Tapping the Keg: Reviewing pilsner beer Prima Pils

Pilsners are a very typical beer style in the U.S. that appeal to a broad range of beer drinkers. Classically, pilsners are always golden in color and have a good balance of hops and wheat, creating a light, yet flavorful beer for year-round drinking. (Edwin/Creative Commons)

“Prima” is a common German exclamation that means fantastic!

Victory Brewing Company, located in Downingtown, PA, is historically known as ‘Milltown,’ where many millers once lived. In those times, whoever grew the wheat typically also milled it and made beer. It comes as no surprise that a brewery from a town like this produces such a German-style pilsner.

Pilsners are a very typical beer style in the U.S. that appeal to a broad range of beer drinkers. Classically, pilsners are always golden in color and have a good balance of hops and wheat, creating a light, yet flavorful beer for year-round drinking.

Prima Pils has many of these expected qualities, but nothing about this beer is incredibly attention grabbing. Starting with the packaging, this seems like a fairly average beer for Victory Brewing Co., which has been established in the craft beer world since their founding in 1996, typically making exciting new styles such as Golden Monkey ale, and Storm King imperial stout.

This beer is a deep gold color, and is ever so slightly cloudy, with almost no head retention from the bottle. This combination of features represents telltale signs of a typical pilsner. The nose of Prima has a very strong aroma of fresh tangerine and almost a springtime floral background. The top flavor notes of this pilsner are a subtle sweetness of oranges and pine, followed by a malty body, with a touch of full flower hops that it is brewed with, as opposed to the traditional un-flowered hops of most pilsners and ales. The body then gives way to notes of mellow sour hops, and a mildly sweet naval orange flavor that lingers only briefly.

This beer keeps many classic qualities of a German pilsner, but offers a bit more with its unconventional brewing style and ingredients. With only a slightly above average alcohol by volume at 5.3%, this is an easygoing beer to drink any time of the year. Its mild aromatics and slight acidity would make a great beer for anything rich and savory like soft ripened cheeses, grilled meats or chicken wings. This beer is also a wonderful compliment to any German style foods, so any dishes that might be salt and vinegar or mustard forward. This beer also has the great balance to drink all by itself.

If you are not well versed in the craft beer world, this might be a great introduction to the possible complexities of brewing. It has familiar qualities for average beer drinkers and is not too strong in alcohol or flavor, so if all the crazy names and gimmicks or the sheer number of varieties in the craft beer world intimidates you, this beer might be just for you.

Prima Pils is available locally at both Price Chopper and Storrs Wine and Spirits as part of their pick six pack deals. That will run you a total of about $12.


Overall Rating 6/10


Dan Wood is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.wood@uconn.edu.