Pilsner | Southern Tier Brewing Company

very good
29 Reviews

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 54
Photo of Sammy
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fruity and a bit metallic aroma. Very lacey. Light colour. Easy drink and fruity, with lemon promient taste and drying, a tad metallic finish. Citus and a tad of tabacco aftertaste. Above-average carbonation. Satisfying summer beverage.Nice balance with understated malt.

 271 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Limpid yellow-amber beneath a pure white head that persists for a bit and generates an attractive display of lace; broken sheets up top, solid sheets down below. The cap remains humped in the center as it melts, looking for all the world like a marshmallow milkshake.

The nose is snazzy and Saazy. It's floral and spicy and lemony all at once. This is my kind of pilsener nose, heavy on the citrus zest. I'm betting that those noble have some companions who speak with American accents. Lightly toasted malt is noticed as well, which is both surprising and welcome.

The flavor follows the nose fairly closely, with the exception being that Saaz hops are now clearly in charge. Lemon zest has, unfortunately, taken a back seat. Overly lemony, citrusy pilseners may not be classic (don't tell Victory), but as a combination lemonophile/hophead, I love 'em.

There's no doubt that the flavor profile is as rounded and as approachable as it is because it's coddled by a generous quantity of pils malt. The result is a very well-balanced, easy drinking beer that I could put away by the jeroboam. I'm pleased to report that the finish is increasingly bitter and features a return engagement with lemon zest. An active mouthfeel works well given the rest of the beer's attributes.

It's difficult for me to find pilseners that I really love (Prima Pils is an unapproachable standout). This one is very good though and I could see myself purchasing a few sixers every summer if I lived in the distribution area. Pilsner is yet more evidence that Southern Tier is one of the great, underrated craft breweries. Consider yourself lucky to have ready access HappyHourHero, and thanks for giving me temporary access.

 1,715 characters

Photo of Jason
4.06/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Bright yellow golden hue with an active carbonation and a dense frothy white head.

Smell: Clean graininess, a little powdery with a very mild floral hop note.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Spot on crispness in the moderate body. Spicy hops meshes with the grassy grain, a bit juicy upfront with a nutty malt flavor. Lingering dry malt flavor continues far into the after taste. Finishes a tad dry.

Drinkability & Notes: It is nearly impossible to pit this pilsner against a typical German Pils that uses hop extract … which most of them do. Just because it is pale in color does not mean it is lacking in flavor, nor does it mean that it is too heavy being that it comes from a craft brewer. Its beers like this that are missing in the Boston proper.

 823 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.05/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.25

There are (at least) two ways to do things - the right way, the wrong way and (perhaps) The CANQuest (tm) way. The first applies in this case as this should NEVER have been an add. It existed, was known to the database & simply needed to be taken out of retirement. I am shocked by the person who performed this egregious act and it has been reported. I hate to be Norbert the Nark, but this f**ks me up in terms of keeping track. It is neither a vintage nor a new beer! For shame.

From the CAN: "German Style Lager"; "Brewed with Hops and Malts Imported from Germany"; "Why the hell not?"

Did anyone catch any mention of "2016" in that? No! Why? Because it does not exist! Oh, on the underside. Should we add the date to every CAN & bottle on here? Nonsense!

Putting aside my boiling anger, I CANducted a Crack! & inverted Glug. The massive two-plus fingers of foamy, rocky, bone-white head came roaring up and then sat down just as quickly. Color was Pale-Straw (SRM = 1 - 2) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a nice Saaz grassiness, but overlain by a biscuity malt presence. I generally prefer the Czech & Czech-style Pilsners simply because the hops are more prevalent. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium, not watery, but not much beyond it and still appropriate for the style. The taste was less grassy than more like freshly-mown hay! Big difference. Plus, the malts were not forward at all, making it more Czech-like than I expected. Finish was dry and refreshing, not at all like a German-style Pilsner. I loved it, but stylistically, it was wack, yo!

 1,556 characters

Photo of WVbeergeek
3.32/5  rDev -12.2%
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 WesWes
3.94/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a pale golden color with a a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It has a nice hop aroma along with a light malt scent. The taste is good. It is a light, hoppy, and malty beer with a real character. The mouthfeel is good. It is a low bodied beer with adequate carbonation. As far as pilsners are concerned this is a really good one. This is a great sessions beer.

 383 characters

Photo of tone77
3.35/5  rDev -11.4%
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 ppoitras
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle obtained via trade with Shippos. Thanks for the opportunity...

First imperial pint glass pours with a 1/2" bright white head, which laces well. Slightly cloudy dark straw/light amber brew, with a balanced pale malt and hops aroma. Taste is smooth pale malt body carrying some citrus and a crisp hops bite. Mouthfeel is a bit above average, the citrus flavor tends towards sour a bit much for me. Drinkability is about the same, but I could see session written all over this one.

 494 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Decent looking beer with classic bright yellow color and 1/2 inch of frothy foam. Smell is rather sweet with mild corn and cereal grains and hops hooray! My only complaint on the taste is the finish is a bit dry mostly from people describing a lemon zest taste. In a way it does wear out and the overall malt to hops ratio is perfect. For the style it actually is rather tasty.

 377 characters

Photo of tgbljb
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

part of sampler pack.
Poured a hazy golden color with modest white head that quichly fel to a thin ring. Smell is floral and lemony with a touch of malt. Tste is on the dry side with a hint of lemon but little crispness. Mouthfeel continues with the dryness. Wasn't quite what I was expecting, but good nonetheless.

 316 characters

Photo of ryan1788a5
3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into a small sampling glass.

A: Dull golden color with excellent clarity. Effervescent. Bubbly white head retains well. Rings of lacing cement themselves onto the glass.

S: Clean, grassy, lime, pils malt, freshly baked bread. Good.

T: Grassy and a bit herbal. Lime leaf. Stiff bitterness. Oily. Token pils malt flavors of baked bread and very light toast/grain. Bitter Limey and herbal hop finish.

M: Light bodied. Soft and somewhat creamy. Harsh, biting carbonation scrubs the skin off your tongue.

O: Solid take on the style. It does what it should. Clean, very crisp, quaffable. Sharply bitter. Not bad.

 627 characters

Photo of utopiajane
3.34/5  rDev -11.6%
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 Jacobob10
4.04/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap @ Willie McBride's in Branchburg, NJ.

Straw to light gold in color and clear. Fluffy white head that has good retention and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. Clean aroma that strikes a nice balance between lightly sweet grains and honey with noble hops. The balance gets shifted a little bit in the flavor, where the hops shine a bit more. Grassy and slightly spicy that leaves a light bitter aftertaste. Medium-light bodied with a dry finish.

Clean, light, and crisp. I really enjoyed Southern Tier's take on the German pils. The fresh malt flavor could have come through a bit more, but that's my only real knock on it.

 641 characters

Photo of CNoj012
4.03/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear straw golden color with a one finger bright white head. The smell is bread crust, floral hops and slight peppery spice. Taste is the same with a nice lemon taste complimenting the aforementioned flavors. Feel is light, crisp, well carbonated and finishes dry. Overall a very very good pilsner. Crisp, dry, easy drinking. One of my favorite beers by ST.

 376 characters

Photo of HappyHourHero
3.53/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big froathy white head leaves a nice coat of lace. Light aroma, a bit doughy and a little grainy. Clear golden beer with a stream of small bubbles rising up the side. Light flavor, a bit husky/grainy and an almost flowery flavor starts to kick in only to be beat down by the the lightly bitter finish. Mouthfeel is light and smooth, a light bodied beer but solid enough. Not much to this beer, and I'm not really leaning one way or the other. I bet it would be good really fresh on draft, but what do I know.

 508 characters

Photo of beergeek279
3.85/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at Mad Mex in a pint glass. The color was golden, with a film of head. The smell was a slight hoppiness. The taste was a nice hoppiness and the light malt had no noticable off-tastes. Mouthfeel was average. As for drinkability, could definitely have a few.

My first actual review of 2004. A decent pilsner, with a nice hoppiness, and certainly one I'd have again.

 373 characters

Photo of John
4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy straw color. Pillowy white head, spotty lace is left behind. Biscuit-light malt and leafy hop aroma. Flavors of pale malt and the crisp Noble hops are blended precisely. Hops are prominent but are delicate enough not to over power. Mouthfeel is smooth almost creamy, yet crisp and clean. Carbonation level is on the money. This is a fine brew on its own or as an accompanyment to a light meal. An outstanding pils.

 419 characters

Photo of crookedhalo
3.42/5  rDev -9.5%
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 yelterdow
3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a pilsner glass at just over fridge temperature.

Appearance- This pours a mostly clear, golden straw color with lots of action inside the glass. The head begins at about an inch and settles to a 1/4" mat, which is constantly being replenished by the terrific effervescence. Nice clingy lacing down the glass.

Smell- A clean, German style hop profile balanced nicely with the malt creates a sweet, delicately floral aroma. Interestingly, I am getting notes of chlorine as well.

Taste- A clean, zippy bitterness envelopes the subtle hop and malt character... very simple and approachable, and perfect with sushi at lunch.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Good rolling carbonation that pushes the hops and lays the malt firmly on the tongue, with no detriments. Drinkability soars, as the alcohol is undetectable and the beer drinks so easily... I could see this as an all day quaffer this summer for sure.

 917 characters

Photo of Ego
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ran into this @ cable beverage, bardonia, NY (thanks yelterdow!), we picked it up for the hell of it to have with sushi.. damn were we surprised.. this must be a fresh batch judging from the flavor but there is no bottle date to be sure..

sticky lace on this one, one full finger of head,
yoda says: "clingy this is for a pilsner"
pale straw color, not crystal clear, a bit hazy (not much), a good lookin pils.

a nice euro smell with a bit more hops infusion, a little bread, a little honey, nice.

taste etc...
just short of being too thick for a pils (ever notice a bunch of the bigger pils are almost syrupy.. not here), the carbonation is mild making this easy to drink, it is pretty full in the mouth and not at all watery, just enough malt to balance out the more aggressive hopping souther tier uses. it is refreshing with subtle lemon notes buried deep ... and it satisfies the beer geek in me at the same time.

find it fresh grab it. I will be going back to pick more of this up for the summer months, it was in the cold case so it should keep just as well. a great pils for the coming warm months. this one surprised me as it was picked up on merely a whim...

 1,213 characters

Photo of Apellonious
3.84/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can born on 6/08/16 poured into a Pilsner glass. Pours a clear gold with a one finger white head that moves to thin lace immediately. Smell is mildly floral with bread notes. Taste is the same, with some mint and pine thrown in. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, with a medium level of carbonation. Interesting story with this beer, with the six pack box (sealed) having only five cans in it, and the first one drank was a drain pour (it tasted like glue). Outside of that, a decent Pilsner worth trying.

 518 characters

Photo of fscottkey
3.46/5  rDev -8.5%
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 shirfan
3.8/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here's a prime candidate for getting new converts to better beer.

Pours hazy medium gold, with a thin, sticky, white-as-snow head.
Aroma is midly sour lemon and a whiff of saltwater.

Taste is nothing like the typical green-bottle european pilsner. Starts crisp and sharp with hints of lemon and kimmelweck rolls. A mild, refreshing body has enough malt to hold its own. Finishes dry and begs another sip; there are no off or "strong" flavors here to turn away the novice. The baking seaweed flavor typical of imported green-bottle pilsners is conspicuous by its absence.

Very, very impressive for being light and unchallenging yet tasty. Exudes quality.

 664 characters

Photo of necoadam
4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pale lager? No, this is more of a pilsner, like the bottle states. Pours out a hazy golden color with a huge amount of carbonation which should be common in a pils. Smell consisted of hops, malts, and some pine aromas? It was something along those lines but it did seem strange. Taste was hoppy and citrusy, almost like a grapefruit-like bitterness to it. Lots of carbonation in this brew and it makes it good. A good pils should have a decent amount of carbonation. This would make a great session beer. I really like the bitterness in this one, it's not over the top, but it restates what the taste is like. A fine brew.

 622 characters

Photo of GreatPondBrewer
3.98/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear golden with a foamy white head and slight lacing with plenty of carbonation bubbles. Smell was sweetly malty with a slight floral hop, bitter grains which were bordering on metallic and a slight doughyness(it seems like all the southern tiers have a little bit of that most likely from the yeast.) Taste was crisp and refreshing, with rose petal notes, slightly metallic malts, nice bitter hops and a smooth finish and dry aftertaste. Obviously well carbonated which would hold true for the style. I can, and probably will drink this beer all summer long. Its refreshing and clean and a helluva lot more tasty than most american pilsners you will find.

 667 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Pilsner from Southern Tier Brewing Company
3.78 out of 5 based on 54 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.