Small Craft Warning
Heavy Seas Beer

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Pilsner - Imperial
Ranked #31
Ranked #31,060
3.78 | pDev: 12.17%
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States
Very Good
Small Craft WarningSmall Craft Warning
Notes: Über Pils

Arguably our most well-balanced beer, Small Craft Warning seems at once hop-forward and malt-forward; our brewers debate over which flavor force prevails in the beer. Small Craft exemplifies a robust pilsner - it's crisp, well-carbonated, and slightly sweet. The beer is characterized by a firm malt backbone and a pronounced hop character. A fine aroma, from an array of hops, completes this quaffable beer.
Reviews: 594 | Ratings: 1,102 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of q33jeff
q33jeff from New Jersey

1.38/5  rDev -63.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.25


Bottle to pint glass

AROMA: Rice, Aldehyde
LOOK: Beer color, small white head.
TASTE: Rice cereal, Aldehyde - not pleasant at all.light

A Dumper.


Jun 15, 2017
Photo of Lone_Freighter
Lone_Freighter from Vermont

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Into my pilsener glass, it pours a light golden color and leaves the same color body. A one inch white foamy head appears and settles to a half-centimeter fairly quickly and leaves a nice show of speckled spider web lacing. Carbonation rises at a moderate pace. The smell has the malts up front with a nice fighting punch from the noble hops helping to give a decent spiciness. The taste is well balanced between the malts and hops helping to make it slightly sweet and bitter in different ways. The palate is about a medium with nothing harsh on the tongue, great balance all around. I would say this is very drinkable. Overall, this is good and I’d come back to it.

Jun 10, 2017
Photo of Dirtyhands
Dirtyhands from Maryland

3.57/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Not balanced. Alcohol comes through, not heat but overpowering flavor-wise. Dogfish nailed a 10% imperial pilsner. I recommend that 1000% over this mess. Sorry heavy season, but toured going to have to try harder.

Mar 08, 2016
Photo of Myotus
Myotus from Texas

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured at 45°F from a 12oz bottle (best by date 27Mar16) into a Pilsner glass. Consumed on 27Jan16.
LOOK: Pours with two fingers worth of dense, off-white that grows to three fingers worth after 1 minute and a half. After 3 minutes, the foam head has showed no signs of shrinking. Gold in color with a plethora of medium-sized rising bubbles. Lacing is high in quantity and both thick and thin in various areas.
SMELL: Strong aromas of biscuits meet mild aromas of caramel and subtle aromas of spicy, floral, and bitter hops. There is a hint of alcohol that actually combines well with the other aromas.
TASTE: Strong biscuit flavors enter immediately and are quickly followed my mild grainy malt flavors. Mild caramel flavors enter next and are immediately followed by mild floral and spicy hop aromas. Mild bitter hop flavors enter lastly as all previous flavors push on.
FEEL: Full-bodied and moderately carbonated. Goes down smooth. Finishes with a moderate dryness. A barley noticable alcoholic warmth can be felt as it goes down the throat.
NOTE: A little too much hoppiness in the taste in my opinion. The sudden appearance of the grainy malt flavors also weren't of my liking. Everything else was spot on.

Jan 27, 2016

2.56/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Friend gave me a mixed 12-pack for Christmas. Trying this Uber Pils first. Love pirate history so the label design is appealing. Light color, Pils smell, hoppish flavor hits the roof of your mouth. Nothing really interesting or remarkable here. Easy drinking! 7.0% ABV...enjoy!

Jan 16, 2016
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GregBarleycorn13 from New York

3.89/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much darker than I expected for a pilsner. Orange-brown with a head that didn't last long. Smelled maltier than I thought it would, too. I was expecting pilsner but got more of a malty slightly hopped bock style beer, to my enjoyment! Really was good and will search for more.

Jan 05, 2016
Photo of hopphead31415
hopphead31415 from Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At 7% ABV this pilsner, rather an Uber Pilsner, promises to be a game changer in the world of pilsners which are usually one-dimensional and a bit on the weak side. This variety by Heavy Seas, however, is something much more.

Look-Pours a brilliant honey amber color and has a humble white head and is pleasantly hazy.

Smell-It has a rich malty aroma and floral overtones as well as some hints of hops and ample alcohol. I smell honey-suckle, fruits, and bready malts.

Taste-I get a beautiful and complex flavor. The taste follows the nose, but I get a lot of wheat, honey, bready malts, fruity esters, and Belgian yeast. It is similar to a Weizenbock, I think in its fruity and malty complexity. The hops are present as well and make this well balanced beer one of a kind in its class.

Mouthfeel/Overall-This medium-bodied brew is stunningly a Pilsner and is so complex and well-balanced that I was started when I first tried it. It drinks more like a very well executed pale ale. I think experts would agree that it is hard to discern whether this is more malt-forward or more hop-forward. Great job Heavy Seas!

Dec 30, 2015
Photo of hophead723
hophead723 from California

4.21/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer as part of a mixer 12 pack by Heavy Seas, very fairly priced at only $13.99! Three of these and a few other options were include. I've always loved a strong Pilsner. I poured this into an American Pilsner glass.

Look: Hazy orange-copper, sudsy slightly off-white head that clings surprisingly well, like an IPA.

Smell: FANTASTIC aroma! The aroma of this beer is absolutely unbelievable and delicious! It smells like a lot of the great Maibocks I have encountered. Mild malty sweetness and multi-layered floral complexity that I can't even pin down properly. There is a lot of honeysuckle, fruity esters, and dough.

Taste: The taste is just like the nose; very complex and delicious. I get unfiltered Buckwheat honey, Pacific Rose apple, a flash of grassy hops that are delicate yet forward, and some cracked barley at the back end.

Feel: The mouthfeel is entirely medium bodied, with a subtly dry finish that glows with a pleasant toasty aftertaste.

Overall: This is an exquisite beer that could easily replace ANY pale ale without even trying. Proof that a Pilsner can be awesome, if brewed properly.

Dec 30, 2015
Photo of philbe311
philbe311 from Pennsylvania

3.95/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - A finger's worth of audibly fizzy light khaki colored froth which is equal parts creamy and crisp... Excellent retention... The head turns creamier as it settles into a full thick creamy lacing... The color is a slightly hazed and slightly muted amber... Loaded with small bubbled quick paced carbonation throughout...

S - A very subdued aroma... Cereal grains... Caramel... The slightest whiff of some noble hops...

T - The palate is dialed up several notches from the subdued aroma... The palate is dominated by malt, malt and more malt... Cereal grains... Biscuits... Light caramel and toffee notes... There is just the most subtle of earthy hop presence... The finish is pleasant and there is a very faint bit of pepper on the finish which I think adds additional depth and complexity to this already solid offering...

M - Medium bodied... Smooth... Slightly creamy... Slightly chewy... Lush... Just a touch of brisk carbonation... Even and consistent... Coats the mouth fully...

D - Simple, straight-forward and fantastically effective... Quaffable to an insane degree... Goes down smoothly sip after sip... Not sure I would have pegged this one as a pilsner, but regardless it's just a good brew... I would drink this with regularity on any occasion... A job nicely done by Heavy Seas...

Sep 29, 2015
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a straw color with a slight head and lacing
A-Aroma has slight malt hints
T-The taste follows the nose with a slight malt flavor
M-A medium bodied decently carbonated beer
O-A decent Imperial Pilsner

Sep 26, 2015
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thepenguin from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 2/29/12...leap day beer.

L: Pours a goldish color.

S: Noble hop aroma mingles with bready maltiness.

T: Hops hit you right away but are accompanied by significant maltiness. I think it is the maltiness that really sets this beer apart from a standard pilsner more so than additional hops. Flavor is also bready, rich, with a fairly malty finish. Hop character is unmistakably Noble: spicy and grassy.

F: Medium-full body; a fuller body than I would have expected and also another feature that makes it stand apart from a standard pilsner. Very slight alcoholic heat, but for an “imperial” anything its pretty subdued.

Overall: I’m usually not the biggest fan of lagers but this is a really well crafted beer that makes a beer geek rethink their stance on lagers. It’s got the strong flavor, richness, and complexity that I love in ales, but also the clean, crispness, and drinkability of a lager…plus all that noble hop goodness.

Sep 24, 2015
Photo of LogicalDave
LogicalDave from Pennsylvania

2.9/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

Appearance: Dark gold/ amber. In my opinion the classic look for a beer.
Smell: Slightly...chemical scent, but with a heavy yeast smell. Definitely reminds me of baking bread.
Taste: Nothing special as far as beer goes. Slightly bitter. Again, extremely heavy on yeast taste.
Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, very lightly carbonated. It reminded me of slightly flat ginger ale.

Sep 06, 2015
Photo of Zach136
Zach136 from Georgia

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Mostly clear gold body, thin cap.

Aroma/Flavor: Citrus/earthy hop over a sweet malty body. With a touch of booze on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, touch of hop linger and booze.

Jun 05, 2015
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner from Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Called an Uber Pils for a reason this amps up the Pilsner style malts with a slight hop bitterness. Very good but a tad bitter. Lots of cereal maltiness.

May 31, 2015
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microbrewlover from Pennsylvania

3.4/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This brew pours a 50% transparent straw color with a lot of carbonation and a one finger white head which lasts along with very light lacing.

The smell is malty, grassy, cracker like along with spicy hops. It smells like there is a lot of caramel and sweet malts.

The taste follows the nose with a well blended hop/malt combination. The malts are both sweet and caramel. There is a light cracker like taste along with a slight grassy taste. The finish is dry with spicy malts in and just a little gritty.

Overall this is a nicely hopped Pils. It compares nicely with, say "S.N. "Beer Camp; Hoppy Lager"

May 08, 2015
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predikit from Massachusetts

3.02/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer was very malty but had some flavors which did not agree with me. I was very turned off by it, but I got used to it by the third beer which is no plus in it's favor. Can't say I would ever go for this brew again.

Apr 12, 2015
Photo of UPMD_Bill
UPMD_Bill from Maryland

4/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Usually I'm not a big pilsner fan so surprised that I liked it.
Tastes of honey and grass. Heavier and richer than it looks at first. Enough carbonation to balance it out.

Apr 01, 2015
Photo of xmorgan
xmorgan from California

4.01/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer has a clean white head and moderate lacing, it has a sweatness and alcoholic taste reminding me of a bock, Helles bock fits this verse Pilsner

Mar 07, 2015
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SierraFlight from Virginia

2.42/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Purchase by December 2013. It's July of '14. Uh, oh. 12oz bottle poured into stange. Lovely auburn color with thin white head that quickly fades. No lacing. Aroma indicates oxidation, but caramel malt comes through. Flavor is pleasantly malty, however tinny oxidation is hard to get over. Medium body, creamy texture, lower carbonation, semi-dry finish. Drank a quarter and then drain poured, but would definitely give a fresh one a shot.

Feb 26, 2015
Photo of Lucular
Lucular from Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

3 bottles acquired as part of a Heavy Seas "Sunken Sampler" 12-pack. A straightforward, enjoyable brew that I would be happy to have again in the future.

Jun 25, 2014
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JednoPivoProsim from Maryland

4.24/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. BEST BY JUL1214.

Appearance: Pours a crisp honey golden body with a decent off white head.

Smell: Rich sweet pilsner malt, slight metallic Euro hop aroma. Nice.

Taste: Pure helles bock. Strong rich sweet full bready malt flavor. Slight taste of hops, but primarily malty.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full bodied. Nice.

Overall: I wouldn't necessarily classify this as an imperial pils, more like a helles bock. Very nice nonetheless.

May 20, 2014
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barczar from Kentucky

3.52/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant caramel with a lingering frothy cream head.

Floral hops, crackery malt, light caramel sweetness, and a malt liquor note form the aroma. Malt sweetness dominates.

Flavor reveals bitter hops, which are the only noticeable character at the first sip. Floral notes creep in later, resting on a subtle caramel malt base that eventually becomes specialty malt fruity and estery. There's a slightly offputting metallic note.

Body is on the full side with moderate carbonation and noted alcohol warmth. The finish is fairly crisp.

Not sure what I expected from an uber pils, but this is too bitter for my liking, and the alcohol overwhelms. The floral hops are nice, but the esters detract.

May 09, 2014
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ThisWangsChung from Maryland

2.38/5  rDev -37%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours an amber color. The head is a one finger off-white shade with a nice, creamy texture. While the retention isn't the best, it does leave some lacing behind on the glass.

S: It's kind of hard to decide what's in the aroma. Okay, I pick up some floral hops, and maybe some herbs, as well. Oh, and some nondescript citrus tones. The malts in particular are too strange for me to like this aroma. A shame.

T: If the aroma was somewhat indecipherable, then the flavor is almost totally indecipherable. I get wisps of defined notes - herbs, grass, citrus, ginger, malt - in random places, but nothing that pops out. This beer is messy and, frankly, not very good. It's also metallic.

M: Full and creamy, yet not too sweet. Normally, I'd enjoy that, but since I don't like the flavor, it's hard to approve of the mouthfeel, either. Carbonation could be a little stronger.

O: Meh. Every once in a while sipping this, I'll think "hey, it's a decent brew", and then the next sip later, I go back to think "meh, don't like this very much". And there are even some sips where I consider a drainpour. Luckily, I toughed this one out - and I can safely say this is the only one I'll tough out.

Jan 20, 2014
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A_Frayed_Knot from Virginia

3.16/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured a decent foam to start which dissipated quickly, yet lacing along the glass lingers a good while, which is mysterious. Aroma not overwhelming nor overly defining of what's to come. It seems almost flat for lack of carbonation that I would expect other than the fact I'm getting this out of a bottle -- on tap could've been different. Mostly an average pils experience compared with others... There is a pleasant taste that really comes through mostly with the aftertaste, my palate feels "tricked" into thinking there was more than what it really was. I'm likely to share this with fellow consumers who tend away from hops or dark brews i.e. for whom a pilsener would be ideal. Possibly because I've such hops-affinity I feel getting an opinion from a regular adjunct-beer consumer would be interesting if they tried this beer. Nor did I notice the 7 ABV, since I'm usually kind of sensitive to the amp'd up alcohol content of select beers.

Dec 14, 2013
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BMMillsy from Florida

2.81/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Bottle from beer of the month club. Pours deep clear orange with a small white head. Aroma is different. Some pale lager weirdness and a little bit of spiciness and fruit that I am not digging at all. Flavor is a bit fuller than a regular adjunct, dry corn and musty, dirty hay. Funky finish and a bit of light fruit. Light to medium mouthfeel and somewhat under-carbonated. Not my favorite, and I have yet to enjoy anything from Heavy Seas.

Oct 14, 2013
Small Craft Warning from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 1102 ratings