Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

Kirkland Signature German Style Lager - Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation

Not Rated.
Kirkland Signature German Style LagerKirkland Signature German Style Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.

48 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 48
Hads: 127
Avg: 3.11
pDev: 17.68%
Wants: 0
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Märzen / Oktoberfest |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Troyone on 03-18-2009

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (8) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 48 | Hads: 127
Photo of JayTime
4.78/5  rDev +53.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

For a lager this is some top stuff. I have no idea what others are talking about when they badmouth it. Thia beer is light but with a light spiceyness to it. Nice light hop taste to it too. Perfect for these spring days. Very drinkable with a medium/light mouthfeel that is very hydrating and refreshing. Cheers!

 312 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.07/5  rDev +30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a weiss glass. 5.5% ABV, 22 IBUs, Best by Jun 15 2010.

A - Golden yellow with a crystal clear, carbonation-rich body and two-finger, slightly off-white head. Good retention but little lace left in the wake.

S - Surprisingly good nose of pilsner malts, pale malts, and a light straw hint. Subtle hops give the aroma a slightly refreshing, appetizing appeal.

T - Hops become more prominent in the flavor thankfully. A good noble flavor balances very well with the pilsner malts. Crisp and clean.

M - Medium-light bodied and almost over-carbonated. Sharp bite to the dry finish. Crisp and refreshing.

D - I don't know why I expected a sub-par beer from Costco knowing it would be brewed by someone (I hope) that knows what they're doing. It's a nice and very drinkable lager that's straight forward with no flaws hidden among bold malts or over hopping.

 880 characters

Photo of Snow81
3.91/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very light amber to orange clear tint

Head: Frosty white head

Smell: Sweet grassiness

Taste: Sweet maltyness with the grass still present and a subtle to no hop note on the palate

Weight: Light body with low carbonation

Finish: Gras with light malt

 265 characters

Photo of unclejimbay
3.83/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kirkland German Lager, 5.5% abv, 22 ibus
Bottle states "pilsner, Munich & dark caramel malts... Weihenstephan Lager yeast, Hallertau hops"

I do not think this style is listed properly on BA. This brew seems more like a lighter Marzen/Ofest to me. I am going to review it as such as I am confident is is listed improperly since it only has 15 reviews to date.

Appearance is copper in color with brillant clarity. 2 Finger head with respectable retention and lacing.
Smells of munich malty aromas, like a nice brew day is in the air, followed by some mild noble hop aroma.
Tastes as it smells, malt dominant with a nice noble hop balance.
Mouthfeell is a light-medium body, high carbonation.
Drinkability is solid. This is the standout of the 4 Kirkland offerings to date IMHO. It tastes like a ligheter version of a Marzen/Ofest brew and I dig it. It's a great price at $18 for a 4 variety case.

 904 characters

Photo of Bricelyn
3.82/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured 2 12 oz bottles hard into a 27 oz Stein (why the heck not!) and this brew has some cumulonimbusly fluffy head about an inch over the top and half an inch into the stein! Its a beautiful amber color that really looks like organic Maple syrup.
Its smell opens up with a lager and moves to a very biscuity note while at the same time it smells very much like a pilsner.
The taste starts off with all that biscuit smoothes into the pilsner and bitterness after you swallow and mellowing into a nice stickyness
The mouth feel was a little on the flat side most likely due to my "Hard pour". Not to sticky not to sweet just right!

Over all a great beer at 2/3 the price of other micro 24 packs! I rated it for the value and quality of the product! Gordon Biersch did a great job on this one.

 797 characters

Photo of josiahschlender
3.78/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The recent reviews for this beer make me wonder if quality is deteriorating, or all the brewing has switched to a different contract brewer.

The Pilsner I'm enjoying was contract brewed by "Hopfen Und Maltz Brewing Company" in San Jose, CA. I believe it's an alias for Gordon Biersch, a (underappreciated, in my opinion) brewery in San Jose that makes many of Trader Joe's beers. All four beers in the Costco mixed-pack are solid in my opinion, and the lager is no exception.

I don't drink Pilsners too often, but this one pours a rich golden color with an amber hue. Darker than any macro lager out there. Respectable white cap has moderate lasting power, and retreats to a visible ring for the duration of the drink, leaving no lace.

Grassy Noble hops dominate the nose. Even with a cold pour, they're pretty potent compared to anything in its price range. I like the authenticity of the hop aroma. I also detect some bready, biscuit malts with a hint of sweeness.

Flavor opens up those malts. Quite a bit of biscuit, just a bit of caramel sweetness at the end, competing with moderate bittering. Those noble hops leave a bit of grass at the end that I'm not sure if I like a ton. Body is medium, with a refreshing and smooth finish. A bit of a palate cleanser, living up to its lagering.

A very drinkable beer... much more substance than any macro lager I've tried. Very versatile when pairing with food, and about as cheap as you can find and craft-brewed beer. (I paid $18 for 24-pack case)

The Costco case doesn't have a super clear stand-out in my opinion, but their halfway authentic and versatile German Lager is a great reason to get it if you're looking for a decent pils.

 1,689 characters

Photo of Troyone
3.77/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light amber color with a clear apple juice hue and minimal white head.

Caramel malt aroma with the herbal smell of hallertau.

Smooth buttery hop taste of barley grain malt.

Light bodied, buttery and resinous feel, with lively smooth carbonation.

Definite session beer the butter hop taste is not that strong.

 334 characters

Photo of washburnkid
3.75/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A friend brought a Kirkland mixed sixer over. The German lager was by far my favorite, and none of them were really that good. So that's saying something ... or maybe it isn't ...

Brew pours a light copper with a nicely fluffed beige head that retains well. Aromas are biscuity malt balanced by spicy, hay-like hoppiness. Very fresh on the nose. Flavors include caramel, biscuit, grass and hay. Spiciness that I can't put a name on. Light and carbed nicely and a little drying. The flavors fall a bit flat but it's easy to drink many of these in one sitting. I'm not sure if I agree with the style classification here but I think that's more the fault of the brewers, whoever they may be...

 691 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

354ml bottle, with yeast from the 'Weihensephan' (sic) bank in Freising, Germany, apparently. Part of a 24-bottle, 35 dollar (dirt cheap, around here) mixpack available at Alberta Costco Liquor outlets. Brewed by "Hopfen und Malz Brewing Company, San Jose, CA". So, Gordon Biersch, then.

This beer pours a crystal clear, medium golden hue, with three fingers of puffy, foamy off-white head, which leaves some nicely consistent bansai tree lace around the glass as it duly recedes.

It smells of bready, doughy, biscuity malt, a bit of caramel, some mild drupe fruitiness, and softly bitter earthy, leafy hops. Hmmmm. The taste is semi-sweet doughy malt, a waning biscuit character, some mild nutty caramel notes, and leafy, somewhat musty noble hops.

The carbonation is quite soft and unassuming, the body a decently solid medium weight for the style, and agreeably smooth. It finishes with a strong tendency to the dry, as the malt shifts in that direction, and the hops wait with expectant open arms.

A surprisingly enjoyable version of an Oktoberfest, even if the bottle's rather pedestrian labeling offers no such classifying indication. Well rounded in flavour, so much so, that I can foresee actually drinking the copious amount of its remaining friends in that big ol' box.

 1,283 characters

Photo of bevenson
3.61/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Light copper and brilliantly clear. Off white head with fine texture. Lace clings to glass.

S - Sweet toasty malt with a hint of graininess. Mild herbal hop aroma. Clean yeast character.

T - Toasty malt flavor with a bit of caramel. Overall malt flavor is a little light. Firm hop bitterness compared to the light malt flavor. Spicy, herbal hop flavor.

M - Light body with medium carbonation and a smooth, dry finish. Lingering hop bitterness accentuates the dry finish.

D - First, this isn't a German Pilsner; it's a Vienna Lager. It's not the best vienna I've ever had, but it's an easy drinking beer that is worth the money.

 637 characters

Photo of jwc215
3.51/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before June 15, 2010:

Pours copper with a lasting white thin head. Some lines of lacing stick.

The smell is "clean" other than some caramel and a slight, slight scent of a mild noble hop aroma.

The taste is of caramel with a touch of roast/light toast. Light sweetness fades to a spicy, floral dryness (thanks to Hallertau, as listed on the label)in the finish.

It is light-to-medium bodied and smooth.

An easy "session" brew if you are looking for a beer that is light on the palate and the wallet. Well-balanced in a light, but not watery, way - has enough characteristics of a classic Marzen/O-fest to fit in pretty neatly in that style.

 650 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another one from the pack my friend gave me. Poured into a stemmed lager glass.

Pours a dark rusty orange, clear, with a small white head on top. Scents of grass, lemon juice-soaked crackers, orange zest. There's ample bubbles rising through this beer, and this gives this beer a nice crisp feel. Light with a touch of dryness on the back end. Easy drinking for sure.

Mild bitterness from the hop presence, semi-sweet citrus add a nice balance. Easy finish with no lingering aftertaste. This beer is what it is - a simple easy drinking lager. I was in the mood for one and it delivered. I could see this pairing well with some burgers or grilled 'dogs.

 656 characters

Photo of biggred1
3.48/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper amber with a fluffy eggshell head that leaves some sticky lace on the glass. Sweet caramel malty notes with fresh bread and an underlying earthy hop aroma. Sweet malty and bubblegum flavors with light noble hop bittering to balance. Finishes clean and slightly metallic. The body is on the lighter side of medium with sharp carbonation. An easy drinking enough beer but nothing to write home about, kind of a poor man's Sam Adams Boston lager.

 450 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.44/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a clear medium amber color with a two finger white head. The head has great retention slowly fading to leave a decent level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is light overall but is heaviest of malt and a caramel sweetness. Mixed with these are a faint whiff of a earthiness as well.

Taste – The taste starts out with flavors of a malty and bready base with some light caramel flavors. As it advances further there are flavors of a fruity nature come to the tongue. The sweeter fruit flavors however start to fade more toward the middle to the end of the taste with a light bitterness form a mix of citrus hop flavors coming to the tongue. With all the flavor combined, in the end a moderately sweet caramel and lightly hopped bready flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel –The body of the beer is average to above average in terms of its thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is rather average. The combo of the two is nice for the flavors of the brew and create a rather nice easy drinking brew.

Overall – For the price you pay for this one it is one good brew. There were no detectable off flavors with nice smooth transition. Not too shabby.

 1,273 characters

Photo of ghebel
3.4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours very clear, gold/amber color with adequate off-white, orange head, but leaves no lacing upon dissipation.

S - Sweet malty aroma. But also has an astringent almost sour component.

T - Mild bitterness. Grainy, caramel malt flavor. No hops stand out. Maybe boring, but overall not distasteful.

M - Thin, smooth, with dry finish. Carbonation evident. Some lingering bitterness.

D - Drinkable, average.

Overall - This is an average beer, without much character to stand out, but in the end is a drinkable beer that is a good buy for the price.

 553 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the mixed six case I picked up at the Costco in Bloomingdale.

Pours a nice caramel amber color with a one finger head that dwindles to nothing after a sip or two.

Good toasted malt aroma makes me think of sweet white bread and a little dry caramel.

Very simple ,and a litle watery, toasted malt upfront. The middle has some caramel and white bread crust, but this flavor dissipates quickly. This finish is a very soft sweet malt and a little earthen hop musk.

The palate is a little watery and then powdery, but still pretty sessionable.

 549 characters

Photo of BeerResearcher
3.37/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz dark brown bottle. No freshness date.
It pours a coppery amber color with a thin, fast-fading head. Some specks and webby lacing.
The aroma is fairly decent. A nice floral hoppy bouquet pops out. Background smells of mowed lawn, cereal and a mild citrusy add a touch of complexity.
An edgy Pils hop taste is upfront. After that, it's a bit a lacking. A light metallic tang and some dextrose malt don't make much of an impact.
It's gulpable.
This is certainly not a Marzen by any measure. More of a Helles/Vienna hybrid.
This may be the best offering so far from the Kirkland Series.

 588 characters

Photo of colts9016
3.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 42 degrees

Appearance: A half finger white head with little retention. The color of the beer is a medium straw with copper hues- the Clarity of the beer is medium to clear. There is some carbonation bubbles

Nose: A nice toasty malt aroma yeast fruity esters grapefruit and pine.

Taste: A rich malty flavor there is a nice spicy floral grape-fruity and pine.

Mouth-feel: A medium carbonation spicy astringent but mild body medium light finish medium good beer but watery.

 502 characters

Photo of Gmann
3.33/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a soapy white head that quickly settles into a very light ring. The aroma is quite faint. I pick up a bready malt with hints of caramel and peppery spice and that is about it. The taste is quite bready with a sweet caramel/toffee flavor. There is a tea like bitterness in the back end, though it's not very strong. The bitterness seems a bit out of place for the style. The feel is light to moderate with active carbonation; finishes slightly bitter and astringent. I expected the beer to be more smooth. An average marzen; starts off nice and bready but then takes a downward turn. Could use some more caramel flavor and less tea-like bitterness.

 687 characters

Photo of mountsnow1010
3.31/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brown with a fluffy white head that leaves nice lacing. Looks very appetizing, especially with visible carbonation.
Smell is straight up green apple. OK, perhaps some hoppy floral notes with a touch of darker sugars. Mainly green apple though.
Tastes pretty good. A slightly sweet malty flavor with a respectable hop bitterness. Floral component is definitely present as well.
Mouthfeel - I would prefer the carbonation just slightly lower - it's almost prickly right now. Otherwise however, it is relatively smooth and full-bodied considering the style.
DB - I could drink these forever.

I drank this while eating sharp cheddar cheese & crackers, it was a perfect beer for cutting through the cheese - almost felt hydrating (I probably would have preferred an earthy stout with the cheese however).

I disagree with the category though - this seems like a German Helles.
Very surprisingly (to me) I'd say this is the best Kirkland beer; even though I like the other styles better, this beer is cleanly presented and has no off flavors (unlike the other 3 options).

Very enjoyable lager that I don't think gets the credit it deserves. Excellent beer for the price point too. I will have to go B- for a very reliable beer that isn't extremely interesting.

 1,261 characters

Photo of bonkers
3.3/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours a clear amber with a faint white head. The aroma and taste are both a bit bready, a bit sweet. The finish lingers a bit, slightply dry. The beer is light bodied and easy drinking. For me the beer was more of a light amber lager than a pilsner, not a beer I would seek out.

 341 characters

Photo of originalsin
3.29/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: The pour on this one was a very clear amber. A light frothy head didn't last.

S: Caramel malts are definitely there as well as some floral hop aromas that make this beer more inviting than the appearance managed to do for me.

T: Caramel malt, again. It's quite smooth and there's some hop bitterness on the finish.

I almost feel like I'm being harsh here. Maybe I don't trust these beers because they're Kirkland signature. To be fair, all of them are OK costco bbq beers. Go for it.
And, so I don't come off as being too harsh on Kirkland: buy their signature vodka. It's clean and smooth and probably the best vodka for your dollar.

 641 characters

Photo of Ek0nomik
3.28/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured In: Snifter Glass

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear bronze and amber color with a finger of head. The head retention isn't very good, as it disappears within seconds. There's also very little lace on the side of my glass. The beer is quite effervescent though, as there are quite a few bubbles continually climbing to the top of the snifter.

Smell: The nose is malty and biscuity. It reminds me of an Oktoberfest because it seems like it has a touch of toasted reddish malt. The nose isn't jaw dropping, it's malty and clean, but that's the nature of the beast here.

Taste: The palate is quite similar to the nose. Each sip reveals lots of German malts and just enough hops for bittering and to add a little touch of flavor on the aftertaste. Notes of biscuit, toasted and untoasted malt shine through with just a little herbal hop at the end. Of the 4 beers that I had from Costco I think this one actually had the least watery flavor to it. The other 3 beers seemed to be a little watery during the tasting, but this one held its own.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, well carbonated, and a nice creamy mouthfeel that makes it easy to sip on.

Drinkability: The last of the Costco beer. Honestly, I must say that their beers weren't all that bad. To style, drinkable and cheap.

 1,288 characters

Photo of gkunkle
3.27/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with an off-white head that leaves a little lacing. Smells malty and hoppy, pretty clean smell, but nothing astounding. The taste has more emphasis on the malts and it has a nice clean finish. Medium bodied beer with light carbonation. Overall it was okay, It was my first marzen, but its not something I am going to judge the style by.

 357 characters

Photo of notsoprobeer
3.25/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Golden orange in color, clear, with a white head that dissipated quickly. It left some lacing on the glass. Aroma of toasted malts and yeast. Flavor of bread-like and light caramel malts. Not a lot of hops in flavor or aroma. It’s light bodied, highly carbonated, and has a crisp mouth feel along with a bit of sweetness in the finish.

 337 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Kirkland Signature German Style Lager from Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
74 out of 100 based on 48 ratings.