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

Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Ãœber Pils)
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,101 |  Reviews: 592
Photo of abents
3.79/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle
Thanks to Sebletitje for this bottle.
Pours out a deep golden color with smaller white head. Constant carbonation makes this beer very attractive. Good looking brew. Smells really hoppy for a pilsner with some citrus in there, not too much nose. Taste is really interesting, very hoppy with a nice spiciness and almost sweetness on the finish clean this one up really nicely. Some orange that blends well with the spices, very nice hoppy pils with a bitterness that makes it fairly drinkable. Nothing too amazing that blows you away, but a very nice solid brew.

 573 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Golden copper hazed by fine suspended particles, Big, patchy white head that leaves big blobs of lace on the glass. Smell is faint Amarillo hops and fruity yeast. Tastes pretty unique, not a hop bomb by any stretch of the imagination but just enough of a hop kick to get the juices flowing, nice chewy maltiness finishes it off. Smooth, medium heavy mouthfeel with a very fine carbonation. Cool and different beer that's worth checking out.

 440 characters

Photo of Reiksguard
3.21/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Rated from a 12oz bottle poured into pint glass. A very nice deep gold color with little head and no lacing.

S: There is a fairly decent malt character on the nose, but it is run over by a little by the alcohol smell.

T: Light malt, bready flavor with a little bit of fruit in the background. A hint of hops with a strong alcohol taste hidden behind the front flavors.

M: Light with little carbonation.

D: A decent big beer that is not overpowering. Probably couldn't knock down a couple in a sitting, but as a single bottle, it was good.

 545 characters

Photo of Kendo
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from the bottle into a pilsner glass. Golden body with a small whitish head. Some small particles in suspension. Leaves no lace.

S: Grainy with some fruity esters and a hint of spice.

T: Light bready and grainy malt foundation, followed by a sweet, fruity taste -- not sure if it's malt or yeast-based, but it's a bit out of place for a pilsner. Slightly buttery as well. Finishes with some spice fighting the sweetness.

M: Light in heft, appropriately carbonated for the style.

D: OK, not great.

Notes: I wrote "Tastes like a pilsner with too much fruity malt or yeast" and concluded "too sweet." Not a horrible beer, but I like my pilsners (even Imperial Pilsners) to be more crisp, dry and with the hop bite or bitterness dominating any grainy (or yeasty) foundation. This one didn't live up to those expectations.

 832 characters

Photo of mmedina210
4.01/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a Mixer with three other Heavy Seas brews

Appearance was great. Golden yellow, with a nice head with good retention.

Didnt get all that much from the smell, but did pick up some hoppy aromas and a few citrus like aromas

The taste was excellent. Nice hop balance with great spices and citrus tastes.

Mouthfeel was also great. A nice mix of pleasant carbonation on the front and Creamy goodness on the back.

Drinkablitity is good. High alcohol content, that isnt all that prevalent, is the only thing keeping it from a 5 in my book.

 551 characters

Photo of hopdog
3.72/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle marked, purchase before Jul '05.

*** Warning! This one was a small gusher. ***

Poured a medium golden color with a huge, 6 finger white head. Aromas of grass, yeast and citrus. Tastes of stronger citric lemons, grass and spices. Starts out a little sweet and ends in a hoppy spicy finish.

Notes from: 8/13/05

 325 characters

Photo of thartman
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

An Imperial Pilsner, ... Hmmm ...pours a deep gold with an ice cream cone head, lots of sticky lacing on the glass, with a slow even-flow of tiny bubbles. Smell of wet hay, sour and musty,...also corn and grains on-the-nose. Taste of butter, hops, and grains...some orange, Body is heavier than a typical Pils, bitter, buttery aftertaste, complex. Reminds me of a Mai Bock,..Finish is dry,..Interesting brew, ..

 411 characters

Photo of williamherbert
3.67/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A clearer beer I may never have seen; every color from the other side of the glass comes through. Big ole puffy head. Too clear, but head is impressive.

The aroma resembles an American lager. Some nice sweet, bready barley malt (no adjuncts that I can detect). Hops very flowery with just a hint of citrus. Better as it mellows.

The taste is a nice hop/malt balance. The malt -- crystalline and sharp -- is dominant, but the hop is nice. A little too "pale" but nice enough. A tad buttery on the back end.

The feel is fizzy like champagne. Surprisingly creamy. A bit bitter and sharp, but okay. Not a bad pickup.

 615 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.38/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 10/31/08. Bottle, best by 01/2009. Pours a clear deep orange with a small white head. Aroma of skunk, wheat malt, and sweet fruit. Flavor is pretty similar: stale wheat malt, slight skunk, and light sweetness. Not a great beer, but quite drinkable and enjoyable. Nice imperial pilsener and definitely try to get it as fresh as you can!
7/4/7/3/14 (3.5/5)

 366 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First of this style to try and I am glad I did. A seethru dark gold with a one-finger foam head that left sticky lace. Light and airy aroma of floral hops and grass. Medium-bodied, smooth and creamy, with hints of sweet malt. More citric bite than anything as there are plenty of hops in this. Not a mellow, veggie twinge from a regular pils, instead this beer packs a more hearty hop punch with moderate dryness.

 413 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 BeerCon5
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a orangish, amber color with about 1/2 inch of foamy off white head.

There is a scent of citrus, some biscuity malts.

The taste is of citrus/fruit, slight taste of honey, dry hoppy finish.

Light and crisp feel, very lively carbonation.

Easy drinker. This is a very interesting beer, I could definately have a few of these.

 332 characters

Photo of sholland119
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another fine Clipper City brew received in trade from kirok1999. Thanks, Mark.

A-Pours a clear amber with a fluffy white had and nice lacing.

S-Pine hops and bready malt in a nice balance.

T-A nice fruity note (apricots?) that I did not detect in the aroma, along with a bitter pine hop finish and some bready malt notes.

M-Medium bodied with good carbonation. Crisp.

D-A nice easy drinker.


 399 characters

Photo of Aenema
3.48/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a bright, clear honey with little head and moderate carbonation.
Smell - Notes of citrus and hops are present.
Taste - Malty start develops into a bitter, hoppy finish.
Mouthfeel - Light, smooth mouthfeel with a crisp, cleansing finish.
Drinkability - Easy to drink, though I don't imagine I would want to drink more than 1 in a sitting.
Overall an enjoyable beer, though a style I don't particularly enjoy.

 426 characters

Photo of thain709
3.55/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - A golden yellow with a slight cloud to it...a very small head that left little lacing

S - A nice sweet/fruity smell...hops in the background

T - Very interesting here...it's a nice blend between malts and hops...very complex...a big bitter finish

M - Light and crisp

D - The pils is not my style of beer...but this is a decent brew from Clipper City

 357 characters

Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear golden yellow color with a thin foamy white head that settles into a slight lacing. Crisp light fruit aroma with hints of apple, pear, citrus peel as well as subtle malt and hop presence. Very quaffable with a slight malt character balancing out the citrus Grapefruit, lemon and banana flavors and a perfect citrus hop finish.

 340 characters

Photo of yossarian14
4.2/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark in color for a pilsner but light for an American Double. A clear light amber with a white, multi-sized bubbles, head that didn't stick around long but leaves a nice ring of foam for the rest of this session. Smells of typical noble pilsner hops along with a mild bisuit pale malt and maybe some other hoppiness that I can't place. This is a very good, souped up pilsner. I'm not generally a big fan of the traditional pilsner style but the extra hop and malt characteristics and a meatier med-full bodied mouthfeel and warming alcohol are much tastier and more interesting for me. Another solid release from Clipper City's Heavy Seas line.

 644 characters

Photo of thekevlarkid
4.13/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Out of a bottle this beer was a deep gold color with some tangerine tint to it. The head was two fingers of small, yellowish bubbles that slowly receded to a thin skim. Nice lacing. The aroma was a good blend of floral and citrus hops with pilsner malt and a generally dry, grainy character. The flavors were complex and impressive. At first there was a shot of sweet, caramel malt and toffee followed by the rich grainy character, followed by bready yeast and a bitter finish. Elements of fruit persist throughout and yet the character remains dry. The mouthfeel was smooth and the body rich and full though not heavy. Perfect carbonation too. Impressive and enjoyable, a great example of an Imperial Pilsner.

 710 characters

Photo of stockingcpl
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured well with a nice full head. Lacings plentiful and long lasting. Color is a medium caramel color. Impressive.

Smell: Light hops with citrus overtures. Very pleasant. Not overbearing. The aroma is delicate.

Taste: Malt creaminess is the first impression on the tongue. Hopping is light with probable aromatic hops. Faint sweetness is appealing and not overdone. The taste curve is well defined and smooth. Enjoyable. This doesn't strike me as a pilsner.

Mouthfeel: Malty sweetness is first impression. A little strong at first but rapidly disipates into a smooth glow. Pleasant and acceptable for new drinkers.

Drinkibility: I found the creamy sweetness as very drinkable and not heavy like a wheat beer. This is not a pilsner...lager maybe, but not a pilsner. Due to this corporate misnaming, if one expects a pilsner, one will be disappointed.


 881 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.83/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a slightly hazy gold with light orange hues. The head was bone white, thin, and creamy with lots of tiny micro bubbles from the lively carbonation.

S: a spicy hop aroma, with sweet grains, lemons, and a light floral grassiness.

T: The flavor was much the same, with sweet cereal grains, a touch of honey, and lemon grass hopping. The flavor was fairly crisp with a dry floral tettnanger hoppiness on the finish.

M: light, semi-dry with a lively carbonation. drinks more like a pale ale. Some sweet malt notes.

D: A good pils with some kick.

 557 characters

Photo of Prufrock
3.75/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

hazy golden orange with an inch of frothy off-white head that leaves a thin webbing of lace.

aroma is a nice mix of noble hops and citrusy hops. noble hops definitely dominate, but it has a nice backing of citrus rinds.

flavor has a slight malt sweetness and a bold but not overwhelming hop presence. mouthfeel is full-bodied, and the finish is all noble hops. seems to fit the bill perfectly of an imperial pilsner, meeting all the characteristics of a pilsner but doubly so, with a fuller body and a stronger hop presence. the bright, fresh presence of citrusy hops seems a bit off-style but is a nice addition. pretty good beer.

 667 characters

Photo of roadhouse
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. single that I got for $1 into a pilsener glass.

Appears a clear golden orange with a two inch thick off-white head. Leaves some very nice looking lacing.

Aroma is has a nice caramel maltiness to it with a pretty good amount of spicy hops but there also seems to be a strange fruitiness to it that I don't particularly like.

The taste has caramel malts up front that are somewhat sweet, then the hops come in but they aren't really intense as a Imperial Pils should be. Spicy and somewhat floral, their flavor is good but there just needs to be more. They could have faded with age though. I can't quite tell what the best by is but it is probably a little old if I got it for $1.

Mouthfeel is medium, somewhat chewy, pretty smooth.

This stuff was pretty damn good for being an old bottle. I would love to get a fresher one and get the full hop effect.

 878 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.35/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really enjoyed this beer. Bought it simply because of the bottle, the name, and the fact that I hadn't had it before; glad I did.

It pours a huge white head that lasts til the last sip. Dark ginger ale in color/caramel. Hints of hops and citrus in the nose.

Smooth buttery mouthfeel, really nice. Good lacing with a complex finish. Sweet at first, then the bitter hops take over before the strong alcohol (7%) ends it.

Really, a nice beer.

 446 characters

Photo of abrand
4.25/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into pilsener glass

A- pours a cloudy topaz. Approximately 1/2 inch head that dissolves quickly. Good lacing along the glass.

S- lots of hops and malts in the aroma along with some hints of caramel and fruits.

T- this is a very smooth drink for the ABV. Sweet with plenty of bitter hops with a nice after taste.

M- medium bodied and very smooth

D - pretty drinkable beer but may be a little too sweet for my liking

 442 characters

Photo of Clydesdale
4.12/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy orange color with a smallish, creamy white head with above average retention. Lacing is decent.

S: Sweet malts, grain, grassy and orange/citrus hops. Alcohol is present as well, with a barely noticeable dusty/phenolic character.

T: Sweet malts at first, with some muted grain flavor. A robust, citric hop flavor provides some substantial bitterness. Fruits, particularly oranges and perhaps white grapes, are present. Dusty and possibly peppery notes are sometimes present, along with a touch of warming alcohol.

M: Very smooth and creamy, with subdued carbonation. Body is medium, with a somewhat dry finish. Nothing stands out particularly here, but it seems unusually well executed and balanced in terms of mouthfeel.

D: This one has great balance and nice mouthfeel, with considerable complexity. It's nothing special to look at, but it's very good and something I could drink several of.

 918 characters

Heavy Seas - Small Craft Warning (Über Pils) from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 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.