Reality Czeck
Moonlight Brewing Company

Reality CzeckReality Czeck
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Pilsner - Bohemian / Czech
Ranked #1
Ranked #1,201
4.29 | pDev: 9.56%
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
Reality CzeckReality Czeck
Notes: A delicate soft Lager, authentic to the west coast of the Czech Republic.
Reviews: 162 | Ratings: 320 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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BerkeleyBeerSleuth from California

4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful golden filtered color with a foaming white head. Definitely get lots of grain on the nose. Grass, flower and bread dough. Taste is slightly herbal and grassy with a nice bread dough malt character. Decent bitterness for a Pilsner. Mouthfeel is light, but crisp and all the attributes of this beer are well balanced. An amazing beer.

Tuesday at 05:53 PM
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lucius10 from California

4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Sweet bready/biscuity malty and subdued honey-lemon citrus nose on this one! Taste follows with a beautifully balanced, sweet and light honey malty, and subdued hoppy bitter finish. I mean, this feels great...tastes great...and is an absolutely fantastic pilsner!

Jun 02, 2021
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Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour was a beautifully transparent straw color with lively carbonation and topped with a fluffy white head that rose above the rip of the glass like a nimbus cloud of beer. The aroma displayed a nice grainy and bready character with some fresh cut grass. The first taste that I noticed was pale malt and doughy bread. The grassy and somewhat floral hops became more prominent as the liquid diminished. A nice crisp finish with some bitter hop notes brought it all together. The feel was on the lighter side with the carbonation keeping my palate alert and engaged. This is not a complicated beer, but rather a fantastic example of how wonderful simplicity can be.

Apr 18, 2021
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jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned on 11/3/20; consumed on 12/17/20

Pours a crystal-clear golden straw body topped with multiple fingers of airy, fluffy, white foam; great head retention yields a craggy finger of cap, a frothy, expansive collar, and chunks of soapy, webby lacing spread thoroughly around the walls of the glass.

Aroma brings fresh white bread toast deepened with doughy yeast and bread crusts into grassy spice and a stiff minerality through the middle; straw into back end gives way to floral hops, musty grain, and white bread on the close.

Taste opens with bread crusts, semi-sweet white bread, and a brief malty roast into grassy hop characteristics through the mid-palate, where a light, lager yeast profile takes on tinges of minerality and lemon peel into back end; dusty grain, wet grass, and touches of herbal hop spice finish.

Mouthfeel presents a body on the lighter end of medium and with moderate carbonation fading with a gritty prickle to a level mid-palate; a low-lying bitterness and spark of crisp brightness mark the back end toward a finish fading cleanly with perfectly attenuated flaky malt textures.

From a lithe, malty depth bursts vivacious character, a product of firm floral hops imposing on nuanced grain for an increasingly extensive detail; the result is a Czech pilsner as assertive as it is brilliantly refined to a world-class degree.

Dec 18, 2020
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RyanK252 from California

4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Can poured into a Mountain Rambler Brewery pint glass

A: Pours golden straw yellow with a frothy off white head that settles to a firm layer and laces quite nicely.

S: Beautifully floral, grassy, soft spicy herbal earthy notes, fruity hints, crackery biscuity malt, and a little yeastiness.

T: Super floral, grassy, some spicy herbal earthy notes, faint fruity and citrusy hints towards the back end, lemon, peach, and apricot, a little yeasty, all built on a foundation of crackery biscuity and ever so slightly grainy malt.

M: Medium body, lively carbonation, yet it's got a little creaminess to it. Very smooth.

O: Pilsners don't usually get me super excited, but this is a "Wow" beer. It hits all the classic notes, but it's also got a personality of its own. Solid bite up front, but never overly bitter. Stoked that we got a shipment of this in my area, hopefully there will be more to follow as I would love to spend a day in my hammock with a cooler of this.

Nov 18, 2020
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - The beer poured a straw yellow color with a thick white head crowning the pour.

Smell - The bitterness of the hops really jumped out in the nose. The malt is also apparent.

Taste - in the initial taste, there was a pleasant sense of bitterness. The overall profile was earthy with a light touch of spice. A dry biscuity finish left me wanting another sip.

Mouthfeel - The yeast allowed the beer to stick to the tongue in the roof of the mouth with bitterness I’m drying out.

Overall - This is the number one version of the style for a reason.

Nov 02, 2020
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you bret27 for this one!

Pint can - dated 08/27/2020 - poured into a Czech pilsener glass at 40°F.

Pours a crystal clear straw golden colour, topped with a finger of foamy white head. With good retention - receding to an island and collar, with a short ring of lacing. Effervescence is visible.

Nose: Pilsner malt lends a big grainy note - raw, malted, and toasted. There is a prominent bready element, very much on-par for the Czech style. A big raw dough note smells like someone is making white bread, and with it, a fairly strong musty note - like wet, dusty grain silo, with some earthiness. Hops are subtle, but lend a hint of floral grassiness in the background.

Palate: The beer greets the palate with tons of grain - malty grain, sweet bready grain, cracked raw grain, dusty grain... It's bready, but not doughy as it is on the nose, and there's a crackery element that gives it some snap. The bready, biscuity malt begins to dry out ad it becomes more crackery, and then a big Saaz-like hop element emerges - leafy, floral, spicy, with a bit of a rindy bite to it, building to a firm, but mild bitterness, before slowly fading, leaving a clean finish with whole grain table crackers.

Mouthfeel/Body: The beer is crisp, clean, snappy, and light-bodied, but it's definitely on the fuller side of light. That wholesome bready nalt definitely gives it some substance and presence, while still drinking like a clean, light pils. Effervescence is perfect - lively, but with a slight sparseness and coarseness to it, keeping it from being too fizzy or seltzer-like, yet still lively. Finishes dry, and ultra clean.

Overall: I've never heard of this beer or this brewery, but now I'm interested. Everyone seems to miss the nuance of a proper Czech pils when crafting them, and there's always something missing. This Czechs (haha) every single box, and even goes above what is expected of it. I've not had a better example of the style - American or Czech.

Oct 29, 2020
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kevanb from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16oz can, dated 09.30.2020, poured into a Gueuze Tilquin tumbler glass.

The beer pours a bright golden color, nice and clear with a few bubbles rising to the top of the glass where a large, fluffy white head sits with moderate retention and excellent lacing. The aroma is nice, mineral water, light pale dough, delicate noble hops that bring out a grassiness, floral bouquet and a light earthiness. The flavors are great, crisp mineral water, pale grains, somewhat rustic, lightly floral, a touch of citrus peel, grassy with a bit of earthiness and raw hop bite. The mouthfeel is great, lively lighter body that still feels substantive with a crisp and dry finish.

Verdict: A very nice pils from Moonlight Brewing. Delicate, balanced, refreshing, expressive, really delightful beer.

Oct 28, 2020
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FBarber from Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours an incredibly effervescent light golden color. Just slightly cloudy. Two finger sudsy white head dissipates steadily leaving just a thin residual layer of foam on top of the beer.

Aroma has notes of light cracker malts, a touch of sweet white bread, a touch of minerality followed by a grassy hop finish. Really perfectly nails that Bohemian pilsner aroma.

Taste follows the nose with notes of sweet bread, light cracker malts, giving way to a bitter, dried grassy finish. There is a certain minerality from the beer which really compliments the overall profile.

Feel is light, crisp, with bright vibrant carbonation.

Overall a really outstanding bohemian pilsner. It tastes like the old country and there really is no higher compliment for an American brewed version.

Jul 17, 2020
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Shinebox from California

4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Exceptional. I've been sampling Pilsners recently and this has been the best so far. Nice carbonated, crisp easy drinker but with enough bite to keep it interesting. A sharp execution of the style.

Jun 22, 2020
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stevoj from Idaho

3.53/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

16oz can at share. Clear golden body, with a small white head. Evrything you'd expect from a pils is there, malty, biscuity, grassy and finishing with a nice bite. Tasty.

Jun 14, 2020
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GreesyFizeek from New York

4.84/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This one pours a clear light yellow color, with a fluffy head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like fresh biscuity malt, a slightly mineral-like bitterness, grassiness, leafy hops, along with spicy rindiness.

There's a good reason why this is so highly regarded. It's got a really crisp and clean feel to it, with spicy/grassy/slightly fruity hop character. The malt character is so very nice - bready, a wisp of honey, and crackery. This all melds extremely well together.

This is crisp and extremely clean, with a fantastic drinkability to it. You just want to drink this constantly.

There's a good reason that this is the top rated Czech pilsner on this site - it's absolutely tremendous.

Apr 19, 2020
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HaoleBoy from California

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz. can dated just 12 days ago. Pale yellow with a thick white head.
Classic noble hops nose.
Clean crisp taste with nice floral essence and a strong presence of malt breadiness. Just a touch of bitterness on the back end.
This is a solid example of this style and easily in my top 3 or 4 of US brewed Czech-style pilsners.

Apr 08, 2020
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unlikelyspiderperson from California

3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a crisp clear bright yellow with a gigundus white head that supports itself well above the lip of the glass.
Smell is bright and grainy but pretty faint.
Taste is also very bright. French white bread and a light floral note with some sweet citrus notes that build nicely.
Mouthfeel is light and smooth. Easy drinking indeed.
Overall this is a really nice beer, very clean and pleasant drinking. I don't know how authentic it is in style but it is certainly a world less hoppy than most american versions of the style I've tried.

Jun 18, 2019
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Bshaw22 from Wisconsin

4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An almost perfect czeck pils. Crushable with the class Saazhop bite. I wish this was much more available. But then again it might lose some of its greatness if you were to can or botttle it.
Had on tap at Monks kettle in San Francisco

Dec 31, 2018
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a near perfect czech type pils, nothing innovative or boundary pushing about this one, which is something i have come to look for in moonlight beers, they use some crazy botanicals and exotics in their stuff, but this one is straight up. a classic european lager yeast leads both the aroma and flavor for me, woven so well into the dry fresh pils malt that this could not possibly be mistaken for anything else, its the essence of the style in every way, dialed in to the max. its crystal clear on the pour, incredibly active, and more yellow than golden, delicate but exuberant. its somewhat hoppy for the style, but has a rather classic hop complexion to it, saaz or something like it, cut grass on its way to being dry and leafy, with the lightest citrus complexion and earthen bitterness as it winds down. dry and snappy, refreshing as can be but not watery feeling, effervescent and with some body, but i could drink 20 of these pretty happily. a really textbook example of the style. pils is a beer that never really turns me on, and they all sort of taste the same sometimes, but then once in a great while i find one thats this good and i remember why the style itself is so widely adored. they should all be this good! brilliant work on this one from moonlight!

Nov 09, 2017
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap. Killed a 'want'. This was my favorite of the time I spent in San Fransisky/Wine Country. One of the BEST pilsners I have ever had. Might need to go back into my ratings and match a better competitor. Crisp, semi-sweet, yet dry on the finish. A beggar for another sip. Perfect body-to-flavor ratio. I knew I was going to love this pint! Would commit crimes for more.

Jun 15, 2017
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yellow with amazing clarity and a soft white head just under 2 inches. Aroma was a noble blast.

Real crisp and clean with higher levels of hopping, but from the usual varieties. Its definitely a top tier lager, but I tend to like the uber proprietary hopped lagers that are out there after this one had been top dog for so long.

Anyways, totally crooshable summer lager stuff right here.

Feb 01, 2016
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metter98 from New York

4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Magnolia Pub & Brewery, San Francisco, CA

A: The beer is relatively clear yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a quarter finger high bright white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center, a collar around the edge, and some lacing down the sides.
S: Light to moderate aromas of biscuit malts are present in the nose along with hints of grassy hops.
T: The taste follows the smell, having flavors of biscuity and bready malts along with a heavy dose of noble hops—grassy hops seem to stand out in particular and linger into the finish, contributing a light amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This pilsner has a nice balance of biscuit malts and grassy hops but also offers some other complexities in the smell and taste.

Serving type: on-tap

Oct 29, 2015
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mothman from Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

White head. Lace. Golden yellow. Crisp and clean. Earthy and bready. Light floral hops with a slight herbal grassy taste. Light bodied. Light bitterness. Overall, well done and glad I finally had a chance to try this one. Very easy to drink.

Jul 23, 2015
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Smakawhat from Maryland

4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap into a shaker pint glass, fill to the rim at the Toronado in San Francisco.

A simple dull but bright and slightly hazy body color. Dull to light lemon with no collar presented. Some lively carbonation surprisingly, but a good solid looking pils in character.

Big bready notes. A perfect example of balance though in terms of the malt chewy character and hop bitterness. Hop character though very buried even in terms of light pils, you have to look for it. An impressive sense of neutrality if I could say that. But this aroma is not impressive, but solid and decent. Very good.

Palate seems to continue the bouquet sense with a little bit more panache. Mild hop presence more distinct on the nose in the mid and aftertaste. Dough like qualities more in character to German pilsner quality with a great and solid dense backbone. Good simple mouthfeel that carries everything nicely, but forgoes crispness and pop on the character.

This is just simply a decent pils, very good. A world class beer? I am going to have to say no sorry. Would I like try more beers from this brewery? Absolutely yes without question.

Oct 23, 2014
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UCLABrewN84 from California

4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap at the 2014 Firestone Walker Invitational Beer Fest held at the Paso Robles Event Center in Paso Robles, CA.

Pours a clear yellow-orange with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and grass aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, grass, and citrus zest flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer that is tasty, refreshing, and easy to drink.

Jun 04, 2014
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ArrogantB from Colorado

4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Flavor bistro in Santa Rosa and served in a Moonlight Brewing pint glass (proper glassware). Bright yellow, clear, huge pillow of white head. Aroma is nice and fruity , malts, hint of lager yeast. Flavor is lager yeast, crisp, fruity, pretty much one of the best pilsners I've tasted and something you just want to gulp down.

May 08, 2014
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magictacosinus from California

4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

I've had this countless times, but for some reason I never got around to properly reviewing it. No more, I say - went and had a pint of this at Thalassa recently. It's pretty easy to find at Toronado SF as well! Poured into a shaker pint glass on tap.

Pours a very nice straw golden color with a good foamy white head that sticks around for a bit, but perhaps in part due to the weak head retention qualities of the shaker pint, it soon dies down to about a modest ring. Surprisingly, it does leave behind some sticky lacing at the sides of the glass, and bubbles are plentiful, although not as much as they usually are on high quality pilsners that come out of the Czech Republic. It's still pretty good, and already in my book is one of the most memorable looking Czech-style pilsners brewed in America.

The aroma definitely delivers what you'd expect from the style - a crisp, grainy sweetness, light fruit, and a clean, peppery finish. Up front, there's some notes of sweet toasted notes of toffee and sugar cane from the grains, although it is a bit biscuity as well. After, there's definitely some white grapes, raisins, pear, and even nectarines, which is pretty fascinating for what this is. Light white pepper, some floral and grassy notes as well. Showcases an additional sweetness similar to vanilla as it warms up, and maybe some almonds to unique results. It's overall pretty malty, but it's fascinating to see how these delicate nuances open up over time.

The flavor is a blast of malty richness from the pilsen malts in a way that perhaps no readily available Czech pilsner on the market ever tasted, as well as an assorted variety of sweet flavors, fruits, and spices. *Very* strongly toasted at the front, with a hearty biscuit flavor as well as toasted toffee filled grains, some white fruit (thinking maybe pears? Yellow apples?), grapes, and perhaps some lychee. Really fascinating stuff - gets progressively more complex with the peppery finish at the end, the brief lemongrass finish, and sweetness that resembles vanilla at the end. It's very zesty at the finish, with a brief acidity that cleanses the palate for the next sip. It does become fruitier over time, in spite of its tremendous malty flavor, but it's quite quaffable to the max - creamy, well carbonated, and surprisingly appropriately light-bodied for the style. Really great stuff - definitely among the greats.

Funny story is that it took me ages to finally "get" the appeal of this beer, even in midst of all the hype. After cleansing my palate with a variety of gentler beers after knocking it out with far stronger offerings in the past year, my rediscovery of this beer came to me as a tremendous surprise. I always make a question to order either this or Trumer Pils whenever I'm in a bar that offers them in Berkeley - it keeps things simple, and yet, shows the vibrant qualities that a homemade lager can bring to the table.

Mar 06, 2014
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RaulMondesi from California

4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado in San Francisco, CA.

Well, if Raul may, he is going to call this the Jan Patočka of Czeck Pilsners (do your homework, my children). Speaking of Phenomenology, Raul almost went in and out of consciousness as he drank this dang sucker. So smooth. So smooth... Like Cigar looking back and laughing at the competition as he trotted his way to the Triple Crown, this sucker was grassy like an Iowa pasture and "bready" like Raul's Grandmama's fresh baked loaves of Sunday bread. Yes, Raul is feelin' this one.

Seek it, my children. Seek it well and good.

Nov 12, 2013
Reality Czeck from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 320 ratings