KC Pils | Boulevard Brewing Co.

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KC PilsKC Pils

Brewed by:
Boulevard Brewing Co.
Missouri, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Like many American burgs, our town was once home to a number of small, regional breweries. As they disappeared, so too went the full-flavored but easy drinking classic American lager. Today, we salute these bygone breweries and revive their legacy with Boulevard KC Pils: 100% malt, real hop character, unpasteurized. It’s the taste of tradition.

16 IBU

Added by jdubjacket on 07-06-2008

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Reviews: 112 | Ratings: 355
Photo of alabencki
4.95/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ah! What can I say about this beer? It's very nice, crisp, clean and refreshing. A wonderful pilsner style lager with 4.8% alcohol. I poured the 12oz bottle into a pilsner glass and it poured a beautiful deep gold color with a very nice off white head that recedes partially and leaves very nice lacing on the glass. Smells of pale malts, lager yeast, and some grassy, floral hop aromas.
Taste is a slight malt sweetness up front with some very nice earthy, grassy notes with subtle hop bitterness. Tastes is meant to be reminiscent of a nice vintage, pre-Prohibition, classic American Pale Lager.

I give it a very enthusiastic exceptional rating! (and I don't give that lightly either, it was just that good in my opinion)

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Photo of seuinoz
4.84/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured a nice white head that quickly disappeared. Color is that of straw. palate is very malty. I really enjoyed this beer. Very good job by Boulevard beer.

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Photo of Offa
4.57/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is an outstanding beer that pretty much gives one everything one could want in a classic American pale lager, which I think is a more accurate category for this beer than German Pilsner (besides, their own website lists the style of this as American pale lager).

Deep gold, it has a medium off-white head steadily shrinking to a rich foamy ring and leaving a few hints of lace.

Aroma is strong, fruity grain, apple, some honey, hay, grass. It's full-bodied and a wonderful example.

Taste is as the aroma mostly, firm with full-bodied fruity grain, some apple, honey, hay, and grass. It is lightly sweet with a light, zesty-spritzy grassy-spicey hop bitterness underlying. Feel is good, firm and lively, and drinkability is incredibly high.

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Photo of acelin
4.4/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass.

The darkest lager (other than bocks) I've seen. Still very clear, very golden, but darker. This beer is very tasty looking.Small white head with some lacing - largest head I've seen on lager.

Smelled unlike anything else I've smelled - very crisp hops wafting to my nose, enticing me to drink. Some citrus trailed the hops in this beer.

I've never been more impressed by a Pils/lager. Incredible. Boulevard has a hit on their hands. You could taste the fruitiness a bit more. The hops actually gave this beer even more of an improvement - what a well done Pils. So crisp, clear, fruity and drinkable. Most drinkable beer on the market today.

EDIT: The updated version, KC Pils, is not the same beer. I'm not sure why beer advocate considers it so. It's less hoppy, less alcohol by .02%, and is not a German style pils anymore. It's indeed an American pale lager.

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Photo of HappyBivouac
4.37/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. best by 8/10/10

a- crystal clear, golden straw colored beer with a one-finger, creamy white head that slowly recedes. spotty lacing on the glass.

s- full, thick, slightly honey-like sweet grains. something like a peanut butter aroma. leafy/floral hops smell fresh and pleasant. very crisp, but full and inviting.

t- again with the very full-flavored and fresh grains. leafy hops don't even make themselves known til the finish. again I'm tasting something faintly akin to peanut butter. very nice.

m- briefly mouth-coating, just off of watery and a tickle of carbonation all over. in short, this nails it for a pilsner.

d- This is a bit different from other pilsners I've had, but it's tasty and says it's a throwback to pre-prohibition KC lagers, so I'll take it. Very good, simple, delicious american lager, and the price is oh so right. Nice new offering from Boulevard.

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Photo of jokelahoma
4.36/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Updating the review, since when I reviewed it back in 2009 it was still called Boulevard Pilsner.

Poured into a pint glass at my humble abode.

Pours an absolutely beautiful, and I do mean BEAUTIFUL crystal clear yellow gold. I've not seen a beer this clear in ages. You can see the details of your fingerprints through the beer. It seems more clear than the big boys and their adjunct-laden stuff. Head is not huge, but sufficient, and holds well.

The nose is light, with just a faint graininess peeking through. Not much hop in the aroma either, just that hint of clean malt. I'm getting absolutely no DMS "cooked corn" aroma, which is a very good thing. Just a good, clean, balanced American style pilsner smell.

The flavor mimics the nose to a "T". Nothing but pilsner malt up front. Nice and grainy, but not a harsh or forceful graininess. It isn't sweet, it isn't bitter. Just smooth, pleasant, and very easy to drink. The hops are here, yet the brew is still amazingly well balanced. Given the delicate nature of the flavor, that's quite an accomplishment. So many things can go wrong with this style, and there's no place for mistakes to hide, yet the potential flaws are notable in their absence here. In fact, that's a great way to appreciate the beer; recognize what shouldn't be and *isn't* here. This is a damn fine American pilsner!

The mouthfeel is light, crisp, yet creamy. The beer is well carbonated, but not like the soda carbonation levels you see at times when brewers attempt this style. As with the flavor, it's a fine line, a balancing act, and Boulevard pulls it off extremely well.

It would be a far shorter list to mention what's *not* drinkable about this beer. That would be a list with zero items. This is really, really well done. If you're into the "if it ain't eleventy jillion percent alcohol and infinity IBUs then don't call me" mode, you won't find this worth your time. This is a beer for a refined drinker who chases nuance and appreciates the art of brewing rather than one who enjoys getting slapped upside the head with huge flavor and jaw-clenching bitterness. It would also be great for a BMC drinker who wants to get into craft beer. I'll admit it bothers me a small amount when I see brews like this denigrated by craft beer drinkers who should know better. If one approaches this with the understanding of what it is supposed to be - a clean, mild, easy to drink and sessionable all-malt American style pilsner - rather than what it is not - a super-complex, rich, overhopped ale made from a recipe found in a UFO at Area 51, using the only known fruit from the last surviving species of a particular tree in the Amazon picked right before it was plowed under, barrel aged in Jesus' tomb, and carbonated with unicorn farts -- one can't help but be impressed. When drinking it, if you find yourself saying "man, I'm not really tasting such-and-such", well hello. Now you're starting to get it. I'm extremely happy with the beer. If you've made it past the "get me faced in one beer OR ELSE" phase, definitely give this one a shot. Delicate, yet well worth drinking. I'm very impressed with what Boulevard has done here.

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Photo of mkabull
4.33/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Classic look excellent light gold color with a small white head
A- Classic hop aroma of a pilsner
T- Uh Classic Pilsner malt and hop taste sweet malt lingers perfectly
M- Yah Classic mouthfeel
D- I loved this beer this is a BBQ beer from a BBQ capital

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Photo of robbyc1
4.3/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A top notch Pilsner that could be from Germany, it's that well done. Look is clear off yellow with a fuffy head.

The nose is malty and a bit hoppy, not enough for the hop heads I think.

Beautiful deep malt bready taste, sweetness in the middle is sublime, balanced at the end with the hop additions. Just right and very smooth on the palate. Not overly fizzy, just right, a perfect drinker if you just want a good beer you don't have to think about to understand it. It is what it is and should be, and that's enough.

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Photo of Duxx
4.26/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Wow! This is really a golden beer. Looks like the gold that we use for Mizzou Jerseys. (Bet you KU Jayhawks can't even drink this beer without thinking about that!) Love the color. The head is minimal like most pale lagers.

S: Definitely that lager yeasty sulfur smell.

T: Like the smell. Some dry malt with clean and astringent bite of sulfur. Not that thats a bad thing in a lager.

M: Fizzy and dry.

D: Probably my favorite pilsner. The more I drink this beer the more I appreciate it. Like most lagers I've had, even the BMC's, it is an easy drinker. If they would put this in cans it would replace my usual lawnmower beer. (You know drinking large quantities of BMC beers is safer without the risk of broken glass!)

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Photo of texascarl
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Officially released as one of Boulevard's year-round beers yesterday. It's currently only available in long neck bottles.

Pours light gold, carbonated. Small head, faded without leaving a sign.

Light aroma.

All malt, no corn or rice. A very balanced flavor. A light, 'sweet' beer. I like pilsner's on a hot day, and while this isn't as 'hoppy' as some of my favorite czech brands it's delicious.

Incredibly drinkable, disappears before you know it. A nice addition to their lineup. I'm sure there will be a lot of anti-lager folk who won't be impressed - Boulevard provides a dozen alternatives for them. This one suits me.

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Photo of mynie
4.25/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I met the guy who claimed to have invented the Gusto Schlitz and the Kraeusened Old Style. He was a business student sort, dating the sister of my good friend. A nice enough guy. I asked what he meant, and explained: he was a marketer, see, and when I told him I loved the new Schlitz he kinda looked at me like I was a rube. (Being a marketer is different than being a salesman. A salesman would have never let on that he thought he had fooled you.) He explained that it was mostly a marketing invention. You know, like New Coke. What he meant by saying he invented it was that it was his idea start a fad based on new-old beer. Nothing about it was inherently better than the Schlitz that preceded it. I was just a member of the target market, you see, the kind of guy who believes the things that commercials tell him.

Thus began my ugly contemplations of the recent retro American beer fad, which has coincided with BA's acceptance of lagers and the tendency of your average beer geek (not snob) to drink more beers that aren't hop bombs. Are we being manipulated? Did this market precede us, or did our untainted desires presage the formation of this market, which in turn effected other, less experienced drinkers? Is it all a big lie or what? What about my precious Potosi? Are *they*, of all people, just another group of liars?

I dunno. I do know that it was with trepidation that I purchased this sixer. If this exact same beer had been released 3 years ago, Boulevard wouldn't have tried to go for a 30s feel with the packaging. Then again, it probably never would have been released 3 years ago, since beer people would have turned their noses up at it.

So here's my conflict: this pours, smells, and tastes like Potosi and Gusto Schlitz. Weedy, medium hoppy, adjuncty in a way that knows it's adjuncty and doesn't cover it up so much as it embraces it. Bitter and sweet and earthy. It's like all the commercials say, only it's not like now when Miller stays it has More Flavor and they're just full of shit. This is actually full-bodied, full-flavored, and yet easy drinking. The old slogans actually makes sense, when applied to this beer. The--good god--the marketing is connected to some kind of actuality.

We're not a target market. Or, we are, but not the usual, bad sense. We're a target market in that we like stuff that doesn't suck, and if marketers are just now beginning to realize that, well, bully for them.

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Photo of bort11
4.24/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I'm excited to drink this on the 4th of July weekend. To start off with, I love the packaging for this beer. Boulevard has gone with a throw back labeling, copying the font for the classic Muehlebach Brewery. Homage all the way.

12 oz long neck poured into a pilsener glass. Light white head jumps up. It recedes but leaves a lovely cap on the surface and lace clings sporadically around the glass. Color is a crystal clear straw yellow with active carbonation streamers. Beautiful to look at!

Smell is a dry biscuity malt. It smells like barley with a slight lemon hops. It is a mild aroma but very clean. Taste is very dry malt body. A little cracker sweetness. Hops pop a little in the back in the finish, but nothing overwhelming. It's just right.

Mouthfeel is soft. The is carbonation, but it's not harsh like a lot of macros. It is light and clean, which is what is so perfect about a pilsener. A perfect session beer and perfect for the summer. Boulevard is genius putting this out. This is going to be a major challenger to the Bud Lite market share.

Had to Blip two for this one. "Kansas City Papa" by Leadbelly, and "Kansas City" by James Brown.

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

BBD clearly printed on the neck of the bottle: 12/19/11
Well within the freshness window, about 7 weeks away.

Poured into a tulip glass, it shines a bright, high clarity orange gold tone. Slow ascending bubbles rising solo here and there. Creamy white foam that hasn't broken after the first few sips, and a collar of lace that crowns the glass nicely.

Grassy hops in the nose, lemony with a hint of biscuity malt in the background. Infinitely clean and simple, a delicate balance that emphasizes subtlety above all else. Simplicity is underrated.

Clean and lightly crackery with pilsner malt in the middle, light grassiness, and lemon herbal tea upfront from the hops that are reminiscent of Sorachi Ace oddly enough. Crisp bone dry finish, effervescent body, creamy feel. Lingering subtle hop bitterness in the aftertaste, just for a few seconds.

As a testament to it's drinkability, last summer I drank a sixer of this (shared a couple) and drank it all before putting down any notes.This is a nearly flawless pilsner, consume as fresh as possible for best results. No surprise it won gold at WBC last year.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to the staff at my favorite beer bar for this experimental beer. The bottle has Test Pils II 08 stamped on it. Poured a 12oz bottle into my Unibroue Tulip. This beer pours a hazy straw with a big 2 inch head that left minimal lacing on the sides of the glass. The aroma is grainy with slight hints of sulfur and really just a very clean aroma. The taste follows suit. Very clean, very crisp, straight forward, and doesn't hide anything. The mouthfeel is light and crisp. This is a really great beer done by some great brewers. I really hope they put it out. It could definitely be my next go to beer, especially during the summer.

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Photo of corby112
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle received in a recent trade with thehand. Thanks again man!

Pours a clear pale golden straw color with very pal golden yellow hues when held to a light source and a two finger frothy, soapy white head that has excellent retention, only slowly settling into a lasting cap. Sporadic chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Crisp, slightly hoppy aroma with lots of pilsner malt along with hints of biscuit, straw, grass and light fruit. There's a hint of apple and pear in the nose giving it a slightly sweet presence that balances out the earthy hops.

This beer tastes light and crisp but is fulller bodied that I expected, which is a very welcome surprise. Soft carbonation up front with a nice dry earthy hop presence up front that lingers over the pilsner malt backbone into a sweet, slightly dry finish. This beer is excellently balance wit the perfect amount of dry hoppines, sweet pilsner malt, light crisp apple and pear, straw and glass notes. Another nice offering from Boulevard and an excellent interpretation of the style.

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Photo of JEdmund
4.18/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Golden and clear, forming a nice white head that subsides to a good cap

Smell at first seems all too familiar, but then more depth shows itself as a slight fruitiness creeps in, accompanied by notes of pale malt and a hint of earthy hops

Taste & Body
The body is more substantial than your run-of-the-mill pils; it has weight, but it's not heavy; it also has a wonderful softness to it, yet remains a crisp, thirst-quenching beer. Flavor kicks off with pale malt, followed by some grassy/earthy hops, and a lingering honey finish.

It's a light, well done beer that would do well in a number of situations.

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Photo of bnes09
4.16/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Transparent lemon yellow with lots of bubbles. Short-lived head leaves minimal specks of lace.

Smell is very inviting. Grainy and grassy tones. A touch of biscuity malt and a crisp citrus character.

Plenty of interesting things going on in the flavor too. Lemony hop character. Honey sweetness. Lots of bread and grains. Very smooth and refreshing.

Light to medium-bodied and lots of carbonation. On par with the style. Crisp finish.

Drinkability is outstanding! This is an excellent brew to enjoy during the spring and summer months (or year round for that matter.) Very impressed with this offering.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to John for bringing this bottle back from KC.

Creamy white head, clear golden body. Bright toasty malt aroma with notes of floral hops. The flavor is classic pils; lightly toasted malt with a floral, grassy hop flavor. Bitterness is low, but sufficient for balance. Mouthfeel is spot on. I could drink a gallon. Thanks John!

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Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.13/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

It's an unwritten rule that you should enjoy a beer immediately when you receive a cold package - especially when the package includes glassware. Thanks monsterfat!

A. Pours a clear pale gold with a two finger foamy/creamy white head that leaves a few clumps of residual lacing.

S. Lots of grain upfront with some hay/grass hop notes. A bit of slightly more robust earthy hop notes as well.

T. Kicks off with some grain/husk flavor that leads into some malty sweetness mid-palate. A good amount of grassy hops finish off nice and dry enticing me to take another sip.

M. Light to medium bodied with a fairly high level of crisp carbonation. This compliments the beer nicely.

D. Supremely drinkable. A great example of the style that I'm glad I got to try.

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Photo of rtrasr
4.11/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark gold in color, starts out warm and biscuity but later on the hops kick in. It starts to taste more like a classic pilsner. I seek out Sam Adams Noble Pils but cannot find it. KC Pils is more than an adequate substitute, it is a great Pilsner in it's own right.

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Photo of zeff80
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a crystal clear, gold color with a slight orange tint. It had a small, bubbly head of white foam that left minimal lace.

S - It smelled floral and grassy with some sweet caramel aromas.

T - This one has a great sweet caramel malt flavor with some grassy hops.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A light bodied lager that is incredibly easy drinking.

D - This is a really good pilsener. It's sweet and tasty with a great finish.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Woodyard BBQ

A: Golden straw with very long-lasting snow white head supported by high carbonation.

S: Light grass and soothingly sweet hop florals.

M: Crisp, very crisp. And very light bodied with high carbonation level.

T/O: Surprisingly sweetness from bready malts and addition of Munich and Cara 50, general sweetness, no caramel and kept clean. Segues to a spicy peppermint, for lack of a better descript. Mild fruit sweetness-apple and pear. Good showcasing of German hops. Altogether, the crispness and carb level cut through any sweetness making this an extremely drinkable brew.

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Photo of bump8628
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A regal golden colored beer with a more impressive head than most of the throwback American lagers I've tried.

A nice wave of herbal hops come out in the aroma and actually hide any malt character.

Again, more hops than expected in the taste and they have a spicy, herbal, and slightly raw quality. Behind that there's a clean malt character that has a grainy edge that's quite at home in this style. Keeping the style in mind, this is quite a flavorful brew.

A great American all-malt lager. I love the retro throwback all the way down to the bottle presentation and I especially love Blvd.'s tribute to the history of KC brewing. Oh, and the price is just right.

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Photo of emmasdad
4.07/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Saw this one today at the liquor store and, I have to admit it, I was immediately attracted to the vintage looking bottles/labels. Cracking one open at home, it poured a nice sunny yellow color, with a good white head. Somewhat grassy on the nose, crisp, decent malt present. I had high hopes for this one, and it didn't let me down.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.06/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured straw yellow with a faint orange tinge into a pint glass. One inch of fluffy white head that was quick to dissipate. Mild aroma of malt and grass.

Moderate carbonation and fairly full-bodied while retaining a light mouthfeel. Slight malt sweetness up front followed by some lemony citrus and a dry finish with just a touch of bitterness. Well-balanced pilsner; refreshing and very drinkable.

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KC Pils from Boulevard Brewing Co.
3.68 out of 5 based on 355 ratings.
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