Reality Czeck | Moonlight Brewing Company

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Brewed by:
Moonlight Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Czech Pilsener

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 02-22-2005

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Reviews: 145 | Ratings: 288
Photo of mntlover
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Want to thank RedwoodGeorge for making this all possible.

Pours a nice pale straw yellow light chill haze. Small bubbles rising leisurely to a two finger white head that falls to clumped bubbles that lace nicely.

Aroma is nice pilsener malts, crackers, some nice hop presence grassy, spicy, hints of lemon.

Taste is nice crisp malt loaded with hops, light citrus mostly lemon mixed with grass and spice that kick in and stay thru the finish. Nice easy drinking beer that has lots of hops on a good clean malt base.

Mouthfeel is good approaching medium seems a little fuller then I would expect for a pilsener. Nice level of carbonation.

Drinkability is good a nice crisp clean pilsener, make a hell of a session brew. Pilsener's not my big thing, but this one is nice.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz bottle. Hand bottled via counter pressure filler. The beer is a brilliant straw yellow color with absolutely no haze at all. A massive carbonation is seen maintaining a finger of head over top of the brew. Very good looking beer. The nose brings a mild honey-kissed pilsener malt sweetness, a mild grainyness, and a solid herbal and spicy noble hop that really entices me to drink this one. As I sip it, I find this one brings an excellent herbal noble hop that moves to a moderate to strong bitterness. Behind this is a mild grainy character and a very subtle sweetness. The bitter lingers really nicely into the finish, drawing me back for more and more of this one. The balance here is fantastic. Definitely one of the best pilsener beers ever to grace my glass. After letting my palate sit for a minute after a drink, there is a sweetness that sticks to my tongue and works really well against the bitterness that clings. Mouthfeel is moderate with a very solid carbonation that breaks it up and keeps it feeling really light and smooth. Drinkability is top notch on this one. This is a beer I would love to see on tap so I could belly up and drink it till the keg was done. It is big in flavor, balance, and clarity. I really enjoy this beer. I believe the hype, and will be looking for this one when I hit California early next year. This is a great Czech pilsener.

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Photo of Phatz
3.43/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I sample this beer with another BA who owes thanks for the opportunity to a trade with RedwoodGeorge.... Hand-bottled via counter-pressure system, this beer was interesting and the effort is appreciated.

As a guy who is not all that eh into to Pilsener's, I must admit in advance I tend to be hard to please in this style.

Appearance: Pour is a yellow gold with a small white head that fades fast. No notable lacing.

Smell: Odd. It had a Pilsener malt base with a attribute that seemed a bit farmhouse Saison sitting lingering atop in the nose. It had a cat-pee-ish/saison spicy overtone that caught me off guard.

Taste: It is dry and bitter and certainly a bit aggressive for a Pilsener with grain and pils malt and grassy floral hops that bite in the throat.

Mouthfeel:This is a light bodied beer that is creamy and smooth yet dry and and clean. Apropos.

Drinkability: As I got further along on this beer I started to warm up to it a bit more. By the time I was really enjoying it the bottle was gone. So, it must not have been to bad.

Hope this is helpful.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.73/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

22oz bottle obtained via trade with RedwoodGeorge. Thanks for the opportunity... Hand-bottled via counter-pressure system 10/3/06.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" bright white head over the clear light golden brew. Head lasts very well, with ample artful delicate lacing. Aroma is pale grain sweetness upfront, giving way to Saaz crispness. Flavor is also light malts and crisp hoppiness, but I'm kind of at a loss to put into words how well everything melds together. Nary even an aftertaste, which often dooms some in the style. Mouthfeel is soft over the tongue, extra smooth, and drinkability is superb as well. If this is better on tap, I can't wait to make sure.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Bottled on October 3, 2006. Pay to the order of: Reality Czech Style Pilsner, 22 fluid ounces of malt, hops, water, yeast, love and dedication. Signed: Saint Humulus."

--Reality Czech label

What better way to start off "George's Unauthorized Home Bottling Project II" than with what is sure to be a pils for the ages. Glowing lemony gold with paler, moonlight edges. The head is polished ivory in color and is a collection of fine, glassy bubbles that makes the beer look regal and refined. Sheets upon sheets of delicate, lace-like lace are beginning to stick to all available surfaces.

The nose isn't quite as hoppy or an explosive as anticipated. It's still a humdinger though. I wish I knew which variety (or varieties) of hops the brewer uses because the aroma isn't especially grassy or floral or spicy or any of the other characteristics that I usually attribute to the Czech nobles. Muskily fruity is the closest that I can come to an adequate description.

There's no shortage of flavor, that's for damn sure. As expected after the sniff test, Reality Czech is a balanced beer. While the hophead in me wanted something more hoptastic, the lover and appreciator of world-class beer is more than satisfied with this incredibly delicious, fantastically drinkable pilsener.

Moderately sweet pale malt carasses and coddles the palate while the alpha acids attempt to slap it around a little bit. That perfectly meshed relationship between malt and hops is what makes this beer what it is. Still though, I'm trying to resist the impulse to call for more of the little green cones. As I enter the bottom half of the bomber, one thing has become crystal clear. If I lived in Sonoma County, Reality Czech just might be my session beer of choice.

I give George all the credit in the world for what he's been able to accomplish with his Home Bottling Projects. This is the first beer, however, that I think may have taken a small hit in terms of mouthfeel. It's still good (lightly creamy, softly carbonated), it just isn't as amazingly transcendent as I imagine it is fresh from the tap.

Reality Czech is my first Moonlight brew and I have to say that I'm impressed, especially with its balance and its drinkability. Not that I needed any more impetus, but savoring the final few ounces of this incredible beer leads me to cast my mind back to that too-long-delayed trip to Santa Rosa. In addition to wallowing in great food and great beer, I'd love to be able to thank RedwoodGeorge in person.

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Photo of merlin48
4.57/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

RedwoodGeorge made this possible. Pours a slightly hazed, pale yellow body topped by a small white head. Lush carbonation is lovely to behold in the tall pilsner glass. Head retains well and leaves some decorous lace on the glass.

Lovely aroma has sweet, biscuity malt accented by lemon and honey. Solid hop backing is fresh, floral, and grassy. Hops are basically fresh cut hay and country club grass, but much more delicate. Spicy notes are picked up as well. Lovely!

Mouthfeel is light medium in body, with a solid velvety carbonation. Feels wonderful to slosh around in the jaws.

I'm surprised at how well balanced the taste comes off. Very similar to the aroma, lemon and honey notes accent the biscuity pils maltiness, as the fresh and leafy hops presence jumps to centerstage. Lemongrass, a hint of bitter florals, and the fresh grassy presence meld together exceedingly well. Mouth watering and juicy all the way through, with a spicy and dry hop finish.

This is the ultimate session beer. Certainly, the best pilsner I've ever tried. The 22 oz. bottle provided by George filled two tall pils glasses which emptied in what seemed to be record time. Damn! This stuff is off the scale in drinkability.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

"Sampled through the efforts of RedwoodGeorge without which it would not be possible." -Zorro

might not sound like it, but confidently stating that this looks like a fresh glass of budweiser is quite a compliment. essential yellow with caramel amber edges. a herd of tiny bubbles rise effortlessly through the crisp brew. creamy topper that leaves crowns of pilsner lace.

sweet, nutty aroma with light floral earth tones. fruity sugary notes remind me of boiling wort and fresh-baked holiday bread. there is even a slight candied orange waft that reminds me of a rich, dense belgian golden maltiness. smells much larger than 4+%.

hops say hello in the taste, right off the bat. the bitterness of the floral, perfumey hops is low/medium octane, and allows this flavorful brew to remain very drinkable. the base beer here is a very malty pilsner, providing some interesting honey, brown sugar, and graham cracker flavors. finishes dry, a bit chalky, and certainly jars the drinker into surprising submission.

the things that makes this beer the stuff of legends are not excessively creative flavor blends or double extreme anything. it's the presentation of a fresh, flavorful session beer that incorporates massive amounts of taste, practically nothing off-kilter, and the ability to session the hell out of it. i would drink the shit out of this beer if it was available to me locally. a true treat and an excellent, green west coaster.

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Photo of Zorro
4.64/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled through the efforts of RedwoodGeorge without which it would not be possible.

A medium aggressive pour into my Pilsner glass rewards me with a slightly chill hazed golden yellow Pilsner. The beer almost seems to glow in the glass. One thing that does seem to be lacking is head formation.

Smell is quite aromatic. High level of lemony and herbal hops aroma with the characteristic grassiness that you expect to be present in a Pilsner. Quite grainy with a lot of clean and fresh Pilsner malt in the smell.

Taste is dry with an up front sharp and pleasant herbal hop hit that lasts. Quite herbal and woody after a few sips. Good lemony note and lots and I do mean LOTS of aggressive hop in the flavor, this is no pumped up macro lager. This is hopped so that the bitterness never lets up.

Mouthfeel is good and full.

Drinkability will be questionable for lots of people. This is a VERY aggressive Pilsner, if you loved Sam Adams imperial Pilsner you will love this. If you like regular type lagers and try this as just a little stronger you will get shocked. This is A LOT stronger than most any lager you could name. Like a big hop smack you will love it; if you don't you will be over powered.

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Photo of carln26
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Holy Grail. I’ve heard so much about this beer. I was almost afraid to try it. Fearing my expectations won’t match the reality. I was finally able to try this beer on tap at Flavor in Santa Rosa.
It poured hazy straw gold with lots of champagne bubbles. Light aroma of saaz hops. It had an earthy character. Mushrooms? Possibly a little green apple. . Taste is crisp clean. Very sparse. I detect that earthiness again in the flavor. Light, crisp and clean. With a biting tartness from the hops used. Extremely drinkable, this would be an unbelievable warm weather beer. It was worth the wait.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one is a brilliant yellow in color with lots of bubbly carbonation in the glass. The head was rich and white and topped this Pils excellently.

Smell – There’s a nice, light grain to the nose that shows some good (and rare) husky notes. The floral hops are so faint you can barely catch them, but I really enjoyed the husk as you can’t find it in good quality anymore.

Taste – The nice husky grain from the nose came on much stronger once I started drinking this Pils. I can’t tell you how nice it is to find a good, husky grain flavor.

It’s really what so many American efforts strive to be. The sadness of American corn really stands out after drinking this beer. You’ll have to wait at least a month or two after partaking of the Reality Czech before you can drink an American macro. Aptly named.

Mouthfeel – This is right smack dab in between light and medium-bodied with some perfect, crisp carbonation. It is super clean in the mouth. This is exactly how a refreshing Czech Pils should feel.

Drinkability – I ordered a round of three and somehow got four beers out of it. I bogarted the extra one and had no problem finishing it. Really, you can’t stop at Flavor Bistro without ordering at least two of these Moonlight Brewing specials; one to down in three gulps out of sheer decadence and the other to drink like a gentleman.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes taken on 3/4/06 @ Flavor.

Pours a clear golden color with a fluffy white head. Thick lacing on the glass.

Huge aroma of crisp pils malts and spicy Saaz. I mean, this smells perfect.

Tastes just like it smells, perfect! Super crisp and malty with that delicious Pils malt flavor. There are loads of spicy Saaz that compliment the malts perfectly. It is perfectly balanced and tastes super fresh.

Solid body, slick texture, perfectly carbonated.

This is a beer among beers. I have had some delicious pilsners, but this is special. I am sorry that I wasn't able to bring any back home with me.

[EDIT] I have since learned that no Saaz is used in this beer, rather an unlikely combination of American hops. It's still the best beer I have had to date, and I wish it were more accessible.

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Photo of Smorgasbord
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is an amazing beer.

All aspects of this beer are good, but the mouthfeel is especially terrific - a warm round melting of lingering hops and light malt.

Extremely drinkable - goes down easy and the complex character of the beer is still very present even after a few drinks.

The flavor and smell are very complex, it is dangerous to try and catagorize this beer.

My only qualm is the lack of head on this beer. I suspect it was the bartender with an improper pour, since I could easily see and taste the heavy carbonation.

All I can say is this is a must try it if you have a chance.

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Photo of axisjones
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

After having more glasses of this beer than I can count, including two last night, I feel it's time to chime in...

I should start this review by first stating that I generally do not like pilsners. I dig the big beers and like my hops nice and fruity. Before drinking this beer, I had pretty much written off the style as a whole.

Poured at Toronado into a standard pint glass. Golden with a fluffy head, the head dies down. Crystal clarity on this one. Unfiltered eh? Who knew.

The nose is ultra clean floral/grassy spicy hops with a bready malt underneath.

On to the taste. Goes down so smooth and clean with a pronounced hop bite and spicyness with a biscuity malt flavor finishing it off. The hop finish lingers in the best of ways. I finally understand what people are talking about when they say pilsners have a hop bite.

This is arguably, ounce for ounce, the most drinkable beer ever made. The subtley and nuance is staggering. It can be enjoyed by the slow sip or heavy gulp. Refreshing yet refined. Clean yet bold. This beer definitely walks the fine line to achieve the best of all worlds.

I have been a fan of Moonlight since I randomly ordered a Death and Taxes during my first trip to Toronado about two years ago. When I order a moonlight, I expect a beer that is completely unorthodox with no definable style. The devil may care vibe of Moonlight always made it an interesting choice, and never a disappointment. But, unlike I am used to, Reality Czeck is a completely different. This is not a "take" on the pilsner style, it is not an americanized variation or a stylistic homage. It is a straight up Czeck pilsner, just the pinnacle of craft (that I have had so far). There is a refinement to a style I had passed on that makes this beer so damn enjoyable. Extremely versatile, damn delicious, world class.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.67/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

08/04/05- On tap at Zeitgeist in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- From the tap into a random pint glass.

Appearance- Lighter golden color with a very minimal head. The slightest of lacing. This is the least strongest point of this beer.

Smell- A very fruity hop scent as well as a small grainy background.

Taste- Wow! Everyone is right. This is the taste you are going for in a perfect pils. Very high hop presence. Fruitier than most pils. Not the extreme bitterness you find in most. Mild grain flavor. Sweet but in a perfect way.

Mouthfeel- Very creamy, lower carbonation (weird, but I like it) and a fuller mouthfeel.

Drinkability- Please, oh please bottle this!!! Session beer at it's best. Best pils hands down. So well put together and balanced.

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Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa and the Zeitgeist in SF.

Appearance: Not as good at the Zeitgeist, but incredible looking at the Flavor Bistro. Thick, thick head. Nice lacing. Golden color with some peach notes.

Taste: unusual Pils hops dominate. Weird at first. Piney. I think these hops are Amarillo. Nice change of pace.

Drinkability: Different hops make you want to try this again. For whatever reason, this has sat heavy in my stomach. Has made me feel very full.

Thanks to Venom for putting this on the BA radar screen.

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Photo of OldSock
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance and Presentation – On tap at Zeitgeist during a recent stay in San Fran. It starts out with a small white head that quickly falls to nothing. The beer itself is a deep golden with only a hint of haze. Carbonation appears almost non-existent. It is hard to blame the low carbonation and lack of head on the brewery, but I can only talk about what I had.

Smell – Good hop aroma, a real mix of herbal and earthy, mixed with some sweet malts. The aroma does show a bit of estery character which is not at home in a pilsner. The lack of head made me really work to get the aroma, it certainly was not jumping out of the glass.

Taste – This is where this beer really shines, powerful hop flavor without being bitter and good slightly sweet malts as well. It is not overly complex but it is perfectly balanced. This is what almost every pilsner I have had strives to be.

Mouthfeel – Here too this beer excels, unlike most pilsners Reality Czeck has a medium-full mouthfeel that is slightly creamy. The low carbonation is the only detraction here.

Drinkability and Notes – Great drinkability because of the superb balance and terrific flavor. This is probably the second best pilsner I have had, behind only Prima Pils. I wish it had been more carbonated, but it was still a good craft brewed pilsner.

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Photo of RedwoodGeorge
4.85/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

How unfair (or fortunate?) that I should try two outstanding Pilsners in one week - (The other being Victory Prima) I'm going to start having much higher expectations for these Czech Lagers...

The beer poured a nice deep gold with a fluffy, sticky white head. The head died down pretty quickly but left lots of lacing on the glass.

The smell was incredibly inviting - quite a bit hoppier than you'd expect, almost into Pils/IPA territory. Lots of notes of new-mown graaz with a few hints of pine and citrus. As the Redhead observed: "I know what the beer is going to taste like just from the smell" (and right she is)

What struck me as interesting about the taste is that it's quite 'solid', not watered down or thin tasting like many pilsner lagers. Plenty of hops but far from bitter. Mostly Noble but I could swear there are echoes of Cascade or Centennial in there. The malt is a bit more subdued but certainly there enough to provide balance. There are some slightly sweet notes and a wee bit of fruit - I could swear I tasted tangerine in the background.

Mouthfeel is just what it's supposed to be - solid, plenty of effervescence to clean the palate. No oily residue left on the tongue and no overly dry aftertaste. Really the perfect finish on each sip...

As for drinkability - there's no real question. This pilsner may be difficult to find but it's worth the trip. Lunch at Flavor is quite affordable and I've already made a date to go back there in a week (for more Pils)

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Photo of Bierman9
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Zeitgeist. Highly recommended by Herr Venom... Quaffed 3x outside in their "Biergarten" with axisjones, enjoying a gorgeous Saturday afternoon (28May05).

Poured a smidge cloudy yet still a striking golden color. Slow, sporadic carbonation meandering top-wards. Thin egg-shell white head layering things, though leaving intricate lacing. Lovely aromas of bready malts co-mingling with sharp, spicy hops. Mmmm! Body easily a medium, and fantastically smooth for a Pils. Glides over the tongue. Great taste (less filling!)... Ooops... Yes, great taste. Bready and a tad toasty. A touch dry but with a killer Noble hop spiciness that lasts and lasts while sticking all over the mouth and throat. Sooo quaffable. A top-shelf Pils! Had I closed my eyes I could have thought that I was somewhere in Bavaria or Bohemia.

Zum Wohl!!

overall: 4.75
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5


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Photo of donnebaby
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Kick ass pils. Signature Moonlight massive flavors combine in a 5 second trip of bitter grain and a crunching gush of potent toasty grain flavor. Smooth body, sharply bitter pils bite. Sour mash in the mouth. Lightly salty. Corn nuts.

Sampled at the Boonville Beerfest.

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Photo of francisweizen
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Believe the hype.

Fresh keg, tapped at Zeitgeist in the mission. Bright gold. Goldy gold, the most gold that fucking gold can get in a beer. Perfectly sized and contained head of thick egg cream white foam. Aromas are al that a pils should be, and nothing that a pils shouldn't be. Floral German/US hop varities lend this brew a great aroma of lemon, lime, bread dough, flowers, oranges, and more. The taste is a combination of the aromas but intensified, unified, and perfected. Mouthfeel is medium bodied to light with an intense small bubbled carbonation that never let's up lending this brew a perfect drinkability. Insanely drinkable. Refreshing and subtle, yet horribly complex and thought provoking. This is beer.

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Reality Czeck from Moonlight Brewing Company
4.3 out of 5 based on 288 ratings.
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