Reality Czeck
Moonlight Brewing Company

Reality CzeckReality Czeck
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Bohemian Pilsener
Ranked #1
Ranked #1,232
4.28 | pDev: 9.58%
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
Reality CzeckReality Czeck
Notes: A delicate soft Lager, authentic to the west coast of the Czech Republic.
Reviews: 151 | Ratings: 302 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.84/5  rDev +13.1%
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 +3.5%
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 -10.7%
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
Photo of Bshaw22
Bshaw22 from Wisconsin

4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
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 +1.2%
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 +6.5%
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 -7.2%
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
Photo of metter98
metter98 from New York

4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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
Photo of mothman
mothman from Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
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
Photo of Smakawhat
Smakawhat from Maryland

4/5  rDev -6.5%
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
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84 from California

4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
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 -6.5%
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
Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus from California

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
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
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi from California

4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
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
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elNopalero from Texas

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I’m always looking for a good pilsner.
This pours a clear golden color with cottony foam.
There’s a pleasing toasted biscuit note to this with a light grassy aroma.
There’s a piney bitterness with a robust biscuit finish on it. Another tasty Moonlight brew.

Jul 22, 2013
Photo of Philousa
Philousa from California

3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.75

Imbibed on tap at burger. Santa Cruz on 5/25/13.

Pours a clear, tawny yellow, bordering on orange. The thin white head sinks back to the glass after each sip. Tart, somewhat sweet, tangy, and a little walnut, this beer's aroma is dominated by yeast characteristics. Flavor has more sweetness in honey with biscuit and cracker. The hops are bright and nectary with a green, young bitterness to them. Finish is fairly sweet and feel is watery, as a good Pils should be.

I like this beer, but I think I'd reach for a Death and Taxes instead because its slightly sweet for me.

May 26, 2013
Photo of Bouleboubier
Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(on tap at Toronado)

A: real light yellow gold, slightly hazy (dry hopping? dirty lines?).... nice, cloud-like white head, sticks around in collar, lil spatters of lace

S: bright and refreshing.... not the level nor relative richness of malt the taste soon reveals.... mostly a blend of floral and orange-lemon hops, dense yet delicate

T: wonderful smooth butter cookie malt.... lemony grassy hops, lasting bitterness.... mmm, pale and caramel malts really shine....approaching bold yet drinks light and clean.... moreish, as the malt gives way to the spring-like hops

M: starts off with a tease of medium body only to spread and attenuate back over the palate

O: solid overall... great balance, foundation and separation of constituent parts.... tastes like a Czech Pils more than anything else.... probably oughta do a follow-up review ASAP

May 14, 2013
Photo of mactrail
mactrail from Washington

4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Lovely dark golden color in the tall pint nonic. Perfect head and foam down the glass. Pleasing nose of grain and fresh straw.

Warm tones with a biscuity malt flavor. Resiny and clean sharp flavors, but the mellow malt gives it a pleasurable mouthfeel. Long hoppy aftertaste with just the right Pilsener bitterness.

This is kind of the ideal lager sort of beer. Reminds me of the way Mexican beers used to taste in the 1960s, at least in my mind. On tap at the Trappist in Oakland and a great quaff for lunch.

Jan 25, 2013
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Lakemonster from Oregon

4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I have tasted very few high quality pils. This one blew me away. It was refreshing, light and full of good pils flavor. I was fortunate enough to have this on tap at Toronado with a good friend who was showing me the local brew scene. I won't forget it and would highly recommend you try it.

Jan 11, 2013
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium from California

4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap. Pours a clear light amber with a one finger white head that has good retention and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is hay and straw. Quite earthy with bread and biscuit and a bit of grass. The taste is dry and earthy with straw, grass, and biscuit. The finish is drying with a very light bitterness and a lingering earthiness. Medium carbonation. Medium-light body. A great American Pilsener.

Nov 01, 2012
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM from California

4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1551st Review on BA
Draft to Pint

@Toronado San Francisco

App- It's truly a light yellow. Amazingly clear and lite looking in the glass with a small 1/4"-1/2" head. Again like most pils in that there was no cling and lace on this one.

Smell- Damn lagers. Just can't get passed that grassy, butter kinda Heineken thing. However, this seems more dry hopped, less lager and generally more spicy and alive.

Taste- Holy cow! Why aren't all lagers like this. Keeps the pils flavors from the malts, however as with the aromatics the hop additions do wonders for this beer. It's much more complete and clean. The flavors aren't as muddled either as most pils.

Mouth- A lighter medium body which surprised me. Was thinking it would be the usual light body. Again the thicker carbonation was a shock! More pepper and dry hops on the finish.

Drink- Much like Bombay, was hearing the hype but couldn't believe how good this was. Sad I only had one pint.

Oct 07, 2012
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RblWthACoz from Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I think the defining achievement of this beer is its smooth tone. So many pilsners seem to have some aftertaste or lingering character that is a distraction or detractor. This one does not. Smooth with a mildly grassy tone and subtle hop spicy bits added in. This is extremely drinkable.

Beers like this show why the American brewing scene is now king, and will be so for a very long time.

Aug 30, 2012
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Alieniloquium from Florida

4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Toronado SF. Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance - Pale straw yellow with a white head. Settles to just a ring and some wisps.

Smell - Earthy and very slightly grassy hops. Mild. Biscuity pale malts. Spicy?

Taste - Mimics the smell. Slightly more emphasis on the hops. Hardly what I'd call hoppy, but it's got a presence. Clean pilsener malts. Just a little toasty. Dry in the finish. Exactly what I'm looking for.

Mouthfeel - The finish seals the deal for this one. Yes, it's light and drinkable,nut so are many average pilseners. This one is dry and slightly spicy. Excellent.

Overall - I'm not a lager fan, but so many pilseners are awful. This is an exception. When it's good, it's very good.

Aug 07, 2012
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WillCarrera from Ohio

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Toronado in SF, poured into a pint glass.

A- Pours a pale gold color, topped with a thin white head, leaves decent lacing.

S- Lots of floral hops with spices, grainy pale malt, has a lot of spice and some honey in the center with a grassy bitter finish. The flavor is classic pilsner flavor, but fuller and more interesting than any pilsner I've had before.

M- Light-bodied, smooth, crisp feel, long slightly bitter finish.

O- A great pilsner, it's light, refreshing and very drinkable but still has loads of flavor, I don't drink a ton of lagers but this is easily the best pilsner I've ever had.

Mar 20, 2012
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tewaris from Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed a couple pints on draft at Monk's Kettle. Nice and clear with a pillowy head. Good retention and lacing. Aroma is pils malt and noble hops... quite mild but definitely appealing. Tastes grainy sweet with light malt, mild bitterness and a long bittering finish. Like the other features of this beer, the bitterness in the finish is mild and accessible.

Light and crisp and extremely clean, Reality Czech's highlight is its extremely high drinkability. It is not often that one finds a good beer that asks to be drank by the pitcher!

4, 3.5, 4, 4.5, 4.5

Feb 07, 2012
Reality Czeck from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 302 ratings