Highland Brewing

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Pilsner - German
Ranked #59
Ranked #18,499
3.9 | pDev: 11.03%
Highland Brewing
North Carolina, United States
Very Good
Notes: A finely nuanced pilsner featuring German Hallertau Blanc hops and three other Hallertau region varietals. Saphir, Perle, and Hersbrucker hops add notes of stone fruit, pepper, and lush grass to the German pilsner malt body. Cold fermented with lager yeast for a crisp, dry finish.
Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 97 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of hops_for_thought
hops_for_thought from New York

4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a can (19May2020) into a pint glass

L: pours a perfectly clear very light straw gold (srm ~1-2) with a thick, dense white head. Sticks around for a couple minutes, leaves chunky thick lacing

S: nice, classic lighter pilsner nose. Malt leads, getting fresh bread, biscuit, graham cracker. Slightly sweet. Followed closely by nice noble hop character, floral, herbal, slightly spicy

T: delivers the nose, with the hops and malt coming across almost simultaneously and very well. Bittering noble hop character, earthy and somewhat spicy, playing off of the nice graham cracker/bread malt flavor. Less of that sweet character that I got from the nose. Medium/long finish, slightly drying

F: medium carbonation, light body, moderately drying, crisp, drinkable

O: delicious, full flavored pilsner with great hop and malt character. Drinkable and refreshing

Aug 14, 2020
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SmokySignals from North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. can poured Into pilsner glass
looks the part - straw gold, clear, bible rising.. nice white head fades out , Lacing is present around the sides...
Aromas are faint today, but wait til the end....Highland always leaves a nice malty aroma in the empty glass.
Classic Pilsner taste, with a crisp, dry body with substance, and peppery hop presence. Almost a touch fuller/smoother than a typical Pils? Very drinkable! This is a real good versatile beer, folks! One of the best US pils I've had yet.
4.25 being "Repeatable, many times". Easily.

Mar 29, 2020
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Singlefinpin from North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a can into a pint glass
Appears Golden yellow, nice lacing and white head that dropped quickly.
Smells lightly bready, floral, lemony.
Taste follows the nose.
Mouth feel is light medium for the style. Nice amount of carbonation.
Overall, a good beer for the style.

Jan 28, 2020
Photo of Buckeye55
Buckeye55 from North Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Very good pilsner, just a bit shy of outstanding. Pours a pale yellow with full head. Aroma is grassy and malty. Taste follows with a hint of citrus and lime. Light mouthfeel and a crisp, clean, dry finish.

Nov 19, 2019
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Reef from South Carolina

4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can
Pale straw, healthy two fingers head, full lacing
Grassy, malt aromas
Pleasant hop flavors, biscuit, light citrus,
Light and refreshing but full of flavor
My favorite from Highland.

Mar 09, 2019
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Foyle from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz can into schooner glass. A sudsy, thick white head drops slowly with plenty of lacing. Color is clear pale straw. Aroma of grain and grassy hops. Mouthfeel is light and crisp with a dry finish. Flavors: cracker, lightly toasted malt, lemon and grassy hops. Overall: a worthy pilsner.

Jan 04, 2019
Photo of Dragginballs76
Dragginballs76 from South Carolina

4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours very clear yellow with thick foamy white head that lasts quite a while. Spotty lacing all around the glass.

Aroma - Floral hops, grassy, little sweet malt, some cracker.

Taste - Grassy up front, very mild smooth floral hops, toasted biscuit, little citrus.

Feel - Super light bodied crisp clean.

Overall - Excellent pilsner great flavors so well balanced easy drinking.

Sep 14, 2018
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mrmojoe from South Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pale, almost clear. A little citrus, a little bready malt, a little pepper perhaps, a grassy/herbal note, and a decent hop finish; it's all there, but very understated, in a good way. A very well balanced, easy drinking pilsner. A clear step above macro brews, and perfect for summer, or when you want good beer but don't want to be beat over the head with it.

Jul 29, 2018
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NotAlcoholicJustAHobby from Vermont

3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Filled 05/16/18

L- The beer pours a beautiful clear straw with a full four fingers of pure white foam. The head recedes to a thin ring leaving modest lacing.
S- The nose is light both with spicy and earthy hop tones. There is just the slightest hint of sulfur in the backround.
T- Like the nose the hops hit you up front with spicy and earthy tones. The malt is light, but the bitterness I perceived is likewise light overall and it comes across as a balanced beer.
F- Overall mouthfeel is light. Carbonation is only moderate which takes away from the lightness a bit. All in all, it's still an easy drinking beer.
O- A good pilsener overall. It lacks a bit in bitterness and carbonation, but those are my only nitpicks. I'll have no problem finishing the 6 pack. Worth the money if your looking for an American pilsener.

Jul 01, 2018
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rapayn01 from Kentucky

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've had this a couple of times on tap at local restaurants and bars. It is a really good example of the style, though I probably inflate my taste scores by a quarter point when beers are on tap and tasty. I should look for this pilsener in cans because I enjoy the crisp refreshment in the summer.

Jun 08, 2018
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superspak from Ohio

3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce can into lager glass, canned on 6/20/2017. Pours slightly hazy/cloudy pale golden yellow color with a 1 finger fairly dense and rocky white head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of lemon, peach, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, light pepper, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with pale malt and light-moderate earthy hop notes; with solid strength. Taste of lemon, peach, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, light pepper, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness. Light-moderate herbal, floral, grassy, peppery bitterness on the finish. Lingering notes of lemon, cracker, white bread dough, lightly toasted biscuit, light pepper, herbal, and floral/grassy earthiness on the finish. Very nice robustness and balance of pale malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; with a great malt/bitterness balance, and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Perfectly clean on lager flavors, with zero yeast notes present. Light-moderate increasing dryness from bitterness. Medium carbonation and light-medium body; with a very smooth, moderately crisp, and bready/grainy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is great. Zero warming alcohol for 5.5%. Overall this is a very nice German pilsener. All around nice robustness and balance of pale malt and light-moderate earthy hop flavors; very smooth, crisp, and refreshing to drink with the modestly bitter/drying finish. Very flavorful and not watery for the ABV. Really great clean pils malt showcase, with nice earthy hop balance. A bit of fruitiness from the hops; but this is really traditional tasting, spot on stuff for the style. A very enjoyable offering.

May 19, 2018
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Dieseltech1982 from North Carolina

2.04/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.25

Not worth the time or money. Awful for a pilsner. No hops at all. Highland could do much better. I was very disappointed, tasted bland and very plain.

Jul 22, 2017
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DrMullet from Florida

3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly hazy pale straw yellow.
Smell is grassy hops with a hint of pepper.
Tastes like it smells. Grassy with some pepper.
The finish is a slightly sweet fruit.

May 21, 2017
Photo of JimKal
JimKal from North Carolina

3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

This is yet another pilsner that just didn't work for me. Pours a nice yellow with good carbonation, a decent head, and nice lacing on the drink down. But for taste and mouthfeel I much prefer Woosie.

May 18, 2017
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chinchill from South Carolina

3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can with a 30 November 2016 date stamp on the bottom into a lager glass.
Pours pale golden in color with fine clarity and visible carbonation. A good sized white head proves to be capable of leaving fine lacing even as it reduces to a thin top coat rather quickly.
Mild for style, mainly due to a rather light hop load, this is a clean and refreshing pilsner. Good, if a bit subtle, complexity. Nice medium-light body with proper carbonation and a reasonably dry finish.

Overall: recommended, but enjoy the subtleties and don't expect to be hit over the head with HOPS.

Apr 26, 2017
Photo of argock
argock from Virginia

3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. Bottled on mixed 12-pack received as a Christmas gift from a co-worker.

A: clear pale yellow with white frothy 2-finger head and decent lacing.

S: Crackery, ready pils graininess with mild herbal, slightly grassy hops aromas

T: Solid pils flavor, not as bitter as it probably should be but with solid pils malt crackery character with herbal, honeysuckle, and floral hops notes. Low-medium bitterness that may have fallen off due to age.

M: Fairly crisp but I think could use a bit more carbonation to make the body a bit light and bite a little sharper.

O: Solid beer and would be glad to have anytime -- would love to have a fresher example and will update when that happens.

Jan 18, 2017
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BeerAndGasMasks from Virginia

3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the can, it pours a nice light golden color with a sweet, fluffy, head. The head lasts a while. Citrus in the nose. The mouth gets the ever so slightly bitter malt flavor. Yum!

Nov 22, 2016
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Jason from Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

12oz can, sample from the brewery.

Brewer's intention is a German style Pilsner. Clear golden hue, lot of bubbles rushing to the top. The hop character is pretty deep, more than just one or two hops are used. German Hallertau Blanc, a few other Hallertau types, Saphir, Perle, and Hersbrucker hops produce a fresh grass, lemony, peppery, dragonfruit, tea-like, and leafy tone in the nose and on the palate. Ample hop bitterness weighs on the pale malt backbone. Clean and refreshing with a hint of alcohol in the finish. A spectacular brew.

Nov 21, 2016
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TheSixthRing from California

4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and bright, straw yellow in color. White, near finger head with decent retention, resulting in thin, broken layer of suds. Fair lacing with some spotting and a few broken lines.

Smell - Aroma is mostly lightly fruity (think a trio of apple, grape and faint apricot) and a bit of grain, with hints of black pepper and some fresh cut grass.

Taste - Follows the nose a bit. Lots of clean grain and fresh grass up front and throughout. Lesser notes of black pepper spice and some very light fuitiness come through mid-taste. Faint caramel in the finish that is otherwise dominated by the aforementioned hop character and fair grain notes, along with a hint of mild lemon.

Mouthfeel - Light-to-medium in body with moderate carbonation. Slightly bitey. Not as crisp and dry in the finish as one might want in a pilsner, but nothing much to complain about here, either.

Overall - This is a unique and fantastic tasting pilsner. Not the sharpest, easiest drinking pilsner, but nothing that would be too heavy even on the hottest of days. All the Highland beers I've tried have been quite solid in the very least. I'd recommend them to anyone looking to try a brewery with solid beers throughout all styles.

Oct 27, 2016
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scbeerman from South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Likely the best American-made old-world style pilsner I've had. Perfectly balanced between mildly bready malt and peppery, herbal, and lightly tropical notes from a mixture of old and new German hop varieties, it finishes clean, crisp, and inviting. Mouthfeel is creamier than I sometimes prefer, likely as a result of higher-than-average ABV for the style. Still, an excellently executed take on the style. For $7.99 a six pack, this is tough to beat.

Sep 15, 2016
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chamberscreek from Texas

3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pilsners are a tough lot for me to review. They're a great beer during the hot summer season, but tougher to pull out much character. The Highland Pilsner fills the bill for summer refreshment, and it's certainly far better than average. It opens up with a crisp, lightly-citrusy aroma, with a hint of something -- almost a melon flavor (just not sure). Bubbles are just right. There's not a lot of ooomph in the middle of this beer, but that's a pilsner -- it still manages to show some flavor and character, and ends with a nice clean finish. Very drinkable without being boring.

Aug 31, 2016
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OldManMetal from North Carolina

4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This crystal-clear, very effervescent paleish-gold beer is topped by a large white rocky head that shows modest retention; lacing is fair, consisting of bands and dots. The nose is light, leading with lemony cookie-dough malt, beautifully balanced by spicy Noble hops, all overridden by light alcohol overtones- understated but deliciously well-executed. The palate is bigger than the nose: a very slightly sweetish grainy/biscuity malt hedged round by a modest Noble hop spice and a slight tartish lemon character; the bitterness is pleasant but on the lighter end of the range for the style. The finish is quite clean, showing just a hint of caramel, though it is fairly astringent and has a good carbonation bite; the linger is a moderate spicy/tannic bitterness that lasts for awhile. Mouthfeel is right for the light body, and the texture is medium-creamy and quite peppery from the enthusiastic carbonation. (12 oz can, 100 days after pkg)

Aug 20, 2016
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OldSwampy from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Canned 05/12/16, poured & enjoyed 25 July 2016.

Straw gold, essentially clear with a white head that left a little lacing on my glass. Nice mildly bready or crackery aroma with what I imagine as a light golden hops aroma, slightly spicy. Taste presents a great balance of light bready malt and crisp hops. Both were fresh & clean but made their presence known distinctly. A good, maybe great, pilsner that doesn't try to be anything else.

Jul 26, 2016
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John1985 from Tennessee

4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice yellow gold with a quick fading head. Aroma was bready malts with some hops in back. Very balanced flavor of malt sweetness and hops with a slightly bitter finish. Very flavorful and refreshing. This is a nice change up from my usual prima pils and Nooner.

Jul 13, 2016
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ChainGangGuy from Georgia

3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce can - $1.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazed, blonde body with a medium-small, white head.

Smell: A little grassy, grainy with some lightly sweetish subtle honey tones and a singular drop of lemon.

Taste: A subtly honeyish taste of lightly bready, lightly biscuits pils malt. Grassy herbaceousness tamed with a touch of sweet, clean lemon. Acceptably bitter. Drying finish with light, lingering tastes of pilsner malt and sun-dried herb.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Medium carbonation.

Overall: A decent pils.

Jul 05, 2016
Pilsner from Highland Brewing
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 97 ratings