Black Pilsner | Brew Brothers Brewery

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Very Good
21 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brew Brothers Brewery
Alberta, Canada

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Morris729 on 06-03-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 21 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of CalgaryFMC
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Strong coffee brown brew (a bit light for the style?). Fairly fizzy. Enticing sweetish malt aroma with hints of chocolate and coffee, a little grainy alcohol. Taste is similar, with chalky cocoa and a bit of leather, grainy malt and weedy hops. Sweet biscuit and a bit of soot. Perhaps 2/3 bitter and 1/3 sweet, nice balance for what can be a very dry unidimensional style at times.

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Photo of rudiker81
3/5  rDev -20.8%

Photo of Kmat10
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%

Photo of MrTinnedPEach
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%

Photo of schnarr84
4/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of zachloveshisbeer
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Hot diggity damn this is one fine black pilsner! An excellent example of the style and very drinkable and approachable. I had this on-tap at The Rhino Smokehouse and paired it with one of their really cool poutine specialities. It poured a dark, deep chestnut brown, smells of light coffee, caramel and dark chocolate. Head is lovely, lacing is great and the carbonation is right on point. I like the small brewer's history and I would love to see them get this into bottles at some point. Keep up the good work team!

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Photo of tonyf55
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%

Photo of biegaman
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Bottlescrew Bill's, in Calgary.

Well, it's certainly a black(ish) pilsner. There's no transparency and only minimal chestnut highlights (and it takes a strong summer's afternoon sun to eek them out). The fizzy activity on its surface gives it the air of a cola. Some of the fuzz, however, would actually last.

I smell a lot of schwarzbier, even a little stout, but no pilsner. The only pilsner-esque element I could reasonably expect would probably be hops but there is definitely none of those. Any pale malt component is overshadowed by a tinge of smokiness, chunks of bittersweet chocolate and something loosely reminiscent of (but decidedly not) coffee.

Dry, pale, cookie-like malts combined with sooty, roasted malts to produce a beer nowhere near as refreshing as a pilsner and not half as tasty as a stout. The only flavour mentionables are a bit of licorice, a trace of candied ginger and, in the faintest, a dash of spice. It's decent, but I don't see myself getting a hankering for it.

The beer is compromised by a stale cardboard taste that is either the result of shitty malts (which would account for the flavour lacking that spring in its step) or dirty tap lines (which, going by the establishment's reputation, is less than likely). That aside, a little more bitterness and a more pronounced malt character would have been beneficial.

Black Pilsner is a decent schwarzbier but it's not like its brewers are doing the world a disservice by only distributing within Calgary. While I found it a serviceable lager it looks like the Wild Rose province still has a ways to go before being able to keep pace with the likes of Thuringen and Franconia (or even a handful of American micros).

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Photo of biboergosum
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer arrives on the bar a clear dark brown colour, with a thin white head, and very little lace. It smells of dry, roasted malt, and a subdued floral hopping. The taste is strong roasted malt, a bit thin and metallic, and more somewhat sweet floral hops. The carbonation is minor, and the finish is dry, with a mild sweet caramel malt essence lingering. A decent pint, if a bit lacking in overall flavour.

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Photo of vanrassel
3.26/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I haven't had enough of this style to critque this beer with a ton of knowledge; suffice to say, it was OK.

An aggressive pour out of a 500 mL flip-top produced a frothy head topping a cola-coloured brew that had some ruby hues when held to the light.

The smell was mostly indistinguishable to me: a trace of malt, maybe. It tasted light, with moderately roasted malts. The taste is nice and mild, but really undercut by an unpleasant metallic twang. The carbonation plays nicely on the palate and the finish is a little oily.

All in all, this is an interesting change from the same old, same old. I could stock some of this in the winter when I'm looking for something a little lighter than stout to warm my belly.

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Photo of BigBry
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Have been saving this 500ml flip top bottle for a Friday after a busy day's work. Poured into a pint glass, it looks like Coke - dark reddish, small bit of foam. Average carbonation, some lacing left, but thin and stringy. Aroma is similar to other pilsners, sweet caramel malt and light grain. Lots of flavors roasted malts, molasses, sweet but not cloying. Finishes with a nutty and smoky aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but in a good way to keep the taste crisp, too creamy would not work.

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Photo of 3Vandoo
3.6/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A Schwarzbier? I don't think so..

This beer comes out very burgungy, deep reddish with a shy head retention.

Her smell is hoppy, followed by malt nothing much can be perceived.

Her taste is hoppy followed by a bitter acid cherry like taste, then ends up with a malty fruity flavours

a smooth beer, but not a good representation of the style

thanx to Cwrw for providing me a bottle

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Photo of Sammy
2.26/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Sourish shwartzbier, it's in the style but not a very good brew. Very lacey, fresh. Thin mouthfeel, watery without substance in flavour though some carmel and roast in there. On tap with Presario at Hop In. Brew Brothers is no more but this is likely not their best effort. Not very carbonated, closer to flat.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.1/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear black color beer with a medium dark head with average retention. Aroma of roasted malt is quite subtle and no hops are clearly discernable at first. Taste is quite light with some roasted malted, light caramel but not much bitterness to be found. Body is quite thin and this generally lacks character. Not bad but nothing extraordinary either – black pilsner is probably a better description then schwarzbier.

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Photo of the42ndtourist
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Never had a schwarzbier before... if this is truly one, I've really been missing out.

pours out deep brownblack, thick, tannish head. Exceptionally smooth and malty. Nutty, slightly cola-ish, chocolatey, a little bitter, but mostly sweet.

Wow. A stout with all the edges taken off. I could drink this pretty regularly, if only it wasn't a few days' drive away.

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Photo of pootz
3.82/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft version at the Brew Bros. restaurant. was a less carbonated ( actually flat) version of the bottles I tried of the same brew. Perhaps the keg was getting old or near the end but I enjoyed the bottled product I tried at home any rate, this dark lager ( maybe they used a pilsner years) was a good drink and perfectly matched with the food we orderd.

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Photo of Cwrw
4.54/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am happy to see some Brew Brother's products bottled and back on the shelves of some stores in Calgary. Their Black Pilsner poured nicely, with just enough head, a pleasant cream colour. It receded to a thin layer, but remained tight and small-bubbled. Above average lace leaves nice slow-moving sheets. Appearing black at first glance, held to a white background the beer is actually a rich dusty brown and red colour--aka very appealing and immensely appetising. In some light it possesses ruby hues, or dark caramel. This is one healthy looking beer. I was having my doubts about the beer because it looked as though it has been on the shelf for quite some time, as the bottle was dusty; however one whiff of the aroma quelled any doubts: magnificently fresh malted sweetness greeted my nose. The smell is sensational: fresh grainy malt, a hard-to-define cream smell, milk chocolate, sweet raisins, spices that do not overpower but complement the roasted quality perfectly, maple syrup, brown sugar, and some that I cannot quite describe. The aroma beats out so many other dark beers I have tried recently--this is, for me personally, a perfect capture of roasted malt aroma(and I do not toss "5s" around liberally on reviews). The creaminess and the hard-to-define qualities really put this beer on another level as regards aroma. Thankfully, the taste delivers on what the aroma promises. Again, my first thought was how fresh this beer tastes. The front of the tongue tastes some fruity or nutty malt, a hint of spice, and then more malt in the middle and finish. Hops are not TASTED, only FELT in the finish, balancing the sweetness. The cream and raisins and light coffee notes come in the middle of the mouth, with a wallop of graininess near the finish. The finish is excellent too because of the lack of dryness that I was expecting: instead of that dry-stout feel, it was more a creamy brown ale taste. Definitely some complex spice flavours in here too, cayenne pepper maybe, or cinammon. The taste to me in a nutshell: nothing is exceedingly unique, but all the elements are tweaked to an artistic and masterful level. The mouthfeel is medium, thick enough in body but light enough for enormous quaffability. The creaminess and lager-refreshing character of this beer makes it very drinkable. I should have bought this a long time ago. Brew Brother's Microbrewery almost seemed down and out there for a few months, but they have come back with a vengeance. The "master" truly does belong in some beers' brewmasters. Time for another.

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Photo of IronDjinn
3.83/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled on tap at the Brew Brothers brewpub in downtown Cowtown. Appearance is that of a rich burnt mahogany tone, a small off-white head capping it. The aroma is very sweet and citrusy, with a very faint hop presence. That citrusy sweet character is also contained in the flavour as well, following through with lightly toasted, smokey malt. However the flavour overall is very mild, not overpowering. With a light refreshing mouthfeel this would make a fine choice for a session beer, although I feel the citric sweetness would become too much for my own system after more than a few. Still, it's the only schwarzbier that I know of being brewed in Alberta.

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Photo of Garin
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a deep chestnut brown with a thick creamy head and lots of ropy lace on the glass.

The nose is sweetly malty, with toasty and a suggestion of something herbal underneath. The flavour is rich and malty in the front, with a clean and rich middle, and a dry and firmly bitter finish, with dry grain suggestions and a real savoury overall quality. Some bitterness is hoppy, and some bitterness is grainy. Reading the BJCP guidelines on a Schwarzbier, this one really hits it as far as I can tell.

I only had one, but I'll have many more. (edit) and since my initial review, I've had a couple more. Invariably, they are so sweet I can't get through a pint. *sigh* the death of a good beer.

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Photo of lipschitz
4.2/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation – 500ml brown swing-top bottle – no freshness date.

Pours diabolically raven-black in colour with thin, tan head that sticks nicely to the sides of the glass. The aroma is of toasted malts, with slight hints of caramel. The taste is mildly sweet with espresso & nuts up front, finishing with toasted bitterness. The mouthfeel is lush, thick, and creamy.
Notes: Zounds…what flavour abounds! This is one hearty, robust beer. Absolutely top-drawer. It is as elegant as it is delicious. The further you get into this, the more you are treated to layer upon layer of alternating caramel sweetness, and toasted malt bitterness, with many subtle complexities in between. The flavours cascade over your palate, immersing it in a euphoria of mouthwatering goodness. Sometimes I dream about this beer when I am away from it.

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Photo of Morris729
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown mahogany color with a creamy light tan colored head that clings to the glass leaving spider webs of lace behind as it recedes. Nose is dark malts, French roast, and a touch of floral hops. Light in body and a bit thinner than I anticipated. Taste is sweet roasted malts and lots of fresh brewed coffee followed by notes of bitter burnt coffee and a hint of alcohol. An unusual and enjoyable brew. Thanks to lipschitz for the sample!

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Black Pilsner from Brew Brothers Brewery
Beer rating: 3.79 out of 5 with 21 ratings