Organic Pilsner | The Emerson Brewing Company

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Organic PilsnerOrganic Pilsner
25 Ratings
Organic PilsnerOrganic Pilsner

Brewed by:
The Emerson Brewing Company
New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Style: German Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-22-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 |  Reviews: 25
Reviews by lamarr04:
Photo of lamarr04
4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Eureka Cafe. Poured into a nonic pint-glass.

A: Pours a clear, golden, straw with active carbonation bubbling from the bottom of the glass. A half inch white remains even after the beer settles. Leaves substantial lacing down the glass.

S: Sweet citrus pretty much dominates the nose on this beer. Quite nice and quite unexpected.

T: Sweet citrus and malt upfront, balanced by a firm bitterness at the back and biscuit-like/dry grain around the edges.

M: light to medium body with crisp carbonation. clean/dry finish.

D: Super drinkable. Clean, refreshing, and light enough to put back easily.

Notes: Sweet citrus character to this beer makes it unique in comparison to other pilsners that I have had. I may go so far as to call this one a New Zealand style Pils, as I am fairly certain they use new zealand hops (maybe malt as well).

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More User Reviews:
Photo of rastaman
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Yummy beer, nice floral hop notes on the nose. spicy hop flavour on the palate well rounded, bitter finish, and highly drinkable, a great example of the style.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.88/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crystal clear pale amber pour with a small head that leaves nice lacing.
Aroma is very floral and grassy with some sweet peach and pale malts in the background. Some faint diacetyl later on.
Flavours are mostly green floral hops, sweet biscuity malts and and assertive hoppy bitterness.
Carbonation is slightly too high but otherwise mouthfeel is fine.
An excellent example of the style.

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Photo of rec
3.62/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It's not often I get excited about a pilsner. In fact, the only times I have ever gotten excited about lager or pils is generally when it's a boutique brew, trying something new, taking a risk... and pulling it off. Generic, mass-produced macro brews just don't get any of my love, and rightly so in my mind.

My girlfriend's cousin attempted to track down Emerson's Pilsner ("Crisp Premium Organic Lager") last time I was in Perth, which he promised was something special, but with little avail unfortunately. Unexpectedly though, today I received a package with two 500ml bottles of the stuff! The International Beer Shop had obviously restocked.

Understandably, my legs were shaking with anticipation. Dizziness set in, I even felt a little moist (please note: story dramatised for purpose of entertaining review). The hype had definately not eluded me, but I promised to remain honest. In the fridge they went, and a few hours later I brought one out and popped it open...

The pour delivered a transparent corn-yellow body to my glass, with a smaller head than I had hoped. What I did take notice of was that the head was foamy, thicker than the lack-lustre soapy heads I'm familiar with in pils. The head does die down quick, but it also manages to lace the glass well enough to keep me enthused.

It smelt great! Unlike most brews in the same category, it actually had a distinct aroma. Honey, hops, citrus - delicious. I felt refreshed already.

Up-front you're hit with a sweet malt taste and heavy spice. The spice quickly falls off and the citrus comes through strong in the pleasantly balanced aftertaste; apple and lemon are most distinct on my palette. It's crisp yet creamy, complex and sweet - but not enough to overwhelm or become sickly.

Divine is a word I'll happily use to describe it. It's quite possibly the best pilsner I've had. You know it's good when you feel compelled to applaud after finishing a glass... my faith in pilsner has been restored.

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Photo of Sigmund
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

(500 ml bottle). Nearly gushes out of the bottle, pours with an enormous long lasting fluffy head. Colour is hazy golden. Pleasant hoppy aroma, heather, herbal, hints of cedarwood. Initially some notes of dirty socks too, notes which fortunately soon disappears in the glass. Lovely crisp hoppy flavour on a subtle malty background, hop character reminiscent of a very good golden ale. This is not a sweet beer, but the little sweetness there is reminds me of heather honey. Notes of rambutan and grapefruit too. Excellent mouthfeel, not fizzy. Long lasting hops aftertaste. This is a very good beer, regardless of style - and of course MUCH better than any industrial pilsener.

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Photo of Macca
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

this pours a yellow/pale gold colour with a good finger of head which is well retained. It is a bloody good looking beer.

The nose is all tropical fruit.

The palate is tinned pineapple. That might not sound too great but it was. A superbly refreshing acidity is present.

This would be a highly sessionable beer if it was a bit more affordable.

A great beer.

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Photo of juju7
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought with a best before date of March 2010. Pours amazingly clear. Very pale gold with a bubble bath-like soft head with a little lacing. Have heard good things about this beer so the nose left me a little disappointed. Not overly generous but nice enough floral hops and tiny bit of sweet honey. But on the palate....f##k me, what a taste! Huge spicy bitterness with a yeasty kick. Hop flavour is fantastic.Very long persistent finish. I should've bought more. German pils? Emersons' pils I'd say.

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Photo of ohitsbrad
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

15 January 2006, Best Before Sep 07

Clear pale gold pineapple colour with a medium sized bubbly head. Fantastic citrusy fruit and hop aroma. The flavour is suprisingly fruity (grapefruit, pineapple, passionfruit). The big hop bitterness lasts from the front to a crisp, dry finish and is flowery, grassy and herbal. Some grainy malt features too. Light body, but not at all thin or watery. Moderate to high carbonation. Possibly the best pilsner I've come across yet.

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Photo of flexabull
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a rigger (like a growler) a bright gold color with a small and bubbly white head.

Aromas are doughy, with some hints of white wine, spices, and a green floral hop note.

Taste is clean, simple, and tasty. Notes of bread dough, light spices, and very subtle creamy sweetness. Finish is crisp, and dry, with a citrus and floral hoppiness.

Good full mouthfeel, nice crisp carbonation.

Overall, a nice full flavored and very refreshing pils.

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Photo of TubaManJack
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-Tap in a full 20oz Imperial Pint
Appearance: A nice medium gold body with a full fluffy head and highlighted carbonation. Just like a Pils should have.
Smell: A thick hop presence. Its maily citrus and sweet in nature almost "west coast" style. Slight herbal notes.
Taste: Ohh my, yup its more "West Coast" style hops with some herbal hop in there. The citrus, orange/grapefruit notes aren't as strong as in the nose, but there is a nice sweet malt body to round out each sip.
Mouthfeel: The pint is nice and cool, so a refreshing sip is quite rewarding. However the hop bitterness is lessened by the sweet malt providing a nice dry, slightly bitter finish.
Drinkability: It works and is pretty unique for a pils, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Emerson's.

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Photo of hefevice
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Marked down on the appearance because mine was a little hazy with not much head. What there was of the compact white head stuck around nicely.

Aroma...mmm...big hops fruitiness, grapefruit, a little passionfruit, some spice and a solid malt platform. Taste starts a little sweet with a big hoppy finish and some biscuit before a refreshing bitter finish. Mouth allowed the best to come out of the taste, and to me carbonation was low to medium. Regardless it worked well to accentuate all the good points of this wonderful beer.

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Photo of koolk
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

NZ Trip Jan/Feb '04

Wonderful nose of floral, fruit and spice which is very full and flavourful.

Palate is clean, tasty, slightly bitter, very creamy and again full flavoured. This beer is unbelivably enjoyable to consume and it gets my vote as best beer in Aus/NZ. At NZ$5 each may of these got consumed on an almost nightly basis.

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Photo of Lukie
3.52/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this at work, as I am a big fan of the IPA. Poured a cloudy golden, with a firm white head that sat atop the beer for the most part of the drink.

The nose was quite floral and piney, and you could pick out that Emerson Hop in all of their beers, especially the piney qualities. I love it in their IPA as much as I do here.

It has a distinct sweet, floral taste, with the hops producing that delicious pine finish that Emersons seems to be accustomed too. It wasn't enough to save this though, as while a nice Pilsener, I feel it is much below the level of taste that the hops can generate, as can be seen in their IPA.

It went down a great treat though, after a very hards day at the store. The mouthfeel was moderate, but still light enough to make it easy drinking as Pilseners usually are.

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Photo of vancurly
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a) Hazy pale gold, fluffy white head which sinks

s) Spicy hop, perhaps Nelson Sauvin. Passionfruit seed, quava, lantana, tea-leaf.

f) Fruit.... guava & passionfruit again. Poppy-seed, with a touch of earl grey. Warms into nectarine. Good bitterness

m) Full body, crips finish. Slight harshness that is balanced with the malt.

d) Nice beer, could have several

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Photo of belgbeerdrinker
3.61/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: slightly cloudy gold color with huge foamy head that barely shrinks, less carbonation than expected
s: citrus and spicy hops aroma
t: citrus crispness gives way quickly to hop heaviness, finishes with moderate bitterness
m: light body, plenty of carbonation, crisp
d: fairly easy to drink and not a bad pilsner. recommended

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy straw colour, really quite hazy - almost opaque. Wouldn't have expected from a pilsener but it goes with the organic philosophy. Head is pleasant when poured, white colour with nice fuzzy bubbles on top and some trails of not-so-sticky lace. Like the cloudiness, and it all looks good.

Smells crisp and fruity. Good NZ hops on there with passionfruit and some fresh limes, touch of banana, apple and a good belt of barley malt underlying. Not sweet, just a kiln-dried grain aroma forming a base of an otherwsie pleasantly fruity, clean pilsener bouquet. Great stuff.

Tastes quite grainy throughout, but with a healthy dose of fruit that almost gives it an English ale character but we know it's all hops. Thing is, they come in early, indicating some clever late hopping here. Crisp green apple, largely, with a pleasant mild pear edge at first, blended with gentle, light caramel malt on the front and into the mid. Takes on more bitter hopping late, with light citrus notes and some pine resin. Very fresh and crisp, with a nice stab of bitterness at the end to remind us it's a pils, together with the dry feel at the back. Body for the rest of it is smooth, and nicely full. Yeah, good.

Cracking beer, this. Bitter, good balance throughout but crisp, almost aggressively hoppy on the back. Great stuff.

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Photo of BeerNutta
4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A = Pours a golden amber with a thin foam head that quickly dissapates.

S = Nice floral hop infused with apple aroma. Very inviting.

T = Initial malt sweetness with a delicious apple and pear centre that gives way to a dry hop finish.

M = Moderately carbonated for a refreshing beer.

D = Very drinkable.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

pint at the Pig and Whistle in Rotarua 2/4/14 from notes

A slight haze in a pale yellow body, lots of bubbles but with a top filled glass its hard to tell what would've popped up, lace stuck to the top where the head existed

S big noble notes, wet hay, grass and lemon, just a little adhesive but it somehow works, lots of fruity tropical notes and cereal work well together with some floral notes

T slightly more tropical then the nose, some sweet malt for balance and grassy noble notes work well, NZ meets Czech and I'm digging it

M mild bitter bite, quite gritty on the gums, hay and green grass linger, light bodied and fluffy, very drinkable

O a nice kiwi hopped up pil, my glass was gone in no time flat, I have a good feeling about beer in this country

sinks like a ship and even at 10$ a pint I'll have another, I had this one in bottles and it matches the picture listed so I'm pretty sure this is the correct listing, not sure why its retired so someone please correct me if I'm wrong

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Photo of BeerManDan
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is the only New Zealand beer that I really enjoyed. It should be the number one beer there. They don't export, so I have to wait until I go back! GREAT BEER! Nice clean light amber in color with a nice white medium foamy head. Complex flavor with a hint of citric on the palate. Not a lot of bitterness, but well rounded! Best pilsner in the So. Hem.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Purchased from Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill.

Pours a very slightly hazed, very pale yellow colour, with a sudsy and large-bubbled frothy head of white. Minimal lacing, but the carbonation streams through the body like it should in a good pilsener.

Nose is crisp, but fresh with light fruits from the Riwaka hops, and a zing of green organics, which sharpen it to a point. Very light, but so fresh and redolent. The crispness is indeed what you want in the style. Lovely.

Taste is very similar: light and crisp, with a firm but balanced bitterness to cleanse the back. Really lovely and fresh characters, which highlight what a good style this is, and how drinkable it can be. Back palate is so clear and refreshing--it makes it supremely easy to swill back.

Absolutely cracking pilsener, and a great example of the burgeoning New World Pilsener style.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.32/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle at Beer Deluxe. From notes.

A - Poured medium/dark gold with a two finger fluffy white head. Bright. A few thick rings of lace and one finger of retention.

S - Tropical fruit, grassy, juicy citrus hop. Really nice.

T - More grassy than the aroma. Noble hop, light malt, but strong enough for balance. Some honey too.

M - Strong carbonation, light body, dry not bitter.

O/D - Nice pilsner. Flavourful, easy to drink and dosed well with hops and not too much citrus with a good noble hop note. Good.

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Photo of diablo14
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

ok. i like their oatmeal stout better, but if youre looking for a prime example of a pilsener from this region, this is the king. the czechs themselves would be proud to claim this one as their own.

deeper in color and a little cloudy for a pils, it has the wonderfuly white rocky head and sizzling carbonation going. this beer is strong on the malt, but its the magnificent fresh saaz that fill the nostrils on first inspection. very floral. the taste is malty, zesty citrus and mammoth hop flavor and bitterness. its not complex, but as a pils, the characters are big, but all put together in the most sensational fashion. by jingoes its yummy. pilseners are not necessarily supposed to be complex, but they are supposed to have the ramrod like impact on the sensations. and this beer has it. you could drink this all night and not go anywhere else. it takes the english principle of staying well within itself and somehow still manages to find a way to rock your world.

this isnt just the best pils south of the equator, its one of the best full stop. anyone who has the chance to consume this beverage would be insane to pass up on it.

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Photo of brendan13
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh how happy I was when I saw this sitting in the fridge at the local good beer shop tonight...

A - A hazy dark golden straw colour poured into a 500ml Weizen glass. A nice thick 1.5 inch head that hangs around for a fair while.
S - Tropical, citrus lushness. I suspect a generous amount of Nelson Sauvin hops has been put to use here.
T - Again the tropical & citrus flavours continue from the smell but is nicely balanced with a light malt presence.
M - Medium bodied with a carbonation level high enough for it to be crisp and refreshing but not too full on.
D - I wish I had a spare fridge to stock up. Like most Emersons beers their availability is sporadic at best. I'll be drinking my share while I can!
Best "pilsener" I think I've had.

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Photo of VitBAficionado
3.89/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Inch Bar in NE Valley (Dunedin)
A: Clear golden hue with high levels of carbonation. Delicate but thick head with good retention.
S: Heavy fresh hop aroma dominates but there is a clear presence of passionfruit and apparently a little lemon and apple.
T: Pasionfruit and other citruses come through at first but are replaced by the hops which in turn is repalced by a sweet malty finish. Its almost as if each ingredient introduces itself to you and allows the next one in line to go.
M: Kind of numbing at first - could have been because it was so bloody cold. Ingredients kind of take turns assaulting your tastebuds but not in a good way. The "sour" region of the tongue is particualrly hard hit.
D: Its kind of weird how the various components help in the overall taste but hurt in the mouthfeel portion of the analysis. Not sure if that makes any sense but I stick by it. Anyways, overall another quality beer from Emerson's.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Before I begin, much thanks to Danny from Dunedin for the bottle!

Clear, lightly hazed neon-green, with a lasting 1/4" of foam resting nicely on-top.

Gorgeous nose. A hop profile that almost impersonates an American Pale Ale...but that's the next beer...fresh citrusy hops, vibrant piney feel, dang, I'm lovin' it...quite unique for a Pilsner, or any beer not out of Oregon or California, really!

Now, to drink...smooth, crisp, and light, easy going on the palate, but just tasty enough to enliven the senses and keep the enthusiasm up throughout the contents of the bottle. Hops linger lightly on the buds, and through the finish, and flavors continue to unfold, apples, lemon, pineapple. This is not a run-of-the-mill pils by any means, and I'm wondering if they used any ale yeast in this, or if it's just the hops. Who cares, it's great!

After just having a crappy "light" beer, I'm turning metaphoric cartwheels about this one.
If this is what "organic" beers can be, I say, "yes, please, more, please!"

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Organic Pilsner from The Emerson Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.19 out of 5 with 25 ratings