Reality Czeck | Moonlight Brewing Company

145 Reviews
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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 CliffBrake
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Monks' Kettle

A pretty golden color, crystal clear with a fine bead and a lasting head that leaves good lacing.

The aroma is herbal and nutty. The flavor is somewhat subdued compared to some pilsners I have enjoyed. It is somewhat spicy with a pronounced bitterness that lingers.

Perhaps not as balanced as it could be, and although quite tasty, it leaves me thinking about what I will try next. Perhaps that is the peril of being included on such an awesome tap list as the Monks Kettle has.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of my #1 beer series, the supposedly best Czech lager, according to this website. Served on draft at Flavor Bistro, served in a 16 ounce Moonlight Brewing company imperial pint glass.

Beer is yellow with a decent head on it, leaves some lacing behind. Head is made up of a thin monolayer of tiny bubbles and bigger, stray, medium and large bubbles that gravitate toward the edges and pop. Carbonation is moderate and steady.

Aroma is weak but it smell exactly like I expect it to, sweet pilsen malt aroma, no hint of yeast or sulfur.

Beer is light in body and served way too damn cold IMO. I wait and warm it up a little but get impatient. Shame on you Flavor, shame. Beer is mildly sweet up front and has moderate carbonation on the palate and finishes cleanly without being too dry. This was a high quality DONG tick for me and while I really appreciate the simplicity of this beer and it is done well, I can't think of anything that makes it special. Its not bittered, its just a classic example of the style, it embodies what a Czech pils is about. I'd have it again but I won't go out of my way for it again. Solid all around.

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Photo of plaid75
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Flavor Bistro, Santa Rosa, CA.

Poured a hazy medium straw hue with a one and a half finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light biscuity malt and vibrant noble hop spice.

The taste consisted of competing forces of grainy yet soft pilsner malt and spicy noble hops.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a superior pils.

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Photo of Beerenauslese
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured clear gold with a thin veil of a head, but still leaves some lacing on the glass.

Smells malty, floral, and salty.

Sweet malt taste, floral and citrus notes, a little acidity, ends with a slightly bitter hop finish.

Body is light and carbonation is sharp, giving this a crisply refreshing mouthfeel.

Finally, a pilsener that I can actually drink!

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Photo of rudylaw
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap @ Flavor Bistro

A golden straw pour with a thin, soapy rim. Looks extremely refreshing from jump... so let's dive in!

Well, we have a Pils here... but a really good one! Light citrus with lots of grass in the nose.

Taste is similar but I pick up a twinge of floral hops there too. Extremely crisp and refreshing. Easily the best pilsner I've ever encountered. Sharp carbonation, light mouthfeel and overwhelming drinkability. This one is a winner!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at The Monk's Kettle, San Francisco on July 17, 2010.

Although I found Moonlight Brewing's Reality Czech to be a touch malty, it otherwise hit the nail right on the head. It displayed a great golden color; a perfect white froth head with good retention; a swirling aroma of spicy/floral and slightly grassy hops over gently sweetish and straw-like malt; and a solid, balancing bitterness.

Nicely done!

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Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at Park Chow in San Francisco on Thursday, August 5th. Following review based on notes from that occasion.

Served in a flute.

Appearance: Arrived with a finger and a half's worth of soft, white foam on top. That head retained quite nicely thanks to gentle, continuous streams of carbonation, which were easy to spot through Reality Czeck's crystal clear, bright golden body. Each sip painted a layer of cappuccino-like, foamy lacing on the walls of the glass. Nearly flawless (a bit more retention would have given it a 5.0).

Smell: Sweet and complex. Cantelope, honey, and passion fruit were the first aromas that caught my attention; three components I wasn't expecting to find in a Czech pilsener. Oily hops and leafy vegetation were quick to follow. The clean malty backbone was certainly outshone by the aforementioned aromas, but it too was very pleasant and added a hint of wholegrain crackers. Extremely fun to whiff, expecially for such a light-bodied beer.

Taste: Citrus, honey, and leafy, oily hops came through first. A few sips in, I began picking up honeydew and passion fruit as well. The beer finished moderately bitter with just a touch of alcoholic dryness. Hop oils formed a thick coat on my palate, leading to a flavorful and lingering aftertaste. Very nice.

Mouthfeel: Malty and light-bodied with just a bit of oiliness from the hops. The assertive carbonation provided a lot of palate stimulation, but did it in a soft, rolling sort of way; in other words, it didn't sting at all. Finish was crisp and mildly dry, and led into a sweet, hoppy aftertaste. Great mouth-coating. Excellent!

Drinkability: If this were on-tap more often, it'd be my go-to beer in the city. I had two glasses at Park Chow: one on its own; the other paired with lasagna and a fresh salad. It was a great fit in both situations. If you ever spot this beer, give it a try!

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Photo of portia99
3.1/5  rDev -27.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco. Served in a standard pint glass.

A - Poured a somewhat pale, golden color with excellent clarity and only a skim coat of white foam that faded quickly down to a medium sized collar on the glass. No lacing.

S - Grassy and floral hops mixed in with some sweet malt, bready and biscuity notes too. Typical, but good example of the style.

T - Followed the aroma pretty well - grainy, biscuity, balanced malty sweetness, floral hops with a big earthy and bitter hop finish. Unfortunately, got a big dose of diacetyl in here too, which is a major detractor, especially in a style as light as this. Not sure how old the keg is - no reviews from the Toronado in a while, but I would expect the keg to be fresh here. The diacetyl really killed my enthusiasm for this one.

M - Medium bodied with appropriate medium carbonation.

D - Well, I came into it wanting to like this a lot. The keg at the Magnolia kicked when I was there earlier in the day so I was very happy to see this on tap at the Toronado. My first thought is that this is just an old keg or maybe it hadn't been poured in a while and was sitting in the lines, but at a place like the Toronado I wouldn't expect this. At any rate, the diacetyl was overpowering and really killed my enjoyment level on this. I'd love to give this one another shot at some point, but at least for now, it didn't live up to the hype or my expectations.

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Photo of Chizoad
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Trappist in Oakland.

Pretty average clear golden yellow pour with nearly no head save for the thinnest bit of soapy lacing on the top. Honestly I don't think I could have distinguished it from Bud at first glance, although it is a little darker.

Nice classic pilsner smell, followed up by the classic pilsner taste. If in fact this were a Czech pilsner, which it is not. Effectively it's the most well done version of Pilsner Urquell I've had. Not too sweet, and a great bitter finish.

Easy on the mouth, properly carbonated. A real pounder (oh and I pounded it).

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Photo of Sammy
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on tap at Toronado. Yellow coloured body with a white head. Grainy. Very nice session ale. Medium mouthfeel.Lightly sweet. To me, a good lager. Not much hops detected by my palate, and its early in the day. I am open minded, but I was expecting more.Appropriate carbonation.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Toronado

Pours a straw golden clear color with a very nice white head. Very nice lacing too.

Aroma is that authentic pils aroma. Very lagerish. Little malty in the nose.

Taste is probably the best pils I have yet to have. Nice and light malty flavor with a good lager touch. Very refreshing.

Mouthfeel is high carb and nice crisp dry feel.

Overall I wish I could get this more often. It's nice to just have a nice crisp pils every once in a while. And this is the best.

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

On tap at Monk and Kettle SFO 4.3.10 $5.25 pint.

Straw/light gold clear body, huge rising carbonation, two finger white soapy head slow dissipation, nice lacing. The nose is authentic Pilsener, clean smell and a grassy hop presence. Taste is very pils, a bit sweet up front, clean, reminds me a lot of Trumer Pils in a good way, but a bit sweeter. Mouthfeel is light, clean and crisp. Drinkability at this ABV is extremely high. A bit hoppy for the style and a little on the sweet side but that just adds to the allure of this fine offering from Moonlight. Another winner. probably the best American Pilsener I've had.

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Photo of DrJay
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Toronado in San Francisco.
Clear light gold with a thin white cap that faded to a collar. Lemony and grassy aroma, a bit floral with mild biscuity malt in the background. Solid bitterness with plenty of hoppy flavour, citrus and floral. Malt sweetness hit mid-palate. Finished with some mineral and herbal bitterness. Light bodied, moderate carbonation. One of the better pils I've had from a US brewery, solid all around. It just didn't blow me away like I expected it to. Hype? Maybe. Or perhaps I was spoiled by spending three years in PA surrounded by top notch lagers.

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Photo of bret27
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap @ the 515, Santa Cruz, CA

S: Clean lagery, but a bit more. Light herbal hops, citrus notes and sweetness.

A: Hazy golden w/white fluffy meringue head.

T: Clean sweet malt and earthy/spicy/herbal hops are in a great balance. They are both lighter than I'm used to in good beer, but true to the Bohemian Pils style

M/D: Mouth is a bit thicker than your might expect, but not menacing. Super drinkable of course. Good stuff.

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Photo of paytoplay
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

for the style, this is one of if not the best pilseners i've ever had. ballast points Pescadero being the other. sampled at woodshop 5.0 several times. great color, aroma, and very drinkable and probably the lowest alc beer in the room. felt and drank fresh, and would of been even better on a hot summer day. moonlight makes some great stuff.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.48/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap, 2/4/10 at Flavor. Served in a sloping half-pint glass.

Pale maize liquid with a touch of (chill?) haze and an even solid finger of magnolia foam. Soft peaks yield great retention. Clingy rings of lacing spread apart slowly without becoming submerged again.

Unitary pale malt aromatics - exceptionally clean. Very faint noble hops add a hint of hay.

The malt is superlative in the flavor profile. Pure, clean, potent, and faintly suggestive of fresh home-made tortilla chips (of all things). Succulent, sweet yet dry finish with a touch of honey and alfalfa. With nowhere to hide, I can find ZERO off notes.

Smooth, creamy, yet still light-bodied...lovely.

Simple need not mean simplistic - a thoroughly enjoyable example of the style.

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Photo of abecall98
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Not the biggest fan of pilsners, but after hearing about this from a buddy, I had to try it.

A - pour a cloudy yellow. Barely any head, but it laces amazingly.

S - bitter hops. Sweet malt. Tastes like most other pilsners I've had, only slightly more pleasantly bitter.

T - wow, crisp, bitter, sweet. Amazingly done. This beer is making me reconsider pilsners. I like it.

M - for a pilsner, it's a little thin. It's dry, and not very carbonated.

D - perfect. I could drink it all night. For a beer to make me reconsider a style completely, I gotta give it props.

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Photo of corby112
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On draft at Flavor Bistro.

Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow color with pale golden straw hues when held to a light source and a frthy, soapy two finger white head with excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with streaks and spots of soapy chunks of lace.

Slightly earthy/funky with a musty grassy/straw presence in the nose. Subtle earthy hops and a prominent pilsner malt character. There's also a good bit of light fruit, eapeciLly apple and banana.

Medium body which is happily much fuller than ai expected with a nice crisp light hop presence up front followed by a prominent pilsner malt presence and a very tasty earthy straw grass character. Very complex and easy to drink. ABV is decently masked with only slight alcohol presence. Light and crisp with a enough of a subtle hop bite up front and full malt body to make it complex and interesting. Recommended.

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Photo of cptierney
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa, about a 10 oz pour.

The pour was bountiful as my cup ranneth over. The liquid is a straw yellow, slightly hazy with thin trails of bubbles running along its sides. The head was minimal, though I attribute this to the heavy pour as opposed to the carbonation level of the beer. As I drank it down there was some slight traces of lacing.

The nose on this beer is sweet. Expecting the skunky dry odor of most pilsners, I was surprised by the honey goodness that met my nose. Not to be mistaken, a second whiff gave me some suggestions of those typical dry, crisp and mildly spicy notes that a typical pilsner contains, but the honey pervades.

This beer shines in the mouthfeel category. The light bodied liquid is easily gulped down and that Jusssttt perfect carbonation tickles the tongue making for an extremely thirst-quenching and refreshing pilsner.

My first impression of the taste is, like the nose, dominated by sweet honey. This is not a terribly dry pilsner, and while some purists will probably gripe, I am reveling in this fact. The spicing on this beer is divine with the mild piney hops melding with some sweet and light malts to make a delicious brew.

This beer does have the lovely pilsner quality of disappearing from the palate immediately leaving you ready for more and more. I could drink buckets of this stuff and find it to be a unique and pleasant take on a very old style.

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Photo of Jayli
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had at Toronada 12/5

A: This beer pours a nice translucent straw yellow with a one finger of off white head. Head recedes quickly leaving some sheety lacing.

S: Nose is of grains, corn, and a hint of spices and earthiness.

T: Taste starts slightly subdued with hints of citrus notes before moving in to a much stronger flavoring. Grain, biscuit and malt fill out the middle to give a more robust (as robust for the style as you can get) taste. Finish is a nice piney, earthy flavoring that really fill out this beer nicely.

M: Lighter side of medium body, medium carbonation, slick mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

D: This is a nicely crafted pilsner. Goes down easily, nocely balanced, not filling and one to sit with for an evening.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Flavor Bistro in Santa Rosa.

A: A hazy pale golden color with a fluffy white head which leaves some mild lacing. Served in an absolutely awesome Moonlight brewing glass (which I purchased).

S: A nice earthy and spicy hop aroma accompanied by citrus notes and a bit of sweet malt.

T: The flavors are quite similar to the nose. The hops definitely take the lead and lend a great earthy and spicy quality to the beer. The malt is certainly there, as are the citrus flavors. A pretty nice balance.

M: The carbonation is plentiful and helps to create a light, refreshing beer drinking experience.

D: This is a really refreshing and easy drinking beer. I'm not generally much of a lager fan, but this just has such great flavors and a nice light feel to it.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.71/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, and I must send a shout out to the Hopcam, otherwise I may have missed this opportunity. On to the beer:

Beautiful. This beer is deep golden straw in color, topped by an airy, puffy head that stays airy and puffy on top all the way until the last drop. Lots of healthy lacing sticks to the glass. It smells like a pilsner. Hay, grassy, herbal. The taste follows the smell. Lots of grass, hay, pale malt, and citric hop flavor, but blended together in harmony to create a beer that lifts off your tongue without effort. I wouldn't call this beer "light", I would call it lean.

I find it hard to believe that this beer is less than 5% ABV, but is full of all the pilsner qualities, and more, then molded together in a way like no other. No matter how you slice it, it's an outstanding pilsner. Only Brazil's very own Bamberg Tcheca comes close among pilsners in my book.

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Photo of vacax
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ. Nice to have this one in Orange County. I had given up on drinking this one without going to the Bay Area.

Pours golden with a compact white head. Despite the lack of stature in the head, I do get a pretty nice lacing down the backside of the glass as I drink from my pokal. I didn't notice at first in the low light, but there was loads of tiny bubbles making an effervescent showing here. The nose has a noble hops presence that is clear but not enormous. It is lightly fruity with some straw in it.

The flavor echoes the smell to some extent with the noble hopping, the straw character comes through for a nice moderate bitterness. Crisp finish with a little bit of earth to it. Medium bodied with a prickly amount of carbonation. This is a very refreshing beer. It wasn't the mindblowing experience that I had expected, just a real nice pils to enjoy. Definitely the best example of a pilsner from California, at least.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.22/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Toronado's in San Francisco. The beer was clear with a little haze, gold colored with a thin head and no lacing. The aroma was toasted malts with some light citrus like lemons or at most orange. The taste was similar to Pilsner Urquell, at least as much as I remember it, lightly hopped and understated which is OK for the style. Good carbonation, medium body, everything is OK but not mind-blowing like I hoped from a beer that's been on the top 100 for so long. Not sure what the appeal has been with this beer, I definitely didn't feel interested enough to get a second one.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Toronado San Francisco in August 2009.

A: Pours a golden color with a white head.

S: A decent amount of German noble hops, but nothing overpowering, and there isn't really too much else going on.

T: A good amount of grain matched against the noble hops, but nothing terribly special. Maybe it's the hype, but this one really didn't live up to my expectations. Nothing really set it apart from other pilsners that I've had.

M: Light with moderate carbonation.

D: Pretty drinkable, but not more so than most for the style. I didn't detect nearly as much of a hop presence as others have discussed, so I'll make sure to revisit it again in the future.

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