Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Über Pils) | Heavy Seas Beer

Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)
Liked This Beer
3.74 w/ 1,101 ratings
Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by farHillsBrewer on 03-12-2004

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,101 |  Reviews: 592
Photo of Phatz
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a rich full ubber pilsner. Nice. Like DFH Golden Shower this beer is sweet and malty but not so sharply sugary. It is also perfectly dry and hoppy.

I let this one warm and served in my pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours clear gold and has a hint of amber in the hue. White head. Rather typical in appearance and then the surprises begin.

Smell: Some doughy attributes and then a grassy hop character fill the nose with a rich and full aroma (for a pilsner).

Taste & Mouthfeel: Extremely approachable and even more quaffable! This beer is front loaded with sweet bready malt flavors. It is so smooth its ridiculous the mouthfeel is almost an extension of the flavor. The flavors are beautifully complex as the sweet teeters off into the bitter and the entire experience seems well orchestrated and planned to a T. All the way through the beer there is a zippy spicy element that keep you on your toes. The aftertaste is glorious, dry and grassy but balanced with hints of sweetness, and last just long enough for you to begin to revel in it but then fades before you start to worship it. That requires you to drink another sip to get more which leads us to drinkability.

Drinkability: DANGEROUS! The 7.5% ABV is so well hidden you won't know it's over five, until the third one. This beer is so refreshing and easy to put back, you'll wonder after the second why do a feel so warm and the third will still go down. Certainly it is not a session beer but unfortunately you don't figure that out right away ;-) it is so tasty and drinkable.

Hope this is helpful.

 1,590 characters

Photo of ShootingBull
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A = light to medium amber.
S= bready, and a little fruity
T= malty and fruity up front with a slight hoppy bite and dry finish.
M= slightly caramel/syrupy feel, light body.

I thought it was very pleasant and a bit surprising. I'm normally more of a PA or IPA drinker but this pilsner was quite a surprise. A friend of mine likened it to a "light" pale ale. I would drink it again, I think it would be great on a warm summer afternoon to have a couple of these. Unfortunately, those warm afternoons are gone for a few months...

 531 characters

Photo of LvilleIPA
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Came in a Heavy Seas Variety 12 pack along with the Peg Leg Stout, Loose Cannon and Winter Storm.

A - A golden color with a thick white head that lasts for a good amount of time. Some lacing's left as it goes down.

S - Smells like a "lighter" IPA. Citrus, hops, and some malt.

T - Tastes excellent. One of the better "double" pilsners I've ever had. It's medium bodied, lots of great flavors. Smooth, yet relatively hopped up. It's not a hop bomb though - it's well balanced by a smooth malt background. It tastes very similar to an IPA.

M - Some light carbonation that leaves a slightly dry taste in the mouth, but disappears relatively quickly. Very, very smooth and light.

D - For a beer of 7% ABV, this seems like it'd be a great session beer. A great lager that can be enjoyed any time of the year.

 819 characters

Photo of MrHurmateeowish
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle purchased as part of a multi-pack at Florian's. Translucent amber body with a half inch of off-white head that leaves a small amount of lacing. Smells like apricot and caramel malt with hints of yeast. Tastes like caramel malt with supporting citrus hops. Rich sweetness dominates the flavor. Seems like a hint of mint in this brew too. Full flavor is complimented by a creamy mouthfeel and a moderate amount of carbonation. Overall a well-made drinkable beer.

 478 characters

Photo of Gehrig
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Don't judge Heavy Seas by its cover, for though it looks like a straightforward pilsener, it most assuredly is anything but. Nice off-white layer of foam on a fairly dark golden body, with bits of lacing on the pint glass. Fine. The nose veers toward a 4.5 score, but falls just short despite being far more hopped and malty than every other pilsener shy of Sam Adams' Hallertau. Really good smell.

Ah the taste. This is damn good, full of hop richness and complexity more smooth than bitter though there certainly is bitterness present. The malt does much to offset the hops without stunting the rich aroma and flavor. Orange, grapefruit, and a hint of berry. Really excellent.

The mouthfeel is hard to beat, smooth, crisp but with lots of texture. This is one worth grabbing a couple sixers, cellaring one and chilling the other for a warm summer night on the porch. Easily one of my very favorites from Clipper City. Well done.

 932 characters

Photo of timtim
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wow! I don't know why I put off sitting down with this one for so long. Hazy golden color with a fluffy white head that leaves some pretty good lace. Smells of nice pilsner malt, bready/biscuity as well and has a great citrusy/ floral (mostly citrus) hop character. Same as the smell, but even better, the hoppy taste is really balanced out by the nice biscuity malty flavors. Medium bodied (heavier than i would expect from a lager) and fairly silky, the carbonation is really fine, and carries this delectable beverage down the throat with an ever so slight bitter finish. Very very drinkable and enjoyable. Go B'more!!

 621 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A double pilsner? What in the world is that? Since I'm not that partial to pils, will this be just more of what doesn't appeal to me? I have to say that I much prefer the Uber Pils designation on the label; it makes the beer sound tougher, cooler somehow. To finish up my stream of conciousness observations, the label art is very well done.

Bright amber-gold with the barest suggestion of orange, topped by a large, frothycreamy, ivory head that sustains itself admirably and leaves behind scattered wisps of chunky lace. The nose is interesting and is different from any pilsner you're likely to run across. Its primary feature is that it's characterized by dueling hops.

In this corner, the gun-totin' Texan... Amarillo. And in this corner, 'Mr. Traditional'... Saaz. Amarillo wins comfortably, which may play havoc with the style purists out there, but, come on, these guys had to do something out of the ordinary to make their beer stand out. The fact that they chose to use one of my favorite hops makes me applaud the decision all the more.

Very, very nice. Those Amarillo hops are not backin' off on the palate. In fact, I'm having some difficulty appreciating the Saaz at all. As befits the 'double' nature of this beer, the malt structure is significant; much meatier than a standard pils by a fairly large margin.

Pale malt provides sweetness, structure and smoothness, but not much flavor (that's a good thing). The hops are much more flavorful than they are bitter, although there is a mild tightening on the finish. A beautiful, ample body completes the picture of a top-notch beer from start to finish.

Small Craft Warning is a beer for lovers of big beer. Throw all preconceived notions of the pilsner style out the window and just enjoy this sucker for what it brings to the table: loads of hop flavor and a lush, velvety body that carries that flavor across the palate with panache. Many thanks to lackenhauser for the opportunity.

 1,966 characters

Photo of yesyouam
4.34/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Small Craft Warning is a hazy golden lager with a somewhat diminishing, soft and splotchy, white head. The aroma is strong in the hops department. It is piny, wooden and fruity... like orange. It's strong but soft. It is medium bodied, very smooth and has a clean finish. It has a very full taste from the grain up to the hops. The bitterness is well-managed. The flavor becomes slightly sweet as the flavor progresses. Excellent flavor. It's so bright and brassy! Yes!
(rated Aug 10, 2007)

 490 characters

Photo of stirgy
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This beer just erupted out of the bottle and into my glass. Highly carbonated to the point of looking like a golden colored spritzer. A beautiful creamy white head topped off the beer and had very good retention throughout. The aroma gives off a lovely sweet honey maltiness along with sweet and grassy floral hops. Well matched aromas with just a touch sour mash malt in there.

The taste is very nice. Bittersweet and robust. This claims to be an Uber-pils and it seems to be just that. Like a German Pilsner on steroids. Full bodied and hearty. Highly attractive and inticing. Overall, this is a beer with guts. Not your typical Pilsner, but an amped-up version that has an originality about it that I like. I felt like I tried something new here, and I like it. Well done and probably underrated.

 807 characters

Photo of cracker
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is an exceptional offering from Clipper City, my favorite of their line. It is slightly on the dark golden side for a pilsner but that's about all I can fault it for. It has a wonderful crisp, clean, dry taste to it. Great body but no floral or fruity notes (which is appropriate for the style). Noble hops come through strongly in both smell and taste but do not give any stringent metallic aftertaste. Furthermore, this one is not skunked or oxidized as are the majority of pilsners sold in the US (Get a locally made pilsner and you'll encounter a whole new delight!).

It is now offered year round which is great news! Go out and get some now!

 655 characters

Photo of chilidog
4.33/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very nice pils to be had, A double pils at that, and a double will do me fine for I could see keeping accouple of these on hand year round.

It pours a nice dark golden straw, a white maintaining two inch head that laced real well.

The aroma was malted grain, citric and alittle hint of the 7.5%.

The taste was alittle grain, oat, lemon zest and a sweet malt that has alcohol as a backdrop.

Nothing over-takes this beer, its a good one, for an overall stong lager. It holds up to any man's meal with ease.

Drinkability, no problem, like I said, all year round.

 576 characters

Photo of chOAKbarrell
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Budweisermillercoors have made "pilsner" a dirty word, but hopefully this "uber pils" from Clipper city will do a little to help change the way people look at pilsners. It certainly did for me.

Pours the expected light golden color. Smell is sweetish, maybe some citrus in there.

The taste is excellent! Its hard to believe this is a pilsner. The hops are very present, which is great. Its a crisp brew, and the alcohol is strong. Medium-low carbonation, and plenty of body. Very satisfying and filling for such a light beer.

The beer with four names: Clipper City Heavy Seas Small Craft Warning Uber Pils is highly recommended. I can easily say its the best pilsner I've ever had.

 690 characters

Photo of BeerSox
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into imperial pint glass.

Hazy amber with a one finger off-white head that holds well. Solid lacing running down the glass. The head eventually settles to a thin frothy cap.

Plenty of grassy sweet smelling hop aroma to mask whatever light malt aroma is present.

A malt backbone supports the slightly citrusy hop flavor through the entire experience. A touch of honey is available in the middle of each sip. Medium bodied with a bit of fizzy carbonation. The finish is some lingering hop bitterness.

Usually a strong hoppy pilsner is something I want to stay away from, but this one seems to be well balanced considering the strong amount of hoppiness. It's American Styling throughout, and it's like the lager equivalent of a strong American Pale Ale, or maybe a modest American IPA.

 808 characters

Photo of geexploitation
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was skeptical about this at first, but it won me over. Pours a light gold with a sticky head and endless upward stream of bubbles. The aroma is quite spicy, but the hops have a fruity character that indicates something aside from Saaz hops were used. The flavor of this beer is quite nice. It starts off bitter, then veers toward dextrin sweetness before moving back to bitter again. Throughout all this, the beer displays a spice profiile unlike other pilsners I've had. Mouthfeel is thick and round throughout, and the only drawback to drinkability is the ABV. Overall, an excellent pilsner that I'd definitely have again.

 626 characters

Photo of tburkhart
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchase by Oct. '08

A - Pretty well the definition of Pilsner. Clear and Golden.

S - Malty as can be with a slight floral hop.

T - Slightly sweet with an almost overwhelming malt profile.

M - Smooth and a bit creamy.

D - Very drinkable. Very slight alcohol taste (7% abv), but mostly malty throughout.

 307 characters

Photo of belgbeerdrinker
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: yellow-orange color with thick foamy head, plenty of lacing and some bubblies apparent
s: slightly sweet aromas mixed with light hops
t: pretty sweet, but just the right amount of sweet pilsner taste with nice balance of malts and hops to finish clean and memorable
m: medium body, good carbonation
d: this was a smooth one and had great balance, wish i had more of them

 373 characters

Photo of PubliusII
4.32/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Dark, Golden pour. With a decent half-finger head. Good retention and a nice lace.

Smell- Apples, hops and alcohol.

Taste- Apples are complimented by the rich, hops and malty flavor.

Mouthfeel- A rather heavy body with a rich, frothy swill accompanied by heavy carbonation.

Drinkability- This is a great drink. Not too bitter and deceptively rich.

 366 characters

Photo of jclzony
4.31/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Came from the tap a light amber color with a thin white head. Moderate sweet malt essence with a light citrus hop finish with the end taste having a good combination of malt and hops, reminding me somewhat of an IPA, but short. Refreshing taste considering the alcohol content. A pretty good beer which I would like to drink again.

 331 characters

Photo of techdiver
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden yellow with a modest head that dissipates quickly.

Well balanced nose with malt and hops equally evident.

Taste echoes the nose, nothing overwhelming. Just a smooth tasting higher ABV pilsner that's quite enjoyable. A bit of sweetness noted.

Mouthfeel is good medium bodied, a bit more carbonation would be better.

Drinkability very good, easy drinking, nothing to really find a fault with.

 423 characters

Photo of Dithyramb
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased as a six pack from Beltway Fine Wine in Baltimore and enjoyed several times throughout the week during vacation. Best by June 2005 clearly notched on the side, but I wasn't overly afraid that this one wouldn't hang.

Citrus and floral hops on the nose.

Medium bodied brew that is bittingly bitter at first. Enough to make several non-hopheads cringe last week. The flavor is still quite rich and complex with some dough like maltss in there with the typical grassiness that I get with most pilsners.

Extremely drinkable. Enjoyed while night-time surf fishing and with some queso-dip. A tasty pilsner with some added hops cojones.

 647 characters

Photo of srrn
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a great looking gold with fluffy head that diminished to a few bubbles on top and good lacing. I've been trying some simpler beers lately to clear the palete and find some good solid brews for hot summer days. This fits that bill, a solid malt taste, no adjunct and a nice clean bitterness from hops in the finish. Simple and well balanced, this is the stuff I wish macro lager drinking friends of mine would start buying, High quality well balanced beer.

 461 characters

Photo of SwillBilly
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I poured this tasty pils into a pils glass. Pours with a big, white, foamy head. Head dissipates after a few minutes leaving some nice lacing. Visually, the beer pours a pale golden yellow. As for smell, hops are up front with hints of fresh cut grass. What an incredibly smooth beer. Not over the top considering the avb of 7.5%. Hops and malt are well balanced making for an easy drinking beer, crisp and downright tasty and refreshing though it does leave your mouth a bit dry which makes me want to drink more of this beer. Overall, a very good imperial pils. Alcohol is well hidden which could make this beer a very dangerous session brew. Not quite as good at the Dominion Spring Brews but its not far behind. Go out and seek this one.

 741 characters

Photo of whartontallboy
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is just my second double pils, so I don't have a huge base of knowledge, but I liked both this one and Rogue's Morimoto Imperial Pilsner.

Pours out like most any other pilsner, clear yellow-gold with a moderate white head that looks a bit sticky and leaves a nice little lace.

Smell is hoppy, smells like nice Euro pils hops, with a thick bready maltiness in there as well. Gets one excited to take a sip.

The flavor is spot-on, malty and biscuity enough to stand up to the bitter wallop of hops. A tad citric at times. Somewhat spicy, almost like a DIPA, but it is held in balance by the malt so well, it almost comes off as a bit sweet.

Overall: Wow, this is really great for the price and the rarity of the style; I need to try the other High Seas beers from Clipper City.

 795 characters

Photo of brewcrew76
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a clear deep yellow with a big 3 finger foamy white head and patchy, sticky lacing until the end.

S - Grassy, piney & spicy hops with a nice sweet balance. The aroma is a touch light for all the different scents present.

T - Sweet graininess upfront followed by grassy, herbal hops and lemon with a touch of pine. The alcohol is only noticeable on the aftertaste.

M - On the light side of medium and nicely carbonated with a creamy mouthfeel and a dry finish.

D - Very drinkable for a double pilsner. Nice balance of sweetness and hops.

 551 characters

Photo of johnnybgood1999
4.3/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Wow! After thinking their beers are mediocre, this brew is a pleasant surprise.

A: A little darker than I anticipated: somewhere between dark gold and light amber.

S: Grass, grass, and more grass. The hops are definitely at the forefront.

T: Nice and complex, with abundant grassy hop flavors. Malt is present with a ligh breadiness that doesn't interfere with the hops. The alcohol is definitely in the background. Crisp and refreshing.

M: Thicker than expected here. Still a pilsner in my book, though.

D: This is one of those beers that has just enough punch at %7 abv to be really dangerous. It's also one of those beers that you wouldn't guess to be dangerous. In other words: be careful and the drinkability is great.

 730 characters

Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Über Pils) from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 60.7% out of 100 with 1,101 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.