Brouwerij 't IJ

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Pale Ale - English
Ranked #159
Ranked #41,903
3.61 | pDev: 14.68%
Brouwerij 't IJ
Notes: Plzeň goes to show that a beer doesn’t need a lot of alcohol to be special. With its fine, hoppy flavour, this 5% blond beer can certainly hold its own against the stronger beers. Brewed only from pale barley malt, this is a floral beer with delightful, hoppy aromas of hay and fresh grass. Deliciously dry, with a long-lasting aftertaste. We named the beer after the Czech town of Plzeň, from which Pilsner beers originate. Despite that, our Plzeň is not a Pilsner; it is a refreshing, bitter, top-fermented beer.
Reviews: 19 | Ratings: 49 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of benfons
benfons from Belgium

3.79/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pale yellow colour, thin but dense head, lots of bubbles rising up

S: grassy hops, hints of malt

T: clean, just grassy hops, nice bitter finish

M: enough body for a lager, nice carbonation

O: clean crisp lager, nice hoppy finish, good drinkability

Jan 08, 2014
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

3.6/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Brouwerij 't Ij, Amsterdam, Netherlands

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high white head that died down, leaving a thin head covering the surface and lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of grassy and herbal hops are present in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste has flavors of herbal and grassy hops along with a light amount of bitterness.
M: it feels nearly medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is quite hoppy for the style and the grassiness is unique but it goes down rather easily.

Apr 16, 2013
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jneiswender from Massachusetts

2.37/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this beer at the brewery in Amsterdam. Served on tap, cool in small taster snifters.

A-light gold cloudy body and a white head.

S-light grain and yeasty presence.

T-sweet light grain front, astringent bitter hop finish


D-A bit too coarse for me. Okay but just not for me. I would not drink this again.

Aug 11, 2010
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crossovert from Illinois

2.94/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

330ml bottle.

Pours a pale gold with a big foamy bright white head that leaves some decent lacing and sticks for a while. The name of this beer reminds me of Pilsen, but this is a top-fermenter.

The smell has a hint of golden raisin and spiciness, perhaps form the hops. I have to give it a lower score though cause it isn't all that appetizing.

The taste is sweet, with a malt presence, I don't taste much hops besides a slight spicy bitterness int he end but nothing much really.

It isn't something too special, this brewery does better.

Jul 22, 2010
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Insane amount of rapid carbonation. Immediately the foam built up in the bottle, and in the glass created a souffle type head, of the finest, creamiest variety. Just as nice as Duvel, if not better. Pale hazy yellow, it looked more like a Wit. Dense coating of lace. inside the glass.

Dusty grains, Orval spice (Brett), clover, signature BPA yeast esters.

Earthy vegetal dry hops, citrus, thyme, sage, pepper. Soda crackers and dried flowers. A bone dry finish. Super clean and refreshing. If ever there was an import doppelgänger to Bam Biere, this would be it.

I was hooked on this stuff after finding it at Spuyten Duyvil, and finally was able to buy some to provide this review. Label notes: Rounded corner decal, looked newer that other t'IJ labels i've seen in the past. Make sure your bottle is fresh.

Oct 06, 2008
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ATPete from New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served at Brouwerij 't IJ in April 2008

A- Yellow color, good lasting white head, semi-hazy, good rising carbonation.

S- Some mint, hops, hay, with a good malt character.

T- light and grassy, not offensive, a touch of bitterness upon the finish gives it a nice hop note.

M- very light, no body to speak of really

D- Very good

May 05, 2008
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Dukeofearl from California

1.89/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

11.2 oz. bottle purchased at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, CA. in June 2007 for $4.59.

I have a great respect for the beers of this brewery, and I finally found one that was undrinkable. I didn't even keep notes on this one, which was hoppy bitter but in the worst possible way. I started it cold, and thought that was a problem, so I let it warm and open up, but that didn't help at all. I poured about 2/3 of it down the drain.

Jul 15, 2007
Photo of GClarkage
GClarkage from California

2.39/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

07/07/07- Purchased at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a best by date on top of the cap. Poured into my Toubadour tulip.

Appearance- Clouded yellow colored pour. Overflowing and heaping white chunky head. It just kept growing and growing until a huge bubble popped in the botom of the head and then it sunk dramatically. Leaves nice chunk and bits 'o lace behind.

Smell- Heavy almost sour yeasty nose. Maybe a bit of dull citrus as well.

Taste- Possible oxidized brew here. Not sour, but not far from it. A bit of wet cardboard, some musty yeast with a bit of spices entangled in between. I hesitated, but it ended up as a drain pour.

Mouthfeel- A bit dry and somewhat tart. Not a good aftertaste and a medium to lower carbonation level.

Drinkability- Not really my favorite style to begin with, even though this was a bad bottle, I will probabaly not try to seek it out again. Just wanted to try as many of the beers from this brewery as possible. When I saw four different ones from John's I hadn't had before, I snagged them all regardless of style.

Jul 08, 2007
Photo of GooberMcNutly
GooberMcNutly from Florida

2.3/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pour was large with good carbonation and a big, self sustaining head. Color was straw but cloudy and turbid. Aroma started off with a lambic and sour apple aroma with a sweet bite. Palate started out sour and lambic like with a rich acidic overtone on the biscuity malt backbone. Finished dry and cardboardy, probably oxidized.

Jan 15, 2007
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo from Oregon

4.33/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 11.2oz bottle into a Stella Artois pokal glass. Body is a cloudy, turbid yellow that contains an absolute storm of carbonation that rages in the body for quite some time - a very active beer. A couple of inches of thick, foamy white head linger for the duration, forming marshmallow peaks as the beer is consumed. Aroma of funky, herby Belgian yeast, light pilsner malt, a touch of noble hops, and light spices. Palate is interesting - pilsner malt and light noble hops blend nicely into what initially appears to be a normal Euro pilsner. The nuances of the yeast jump out with force mid-palate, letting loose peppery notes and hints of rosemary and sage, along with the slightest tinge of raw vegetables on the finish. Body is lively and well-carbonated, with a touch of creaminess from the head. An intensely interesting and immensely drinkable ale from one of the strangest breweries in the world.

Oct 13, 2006
Photo of DaveFL1976
DaveFL1976 from Florida

3.84/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this nice beer at the Wildeman in Amsterdam, on the advice of the bartender.
It's a nice beer. It pours a hazy, light yellow with a bright white, attractive head, It's pretty good looking at the start, but my head fell down pretty quick and didn't leave much lacing.
Smell was pretty good. Fruity, but not what I expected. It was leaning towards the spicy side, instead of flowery. The taste is a bit spicy, too. But clean. Kolsch-like, if I had to pin it down. Medium body with a smooth finish. The mouthfeel is really nice, the taste is quite good, but somehow these parts come together to make an extremely drinkable beer that you can't help but sip (or gulp).

Jul 11, 2006
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patto1ro from Netherlands

3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale yellow colour with a dense white head. Coriander, grass and pine aroma. bitter taste with wood and grass aromas; very bitter finish with coriander, pine, wood and clove aromas.

Nicely bitter. The coriander and clove flavours give away the use of the Ij house top-fermenting yeast. It used to be bottom-fermenting, but problems with cross-contamination made them swap to their normal top yeast. An interesting, if not particulalrly authentic, take on a Pils.

Jun 29, 2006
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk from Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ostrich stands above her egg, no head in ground, ready to guard against harsh reality...good girl...

hazed, yellowy appearance....huge bone-white froth atop...nicety-nice-nice...

Aroma doesn't suggest a Czech or German Pils, or even a bastardizes American version, no, it smells all Belgian...fat yeast, huge aromatics, zesty citrus, far-reaching spice, coriander? Cardomom? cardopop?...some'pin' like that?...yums, though...

Taste: Clean and yummy, fresh, tasty, flush with lemon and orange, crisp and delicious...again, though, much more than any typical pils, this is a step and a half beyond...doesn't even feel like a lager, so rich and full...but very memorable

Overall: delicious, truly...full of flavor and long lasting, on the palate and in the mind...not quite a "pils" as we understand them, but so dominated by the particular character of Belgian beers, well, who cares, it's good stuff! Drink 'er up!

Jun 05, 2006
Photo of Absumaster
Absumaster from Netherlands

3.67/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer is being marketed as a lager/pilsener type of beer, while it is top-fermented. One could argue about the origin of these types of beers, but IMO a lager should be bottom-fermented.
Ok, let''s review, a turbid orange brown beer with a stable head. Smell of nice hops, fruity and a little sharp-edged from the hop and a mild sourness. A nice smell.
Taste was different than the smell which is a bit harsh. There was the solid hop and malt-base, but unfortunatelly there was a taste of rotten flowerwater. I tasted it after the beer warmed up and it was not very upfront, but it certainly was noticable.
I could not review this as a lager, it is more a blond beer, with some lager characteristics.

May 20, 2006
Photo of wl0307
wl0307 from England

3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle-conditioned, coming in a slim 330ml brown bottle. Served in 't IJ slim goblet.

A: pale straw colour, slightly cloudy due to the disturbed yeasts; coming with a nice thick, frothy beerhead with good retention.
S: lightly candyish-sugary upfront, backed by semi-sweet lager malts which is fuller than both Czech and German Pils... a cake-like maltiness stays behind along with a lemon-zesty hoppyness, coriander seeds, sour-sweet yeastiness... All in all, the nose is quite unusual for any kind of Pilsner, but very pleasant...
T: Belgian-witbier like yeasty, woody (sawdust+nutmeg), lemon-peel's dryish and sour-sweet fruitiness, and an intensifying bitterness lingering on the sides of the tongue...
M&D: subtle bitterness from hops and proper carbonation result in a light body and a lively texture; overall this beer is unlike any kind of Pilsner apart from the rich maltiness... yet it's well-made and very drinkable.

May 04, 2006
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Rastacouere from Canada (QC)

4.5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Unpretentious black and white label. Gorgeous hazy golden, bottle-conditioned though the white head fades with regularity and eventually is but a thin cover. Charming, rustic hay-grass like aroma with a gentle bready, soft, lean sourdough reminiscent maltiness. The yeast presence adds a whasp of originality in the shape of motherly doughyness and sheer rustic, fieldish character. In mouth, the delicate yet efficiently dry lemony, floral (honeysuckle) potentially hallertauer are perfectly balanced with the rest, ensuring immense quaffability and peace of mind. Might be one of the great bottled example, both for the measure and skill at conditioning with yeast and for the plain goodness. Wow, that’s good!

Sep 12, 2005
Photo of merlin48
merlin48 from Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Odd, retro looking 11.2 oz bottle pours a hazy, pale yellow color, with an enormous white, rocky, head. Lots of carbonation is apparent with hundreds of tiny bubbles apparent in the body. Excellent head retention and massive patches of lace. Some sediment is observed in the bottom of the glass.
Nose features straw, banana, vague spices, and black pepper.
The active carbonation teases the mouth and a peppery hop bite stings the tongue.
Saaz type hops are fronting the taste, and grassy hay, lemony citrus, and pale malt all are begging your attention. Finish is bitter, with an herbal, almost medicinal, hops aftertaste.
An interesting German style pilsener from the Netherlands. Worth a try, for anyone who likes the style.

Mar 27, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen from Alaska

4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a wonderfully solid pilsener. Bought and shared with me by the great Robbeer. This pilzen poured a dark golden colour with a nice white head of foam. The aromas are of czech (saaz?) hops and a bit of malt. The taste is lovely, hoppy, malty, and grand. The mouthfeel just right, and the drinkability is great as well!

Nov 04, 2003
Photo of John
John from New York

3.7/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow...interesting and bold interpretation of the pilsner style. Cloudy yellow/gold with floating yeasty chunks. Herbal, grassy, citrusy aroma. Big hop bitterness...almost to the point of sourness. Or is it the yeast? I'm not sure if this level of bitterness is unwelcome or not?? This is unlike any other beer. Heavy, slick mouthfeel. Very intriguing beer from an adventurous brewery. 5% abv.

Jun 12, 2002
Plzeň from Brouwerij 't IJ
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 49 ratings