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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier - Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

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Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier
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BA SCORE
84
good

179 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 179
Reviews: 89
rAvg: 3.7
pDev: 11.62%
Wants: 2
Gots: 3 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant visit their website
United States

Style | ABV
Schwarzbier |  4.20% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
21 IBU

(Beer added by: BEERchitect on 06-23-2008)
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Ratings: 179 | Reviews: 89 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Banger530
Banger530

Arizona

3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Opaque brown, almost black. About an inch of head when the server brought it to me.

S: Slightly sweet chocolate, notes of chocolate

T: More chocolate flavor than I smelled. Pleasant malty flavor in the middle. A slight burnt coffee flavor aftertaste.

M: Medium to full body. Light to medium carbonation.

D: Drinkable. Maybe slightly better than average. I would get it again.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 420 S Mill Ave, Tempe

04-24-2010 04:35:34 | More by Banger530
Photo of beer2day
beer2day

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, deep red pour into a GB pint glass. 2-finger dark cream head. Good retention and decent lacing.

Dark chocolate malt nose. Really nice. Anise appears late in the glass.

Thin hit, but cream quickly builds. Chocolate all over, with slight vanilla compliment in the finish.

Feel is right for the style. A tad thicker than expected.

Easy drinker with the light abv.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

03-29-2010 12:49:50 | More by beer2day
Photo of berley31
berley31

New Brunswick (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Actually had on-tap at the GB brewpub in Seattle.

A: Large, tan head that diminished to about 1/2-finger or so. Body is virtually black and opaque... probably clear, but difficult to tell because the color is so dark.

S: Like the hefe, the aroma is a little weak... some roasted malt in there, but that's all I got.

T: Very smooth, with roasted malts and light amounts of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Very nice.

M: Light-bodied, with a creamy texture and average carbonation.

D: Very easy drinking... the dark color may scare some away who aren't familiar with the style, but they should really give it a try. A good sipping beer.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

10-29-2009 18:08:31 | More by berley31
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.45/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger light brown head over a very dark brown liquid. Smells strong dark malt with moticable noble or english hops. Roast and chocolate with a creamy hint. Earthy hops with gentle perfumey.

Tastes medium intensity roast with mild sweet underneath. Roast is coffee and char-like with a gentle sour edge. Mild hop grassiness. Drying finish due to good attenuation and a slight alcohol cleaning. Light body, but some creaminess. Modest carbonation. Nicely hopped for the style, but a bit too charred for the style.

Serving type: bottle
@ Gordon Biersch, 1 Flatiron Cir, Broomfield

10-16-2009 05:12:03 | More by mentor
Photo of Rootdog316
Rootdog316

Virginia

4.22/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another great beer at GB in Rockville. In the German language, this beer actually means "black beer." One would think there would be a heavier body, but did not come across as heavily bodied as one would think. It had a chocolate-esqe flavor to it and had a dark brown tint. A very good Schwarzbier. Definitely give it a try.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch, 1 Flatiron Cir, Broomfield

09-08-2009 18:05:15 | More by Rootdog316
Photo of aristeros
aristeros

Georgia

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at their Tempe, AZ restaurant, served in a logo-emblazoned pint glass. Dark brown to black, ruby highlights are more prominent when held to the light. One and a half fingers of off-white head, some retention, good lacing. Smells smoky, roasted malts predominate. A little nip of hops.

Sweet malts followed by big roasted flavor. Somewhat like roasted chestnuts. Cream texture, medium body, medium carbonation seems appropriate. Malts may have been roasted a trifle too long--a bit of a charcoal effect here that's more appropriate to a porter or stout. Earthy finish

Goes down smoothly, really a wonderful beer, provided I pretend it's a porter. I'm hoping that maybe that some malt that was roasted too long went into it; I'll try it again with another batch in a few months to see if that's the case.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch, 1 Flatiron Cir, Broomfield

09-08-2009 01:29:14 | More by aristeros
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown, minimal head and lacing

S: Rich roasted malts... scents of roasted nuts, coffee beans and slight cocoa

T: Excellent flavor from full roasted malts... roasted nuts and coffee flavors.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Light on the carbonation. Some earthy feel to it but finishes thin.

D: Excellent Schwarzbeir. The roasted grains and organic feel make this top notch.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

09-07-2009 17:44:16 | More by rfgetz
Photo of BeerBelcher
BeerBelcher

Ohio

3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is pretty boring, which I guess is a fit with the style (I find Schwarzbiers to be pretty unexciting), but this one registers with me overall as just sort of OK. Dark, not too roasty, inoffensive. Dry? Yes. I just can't say much about this beer - there is not much here to describe, but there is certainly nothing off or offensive either. I don't know whether to recommend or not...I am stumped.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, 401 N. Front Street, Columbus

07-05-2009 17:15:15 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of Norfawkers
Norfawkers

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the best beers that Gordon Biersch has to offer given its balanced complexity; very versatile

Appearance: Very dark; reddish tone

Smell: Faint malty spiciness

Taste: Smokey and earthy

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth

Drinkability: Highly drinkable dark beer; versatile

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, 401 N. Front Street, Columbus

06-21-2009 19:41:24 | More by Norfawkers
Photo of kimcgolf
kimcgolf

Georgia

3.43/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the tap to an old motor oil black (expected of a Schwarzbier), with a thick foamy tan head that lingers well thru the entire drink and leaves decent lacing. The nose, while somewhat muted, is licorice and a hint of roasted nuts. Mouth is very tingly, albeit a tad weak, with the taste again leaning toward licorice. Finish is of medium duration and a little watery, but overall a pretty decent beer.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

05-01-2009 19:24:07 | More by kimcgolf
Photo of Nickls
Nickls

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes)

A - Poured with a thin mostly white head. Really deep dark brown coloring with light brown highlights. Good curtain-like lacing

S - Light maltiness; some roasted aromas; touch of raisin; good but kinda muted overall on this front

T - Flavors are more vibrant than the aroma suggests. Rich, roasted maltiness with dark fruit sweetness

M - Nearing on medium for the MF, nice breath of effervescent carbonation.

D - This would be a great session brew. Interesting, quaffable, low abv = my kind of session. Aside from the sessionable qualities, this brew is a bit more interesting than others in the style range and therefore a bit more drinkable for me.

Overall, great interpretation and really loved the roasted qualities in addition to the more traditional flavors for the style. Check it out.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

04-21-2009 02:46:27 | More by Nickls
Photo of mjl21
mjl21

California

3.9/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at their restaurant in SF. Poured into their house pint glass. Comes in at 4.30%.

A-Pours a dark brown with some nice red hue when put to sunlight. Has a one and a half finger white head and some nice lace.

S-Roasted malt is the predominant aroma. Also smells in some ways like a crisp Pilsner.

T-Sweeter malt hits upfront. Not nearly as roasted as I would have expected. The roasted malt comes through most at the end. Like the smell, I am getting some Pilsner flavor going on in my mouth.

M-Light to medium bodied with a nice creamy texture.

D-Went down very easily. The Pilsner qualities really make this a great year round session beer.

A pleasant surprise from a place that I seem to go to once every 10 years. Would come back to have some more of this beer.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

04-12-2009 00:04:04 | More by mjl21
Photo of Cyberkedi
Cyberkedi

Georgia

3.95/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This schwarzbier comes out of the tap a deep, opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Rich aroma is primarily of roast, smoky malt. Strongly smoky flavor has coffee, nutty and caramel hints. Texture is smooth and has a good, strong tingle to it.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

03-26-2009 21:31:12 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of TheMistler
TheMistler

District of Columbia

4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, of course. Or, rather, such dark, opaque brown as to be black for all intents and purposes. Creamy head, very tiny bubbles. Not too much, nor with the greatest retention, although the ring that remains is substantial. Little lacing.

Subdued nose. Tangy, roasted - even a bit smoky.

Not a subdued taste. Roasted. Hints of coffee and powdery dark chocolate. The slightest undercurrent of sweet chocolate, but this is a well roasted beer that also has evident hops.

Rather light bodied and easily drinkable. Crisply - maybe slightly overly - carbonated, becoming creamy only after its been swirled around the mouth a bit.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

03-15-2009 21:44:30 | More by TheMistler
Photo of MrIncognito
MrIncognito

Virginia

3.4/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap in Vegas

A - Dark mahogony, almost black body with very little visible carbonation. Better head than expected, about 2-fingers, off-white and mostly sticky. Leave pretty nice lacing

S - Gotta stick my nose in this one to get a good smell of it. Dark roasted malts with some slightly sweet brown sugar. Maybe some dark fruits, plums.

T&M - Bold, dark roasted malts up front with sweetness in the background. Not much carbonation here. Somewhat thin in the mouthfeel and the taste leaves something to be desired. I wish there was more depth here.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

02-26-2009 21:01:28 | More by MrIncognito
Photo of BigBry
BigBry

Alberta (Canada)

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint from the The Glendale Gordon Biersch.
Poured dark mahogany brown (almost black), with a thick creamy tan head. Foam lasted almost the whole pint, and left nice looking lace. Toasted malt smell, a touch of smokiness. Flavor of smoky toasted grain, good balance between sweetness and hop finish. Dry and clean mouthfeel. One of the better schwarz'z I have tried.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

01-05-2009 23:05:42 | More by BigBry
Photo of yesyouam
yesyouam

New York

4.15/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the San Jose location. This beer is a handsome black with a pillowy light tan head that has great retention and lacing. The aroma is dark, dusty, roasty and perhaps sweaty. It is medium light in the mouth; very smooth with a crisp finish. The roastiness is on the subtle side, but provides the main flavor here. This is the best beer I've had from Gordon Biersch and the best beer I've had in San Jose. What a great session beer. I had to go back the next morning and get a growler of this.
(rated May 17, 2007)

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

12-12-2008 14:11:41 | More by yesyouam
Photo of BeerSox
BeerSox

Virginia

4.03/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap into pint glass. The .5 liter line was visible opposite the logo.

Opaque black with some ruby edges, with a two finger light brown head that slowly settled to a thin cap. Burnt malt aromas with almost no hops. The flavor also has the burnt malts with a little bit of coffee as well. Full bodied. Very smooth finish, with a little bit of grain lingering.

I enjoyed this Shwarzbier and felt it was pretty smooth. It was a nice beer to sip while watching a football game after my meal. Recommended. One of their year round choices.

Serving type: bottle
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

10-05-2008 00:11:49 | More by BeerSox
Photo of tugdriver7
tugdriver7

Maryland

4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The fifth in the line of the 6x Sampler at the Rockville restaurant. This is the one I went to try and, while it was good, there were a couple of other pleasant surprises in the sampler that were strong competition for the Schwarz. The beer looked dark brown to black in the glass, with brown and ruby highlights--like a real syrupy Coke. Slight head retention with some bubbles visible on the sides. As with most craft-brewed Schwarzbiers I've tried lately, the smell was more "stout" than "dunkel" and, while perhaps not on par with the best Germans of the style, extremly fresh tasting and enjoyable. Nice roasted malt in the flavor... and that's about it. Nothing particularly complex, but extremely tasty and enjoable. Another one that would go down easily.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

09-08-2008 16:36:44 | More by tugdriver7
Photo of Boto
Boto

Connecticut

3.68/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draught @ Washington, DC location: This one pours an opaque brown color. There was a tight, off-white head on it that didn't last too long but left some lacing. There were some roasted and caramel malts to the nose. It also had some earthy hop notes. The taste was along similar lines to the aroma, and was nicely balanced. Some roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, but no real sweetness. Earthiness and a touch of biscuit also. Perhaps a little nutty also. Nice.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

08-07-2008 00:36:22 | More by Boto
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A surprisingly good one, enjoyed at the Washington DC outlet. A bit of carbonation, and chocolate malt. Light browncolour with a white head. Creamy, drying finish. Abit of sourness. It all worked and was very drinkable, despite having a few other beers that day, though none that burned the palate. Perhaps Jason tinkered it well, his last day cheers!

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery & Restaurant, 900 F St NW, Washington

07-03-2008 12:17:25 | More by Sammy
Photo of Redrover
Redrover

Illinois

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was served in a 51L modified pint. The beer is black bordering on dark brown. It has a tan head.

The aroma is of roasted malts and brown bread.

The taste is nicely balanced by roasted malts and some slightly sweet almost brown sugar like flavors. Finish is slightly dry.

The mouth could be beefed-up a bit, but this is an easy drinker. Would be an easy beer to use as a crossover.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, 401 N. Front Street, Columbus

07-02-2008 17:44:03 | More by Redrover
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An excerpt from the Gordon Biersch website:
"Literally meaning “black beer” in German, this delectably dark lager has a surprisingly light body with a delicious, dry, roasted coffee finish.

Original gravity: 11.2° Plato
Alcohol by volume: 4.3%
Bitterness units: 21"

Dark brown in color (nearly black) the beer carries any onyx-like sheet with bright clarity and garnet highlights. Well headed with a creamy, tightly knit sheet that skirts the surface with solid staying power and intermitten lace. A standard and solid Schwarzbier stature.

Caramel and light roast carry the nose along with a mild scent of charred wood, mild coffee, and a hint of dry cocoa powder.

Flavors are fairly simplistic and are a direct carry over from the nose. Milder than expected roast character reveal flavors of light coffee, char, deeply caramelized sugars, and walnuts. Complementary malt flavors have an undertow of cream and caramel. Light on hops, the beer relies on the roast bitterness to balance the beer as much as the reliance on hoppy flavor or bitterenss.

Medium bodied, the beer is remarkably light and crisp for a light beer- but these are all halmarks of well made Schwarzbiers. A bit more richness and creaminess is represented here as well as a roasty, medium-dry finish. This Schwarzbier doesn't really develop that signature powdery dry roast character of Kostritzer.

A little richer with malt sweetness throughout than the typical German Black Beers, but this version remains relatively mellow and drinkable nonetheless.

But is it any good or not? It's a very fine beer, but I find the malt character takes on a clean, caramel flavor that chases it through to the finish. This leaves the beer a little sweet and less dry than classic German versions. The added sweetness allows the beer to sit heavy on the toung and coats the palate with the muted carbonation. Otherwise, great head formation and retention with a nice roasted aroma / flavor, and a powdery sensation in the drinkability. Similar to dry stouts, but cleaner (due to lagering) and lighter.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, 401 N. Front Street, Columbus

06-23-2008 18:42:18 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of theghost3
theghost3

Louisiana

3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was served this beer from the tap & it was poured into a Nonic. It's very dark brown with a thick, dark beige head. It smells of toasy malts, smokey. The taste is roasted malts with scalded coffee & a hint of wheat. Not much aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a little strange--a little watery without much carbonation. Overall, a fairly drinkable beer that is just a bit on the heavy side.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, 401 N. Front Street, Columbus

06-12-2008 03:37:28 | More by theghost3
Photo of AmishT
AmishT

Alabama

4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this at Gordon Biersch in NOLA on-tap

A - Black with ruby highlights. A one-finger, off-white head that does not retain very long and leaves very little lacing.

S - A very bold and up-front nose. Strong toasted malt aromas are prevalent, coffee, dark chocolate, and a hint of dark fruit.

T&M - Starts off with toasted malts that compete with the bite from the strong carbonation. A very nice roasted coffee finish. As the beer warmed, the bite of the carbonation mitigated a bit, and the beer became more flavorful as a result. A nice, somewhat earthy bitterness coats the palate after swallowing. The flavors endure rather well, though I'd like there to be less carbonation in the mouthfeel.

D - Light bodied, low ABV, and some nice flavor make for a pretty sessionable schwarzbier.

Serving type: on-tap
@ Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant, 401 N. Front Street, Columbus

05-25-2008 04:09:11 | More by AmishT
Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
84 out of 100 based on 179 ratings.