Pre-War Pils
Live Oak Brewing Company

Pre-War PilsPre-War Pils
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Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States
American Adjunct Lager
Ranked #1
Ranked #10,565
4.02 | pDev: 8.46%
Apr 20, 2023
Apr 19, 2019
Pre-War PilsPre-War Pils
Notes: After the repeal of prohibition, World War I still loomed large in public consciousness. Consequently, these beers were commonly known as “pre-war” pilsners. This 1912 recipe, mashed with one-third corn grits in a cereal decoction mash is a fine example of American early 1900s brewing.

OG: 12ºP
IBU: 32
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Photo of rodbeermunch
Reviewed by rodbeermunch from Nevada

4.08/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Another 6 pack pick up across from the airport. So this is the best adjunct lager in the world? You know, (sips booze) I don't disagree. Let's do this.

Pours a clear golden color super familiar as beer. 2/3" white head, as virgin as any comic book movie craft beer crowd can get. The aroma hits those golden waves of grain crossed up with a little bit of corn. Hops are fuggle floral like and largely chilled out. Not trying to be an ipa or anything called hoppy, I like it.

The taste hits a stronger than expected yeast note, but still sits second chair to the evocative golden waves of grain reference. We're only making plans of Nigel, he hasn't committed to any of them. The carbonation is brisk and totally suited to this corny beer. Its light and crushable, yet delivers grains by the truckload. This beer makes me wish it was warm all the time. Not really, but man, I enjoy drilling these way more than some quadruple barrel 35 bottle production you split 8 ways.

This brewery makes so many good pilsners I've lost count. I think I like the Polish one the most.
Feb 07, 2023
Photo of detgfrsh
Reviewed by detgfrsh from Texas

4.45/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
From a can packaged 12/27/22. Clear golden color with a thin layer of white bubbles. Smells of grain. Light body with prickly carbonation. Toasted malt up front with some lemon and floral hops on the finish. Ok, this is a really well executed beer that has earned its #1 in the AAL style.
Feb 07, 2023
Rated: 4.18 by crobinso from Colorado

Oct 23, 2022
Rated: 4.06 by Spaceman_Jer from Colorado

Oct 19, 2022
Photo of texasAUtiger
Reviewed by texasAUtiger from Texas

4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Crisp, clear, ever-so-slightly sweet, refreshing. I love this "not fancy" but excellent beer. Live Oak beers are so crushable, no worries about a headache later. On the lighter side without being at all watery. I love the Pilz and this is right there with it, but slightly lighter and slightly sweeter.
Aug 25, 2022
Rated: 3.94 by mattmarka1 from Minnesota

Aug 21, 2022
Photo of kflorence
Reviewed by kflorence from Texas

4.74/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Picked up a six pack, dated 05/12/22.

Pours a crystal clear pale, golden in color with hints of copper. A decent amount of head on the pour dissipates to a thin lacing rather quickly, some of which clings to the glass as you drink. Carbonation looks average to maybe a tick above. Pretty standard look for an adjunct, perhaps with a bit deeper hue and more lacing than usual. A bit more head retention would be nice, but not expected from the style.

Aroma is pretty straightforward. Sweet corn, buttery grains and lemony hops. I like where this is headed. I can't think of a better smelling adjunct off the top of my head.

Taste follows the aroma well. Predominantly sweet corn and buttery grains with some crackery notes, but balanced nicely with ample hoppiness, mostly lemon zest. Very clean taste with no off-notes or funk. Finishes a tad crisp but not overly dry with lingering butter and lemon zest on the tongue.

Mouthfeel is actually on the lighter side of medium bodied, much more substance than I am used to in the style. Carbonation is lively but not quite zesty. A lot of brews in this category come off a bit seltzery, but I am happy to report this one does not. There is actually some chewiness here, almost unheard of for the style. Drinks very smooth, highly sessionable.

Okay, I'm impressed. This is far and away the best brew I've had in this category, and I think I like this even better than the Live Oak Pilz, which I regard very highly. This brewery clearly knows what they are doing with lager brews. Dare I say they might be the finest lager brewer in the country. This could easily become a fridge beer, especially in the hot summer months here in Austin. Adding this one to my list for future beer purchases when I'm in the mood for something a bit more on the lighter side. Cheers!
Jul 01, 2022
Photo of cyclonece09
Reviewed by cyclonece09 from Wisconsin

3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured from a can into a pint glass. Pours golden yellow with a small white head. Smells of sweet grain, very much better than most pilsners. Tastes of sweet grain with nice fruit notes. Beer is light bodied and easy drinking, good carbonation. Overall, a very good beer.
May 26, 2022
Rated: 4.28 by not2quick from Missouri

May 24, 2022
Rated: 3.91 by raust from Texas

Apr 21, 2022
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Reviewed by Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.4/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
12 fl oz pull-tab can from Central Market, Austin, TX:

Canned 02/21/22.

As drinkable an adjunct lager as there is out there, but it's full-bodied, refreshing, and balanced enough to stand out amongst its either too watery-thin or too syrupy-thick brethren.

I don't know that I'd reach for a sixer of this over Schlitz Gusto or even Coors Banquet given my price sensitivity, but it's probably a better brewed beer price aside.

Apr 08, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Feb 27, 2022
Photo of elNopalero
Reviewed by elNopalero from California

4.77/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
I couldn’t get enough of this easy drinking lager. Pours clear and clean. Corn grits and hominy make for a slightly sweet smooth as all get out easy drinking brew. Judging by how much I had of this during my visits to Texas, and how much I enjoyed from what I brought back with me, this might have been my number one beer of 2021.
Jan 21, 2022
Photo of Bluecrow
Reviewed by Bluecrow from New York

4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
-optically clear, very pale yellow can pour that hosts a thin foam cap that dissipates very quickly and a fresh hop aroma with a bit of sweetness.
The flavor is a super clean version of the Pilsner style brews I had 40 years ago. It is crackery, woody and flowery.
This is a superb light-bodied option if you can find it.
Jan 10, 2022
Rated: 4.07 by karlstratos from New Jersey

Dec 04, 2021
Photo of TCgenny
Rated by TCgenny from New York

3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Poured surprisingly lightpale appearance, light grass, mild lemon smell crisp feel and finish, refreshing pils and great history lesson
Oct 05, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
Clear pale golden pour, solid white head, obvious carbonation. Corn, cereal, grains, and light grassy hops with lemon zest make up the aromas bouquet. Taste is very harsh up front with raw corn, hop and grain flavors, cereal malts and cracker calm things down through the sip. Feel is high in carbonation, light, thin, dry, and crisp. Interesting novelty beer, but don't need to have again
Sep 24, 2021
Rated: 4.08 by heerboth from Pennsylvania

Sep 12, 2021
Photo of CTHomer
Reviewed by CTHomer from Connecticut

4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A: crystal clear; pale gold in color; 1+ finger finely pored head that receded to a wispy cap with a thin collar; nice lacing;

S: bready; floral in the background;

T: balanced between bread and floral to the middle, then it's all floral; mild to moderate bitterness at the end;

M: light to medium bodied; moderate carbonation; dry finish; crisp;

O: really nice; refreshing;
Sep 09, 2021
Rated: 4.07 by MI_beerdrinker from Texas

Sep 03, 2021
Rated: 3.67 by Mikexw from New York

Sep 03, 2021
Rated: 3.8 by kuhndog from New York

Sep 03, 2021
Photo of BFCarr
Reviewed by BFCarr from New Jersey

3.96/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Looks fantastic, translucent yellow with a thick white head. Mild aroma, malty and clean. Taste is also mild but enough bitterness to give it some depth. Feel is also very good considering the ABV. A very easy to drink beer with good flavor to keep it interesting.
Aug 29, 2021
Photo of Darkmagus82
Reviewed by Darkmagus82 from Texas

3.72/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Poured from a can into a pint glass
Appearance – The beer pours a clear light straw color with a one finger head of white foam. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave a light level of foamy lace on the sides of the glass.
Smell – Overall the aroma is light. The aroma of the brew is strongest of a corn and caramel smell mixed with a bi to grainy and bready aroma. There is also a touch of must and a hint of herb.
Taste – The taste begins with a sweeter caramel and corn sweetness mixed with a bit of white bread and grain. These flavors constitute the base flavors of the brew and last throughout. Towards the end a very light earthy and herbal flavors arrives on the tongue, and with a lessening of the sweet by a tad, one is left with a rather crisp taste to linger on the tongue.
Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is slightly lighter and crisper with a carbonation level that is on the average side. Overall, the feel matches the more subdued tastes and makes for a rather easy drinker overall
Overall – Certainly no a flavor powerhouse, but very easy to drink. A nice summer hot weather brew.
Aug 29, 2021
Photo of ovaltine
Reviewed by ovaltine from Indiana

4.35/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Brilliant straw color, with the most beautiful “hanging haze” under a sudsy white head, the only knock on the look is that the head dissipates immediately and provides no lacing. The nose is a little grassy and a LOT of sweet corn, which I love, and a bit of hominy as well.

The taste is heavy on the corn and hominy, which is great because the hominy balances the sweet corn really well, and opens the door for a grassy flavor on the finish, a perfect way to cap this crisp, refreshing lager.
Aug 28, 2021
Rated: 4.1 by Haybeerman from Colorado

Aug 27, 2021
Rated: 4.06 by Gkruszewski from New York

Aug 27, 2021
Photo of Thankin_Hank
Reviewed by Thankin_Hank from Texas

3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Canned 07/12/21 pours a hazy straw color with a big head. Pre-War smells of light malt and a hint of citrus. Tastes like a true pilsner with some light bitterness. Easy drinking and a nice balance. A great session beer. Thanks to Dusan Kwiatkowski and Chip McElroy.
Aug 26, 2021
Photo of BPence99
Reviewed by BPence99 from California

4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
This Pre-War Pils follows a 1912 recipe that relies on a mash of 1/3rd corn grits. Certainly a great example of early American lagering. Has a light straw color with decent head and carbonation. This brewery located in Austin, Texas has done a good job of balancing the sweetness from the corn grits with the hops used. I am adding Live Oak Brewing to my "bucket list" of breweries in TX to visit.
Aug 23, 2021
Photo of puck1225
Reviewed by puck1225 from Texas

3.52/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
One of the Lager Fest beers. Poured from a can into a tulip glass. Clear yellow color with with little head or lacing. Slightly sweet grassy smell and taste. Dry, crisp finish. A bit thin, but refreshing and good with food.
Aug 23, 2021
Photo of beergoot
Reviewed by beergoot from Colorado

3.91/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Clear, pale yellow body; excellent carbonation; relatively thin yet soapy head; some foam sticking to the glass. Lightly sweet and grainy nose. Mild grainy flavor with a mild to moderate hop bitterness; a very faint metallic note. Light body; crisp and dry on the palate.

This is a nice, well-rounded pilsner. There are no gimmicks per se, and is simple in pure in execution and presentation. A very nice beer.

Poured at 54 °F; PKG: 07/12/21
Aug 23, 2021
Rated: 3.92 by GreenMind from Pennsylvania

Aug 22, 2021
Rated: 3.75 by NEBeerGoddess from Connecticut

Aug 22, 2021
Rated: 4.11 by LXIXME from New Mexico

Aug 22, 2021
Rated: 3.95 by heymikew from California

Aug 22, 2021
Photo of UrbanCaveman
Reviewed by UrbanCaveman from Ohio

4.42/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
12 oz can, poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees F.

L: Poured a bright, clear, very pale yellow, with a huge, billowing white head that had great retention and great lacing.

S: Not unlike walking through a sunlit meadow while carrying a basket of biscuits and crackers.

T: Biting into a honey-drizzled biscuit dusted with pollen, alongside notes of grass, corn, and soft, faint fresh cracked pepper.

F: Light, crisp, and crushable.

O: A rather delicious adjunct pilsner.
Aug 22, 2021
Photo of teromous
Reviewed by teromous from Virginia

3.73/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
The printing on the bottom of the can is stretched out but it appears to display: "PKG 07/12/21 1573"

Appearance: The body is a pale gold color that looks like a medium shade of straw. It has mostly good clarity with just a light bit of haze. There is a short white frothy head that quickly dissipates out to a ring and a few thin rafts across the surface.

Aroma: There is a very light cereal grain aroma. Inhaling deeply delivers a very light scent of herbal hops.

Taste: Up front there is a pleasant herbal hop character which morphs into a bit of citrus character as it passes over to the middle of the tongue, bringing out some light lemon zest flavor. There's just a light bit of cereal character in the middle of the tongue. A hint of cedar in the aftertaste. The flavors work well with each other in this beer.

Mouthfeel: It's at the upper edge of light-bodied with a good hop bitterness that does an excellent job of wrapping the light malt character towards the back of the tongue. It has a nice dry finish.

Overall: It's a very drinkable and flavorful beer. It delivers just enough flavor to make you want to drink more but it tapers off at the end of the beer to make way for a light bitterness that cleans up the palate. Every element flavor-wise in this beer knows when to show itself and when to step back to make room for something else. It's a bit like a band of musicians that have been playing with each other for a long time. I would definitely drink it again and I would highly recommend it if you are looking for a flavorful pils that will keep you interested without wearing you down.
Aug 22, 2021
Rated: 3.75 by ejimhof from Pennsylvania

Aug 22, 2021
Rated: 4.25 by cryptichead from Illinois

Aug 22, 2021
Pre-War Pils from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 94 ratings