Pilsner | Southern Tier Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
159 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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 159 |  Reviews: 60
Photo of BlueKurenai
2.14/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.25

Photo of mikeg67
2.66/5  rDev -29.8%
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.

 243 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.77/5  rDev -26.9%
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.


 3,258 characters

Photo of TheBigBoy
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of mkh895
3.02/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Pencible
3.03/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

 153 characters

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

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

Photo of Icemann383
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Echo1M4Carbine
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of AndrewMichael
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
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.

 225 characters

Photo of duvel1979
3.25/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of jadpsu
3.26/5  rDev -14%
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.

 413 characters

Photo of Keith27614
3.27/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden tone not unfiltered by any means just has a sort of screen over the bright golden tone, very nice two finger sized white creamy head forms beautifully. Aroma: Citric floral tones a zesty hop aroma with an undertow of biscuit malt, mildly bready tones. Taste: Well, it's heading in the right direction the bready sweetness blended with the snappy hop profile is there just a bit misblended, I am getting a lot of lingering bitterness a bit dry and just doesn't haronize the malt and hops like most amazing pilsners do. Moutheel: Medium to light bodied carbonation seems a bit mild but it is smooth going down. Drinkability: Don't know how much I could drink just want a better pils, but this is a solid all around one just not great looking for more balance but our friends at Southern Tier are doing a fine job.

 843 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
3.32/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Photo of utopiajane
3.34/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours pale and golden. very light color and very clear. Head is white and clingy. Nose is breaddy and hops are powerful on the nose with woody spice. Dried grass. Somewhat lemony. No diacetyl. No dms, no fruity esters from yeast. So clean you can almost smell a bit of the water in it. the floral from hallertau is somewhat muted. The pils malt is just enough to give you a sense of golden bread crust but it has a whiter nose rather than golden and more complex scent. Hops are earthy and show some light herbal. Taste is fairly light and clean with a brisk hoppy middle. The spice takes the palate first then a breaddy texture and some cool herbal. Has a bit of lemony crispness form the bittering hop that is perfect for the style. Finishes with a breaddy texture and a smooth hop. Bitterness lingers a little long just like it should. This beer finishes crisp and dry with a light tingle from carbonation. It finishes a little hoppy for the pilsner because of the style of malt but I gave it a high score for mouthfeel becuse it is breaddy enough feeling to meet the style.

 1,086 characters

Photo of tone77
3.35/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. can. And yes, that can came from the commander of the canquest, woodychandler. Has a light yellow color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of grains, malts. Taste is grains, lemons, malts, light hops at the finish. Feels medium/light bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

 300 characters

Photo of grue_soda
3.36/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Gmann
3.4/5  rDev -10.3%
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.

 484 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.42/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chill-hazed golden straw color with a creamy white head. Spicy hops and dulled bready malt aromas with further notes of grassiness. Initially sweet and then the drier hops kick in, finishing with an astringent huskiness that leads me to believe this pils was oversparged or possibly a lot of carapils malt was used to thicken the body. Maybe that's where the serious chill-haze came from. It doesn't even go away when the beer warms. Don't get me wrong, this is a decent US pils, but it has its flaws. Nice and effervescent, with a moderate drinkability.

Tried again on tap in Southern Tier-land/ Lake Chautauqua area. What I'd mentioned as chill haze is simply the beer being filtered with coarser diatomacious earth than usual, thus leaving a cloudier pilsener behind. Quality nonetheless.

 804 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.46/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: [3.75] The can lists the ABV (5.0%) and there is a brewed date on the bottom (08/04/2016). The beer is a transparent pale straw color. It forms a minimal 1/2 finger of white head.

S: [3.25] Malts that come across like 9 grain bread. A hint of fruit - like raspberry.

T: [3.50] I think the fruit hint was grape skins. That is the flavor I got immediately. It is the dominant flavor. There is also some sweet malts and something tart on the finish.

M: [3.50] Crisp and light. Carbonation is good. This has a really dry finish with a tart sensation.

O: [3.50] This is a decent beer. Distinct for a pilsner. The flavor profile is fruity with a real presense of grape skin. The beer is refreshing and enjoyable and I'd drink more.

 745 characters

Photo of puboflyons
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
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.

 565 characters

Photo of Branlott42
3.47/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Pilsner from Southern Tier Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 159 ratings