Small Craft Warning | Heavy Seas Beer

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Small Craft WarningSmall Craft Warning
1,102 Ratings
Small Craft WarningSmall Craft Warning

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: American Double / Imperial Pilsner

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by farHillsBrewer on 03-12-2004

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,102 |  Reviews: 592
Photo of treehugger02010
3.93/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I traded for this Uber Pils with the cashier at the Beer Yard in Wayn, Pa, just now pouring into a pint glass. (Drink by date of May, 07)
Appeasance: Wonderful! Light amber body with an eggshell colored head. The head was huge (no forced pour either), with medium bubbles, solid retention and very sticky and abundant lacing.
Smell: Very well balanced with seet hops pushing forward through a complex malted and hopped Pilsner.
Taste: First part of the first sip was showed a nice malt background, but as the word background suggests, hops jumped in front.
Mouthfeel: A bit too much like an IIPA, but wasn't entirely lacking the crispness expected.
Drinkablity: Awsome.
Don't drink and review.

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Photo of BuckSpin
3.53/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 11oz bottle ("Best By" ticking of 8/07) in a classic Pilsener fluted glass

Poured light & crisp, some crackle. Lite nose, crisp, dry, sweet, echoes of apple, sweet corn, sea air (how ironic for a Small Craft Warning!), traces of lemon & citrus, lite spice, faint mineral quality...a very active nose for a Pils. Head was good 2 fingers of lively, yet thick & sculpted, sticky, mixed pearlized white foam that faded to a good 1/4" blanket of the same and laced nicely. Its a classic pale golden hue, slightly clouded & warmer in tone under the foam cap with a steady stream of bubbles rising thru it.

Its sweet, a little metallic & slated up front, semi-dry, crisp like apple cider yet also sharp with bitter hops playing off against the sweet malts. A pale citrus quality (lemon) is there, mildly spiced with a pepper nibble (not bite). The hops rise on the palate with a noticeably dry mouthfeel, slightly slated, a wee bit earthy with dull malt. The finish is slightly thicker, a little dirty, more malts, stones, dry, leaving a tacky, mildly sticky, bittersweet aftertaste that coats the mouth and leaves it warm with a alcohol tingle that is an admittedly interesting counterweight to the cold temperature effects of the beer on said "icy hot" if you will.

This is an odd call, but its an odd genre. One might almost guess Pale Ale or even a IPA in some regards. I do think food would help it a lot, and in hindsight it could probably be paired quite well with anything a PA or IPA works with and provide a different experience due to its style. Not my cup of tea, er, beer, but not bad, but yet also not really good. I would like to try it again with food. Certainly worth trying, especially if you can pair it with food or in warmer weather. An odd beer, but one I would drink again. Check it out.

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Photo of cktison
3.39/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Copper, clear, small head by the time it made it to the table
S: Iron, Rust, Sour and hoppy - citrus and sharp
T: Not bad! Malty, light hops
M: light, easy, pleasant amount of carbonation
D: Easy drinking, but not the best of this style - I'll try another, if its bought for me...

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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.

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Photo of Nipitato
3.08/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle at Downtown Wine and Spirits in Somerville, MA.

Have never reviewed an American double pilsner before so take this with a grain of salt.

A: Medium copper hue. Zero head. Slightly brilliant clarity.

S: Clean and crisp mild aroma. Some toasty sweet malt with a healthy dose of floral hoppy aroma.

T: Malt flavor is slightly sweet and very clean and crisp. Hop flavor dominates. Hop flavor is resiny and piney and in my opinion a little overpowering - but not particularly bittering.

MF: Medium light mouthfeel. Moderate high carbonation. Lingering hop aftertaste.

D/Comment: So-so. Maybe it's not that the hop flavor is particularly overpowering rather the hop combination just creates a taste I don't care for (maybe the tettang). My palate isn't schooled enough yet to pin this down. But I think that is the problem with this beer for me. The off hop flavor hurts the drinkability. I would not have this beer again but it has piqued my interest in the style.

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Photo of bigone4
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a orange copper color with a nice white head. No real lacing present in the glass. Head disapated quite quickly. Freshness date clearly on the lable. Smelled of dough like malt with a citrus hop tone in the back ground. It also has a caramel malt sweetness mixed in. Taste was rather sweet with some hop bite in the back of the mouth. Nice balance of malt and hop bitterness. Its well rounded flavor reminds me of an ESB but with a bit less body. Nice offering and really easy drinking. I would certainly like to try it again.

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Photo of Duster72
4.27/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark golden color with a little murkiness. Small head dissipates quickly and leaves no lacing. Smell is spun sugar and bready malts. Taste is malty sweetness with an excellent hop component that gives just enough bitter to wash down the sweetness and make the finish clean and dry. Very pleasant light mouthfeel. Highly drinkable. I could probably drink these all night. Will buy a six pack next time I can find a fresh one!

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

I have never had a Double Pilsner before, I usually reach for ales. This pours a nice amber with a thick head. The nose is not very strong but is pleasant. The mouthfeel is almost creamy, it seems to coat my tongue, very nice. The taste is rich, you can tell there are real grains/malts in here. The hops are very present almost like an british IPA. I am glad I have a 6-pack of this, but I am not sure I will buy more. At the same time, I would be happy to drink again if someone else is buying :) Definitely worth trying.

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

12 oz, thanks to Kyoko and Chris!

Pours a clear golden, nice lacing all over, white head, good retention. Smell is sweet, caramel, very clean floral/citrus hops, yeast, little bit of funk in there, nice though. Taste is very malty, caramel, citrus and floral, some alcohol, real clean finish, nice bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation. Only double pilsner I've had that actually tastes like a normal pilsner, nice character.

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

Presentation: 12 oz longneck. Nice looking label with an illustration of a pirate on raft in heavy seas. Best by date and ABV clearly marked.

Appearance: Just a bit more red than a typical pils, thin head but good retention.

Smell: Tons of malt - bready and a bit of biscuit. Just a bit of noble hops in the finish.

Taste: Medium mouthfeel, lowish carbonation. Taste is very malty without being sweet. Lots of bready malt flavors, with a fair amount of hops balancing things out.

Overall impression: Dangerous - this one tastes good, highly drinkable, and higher than average ABV. Very nice.

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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.

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

Poured clear and a bit darker than your typical Pils; a golden amber color with a full finger white head that faded fairly quickly to surface. The head is kept alive by visible effervescence and little pools of suds keep things going. Significant lacing observed.

The aroma from the hop and yeast are less astringent than some of similar style. That's real malts in there! How cool.

The mouth feel is carbonated, but not champagne-like some. Still, a nice ting from the hop. A nice complexity. Not your daddy's pils.

The mouth really complements the flavor. By taking it down a notch from the sharpness of some pils the effect is a creamy texture.

The 7.5% will sneak up on you. Go for it!! I'm not usually one for this style, but this is the best Clipper City product in my mind (almost hate to say it)

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Photo of RedChrome
3.5/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A crystal clear medium-dark gold color. One third an inch pure white head vanished rapidly. An average amount of carbonation rise slowly up the body. Lace is spotted on glass.

A buttery sweetness starts quickly but develops a light hops bitterness that causes a more balanced appeal in the nose. A very gentle light white grape scent is present.

Taste of malt is dominant, but not overpowering. A light pungent taste from the hops helps to keep this one in balance on the tongue. Earthy overall sweet flavor.

Above average thickness with just the right amount of carbonation to help the flavors move against the taste buds.

A nice offering. This one is a great beer to match with dim sum. Worth picking up at your local store in an effort to try a style without many offerings.

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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.

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Photo of Stimack
4.17/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a very nice brew, Pours to a golden color with a fairly good sized off whiter head that has good retention and did leave a little lacing at the top of the glass. The aromas that are noticeable to me are toasted malts that also seem to give off a bready smell. Also noticeable are the hops that meld in nicely giving off an aroma that is not dominant but is a great accompaniment. The taste is very nice, has a smooth feel to it along with flavors of a lot of malt, yeast and hops. The malts seem to give the toasted tastes that where identified in the aroma while the yeast I think give it the bread like flavors. The hops give a nice juicy like flavor that seem to be more along the lines of citrus but not like the flavors from a cascade hop. The hop flavor while noticeable is not dominating the beer, just like in the aroma, I think it adds a lot to this beer. Some folks who love strong dominant hops might think that more would be warranted but I feel it is better this way as it adds to the whole experience. This is probably my second fav from Clipper behind the Loose Cannon but depending on the time of the year this possibly would be my number one.

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Photo of kimcgolf
3.84/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a golden yellow with good carbonation, and a thin white head that lingered as a film on the glass throughout the drink, and left excellent lacing on the glass. Hoppy aroma of apples, grass and cirus fruit. Taste was more of the same, and as the beer warmed, the 7.5% alcohol became just noticeable enough to blend in nicely. Dry, somewhat bitter aftertaste topped this beer off nicely.

Another good effort by Clipper City.

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

An uber pils huh? Sounds good to me. I'm not a huge pilsner guy but this is quite good. Pours a cloudy copper color with a billowy white head that leave nice lacing. Smells a bit like a pale ale. Hoppy, florally and citrusy. Taste is nice. Hops provide a nice bitterness. Lemony and grassy. Very fresh. Malty on the backend with some sweetness. Very smooth. Highly drinkable. Overall a good beer to have on a hot summer night.

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

The beer pours a golden color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice malty scent that boasts of pale and Munich malts. It's dry with lager yeast aromas. The taste is good. It has a smooth malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes with some residual sweetness and warmth. It also has a nice hop finish that compliments the high malt and alcohol content. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine brew. It's smooth and easy drinking despite the elevated abv.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.88/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

faintly hazed light amber with a not quite white head.
clean citric, but also noble hop aroma, a tad plastic-y.
the taste has some spicy sweet pineapple and citrusy flavors. seems like amarillo hops were used or something like them. the booze is somewhat evident, but it's surprisingly clean. the hops are more evident in the flavors than the bitterness, though it's still present.
it's got a mouthfeel thats verging on full, but with a pleasant creamy body and pretty smooth carbonation.
good drinkability despite a high amount of hop flavor, it's ends up being pretty balanced really despite the fact that it seems like a lot of hops were used.

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Photo of MmmIPA
3.95/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Lindemans Flute.

This stuff smells like a KICKASS pils.

a-Golden/orangish body with a small ring.tons of bubbles coming up from the bottem of the glass.nice lacing on the glass.

s-hops and sweet malts come to my nose.

t-sweetness is the first taste that comes to mind and then a faint hoppiness hits my taste buds.The sweetness is almost syrpy to me.the hops try to break through but never get a chance to,there still none the less tasty.

m-a tad bit syrpy and thick but still very tasty,Ide like to try it on draft.The carbonation is perfect, not bittering like alot of regular Pils.

d-A very solid brew and for the most part very tasty.My only gripe is the thickness of it, the hops and malts blend together perfectly.Sold brew indeed,great job Clipper seas

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.15/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pilsner glass at 50 degrees.

A - Pours a clear goldenrod with a large, foamy head. Left a long trail of sticky lacing; a good amount of carbonation lasted throughout as well.

S - Hoppy notes on a malty backdrop. Hops are more grassy than citrusy, but not overpowering. Malt is creeping out a little more as it warms...

T - Interesting...reminds of a DIPA, but without the thrashing of tastebuds by the overpowering hoppiness. There is a sweet n' spicy blend of peppery spices and malt that balances out the hops to create a very enjoyable brew. The higher ABV wasn't noticed at first, but I could definitely tell it was there towards the end.

M - Creamy body with a very crisp and bubbly finish. Sweet hops with a little alcohol on the aftertaste.

D - This is my first double pilsner, so it's difficult to judge it against others of the same style, but I have to say that it was very enjoyable. It would make for an excellent substitute for a DIPA if you're not quite in the mood for all those hops. I'm going to look for more doubles and see if they are all this tasty.

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Photo of tastybeer
3.92/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color glows a delectable amber orange. Head is white and not very large with no real lacing. Rentention is not much more than a ring. Nose is soft and bready. Aromas are sweet and flowery with lemon and orange citrus and a touch of pilsner spice. Musky flowers come to mind loosely. Taste is very citrusy as well with good malt support underneath. A good and enjoyable, flavorful lager. Nothing out of control here but a good assortment of flavors. Well blended for the most part too. An even smoother mix would be nice but its not so out of balance to detract. Mouthfeel is alright. Mildly dry and moderately textured. Drinkability is very good.

Worth while and a good pick if you want something a little beyond your average pilsner. The fact that this is one of the more entertaining lagers makes me up it on my list a bit. + Merry xmas 06!!!

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Photo of Sammy
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Everything labelled double pilsner I have enjoyed, including this restrained clean and refreshing pilsner. Complex and great with food, restrained on the palate. I would have this regular if I could, thank you for bringing back Dr. Jay. As a European strong lager it is amazing no less.

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Photo of vladimerjr
4.08/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as part of a beer of the month club that I signed my brother-in-law up for otherwise I never would have heard of it.
Was drinking it at a party so had to drink it out of the bottle but I did pour some out into a shot glass to look over the appearance.
Smell was a little too lemony for me but it did not reflect as strong in the taste which was good. Taste hits you with a sweet hoppy flavor like a low end IPA. The high alcohol content comes through just enough to notice but does not over power. Goes down smooth. A good drinking beer (when you plan on having a bunch).
Wish I had a couple more but they don't sell it around here that I have seen.

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Photo of tcfishler
4.07/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear light gold with a vigorous white head.

Intense aromas are somewhat aggressively hoppy, with a pine and herbal profile. Reminded me slightly of Stone's IPA in this regard. There's also a background of stone fruit here, however.

Round and generously carbonated in the mouth, with the hops far more restrained than on the nose. They're there, for sure, but they're more suggestive than outright bitter. The texture of this brew, rather than the flavor, is actually dominant in the mouth. It's very round and generous, without being heavy or sweet.

Not like any other pilsner I've had. Smells like an IPA, tastes like...nothing else I've tasted, really. Highly drinkable and a pleasure to smell.

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Small Craft Warning from Heavy Seas Beer
Beer rating: 3.74 out of 5 with 1,102 ratings