Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Piercing Pils | Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
266 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Piercing PilsPiercing Pils

Brewed by:
Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
Delaware, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A Perry-Pils hybrid, Piercing Pils is a Czech Style Pilsner brewed with a White Pear Tea and Pear juice. Both the juice and the tea were added in the kettle during the whirlpool (after the boil) for maximum flavor and aroma contribution. The Pear fruit complexity pierces right through the spicy Czech Saaz hops beautifully, adding a gentle acidity to this pale lager that makes for a crisp refreshing sipper. Amarillo hops add nuanced citrus notes that meld perfectly with the fruit.

Added by Slatetank on 08-19-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 1,493
Photo of dwren89
4.69/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: golden straw yellow with fantastic clarity as a thick, fluffy white head

Aroma: defintely a Czech pilsner with its soft water and hop aroma, gentle pilsner malt biscuity-ness, but also noticeable pear fruitiness on the now, with hints that smell very much like a freshly opened can of pears

Taste: soft malty palate with a crispness from the carbonation and a nice bitter finish. Also on the finish, the pear really comes thru with a nice fruity smack. Very balanced, and very drinkable

Mouthfeel: great crispness from the medium-high carbonation, medium body,

Overall: This is a great, great beer. Very refreshing, with a slightly fruitiness and the mouth scrubbing power of the carbonation, but also a very balanced Czech style pilsner showcasing Saaz hops and a soft pilsner malt character.

 810 characters

Photo of gorbos
4.61/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of the best pilsners I've had in a while. Who knew?

64 oz at local Duane Reade, $10. Ideal golden pils appearance with good head and lacing. Smells like plenty of slightly funky noble hops and maltiness. Until it warms, the subtle pear just makes the Euro-pilsener nose seem "fresher." Maybe that pear/hop combo is the reason why a lot of people have offered a tea-like description.

This is not a fruit beer by any means: it's a Pilsener-plus. That extra sweet/sour element fills a place on the palate that I didn't even know was missing, lightly sharpening the familiar grassy foreground. A little pear is great in a sandwich or salad -- and marvelous in this beer.

 673 characters

Photo of thebrood1987
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Smells like a strong pilsner but with a bunch of fruitiness in the back of that pilsner malt. I instantly get a crisp mouthfeel with a fruity pear taste evolving in the middle of the tongue and that taste melds so perfectly well with the earthy moderate bitter hops at the end of the taste.

Honestly I think this is the closest Dogfish head has come to trying to turn on a "regular beer drinker" onto different tastes in beer. This to me is their Samuel Adams beer and even being one who has drank a lot of the "craftier beers" I still love Samuel Adams and this beer.

They should definitely put this beer in 6 packs and make it year round as one of their lighter easier drinking beers to turn even more people on to better beer.

 731 characters

Photo of jopezu
4.5/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a cloudy peach amber with a medium head. nose; pilsner stench, light hop and stone fruit jam. taste; pilsner malt, biscuit, floral hops and a big pear sweets middle that turns slightly puckering pear rind on the aftertaste. medium carbonation and mouthfeel. great balance of clean pilsner and pear sweetness - simple and effective!

 341 characters

Photo of USAF77
4.49/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An excellent, somewhat different , Pils. Very rich head, dry hoppy aroma with floral, good carbonation, and a light gold color. The taste is both dry and refreshing leaving a good slightly bitter after taste. Somehow, someway, this works as a Pilsner. There is no doubt its crafted with love. I bought it while in one of my "slightly different" moods and when you get a little bored with the $14 a 12 pack Lagers try a 4 back of this and just hang out and enjoy.

 462 characters

Photo of jsprain1
4.45/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden straw color. A hint of haziness. Head is two fingers, very white, decent retention.
S- Aromas are grain, canned pear juice, honey, floral.
T- It's strange, but really tasty. There is a pils base to it, but the pear comes through pretty strong, but it's not overwhelming because I get a fair amount of honey and a big floral kick. Pear in the finish.
M- It's a little dry in the finish, but it generally is juicy and a little syrupy for most of the sip. Not crisp like the average pils.
O- A really interesting, tasty beer. Digging it.

 544 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.44/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. Bottle
Bottled On: 2015A

Poured into a DFH glass a very nice clean/clear dark golden orange color, very nice carbonation, with a very nice thick/creamy two-finger white head, which also leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is hoppy, malty, with some pears/citrus. The taste is malty, hoppy, sweet, with some pears/citrus. Medium body. Overall, this really surprised me, very nice brew. I like DFHs take on this one.

 441 characters

Photo of Gajo74
4.43/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

As with most pilsners, this one pours out a straw yellow. However the particular shade tone of this liquid is darker than other pilsners, making it unique and attractive to look at. A modest head dissipates into a bubbly thin lace that retains the whole way.
My first impression of the aroma is earthy tones, herbal and spicy. Next, I detect a strong scent of fruity esters, particularly pears and also green apples. Finally, I detect a hint if floral hops aroma.
The taste is so unique for a pilsner. As with other pilsners, it has a bready pilsner malt taste. However, the sweet fruitiness of this drink really makes it stand apart. If you like the taste of pear juice, then this s the one for you, because that flavor is prominent throughout. However, as I get further along in the drink, a strong hops taste becomes prominent, which creates a nearly perfect balance to the fruity goodness. The finish is dry, almost astringent, with the hops leading the way.
Great mouthfeel. Smooth, crisp, refreshing and a lively carbonation that pierces (as the name implies) the tongue. A great light bodied brew; I feel I could drink several of them in a row.
I have rated this one highly. It is certainly different from most pilsners and I could see how some purists might rate it more strictly according to the style. However, I choose to rate it highly because it's so damn delicious!

 1,379 characters

Photo of kami
4.42/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz. bottle poured aggressively into a 500 mL Unibroue tulip. Presumably very fresh.

Pour yields a clear goldem hue with a fluffy 3 finger head. Slowly dissipates leaving thick lacing along the way.

Smell has notes of fruity alcohol, dry biscuity malts and spicy/grassy hops.

Taste is an initial burst of sweetness with a toasted dry malt middle. Finish is of lingering alcohol and hop spiciness. Pears are detectable in the finish but never announce themselves minus the increased alcohol presence. Mouthfeel was a bit more syrupy then I've come to expect in a pilsner, but the carbonation was enough to leave the finish clean and dry.

Overall one of my favorite pilseners to date. Remove the pear from the equation and this would be an amazing bohemian pilsener. The pear however is another DFH unorthodox win. It ups the alcohol and complexity to deconstruct a classic while mostly holding true to its roots.

 919 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
4.41/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful golden color, with a fairly substantial head which retains well.

Smells of pilsner yeast, malts, and sweet fruits, predominantly pears.

Taste is light, but with an incredibly satisfying fruity and sweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light, with great moderate carbonation. The 6% ABV is hidden away quite impressively considering the style. This is not a re-imagination of the style, and will not convert DIPA-lovers to the gospel of the Czech pilsner, but by God is this a well-brewed beer.

 508 characters

Photo of tmm313
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A- Hazy light orange color in the glass. Nice lacing.

S- A light fruitiness (If I didn't know it was brewed with Pear juice, I'm not sure i would've picked it out as pear). Light citrus, herb, and earthy, peppery hops. Bready malts.

T- Nicely balanced mix. Light grapefruit, pear, bready malts, cracker, big tea notes, and slight earthy hop. Sometimes a lemony flavor is there as well. Bready, tea-like aftertaste.

M- Medium body, crisp carbonation. Drying.

O- I really enjoyed this beer. I was most impressed by the characteristics brought in by the tea, but the balance was well worth remembering as well. I loved the subtle grapefruit and earthy hop presence that popped in and out. Probably as complex as a lighter beer can get. I've never been much of a Pilsener man, but if I ever get the urge, this is what I'm buying.

 833 characters

Photo of DaverCS
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Poured with 2 finger head with tiny white bubbles. Nice head retention.

Aroma is clean and crisp. Some grain, some malt, some piney hop.

Taste is enjoyable. Not worth the cost, but still good beer. I get a grainy flavor upfront, followed by a slight funkiness. End of the sip brings a cane sugar sweetness and a pear juice flavor. Not much in terms of actual malt flavor, more of a sweet grain and pear with a slight herbatious quality.

Overall, very drinkable beer. Nothing overly complex or worth over analyzing.however, beer is extremely drinkable... I would say that it's like the craft beer version of a light beer (even at the 6 percent ABV). I would pair this with a poached pear with a caramel drizzle and vanilla bean ice cream.Gets an 88/100 from me.

 763 characters

Photo of Brad007
4.37/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light gold with a decent head into my glass. The use of pear juice and pear tea sounds interesting. I’m not sure how it will translate to the finished product though.

What do you know? The pear tea/juice and the saaz hops work well together in the nose. Just the right touch of sweetness.

Sweet, crisp and grainy with a good dose of pear. Tastes more like baked bread in the middle. Very tasty. Simple.

The use of pear rounds out this pilsener and makes it a good choice for quenching your thirst on a hot day. It works as a palate cleanser as well.

Well worth a try. I love a well-crafted pils.

 610 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.36/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Pizza Plant Transit in Buffalo, NY.

Pours a golden orange-ish yellow. Hazy, a little bit cloudy. Visible carbonation. Fluffy white beautiful head forms. Looks like an excellent pilsner head should.

Floral sweet aromas come through. Not sure if the sweetness is from pear, or from malts, but I like it.

Tastes great. Dry and crackly hop bitterness comes through. Floral, grassy hop flavor is cut by fruity tastes- definitely apple or pear-like. The fruit character added to this pilsner is great, but I am not I am getting pear. It tastes more like apples to me.

Very clean and crisp. Light crackery malts keep the beer dry and not too sticky or sweet. Crisp mouthfeel. Light bodied.

A great beer, but I think it would have almost been better without the pears, because I can't tell what it adds A very good pilsner nonetheless.

 842 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.34/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Kickbacks in Jax. Poured into a snifter. Fluffy, large white head with high retention on a bright golden body. Aroma includes classic pilsner malt profile with a touch of fresh fruity sweetness, of course pearlike. Taste is crisp, mild hop bite, subtle malt sweetness and subtle pear sweetness. No alcohol tasted, very refreshing, interesting and tasty. Odd to release this summery beer in the winter but delicious.

 425 characters

Photo of AdamBear
4.29/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A-yellow gold with a fizzy white head

S-very aromatic. smells like german grassy grains. smells sweet and crisp.

T-comes in with a very crisp flavor of grassy grains and definitely a hint of that pear juice. it then has a little bit of welcomed tartness to it as it settles in to a mellow matching after-taste. definitely a good mix of czech and american style of pilsner.

M-crisp dry carbonation. very light

O-a very difficult beer to hate. it's crisp and smooth, so easy to drink. it has such a high quality flavor, that really makes me want to go out and find more. it definitely tastes like a DFH beer, but it stays simple enough to remind you of a true european pilsner. the more i drink it, the more i like it.

 721 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Starts off with a finger thick, pale white, foamy head that looks like soap. A cloudier pils than others I've had, it's a bit hazy with some slight carbonation and a golden straw color with hues of orange.

I suppose there's some pear in here, but it's pretty muted with all the other aromas on the nose. I get a good amount of bread, sweet maltiness, and earthy hops.

There's the pear! It's definitely present on the taste buds. It's that refreshing, sweet, granular taste, that's still light and juicy. A great addition to a pils I'd say. Not to be overshadowed, there's some sweet breadiness, and tangy and earthy, grassy hops.

Some may hate this, but there's something almost juice like about this beer. It's got some of that nectar-like sweetness, but still retains the medium carbonation and light body of a beer. It's not nearly as dry or bitter as other pils, and I think the pear juice may contribute to that, but it doesn't make this any less a pils.

I've had many DFH beers that were good, but none that made me long for their distribution the way this beer has. I really wish this was available to me so I could make it my beer for the next six months. Outstanding.

 1,240 characters

Photo of Johnny_Muir
4.28/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 bottle into pint glass. Super clear as expected, with a nice foamy head. Something in there flavor wise I cant put my finger on (cuz I have a terrible sense of smell and taste. Dont know why I even review beer haha). Something floral? Not sure, but I really liked it. My first Dogfishhead beer, got a 60 min IPA in the fridge to review later.

 345 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass at the World Of Beer in Pooler, GA.
This beer has a hazy golden color with a small white head. The aroma is full of hops and malt, very nice smell. The flavor is once again hops with a great flavor. Another enjoyable beer from Dogfish Head.

 290 characters

Photo of Caveworm
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Piercing Pils - Dogfish Head Brewery. Poured from the bottle into a glass mug, its got a 1 finger thick white finely porous head , sheen lacing, and a clear golden body.

Smells like brighter malts with pear notes. No hop characteristics could be picked up.

I taste,yes, brighter malts. Along with pear flavors and grassy notes. This is easy on the palate. I can't detect much or any hop presence.

This brew's mouthfeel crisp and clean. Zero lingering elements with this beer.

Overall a 4.25 for Piercing Pils - Dogfish Head Brewery. i would probably pick this up again.

 594 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On draft at Croxley's Ales, Smithtown, NY.

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell consisted of an herbal noble hop spice and light crackery malt.

The taste offered grainy pale malts with a vibrant herbal hop spice. A touch of pear sweetness detected as well.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty quaffable pilsner.

 413 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.25/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a pils glass.

4.25 A: Lightly hazed light orange color. One finger of frothy/creamy off-white head. Retention is good and a large ring of lacing is left.

4.25 S: Quite an interesting take on the pils. Grainy neutral maltiness. Grassy and earthy hops. A touch of herbalness. Pear complements extremely well.

4.25 T: Taste is just as good. The pear comes out more prominently in the taste and again it fits right in. Grainy neutral maltiness. Grassy and earthy hops. Well done.

4.25 M: Lighter medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Pleasantly creamy and super smooth.

4.25 D: I'm surprised how good of a beer this is. It wouldn't be an everyday pils, but its a damn good stray from the norm.

 710 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a crystal clear golden yellow color with a steady stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the surface. A big 2" head lasts a long time before settling to a thick surface foam. Thick lace paints the glass.

Smell: malt, sweet fruits, and a hint of earthiness rise from the glass and into the nose.

Taste: grainy malt presenece, grass, biscuit, fruit sweetness from the pear juice, and a bit of earthiness create a nice flavor. Bitterness is moderate here, with a bit of spiciness arriving late.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Very crisp to start, crisp at the finish. Super refreshing. Short lasting aftertaste.

Overall: this is a very easy to drink beer. The flavors are upfront and the fruity component adds some depth. Nice to have a flavorful, non hop-centric beer with a reasonable ABV.

 811 characters

Photo of avalon07
4.24/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from a bottle to a pilsner glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear consistency. There was an inch and a half of foamy, fairly long-lasting head. Good lacing.

S: A nicely done aroma of hops, malt, and sweet, light fruit.

T: Tasted of a moderate amount of malt, pear, a slight bready quality, and hops. A bit different than your typical pilsner flavor, but definitely tasty. The pear seems to work well with the standard pilsner style.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a dry finish. Light-bodied.

O: Another oddball beer from Dogfish Head that succeeds. Not your typical beer, but certainly well done.

 619 characters

Photo of schoolboy
4.23/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Leave it to Dogfish Head to make a great pils. Lots of great brewers fail when trying to do this style - even when they try hard. This one totally works, and it is absolutely true to the style. Dogfish Head can school everybody - this is how it is done.

It opens un-extraordinarily, as is normal for the style. The pour gives a mild head that stays and gives nice lacing (it continues nicely). The aroma is dirty but nice and interesting. A little of that fruit makes it kind of funky smelling.

The taste is sublime. The fruit and tea are just barely there and don't get in the way of a great hops taste. The tea gives it a tang and the fruit helps too and makes a little tartness come through. This completely works. The aftertaste is clean with a light version of the hops, fruit etc. coming through.

This is a very successful beer, and it should not be thought of as a fruit beer - the enhancements are subtle and tastefully done.

 937 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Piercing Pils from Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
3.79 out of 5 based on 1,493 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!