed by:
Southern Tier Brewing Company
New York, United States

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-08-2003

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 76 |  Reviews: 36
Photo of bubseymour
4.09/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Considering this was bottled on 9/9/16 (8 months old), its still respectable. Would like to taste again fresh.

111 characters

Photo of tigg924
4.54/5  rDev +19.2%
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.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev -27.3%
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.


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Photo of IdrinkGas
4.35/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Urk1127
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of PatGreer
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of russpowell
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours an effervescent gold with 3 fingers of ivory colored head. very nice head retention & lacing

S: Bready, grassy,

T: Follows the nose, has some nice soapy & floral hops up front as well. Dryness, grassyness, a little grainy sweetness as this warms. Finishes crisp, dry, a little sweet, a little grassy, with some lime & lemon

MF: Medium body with crisp carbonation & nice balance

Easy drinking, well put-together Pils. Much to like here

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Photo of The_Beer_Guru
3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of IronLover
4.06/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pale yellow in color with excellent clarity. Poured with a moderate, soapy, bright white foam with good retention. Medium pilsner malt and delicate floral and spicy hop aromas. Medium bodied with soft, medium carbonation and a creamy smooth feel through the middle. Light warmth from the middle to the finish. Medium light malt flavors with medium herbal spicy hops and medium high bitterness. Finished crisply and cleanly with light malt and spicy reminders. A solid pilsner. Crisp, clean, flavor and easy drinking.

 516 characters

Photo of Icemann383
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
3.81/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12oz can into a pilsner glass.

Look is an extremely light gold with a frothy white head.

Aroma is biscuit malt with a light hop and a strong lager yeast smell.

Taste is light and refreshing, a little thin at the end.

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Photo of BloodSoakedAleMug
4.39/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a can.

Look: A beautiful beer that pours a translucent golden yellow straw color with a big frothy three finger head of snow white foam. The head fizzles away quickly and does not lace the glass well.

Aroma: Fruity with notes sweet lemon, tart apples and oranges, malted cereal grains and dried hay.

Taste: Very nice. Clean tasting with an initial fruity character and a dry, floral finish that's complemented by mild notes of sweet crystal malt. Upfront notes of lemon candy, orange spice and mildly tart apple juice; there are even hints of bubblegum. Midpalate notes of fusty, dried hay. Finishes sweet, with a mildly floral crystal malt taste.

Feel: For a pilsner it's full bodied. Mildly carbonated. Dry, floral, slightly sweet and spicy. Alcohol profile is non-existant.

Overall: I'm not the biggest fan of pilseners, but this was quit enjoyable. An easy drinking beer you can just throw back and enjoy without having to think about it too much. I can see this beer going over well with food at a barbecue. Thirst quenching and tasty, I will be purchasing more of this in the future.

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Photo of Lucular
3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Photo of DoubleMalt
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of teromous
3.82/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottom of the can: "DOB 02/07/2017 10:26:46" (there is some other letter or number printed on the lip making it illegible)

Appearance: The Beer is a medium gold color with the slightest bit of haze. The head is just a short white ring with a bit of a white bubbly film over the surface. It isn't a big head but it has good retention.

Aroma: There is a light bit of sweet honey, grain, and just a light touch of spicy hop aroma. Very light overall.

Taste: It has a nice tasty hop flavor that tastes almost fruity, It reminds me of passion fruit. It is a very clean tasting beer. The aftertaste has just a bit of earthy tea and cedar.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing with a nice light bitter hop bite.

Overall: I enjoyed the beer and I would drink it again. I would recommend it to people looking for a pilsner with a little more hop character than malt. When I first took a whiff of the beer I was not getting a lot of malt or hop aroma but that quickly changed when I took the first sip. Again I would recommend it for people who like pilsners but don't want something that is too sweet or malty. It has a really good earthy hop backbone that pops with this great fruitiness.

 1,184 characters

Photo of mrosenfeld32
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Stignacious
3.98/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Yancey82
3.99/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of pottergator
3.86/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chrishiker1409
3.88/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of duvel1979
3.25/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Nichols33
3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of HermitDan
4.02/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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Pilsner from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.81 out of 5 based on 76 ratings.
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