Pilz | Live Oak Brewing Company

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Very Good
277 Ratings

Brewed by:
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.70%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 03-23-2003

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 277 |  Reviews: 73
Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -26.7%
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 +5.1%
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 brew-Ed
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of donspublic
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

 463 characters

Photo of MI_beerdrinker
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of stebbi7833
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Philcassella
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Blackop555
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
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.

 238 characters

Photo of Smanke
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of csfcmitchell
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Best_Enjoyed_In_Texas
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
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 shoegueuze
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of beaulabauve
4.21/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Parmesan
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
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 IckyT2012
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of The_Epopt
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ryan_DelMastro
4.26/5  rDev +8.4%
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 Ben1313
4.04/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of aufie
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Chackman151
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of En29356
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Hudson2508
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of devilmakesthree
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of PSU_Mike
4.14/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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Pilz from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 277 ratings