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Sympathy For The Lager - Karbach Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sympathy For The LagerSympathy For The Lager

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
81
good

243 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 243
Reviews: 36
rAvg: 3.57
pDev: 16.25%
Wants: 14
Gots: 59 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co. visit their website
Texas, United States

Style | ABV
Euro Pale Lager |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: champ103 on 09-29-2011

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 243 | Reviews: 36
Photo of Lundste
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted pretty good after the quarter marathon.

Photo of cavedave
3.69/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Premo88 for this delicious Pilsener.

Pours a clear white gold color, topped briefly by a finger of white foam, which retracts to few spotty islands in a mostly bare cap.

Light/medium aroma is grainy sweet, with a very light yeasty tart presence and spicy hop just barely there to balance things.

Also a light/medium strength taste, featuring a delicious grainy sweetness that is just right, and a hint of hops and yeast to round it out into a very delicious beer.

Low carb., light in mouth, super clean on palate, and really refreshing make this a fantastic mouthfeel to showcase flavors and quench thirst.

Delicious beer, understated and balanced perfectly. Wish I had more. Highly recommended.

Photo of badkins003
4.37/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Great and very smooth beer. On the lighter side but with a good body with it too. The smell and aromas have been average but the taste is phenomenal

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine #73 (Feb 2013):

This one caught us off guard a bit, brewers intention is a European lager of sorts though we did not expect the level of depth that the hop character brought to our palates. Balanced with a lot going on, a lot of complexity in this can. Oh yeah, very drinkable too boot. Refreshing enough to tote around in the summer and interesting enough to drink the rest of the year.

STYLE: Euro Pale Lager
ABV: 4.9%
AVAILABILITY: Year-round

LOOK: Pale amber hue, sudsy head

SMELL: Herbal, spicy, peppery, earthy, leafy, fresh bread, clean

TASTE: Crisp, smooth, moderate sized body, herbal, assertive bitterness, grainy, dried hay, slightly biscuity, earthy, orange zest, drying hoppy finish

Photo of Enrico_il_octovo
5/5  rDev +40.1%

I like this beer it's great!!!. I have had lots and lots of different beers, wines and distilled spirits in my travels and having lived in various countries around the world. This is a beer like the Lager/Pilsen types that I've enjoyed in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Hungary. The Micro brew movement in the U.S. is turning out some really world class brews. Cheers mates! and keep up the bleedin' great work!!!!!

Photo of Tuck_leepulin
4/5  rDev +12%

12oz can with no canned on or best by date poured into a Becker glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color and 2 fingers of head

Smell: Malty and grainy

Taste: Biscuity malts with a decent bitterness and little to no hop flavor

Mouthfeel: Crisp and light

Overall: Nothing too complex here. Just a solid lager with a decent hop bitterness. Reminds me a lot of Carlsberg or other European lagers without the skunkiness.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.55/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This one pours a rich golden color with a thick rich head that is bready in texture and settles slowly leaving an adequate amount of lacing down the glass.

The nose is sweet malt, mild pepper, grass and orange zest.

The taste is complimentary to the nose with a very dry malt that has a bitter flavor dominating the malt. Not a lot of complexity here.

The mouthfeel is just right for a lager, not to watery and not to rich.

Overall this is a drinkable lager but not exceptional. A good example to be sure, but not my favorite either. I recommend trying it and seeing if it is to your liking.

Photo of TexasRedskinFan
2.76/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This seems like a Michelob on steroids. It's not great. It's not horrible. It's kinda bitter. But not hoppy at all. It's malty but not sweet. It's darker than Budweiser. But has the worst looking head and no aroma.
Idk what to say about this beer. I REALLY REALLY FLIPPING LIKE THE HOPADILLO.... But this is disappointing. Second brew I've had from this local brewer (Houston beer culture is slim).

Skip this beer. Buy almost anything else. I mean its better than Natural Light. But I think PBR or Budweiser is still better.

GREAT PRICES THOUGH HERE IN HOUSTON - $6 a sixer.... Hmm...

Photo of StuartCarter
3.95/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can provided by by neighbour whose sister brought it over from Texas. No canning date that I could discern on the can.

Nice funky nose, slightly sweet taste, brilliant golden yellow colour, slightly crisp hop bite in the after taste. Very nicely done indeed.

Photo of Atlas1
3.84/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First off, I dig the name. And the can design. The whole record theme and the "lagerhythm" play on words appeals to me. Not sure what that says about me. I am a Stones fan, though.

Poured from the can into a Sam Adams lager pint glass. This is a nice golden color with a hint of amber hue in the shadows. One finger head at the pour, with some decent lace. The nose is okay, if a bit dull. Malty and earthy, with maybe a hint of vanilla, but with no significant distinguishing characteristics. The taste, though is quite good. Crisp and refreshing. Malty sweet up front with a clean, slightly bitter hop finish. Bready. Earthy. Solid stuff here. This is how lagers should taste, in my opinion. Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth.

Aside from the fact that I am thrilled beers like this are finally being brewed in Texas on a larger scale, this is just a damn fine beer. Not fancy, but clean and refreshing and very very drinkable. I don't brew myself, but I've always heard that lagers are harder to brew with consistency. Karbach has obviously figured things out. I really like this beer. Cheers.

Photo of Stevedore
3.6/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, unknown canning date. Included as an extra in a recent trade with Daniel. Thanks buddy! Poured into a Three Floyds pint glass today, 3/18/2014.

App- Clear light orange/copper body, nice two finger white head with above average retention, lots of thick bubbly lacing as the beer goes down. Looks very refreshing.

Smell- Nose is crisp pilsner malts with a nice tartness, perhaps some wheat sharpness as well. Not complex, but very crisp and enjoyable. This would be great to smell on a hot summer evening.

Flavour- Crackers, bready pilsner malts. Sweeter than the nose would have you think. Nice noble hop bitterness on the backend, somewhat grassy and floral but perfectly bitter and complementary.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, a bit more resinous than I'd expect of an EPL based on the ones I've drank when I was living in Germany and visited Switzerland recently. Sticky sweet finish, not particularly dry or refreshing. Disappointing for the style.

Overall- Judging based on the EPL's I've had in Europe in the past, this is far too full bodied, sweet and sticky for my tastes. If I'm going to drink an EPL while traveling or mowing the lawn, I'd want something with lighter body and crisper, more refreshing mouthfeel.

Photo of Lagerquestrian
3.64/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I did a quick review on this gem awhile back. Got a bad habit of being lazy and not doing write ups. For some reason I have passed this beer up for the last 4 months since I first seen it sitting along side it's counterpart brews from Karbach. This is one of the finest lagers available. I picked up a six'er at HEB. I like cans, they are the next thing in craft beer, stays fresh and gets cold fast. This beer taste like a lager should. Clean, crisp and refreshing with a nice balance. Good lacing if poured. The can taste great as is. Maybe a good BBQ beer, beach beer? You decide. Don't be afraid to try this one. I'm happy with it. Support Texas breweries!

Photo of AlCaponeJunior
4.12/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Great looking lager, orange-tan with a two finger head that had great staying power and left sticky lacing not commonly seen in a lager.

A great malty backbone is accented by plentiful floral hops, with a touch of earthiness. Downright delicious.

Body is medium and more ale-like than lager like, with a very nice floral hop finish.

Highly recommended. I'm getting more impressed with Karbach's beers each time I try a new one.

Photo of kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

32oz brown glass Lone Tree Brewing grumbler with screw-top filled at The Growler Room here in Austin a couple hours ago and served into an Independence Brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Austin, Texas. Expectations are above average given its current rating (81) , style, and brewery (which I view as above average). Cost was ~$9.00. 4.90% ABV confirmed per Karbach's website. 12.5 Plato; 1.050 OG. 45 IBUs. It doesn't identify as anything beyond a "Lager" on the label and website. Reviewed as a generic lager.

Served cold, straight from me fridge. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: No bubble show forms as I pour.

Pours a 1.5 finger head of white colour. Okay cream. Decent thickness. Little lacing as the head recedes. Head retention is above average - about 3+ minutes - not bad for a growler pour.

Body colour is a clear pale copper of average vibrance. No yeast particles are visible. Transparent and translucent. Clean.

Looks pretty typical for the style. Not unique or special, but there are no obvious flaws.

Sm: Overly sweet, with plenty of malts. Has edgy herbal and fruity notes; apricot, banana, bubblegum. Caramalts, pilsner malts. Maybe even candi sugar? Grassy. Lightly grainy. Some honey, even.

No yeast character or alcohol is detectable. Decent for the style. A mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: On the sweeter end, to be sure. Grainy, malty, and even a biteen bready. A hint of Vienna malt. German pils malts, caramalts. Herbal and floral hops. Has a vague fruitiness with notes of apricot and peach. Lightly grassy. Decent balance for what it is. Lacks complexity and subtlety. Okay layering. There's little to say about it given its simplicity, but it's by no means uninspired or boring; it just doesn't work as well as it should. Not a gestalt flavour profile.

Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour.

No yeast character or alcohol comes through.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Overcarbonated (even from a growler). Decent thickness. A bit buttery. Okay body. Okay presence on the palate. Unrefreshing. Doesn't complement the flavour profile all that well, but it's inoffensive. Execution could be better.

Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, or harsh.

Dr: ABV is pretty well hidden. It's below average for a lager, and I see no reason to get it again. Overpriced for the (lack of) quality. It's drinkable - I mean I'll kill the grumbler without issue - but there's just nothing here to get me to return to it or recommend it to friends. A swing and a miss from Karbach.

Low C

Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.75/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Karbach Sympathy for the Lager has a thick, creamy head, a clear, golden appearance, with lots of suspended little brown specks, and a good amount of lacing left behind on the glass. Aroma is of slightly citrus hops and some sweetness, and the taste is of hop oil, sugary white bread, and an overriding bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium and a bit slick, and Karbach Sympathy for the Lager finishes dry, bitter, and fairly drinkable. This is a good beer.

RJT

Photo of SHODriver
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: probably took a bit too long in getting to this beer but it pours a cloudy orange with a small dense white head that is quick to fade into a footed Pokal
S: smells intensely malty and of floral hops
T: slight floral hop bitterness and a light maltyness and slight residual sugar sweetness. swallow is more floral hops with a bit of spicy hop as well and a bit more malty flavor
M: soft and slightly prickly carb with a fairly light mouthfeel, slightly drying finish
O: not bad. something different but the color wasn't what I was expecting but that might have been my fault. Even though it might be a bit off the mark I like it better than some other Euro Pale Lagers.

Photo of EgadBananas
3.86/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a pale light coppery color, thick fluffy white head and loads of lace. Aroma was mild, but, theres crackers and biscuits, light sweetness, and a touch of crassly hops. Taste is much better. Sweet bready notes, biscuits, tinge of caramel sweetness, grassy floral hop notes with the slightest of bitterness. Light bodied, good crisp carbonation, and a refreshing lager. Great lawn owner beer.

Photo of Premo88
4.04/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16 oz. on-tap poured into pint at the Hay Merchant in Houston (great place!)

L: very dark gold; not a ton of lacing; strange ... it's much darker than a standard lager (Euro pale lager on here ... at the Hay Merchant, I think they list it as a "Helles")

S: light, weak, sweet

T: light but with good bitter hops up front. it wants to smooth out like an ale but doesn't ... and it shouldn't. it's a lager, right?

F: real mouthful for a lager; say what you want, this is not water.

O: not bad at all; probably a great session beer. and i might be over-rating it a tick or two, but it really impressed me for a lager (not an overly expensive one, either)

Karbach is doing things. I saw it on tap all over Houston this past weekend.

Photo of facundoCNB
3.83/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

a clean golden/orange pour with 2 fingers of detergent-like head. smells of orange, lemongrass, lager yeast, bread. slightly hoppy bitterness up front, then it goes staight to the sweet malty typical lager flavor.. finished off by more earthy bittering notes. one of the hoppiest lagers i've had.... the name suits it well. medium-light body with modest amount of carbonation. sticky on the lips. a great lager.. not one of the best offerings from the brewer, but hey, this is a great gateway beer if you ask me!

Photo of matjack85
3.5/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I only got to try 5oz of this beer as it came as part of a flight of 5 Texas beers for $10. Served on tap at the Flying Saucer Beer Emporium in downtown Houston, Texas.

The beer poured a nice golden/yellow color with a 1 finger white head. Retentuion was short lived, but lacing was decent.

Biscuity malt and noble hop aroma.

Biscuity malr flavor with a touch of honey-like sweetness. Hop bitterness is mild, but noticeable. Very well balanced.

Medium bodied with medium high carbonation.

A cut above most standard lagers.

Photo of mothman
1.86/5  rDev -47.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap at the brewery. Clear gold in color with some white head.

Flavor profile is butter and biscuit malts. Some bittering hops, but mainly bready type malts. I couldn't drink a lot of this. It was just a really bad lager. I like the other stuff they make, but this I couldn't handle.

Photo of ilikebeer03
3.73/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can poured into a pilsner glass.

A: pours nice crisp, clear golden straw color. certainly a deeper hue/color than light lagers. pours with a beautiful thick head, which remains nicely atop the beer. good retention and lacing.

S: lots of malt sweetness with some light fruits. think apples and pears.

T: crisp and delicious. initially a decent taste of the noble hops, but this doesnt last long before giving way to some light fruits (think, apple and pear, maybe?) this then quickly gives way to a nice heavy malt sweetness. malt sweetness lingers on the finish.

M: good mouthfeel. nicely carbonated.

O: a beer that attempts to restore the good name of lagers. I'm not typically a huge lager fan, but this is pretty good.

Photo of Galaxy_Stranger
1.12/5  rDev -68.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Karbach's in Houston and was interested, and I like supporting local brewers. I thought it was interesting how they canned everything whereas many "craft" brewers forego canning altogether. I thought, "Cool, I'll have to try them some time", and went about my day.

A week or so later, I noticed they were being sold at Kroger. Excited to try this new brand out, I grabbed a canned 6-back of Sympathy for the Lager. I like lighter beers, so I went for that one. And this is what happened...

I generally don't believe in reviewing color or head. Those attributes can be indicative of certain things but have ZERO bearing on how good a beer is. I drank this straight out of the can.

My first impression was: Utter Crap. I was thirsty, it was chilled - straight from the store. It tasted like what I imagine the bottom of my shoe tastes like. It's really not fair to judge from one mouthful, so I perservered and finished the can. Nope - nothing changed. Ok, one beer isn't enough to throw everything out. So, I had a total of four beers that evening - and they were all the same. I taste no hopps. I taste nothing like malted anything. And the AFTERTASTE... The bland, bitter taste is really indescribable. Karbach says they were going for an "authentic" recipe. God save the Czechs/Germans if this is what a genuine Pilsner or any other lager tastes like...

So, I had two beers left and brought them to my work buddies. I didn't want them to expect perfection, so I said, "I didn't go for this beer - tell me what you think". And they poured a can into glasses and proceded with caution... Now, you have to understand, all four of us are home-brewers. We all know what decent beer should taste like - whatever the style. None of them even finished their glasses. One of them almost spit it out without swallowing! (...that's what she said...)

This beer tasted like everything that is horrible and communist about American beer - only amplified with the flavor of the open road. Amazing. Schlitz is better than this.

I am willing to accept that this could have been just a bad batch, but it's not like I didn't give it a fair shake. A literal BAD batch of beer is infected and undrinkable. I have no reason to believe that what I had was not the intended final product.

Houston - cut me off into space, I'm not coming back. I'll say "Hi" to Voyager for you...

Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Very foamy mid yellow bodied lager. Nothing interesting in aroma department. Mid mouth feel, decent drinkability despite slight acidic edge in finish. Always giving a lager an even break. Decent malting, not sweet, some spiciness. Not bad, and Vienna is a style I can like.

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another of a seemingly endless supply of canned beers from woodychandler. Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a light brownish color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is sweet and malty. Taste is malts, grains, some hops at the finish, sweetness from the smell is missing. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a pretty good beer.

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Sympathy For The Lager from Karbach Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 243 ratings.