02 February 2009

Prima Pils

Rating: 4.9
Brewery: Victory (Downingtown, PA)
Glass: Pint
ABV: 5.3%
Seller: Blue Dog Tavern (Chalfont, PA)
When Enjoyed: 01 February 2009

Victory's take on the Pilsner is a much different approach than most breweries take. Pilsners are usually marked by their light and crisp flavor with a small amount of hops introduced. Generally when looking to a Pilsner is to enjoy something light and crisp in flavor with a small amount of hops. However Victory takes a spin on the traditional view of the Pilsner.

This is easy to see as soon as it pours from the bottle. Instead of the typical gold color of a Pilsner, Prima Pils pours out as a more greenish-orange tint to the typical gold that is used to being seen. This color difference can be contributed to the higher amount of spices and hops being used in this beer. The increase in spices also comes out strongly in the aroma of the beer. At least Prima Pils warns the drinker enough of the difference in taste that is coming.

Upon tasting, Prima Pils starts off with the crisp flavor expected from a Pilsner, but then rapidly changes to all of the other flavors of spices thrown into the beer. While innovation is appreciated in the field of craft brewing and this is an innovative take on the Pilsner it doesn't seem to add to the quality of the beer. While it's trying to create a more interesting taste on a style that has a pretty standard taste, it seems to carry it too far. The final product seems to taste almost entirely of different spices that overpower the crispness and the hops of a typical Pilsner. While the innovation is there the final product leaves more to be desired. This beer is an example of pushing the envelop too far where instead of a spiced Pilsner, Victory has created a beer that tastes more of spices than anything else.


  1. The weirdest thing about this beer is that Pilsner ingredients are put to really interesting use in a number of great ales (belgian wit cross breeds especially). Victory does get credit for messing with a lager variety few breweries have the gall to mess with. Lagers generally speaking aren't given to the varietal spice and additives that ales are. Even the most 'extreme' brewmasters shy away from lagers - Dogfish Head comes to mind. It seems Victory started from the opposite end of the spectrum and worked backward; putting spice into a pilsner-lager instead of putting pilsner into a spice-ale.