Pre-War Pils
Live Oak Brewing Company

Pre-War PilsPre-War Pils
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Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Lager - Adjunct
Ranked #1
Ranked #10,841
4.01 | pDev: 8.48%
Apr 21, 2022
Apr 19, 2019
Very Good
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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3.91 by raust from Texas on Apr 21, 2022
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
3.4/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5
by Jugs_McGhee from Texas

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
3.75 by TMoney2591 from Illinois on Feb 27, 2022
Photo of elNopalero
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by elNopalero from California

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
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Bluecrow from New York

-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
4.07 by karlstratos from New Jersey on Dec 04, 2021
Photo of TCgenny
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by TCgenny from New York

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
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75
by REVZEB from Illinois

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
4.08 by heerboth from Pennsylvania on Sep 12, 2021
Photo of CTHomer
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by CTHomer from Connecticut

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
4.07 by MI_beerdrinker from Texas on Sep 03, 2021
3.67 by Mikexw from New York on Sep 03, 2021
3.8 by kuhndog from New York on Sep 03, 2021
Photo of BFCarr
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by BFCarr from New Jersey

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
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
by Darkmagus82 from Texas

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
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by ovaltine from Indiana

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
4.1 by Haybeerman from Colorado on Aug 27, 2021
4.06 by Gkruszewski from New York on Aug 27, 2021
Photo of Thankin_Hank
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by Thankin_Hank from Texas

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
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by BPence99 from California

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
3.52/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by puck1225 from Texas

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
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by beergoot from Colorado

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
3.92 by GreenMind from Pennsylvania on Aug 22, 2021
3.75 by NEBeerGoddess from Connecticut on Aug 22, 2021
4.11 by LXIXME from New Mexico on Aug 22, 2021
3.95 by heymikew from California on Aug 22, 2021
Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by UrbanCaveman from Ohio

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
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by teromous from Virginia

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
3.75 by ejimhof from Pennsylvania on Aug 22, 2021
4.25 by cryptichead from Illinois on Aug 22, 2021
Photo of dacrza1
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
by dacrza1 from New Jersey

DATE: August 21, 2021... OCCASION: beer number two in the lineup... GLASSWARE: standard 22oz. pilsner.... this pours clean, a clear, lightly effervescent body with a solid quarter-finger smear of head that rings and laces... its aroma is dry and grassy, with some lemon and flowers as well... although it doesn't need to be said, but this is slammable and cleansing, a nice second act to this night, with a nice bitter bite early as it segues into its refreshing finish... the throat is swift... the lemongrass is its primary aspect, though the flower, light hops, and cracker malts are all present... this fits the night, and I could enjoy this all day long...

Aug 22, 2021
Photo of sjrider
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by sjrider from California

Can pour -clear pale lemony straw color with quickly dissipating head leaving minimal lacing, so minimally fizzy yellow beer. Nose is lightly herbal with cereal sweetness. Taste follows with a clean finish. Crisp and refreshing.

Aug 22, 2021
Photo of FBarber
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by FBarber from Illinois

Lovely crystal clear golden straw color. Thin, weak white head appears just momentarily then dissolves. A thin layer of white sudsy foam lingers on the beer. Aroma has notes of white bread, light dried corn notes, spicy herbal hops. Taste has notes of white bread, light corn, light lemony notes with some spicy, herbal hops on the back end. Feel is sprightly, bright, crisp, and super drinkable. Delicious prewar pils - a must try if you love the style.

Aug 22, 2021
Photo of o11o111o
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by o11o111o from Ohio

Excellent example of the style: crisp and clean with a touch of corn on the nose. Very well brewed—nowhere for flaws to hide in this beer. Great mouthfeel and a drying finish that pushes you into another sip. Really nicely done.

Aug 22, 2021
3.73 by mjsullivan86 from Pennsylvania on Aug 22, 2021
Photo of cjgiant
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4
by cjgiant from District of Columbia

Subtle was a term used in LagerFest, and that describes this well to me. The corn doesn't jump out to me initially and doesn't sweeten the beer too much (or it's nicely countered by a neutral hop bitterness). Light, hint of grain like a bread crumb with at most two drops from a squeeze of lemon. As I get deeper in, however, I get a little bit of corn. Nicely straightforward, clean, and to repeat, subtle; enjoyable.

Aug 22, 2021
4.88 by gfranz on Aug 22, 2021
4.5 by Mortarforker from Texas on Aug 22, 2021
4.58 by HBurke24 from Texas on Aug 22, 2021
Pre-War Pils from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 84 ratings