Reality Czeck
Moonlight Brewing Company

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Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States
Bohemian / Czech Pilsner
Ranked #1
Ranked #1,632
4.28 | pDev: 9.35%
Jul 29, 2022
Feb 22, 2005
Reality CzeckReality Czeck
Notes: A delicate soft Lager, authentic to the west coast of the Czech Republic.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
Ratings by jmbeerdude91:
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Rated by jmbeerdude91 from Arizona

4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jun 24, 2022
More User Ratings:
Photo of Anders91
Reviewed by Anders91 from California

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Look: nice clear amber with a thick white head lots of carbonation

Smell: nice clean malt and hop notes

Taste: very crisp relatively hoppy with just a hint of malt

Feel: very bubbly
Jul 29, 2022
Photo of Hophazzard
Rated by Hophazzard from California

4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
I've always been a german pilsner guy, but this one converted me. Wow! Easily the best Czech pils I've ever had.
Jun 26, 2022
Rated: 4.84 by MrDarcy from Massachusetts

Jun 10, 2022
Photo of PlinyBeMiney
Reviewed by PlinyBeMiney from California

4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
The best representation of anything you’ll find in the Czech Republic. Amazingly thirst quenching and genre defining. My all time fav Moonlight beer. Never stop making this.
May 14, 2022
Photo of kleinahoe
Rated by kleinahoe from California

4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A little bitter on the finish.
Mar 31, 2022
Rated: 4.1 by Jentex from Texas

Mar 19, 2022
Rated: 4.05 by cgrunin from Texas

Mar 19, 2022
Photo of Whyteboar
Reviewed by Whyteboar from Michigan

4.69/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Received from @JayORear in an LIF relating to NBW BIF #14. Thank you Jay!
Poured transparent amber color (seriously transparent!) and crowned with a 3 finger head that dissipated into a pillowy mound and left glass sheeting lacing. They nailed the appearance.
The aroma is wonderful, if you like this sort of thing. Bready malts, some herbal, maybe grassy and a touch bitter from I am guessing either the hops or the yeast and hops mixed. Enticing aroma.
The taste leads with those bready/biscuit like malts and transitions into a hoppy bite towards the swallow. Somewhere in between some black pepper makes it's presence known and those grassy herbs as well. The Hop bite was unexpected, but now that I've had a few sips, I like the close - it almost cleans the palate before your next sip.
The feel, well, the carbonation wa present the entire drink so it was lively, The mouth feel was ideal, I'm not sure how it could be done better, just a pleasure to drink.
OA, well, at least I got to try it once. Thank you again Jay!
Mar 19, 2022
Photo of Rug
Reviewed by Rug from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Canned 1/12/22

We have arrived. The highest rated Czech Pilsner on BA. Review #999. I had my first Moonlight beer the other day, Death & Taxes, and I was extremely impressed. Even based on that 1 beer, it seems like they have a very strong Lager game, so I'm excited to crack this one open. Let's get into it

Pours a clear yellow gold with 2 fingers of soapy white head that slowly fades to a thin cap and leaves minimal lacing. A constant stream of carbonation from the bottom of the glass

There's a delicate sweetness in the nose, but there's still a great hop character for balance. I'm picking up on aromas of doughy malt, toasted grain, lemon zest, herbal hops, honey, light white pepper, and grass

Oh man, this is killer in taste. The balance found in the aroma is retained here, but it is decidedly more hop-forward. On the front end of the sip I'm tasting orange zest, herbal hops, fresh cut grass, crackery malt, lemon rind, and a touch of sweet bread. The swallow brings notes of bready malt, herbal hops, honey, orange zest, toasted grain, and water cracker

A light medium body pairs with moderate carbonation, resulting in a zesty and refreshing beer. Finishes bone dry with a firm bitterness

This is a damn good beer, even more so than the average suggests. Everyone needs to be able to try this at some point. Just like their Death & Taxes, I have now fallen in love with a beer that is not distributed to me. Sigh. Fitting to have another style topper right before review #1000. Cheers
Feb 25, 2022
Photo of gyorgymarlowe
Rated by gyorgymarlowe from Colorado

4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
clear pale gold with a fluffy lasting head
smells of grass, faint blueberry,
taste is sweet, lemon, grape, grassy, bitter
watery yet full,
Feb 22, 2022
Photo of Roguer
Reviewed by Roguer from Connecticut

4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
Excellent head production; phenomenal retention and lacing. Body is perfectly transparent, lively, and a pale golden hue. Perfection? Arguably so.

Lovely soft and bready aroma, with delicate floral hops and just a kiss of citrus.

Fairly bitter up front, with a fairly neutral bite to the bitterness. Malt base is soft and clean, not overly sweet. It's a great example of what "beer flavored beer" should be: biscuit, a touch of rye, hints of lemon zest, grass, and the slightest impression of earth and tobacco.

I don't know that "balanced" is the best word, as it's definitely bitter-leaning, but the hops don't in any way suggest a modern American take on the style (in other words: it's not an India Pale Pilsner). It's just very bitter, but very clean and absolutely crushable.
Feb 19, 2022
Rated: 4.18 by The_Kriek_Freak from Pennsylvania

Dec 18, 2021
Rated: 4.47 by SadMachine from New Jersey

Dec 10, 2021
Rated: 4 by pkalix from California

Oct 03, 2021
Rated: 4.19 by BarrelAgedG from California

Sep 10, 2021
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Reviewed by BerkeleyBeerSleuth from California

4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
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.
Jul 20, 2021
Rated: 4.51 by Wisconsin_IPA_Lover from Wisconsin

Jul 10, 2021
Photo of lucius10
Reviewed by lucius10 from California

4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
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
Photo of Pinz412
Reviewed by Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
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
Rated: 4.04 by skochdopotato from California

Jan 04, 2021
Photo of jrc1093
Reviewed by jrc1093 from Connecticut

4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
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
Rated: 4.54 by Manta200 from Kentucky

Nov 21, 2020
Rated: 4.06 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Nov 20, 2020
Photo of RyanK252
Reviewed by RyanK252 from California

4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
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
Photo of JohnnyHopps
Reviewed by JohnnyHopps from Indiana

4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
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
Photo of SierraNevallagash
Reviewed by SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
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
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Oct 29, 2020
Photo of kevanb
Reviewed by kevanb from Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
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
Rated: 4.38 by heymikew from California

Oct 25, 2020
Rated: 4.09 by Hopelessly0 from California

Sep 26, 2020
Photo of FBarber
Reviewed by FBarber from Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
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
Photo of Shinebox
Reviewed by Shinebox from California

4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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
Photo of stevoj
Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.53/5  rDev -17.5%
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
Rated: 4 by ADTaber from South Carolina

May 17, 2020
Photo of GreesyFizeek
Reviewed by 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
Photo of HaoleBoy
Reviewed by 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
Rated: 3.81 by Ajlvt from Washington

Nov 26, 2019
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Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.76 by unclekeith from Alaska

Mar 14, 2019
Reality Czeck from Moonlight Brewing Company
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 336 ratings