Live Oak Brewing Company

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Bohemian Pilsener
Ranked #6
Ranked #8,427
3.97 | pDev: 11.08%
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Very Good
Notes: Styled after the Bohemian classic, Pilz is a crisp golden pilsner with an assertive hop character. With special Moravian heirloom barley malt, a traditional decoction mash creates a firm yet light body and deep golden color. Cold fermentation with a Czech lager yeast and lengthy secondary conditioning produce a brilliant beer that highlights the spicy and grassy Saaz hops. Authenticity in a glass; Pilz is beer.
Reviews: 85 | Ratings: 306 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.88/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap in a pint glass
Appearance – The beer is served a light straw color with a cone finger head of fizzy white foam. The head has a great retention, slowly fading over time to leave light streaks of lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – the aroma is heaviest of some grain and grass as well as a cracker aroma. There is a little bit of toast and a hint of herb in there as well.
Taste – The taste begins with a light bready and grainy taste that has a hint of caramel and some herbal hop. As the taste moves forward the bready dries out and leaves a more cracker like malt taste to the beer. All the while some grass and a very light citrus hit the tongue and leave one with a rather crisp taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew was on the lighter side with a carbonation level that was slightly higher than normal. Overall a nice feel for the flavor profile and for making it an easy drinking brew overall.
Overall – A very easy drinking and still rather flavorful pils. A nice brew for a warm summer day!

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Photo of CTHomer
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: crystal clear; medium gold in color; 1+ finger finely pored white head that receded to a thin cap; little lacing;

S: grain, grass, and apple;

T: grassy, with pilsner malt and a hint of spice in the background; moderate, long lasting bitterness on the finish;

M: medium bodied; moderate carbonation; moderately dry finish; crisp;

O: really nice example of the style;

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Photo of mothmanscott
4.16/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one a gift for my good friend Tim Flanders. Thanks brother. Pours clear medium-deep gold producing 2 fingers of frothy, somewhat lasting, white head that diminishes to small islands of surface cap leaving a nice collar and splotchy lacing. Aroma is pure crisp, clean pilsner yeast with biscuit and cracker with a hint of cereal; lemon and grassy hops. Taste is Pilsener yeast, cracker/biscuit malt, floral, lemony, grassy and spicy noble hops with a peppery finish and a pleasant and lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation, crisp, clean and only slightly dry with a spicy prickle it has nice weight on the tongue. A very good example of the style. Very pleasant and highly drinkable.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Can from Mr Bond, thanks for schlepping this from TX for us. Brilliantly clear dark yellow with a thin but long lasting bubbly white head. Crackery pilsner maltiness with floral spicy hops in spades. Very nice beer!

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Photo of Harrison8
3.99/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours yellow with a tangible fog to it, and bubbles consistently rising through it to feed the head. Head is a finger in height, white in color, and marvelous in retention. Aroma is pilsner, bready malts layered over and between notes of herbal, spicy hops, and yeast esters. It smells lightly spicy, with quality pilsner, bready malts behind. Yeast easters shift this pilsner into German territory. Flavor profile is spicy, herbal, resiny hops with pilsner, bready malts behind. Yeast esters are less apparent here, forming more of a dry, spicy pilsner quality. Mouth feel is lightly velvety, perhaps thanks to the particulate suspended in the beer. It has a medium thickness. Overall, spicy hops are a nice addition, with the aroma and flavor profile driving in slightly different directions.

Served in a 12oz snifter from a 12oz can.

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Photo of Buck89
4.43/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal-clear golden color with a medium sized white head. Bright bready and crackery malt with floral hoppy notes. Beautiful taste with clean malt and a crisp floral hop element. One of the best American Pils that I have had.

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Photo of Squire
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Light golden color with white cap and lacing.

Aroma of rich malt and slightly herbal spicy hops.

Taste is hop forward with a firm, herbal approach that's both bracing and refreshing. A fairly complex beer brewed from just a few ingredients which goes to show what can be done by those with honed brewing skill sets.

Medium texture with balancing carbonation.

A good beer in the Pils style that executes the style well.

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Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Hazy medium gold, with a large, fine-beaded head, which fades quite slowly. The carbonation is slight, and slow rising.

Aroma: A crisp snap of noble hops and cracker malt dominates the aroma, classic for the style.

Taste: Sharp noble hops vie with cracker malt for supremacy. At first, the cracker malt is ascendant, through the midpart of the taste. The hops then come into strength, dominating the taste to the close. Finishes with a shap bite of noble and herbal hops.

Mouth feel: Smooth, full, and soft, with just a hint of carbonation sting.

Drinkability/Notes: An excellent rendition of a classic style. Everything that a Pils should be.

Presentation: Served in a twelve-ounce clear plastic Solo cups at South Flo's Pizza in Round Rock, Texas.

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Photo of wejohnsn
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this at HEB for 49 cents a can in a discount bin. wow! this stuff is really good. I should have gotten all they had but I will treasure the 4 cans i did get.

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Photo of Wagner74
4.06/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Close second, imo, to Saint Arnold's 5 O'clock Pils. Color of straw, about an inch of off white head, floral aroma of the hops. Nicely carbonated with its nicely hopped taste to give a perfect finish worthy of the Czech Pilsner style, which I prefer over the German style.

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Photo of unlikelyspiderperson
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours a lovely rich auburn, crystal clear with a pillowy and persistent stark white head.
Smells of straw and bread dough, faint banana candy scent.
Taste is mild lemon zest and ritz crackers.
Mouthfeel is well nigh perfect. So light and so crisp, it dances across your tongue leaving the door open for more. So refreshing after a few hours out in the sun.
Overall this is a wonderful pilsner, crisp and light and refreshing and I would imagine just about the perfect compliment to some ungodly hot texas days.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.46/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can. Clear golden. Smells of doughy malts and some light grassy hops. Tastes of doughy malt but much stronger grassy and herbal hops. Dry and bitter. Light body. Solid pilsner. I dunno about Czech Pils for the style, though.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

"Even though the world has come to think of pilsner as the quintessential German beer style, only 1 in 10 commercial breweries in Germany brewed the style before World War II." -The Oxford Companion To Beer

This is a Czech style pilsner; I'm not sure why so many think it's German style...maybe this is just because of Live Oak's brand?

I could've sworn I'd already reviewed this, but I guess I just haven't typed up my handwritten notes yet so I figured I'd use that as an excuse to revisit it. Sixers of this run $8.79 to $9.99 usually in Austin, TX.

CAN: 12 fl oz. Iconic white, gold, and black label design is typical of Live Oak. Standard pull-tab. I'm not seeing a canned on date.

4.7% ABV. "Pilsner."

Served cold into a pilsner glass.

HEAD: Rather frothy. Off-white in colour. Creamy. Robust. Thick. Occupies a good half of my pilsner glass with ~12cm of height. Retention is excellent; this stays around for a good 10 minutes.

BODY: Clear and clean, true to the style. No yeast/lees are visible within. Golden in colour, but not as vibrant as the best pilsner bodies I've encountered.

Appears well-carbonated. Definitely an appealing appearance for a pilsner, though not a unique or special one.

AROMA: Fresh pilsner malts/100% malted barley. I'm getting some floral hop aromatics in addition to the usual Noble hop grassiness. In a blind tasting, I'd bet on Tettnang and/or Spalt instead of the Saaz they brewed this with since I'm not getting Saaz's subtle spiciness from the aroma. A scintilla of baked bread is present.

No esters from the Czech yeast (this is definitely a lager!). No overt alcohol. No off-notes.

Aroma is fresh and appealing, suggesting a balanced pilsner with a soft mouthfeel. I'm eager to try it.

TASTE: Maltwise, it veers a bit towards more of a bready flavour, which is surprising and not entirely true to style (evoking almost a Vienna lager or bock-like vibe). Hop profile isn't strictly spicy like Saaz or grassy like the entire Noble hop family, sitting noncommittally somewhere in the Noble spectrum but not showcasing Saaz well.

What works is the clean crisp pilsner malt backbone, which anchors the rowdiness of the hop profile. Lacks the liveliness of Czech lager yeast I'd expect in a great Czech pilsner, and finishes malty instead of crisp and hoppy (inasmuch as traditional pilsners can be called "hoppy").

Not as balanced or enjoyable as I remembered it being on-draught.

TEXTURE: Smooth and wet, but too scratchy and even thick to be called refreshing. It's not as fresh in feel as the aroma suggested it might be, and while it's aptly soft it's also overcarbonated. Maybe I got an old can? I must've, but then Live Oak doesn't put canned on dates on these so...

OVERALL: I must've gotten an older can because I remembered this being far better. While it's drinkable, it's ultimately a hum-ho attempt at a traditional Czech style from a brewery that usually masters such efforts. I regard Live Oak as possibly the best brewery in Austin, but I'd sooner have one of those plastic litre bottles of Staropramen over this (it's better tasting and costs less). Decent, but not up to snuff with Live Oak's usual level of quality. Perhaps expansion has reduced quality?


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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.13/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This one pours a light straw yellow, with a small head and lots of lacing.

This smells like grassy hops, bready malt, and fruity lager yeast.

The taste is the same- this is straightforward and checks all the boxes. It’s crisp clean and with zero off flavors. There’s a crisp snappy grassy hop bite, with a crusty bread malt backbone, and a bit of floral character.

It finishes quite dry, with a good level of carbonation. It’s super drinkable.

This is a classic American made pilsner and it makes me very happy.

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Photo of donspublic
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from can into tulip, < 1 finger cream colored head, so so retention and good lacing. Hay straw golden in the glass, slight chill haze, some yeast suspended. Smells of bread, hay, grass and some slight floral notes. Taste of baked bread and grass, spicy crisp finish makes you want to go back for more. I love this pils, one of my favorite, grab a six pack of this about once a month and drink it when I want a beer, but don't know what I want to drink.

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Photo of Blackop555
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours light hazy, gold. Foamy, short, Whitehead that Fades fast.

Smells grainy, grassy, floral and malty.

Taste floral, grassy, earthy. Followed by molten grain. Finishes dry with a grassy linger. Lightbody and fizzy medium carbonation.

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Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I know my score my be a bit heavy-handed compared to other, however IMO - this is a very solid example of exactly what a pilsner should be. Pours a nice golden color. One-finger bubbly white head that dissipates quickly. Strong lacing. Taste & smell are spot on.

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Photo of Parmesan
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

L: Clear straw gold color with a medium fizzy white head and some nice carbonation bubbles with several fingers of lacing.

S: Spicy grassy floral hops with notes of white baked bread. Smells a little hoppier than I was expecting.

T: Spicy, grassy and floral Noble hops mixed with a little white baked bread, I was hoping for a little more bread flavor. Medium bitterness.

F: Crisp, clean, light bodied and very easy drinking.

O: Glad to final try this beer after all I've heard about it, it's not my favorite pilsener but still a very nice pils.

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Photo of Ryan_DelMastro
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Good overall. May be slightly overchilled by my fridge.
H: About a finger worth of frothy foam that dissipated in about 90 seconds after finishing the pour. If you stir the glass a little there is carbonation that comes up to the surface and lines the glass before retreating back to the miniscus line.
C: A thin honey color beer.
T: At the start I got a very clean and drinkable beer. If you let it play around your mouth the beer develops fruity notes (pear, hint of asprin) and finishes with a touch of wheat.
Overall great beer! Very happy that I got to try it. I recommend to trade for this beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazed & effervescent gold with 2+ fingers of eggshell colored head. Dissapointing head retention & lacing

S: Bready, grassy, soapy

T: Follows the nose, floral hops as well up front, dry with pear & white grape. Soapy & grassy hops dominate as this warms along with pear notes. Finishes crisp, soapy, grassy & with a slight grainyness

MF: Medium body, firm carbonation, great balance

A well put together Pils, very drinkable would love to try this on draft of as fresh as possible. Great as it is

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Photo of Stevedore
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can, served in a pint glass.

Pours a mildly cloudy, otherwise clear golden orange body, one finger white head, fair retention, minimal lacing, thin film. Kind of flimsy of an appearance, to be honest. Smells of crisp bread, grain, light floral notes, fair amount of grassiness, minerals. Standard Czech pils profile. Flavour follows, but there is more grassy bitterness notable on the finish, which is great. Brings more balance and fair bit of complexity into this pilsner. Bread, floral, touch of honeyed biscuit. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, good carbonation, substantial yet very easy to drink. This one disappears a touch too quickly! Moderate grassy bitterness on the finish. A solid Czech pils, good for the style.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.19/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Very light gold, bright and clear, with a tall, airy head of froth.
S: Nice floral hop aroma, with a touch of grainy malt.
T: Fine mix of floral, earthy bitterness and smooth malt, exactly what I look for in a good Bohemian pils. Very clean yeast profile, just the basics, really. Well-done.
M: Lots of carbonation, nice neutral but spritzy mouthfeel.
O: Top notchpilsner.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can. Solid pils with lots of flavor, touch of banana and coriander behind sweet Pilsner malt and grassy hops. Semi slick feel with a dry grassy bitter finish.

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Photo of stakem
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Can into a stange appears clear pale yellow with a rich 3+ finger cap that fades leaving stringy lace.

Aroma is grassy with hops with some sweet/fresh cereal grains and a touch of mineral character.

Taste is grassy with hops and a slight cereal grain flavor that is more husky than sweet. A touch of corn, sulfur and buttery diacetyl.

This is light in body with modest carbonation. Quite crisp and easy drinking. Per style its pretty good.

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Photo of _drummer_
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Quality Pilsner. Light golden color, fair amount of carbonation with a decent foam head. The flavor is typical of a Pilsner though with a bit more hops. Pick this one up.

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Pilz from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 306 ratings