Pilz | Live Oak Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Very Good
291 Ratings

Brewed by:
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States

Style: Bohemian 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 291 |  Reviews: 79
Photo of flyingmick
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Squire
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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.

 424 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 766 characters

Photo of MarshallBirdhouse
5/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of wejohnsn
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

 161 characters

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

Photo of gvickery
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of hopley
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SDRedDevil
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Wagner74
4.06/5  rDev +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.

 274 characters

Photo of stevepat
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 510 characters

Photo of tylerstravis
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of denver10
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.46/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

 232 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.88/5  rDev -26.9%
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?


 3,242 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.13/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 522 characters

Photo of brew-Ed
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of donspublic
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
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 -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of stebbi7833
3.4/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Philcassella
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Blackop555
3.78/5  rDev -4.1%
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 +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of csfcmitchell
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
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 +6.9%
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.

 262 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Pilz from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.94 out of 5 with 291 ratings