Iron Hill King’s Gold American Pilsner is a pleasant beer that has made me shift my opinion of it thrice over the course of having it on three separate days. My first time drinking it was from the can. After a long day at Hershey Park, my palate was dulled by an afternoon featuring two Yuengling Hershey Chocolate Porters (no readable date code), a Troegs Sunshine Pils with a 12/17/22 best by date (packaged 8/15/22), and a Perpetual IPA with a 3/31/23 date (packaged 11/29/22). After the chocolate porters, rich with artificial flavoring, came Walking Tacos and the assault on my palate and taste buds continued. After our day at the Park, my family ordered food from Iron Hill Brewery & Restaurant in Hershey, and my first impression of King’s Gold out of a can was that it was a light beer. Certainly lighter than the 5% alcohol by volume advertised on the can. The can was packaged on 8/22/22, no suggested best by date.

Two days later, King’s Gold American Pilsner was my first beer of the day. It had a wonderful aroma and a pleasant hop bitterness much more pronounced than my first time sampling. The beer featured a luxurious medium-bodied malt depth that I also couldn’t pick up the first time I tried it. Again, from the can.

Iron Hill King's Gold Pilsner canning line
All pics via the brewery

On the third day of trying this American Pilsner, I poured King’s Gold into a glass. It tasted heavier in my mind, fuller on my palate, and darker in color in the glass than how I imagined it looked in the can. Its light straw color, sitting underneath a white head, was paler than I expected. It’s certainly closer in color to a German Pils (think Bittburger) than a Czech Pilsner  (think Pilsner Urquell).

The can, shrink wrapped, is adorned with the beer’s accomplishments: 2021 Gold Medal Winner American Pilsner at the Great American Beer Festival. From their post, Iron Hill writes:


The Great American Beer Festival (or GABF) awards gold, silver, and bronze medals for each of its 97 beer categories. To win any medal is an accomplishment. To win a gold medal is a triumph. To win a gold medal in an American Pilsner category — practically impossible.

Not to our Newtown head brewer Pete Corbett, who attributes his gold-medal winning King’s Gold recipe to his team’s ability to acutely pay attention to the small details. After making it to the finals of 2018’s GABF, he tweaked the recipe by increasing the IBUs, adjusted the sulfate-to-chloride ratio, and added more head retention, different malts, and a fresh-lab grade pinch of yeast.

Iron Hill King's Gold Pilsner coming off the canning line

Recently, at 2022’s GABF, DC’s own Atlas Brew Works, also medaled in the American Pilsner category with their Bullpen Pilsner, so kudos to Atlas’ brewing team for also doing the practically impossible.

King’s Gold will run you $11.00 per six pack at Iron Hill locations in NJ, PA, and DE. Should you find it impossible to make it to an Iron Hill location, an Atlas Bullpen Pilsner will stand in quite nicely.

Tell Maryland to keep updating their brewery laws and then (maybe) we'll talk. - Iron Hill via twitter, when asked about opening in Maryland
Via twitter