German Pilsener Civil Society Brewing Co.


Signs, a German-style Pilsener by Civil Society Brewing Co.

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Signs is a German-style Pilsener brewed by Civil Society Brewing Co., and for the purposes of this craft beer review, the lager was served in a pilsener glass from a can.


The Pils pours a pale gold and is slightly hazy. The lager is topped by a thick cap of dense, pillowy white foam that shows excellent retention. Gobs of lace clutch the sides of the glass as the head slowly reduces. Some bubbles stream upward in the glass.


The aroma is initially pungent with a scent of wet grass but disappears altogether as the beer warms.


Its palate begins with a taste of cracker malt followed by a mild bite of floral and spicy hops. The light bitterness carries to the finish. A flash of malty sweet honey is picked up on the swallow.


Its feel is soft and smooth with a medium body and moderate carbonation. Finishes somewhat dry.


Doesn’t show as much clarity as expected of the style but that’s nitpicking. Its body is on the high end and its carbonation is on the low end for the style. Combined, this brew comes off as a little thick for a Pils. Its aroma is appropriate but vanishes all too quickly and its palate is pleasant even if it exhibits better balance than most examples of a Pils. Signs is an enjoyable brew but not a great Pilsener.

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About the German Pilsener

The German Pilsener is an adaptation of the Czech Pilsener that was first brewed in the 1870s. Its color ranges from straw to pale gold and should exhibit very good clarity. The aroma and palate should have a light grainy-sweet malt scent of cracker and honey. Should have pronounced noble hop notes that can be floral, spicy, and herbal. The palate should have moderate to high bitterness that lingers into the finish. Its feel should be medium-light with moderate to high carbonation. Its alcohol strength straddles sessionable and moderate. Comparatively, the German Pils is lighter in body and color, drier, crisper with higher attenuation and carbonation than the Czech style. It’s hoppier with more malt flavor higher bitterness than International Pale Lagers. The Pils has more hop flavor and bitterness than the Munich Helles.