Sympathy For The Lager - Karbach Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Sympathy For The LagerSympathy For The Lager

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BA SCORE
81
good

251 Ratings
THE BROS
87
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 251
Reviews: 41
rAvg: 3.58
pDev: 16.2%
Wants: 16
Gots: 70 | 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: 251 | Reviews: 41
Photo of Galaxy_Stranger
1.12/5  rDev -68.7%
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 mothman
1.86/5  rDev -48%
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 TexasRedskinFan
2.76/5  rDev -22.9%
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 kojevergas
2.81/5  rDev -21.5%
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 hmph
3.18/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Texas beer got in what seems to be an unending trade with Tofuspeedstar, Thanks again!

A - wow, beautiful golden evening sun yellow and orange, large crisply white foamy head, looks very nice in the glass

S - huge lager aroma with a bit extra heartiness to it, an almost sourdough biscuit smell to it. *Initially thought it was just a lager, after seeing its 'style' classification here it seems to match it well*

T - huge biscuity malt taste throughout, it is intermingled with a bit of bitter sweetness that I've noticed more so with beers that use honey malt, almost a sour lactic sweetness but not quite, its highly prevalent in the aftertaste but still intriguing and enjoyable

O - this was quite a surprise, I had asked for it because I've been looking for a good Lager and was not dissapointed, this is a tasty beer with a degree of complexity I was not initially expecting. Kudos to Karbach you're doing the style and state of Texas proud!

Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
3.23/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Small 32oz growler, acquired day of drinking from DnQ in Houston, poured into pint glass, careful pour. pours clear amber with a full inch head, fades quick to just edge lacing. not much visible carbonation. Smells of citrus(orange) and coriander, very "pale" traditional aroma. slight bread-y (yeast and grain) odor.
Flavors are very floral, yeast, light hoppyness, amber, wheat "bockiness" is strong. definitely a lager, not a huge fan of the style, but this is pretty drinkable. Aromas and flavors don't appear to match however.

Photo of kungpao
3.36/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at hobbit cafe.

A- dark amber with Orange highlights. Nice color for a lager!

S- not much to speak of. A bit more hops and malt than a usual lager but overall muted.

T- a clean full flavor lager. Bittering hops and sweet bisciuty malts take front seat. Kind of reminds me of a hoppy marzen.

M- average for the style.

O-one of the most flavorful lagers I've had yet. Well done

Photo of Sammy
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
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 matjack85
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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 SHODriver
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
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 ARoman
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a shaker. The aroma is a mild bread and muffin dough, with some lemon, coriander, and grass. It pours a lightly, hazy straw color with a white, fuzzy head that leaves a moderate amount of lace and has an ok retention. The taste is a medium sweet with a light bitter. The oily and slick beer has a light and creamy fuzz for carbonation and a light body. Flavors of stone fruit and minerals are first noted with follow up notes of baked bread. The finish is crisp with a citrus zest and light clove honey smoothness. The aftertaste is sweet lemon that mellows towards bread and clove honey with a mild astringentcy. The moderate length tails off and leaves a clean resin feel.

Photo of Lundste
3.5/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted pretty good after the quarter marathon.

Photo of tone77
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

Photo of FosterJM
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1343rd Review on BA
Can to Pint
12oz

Thanks to Lnashsig for this one

App- Golden and yellow throughout. Top falling dark to light with a two finger puffy head. Some nice cling and stick. Nice coloring

Smell- Very earthy, a bit of dirt, some bitter mixed in with a bit of that lager yeast note. Smells more like a vienna to me. Semi rich malts.

Taste- Much like the nose, many aromas translate to flavors. Semi-malty with a semi-bitter flavor and a good dose of that lager butter flavor.

Mouth- A lighter medium body with a good light medium carbonation. Very earthy and a touch bitter with solid butter and wheat flavors.

Drink- One of the better lagers. Still cant get into the style.

Photo of champ103
3.53/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Queen Vic in Houston, TX.

A: Pours a clear golden/orange color. A two finger light beige head forms with good retention. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Toasted and dry malts are up front, which quickly fades to sweet caramel. Hops come in towards the end, and dominate the finish. Lingering grapefruit bitterness.
T: Follows the nose. Toasted malts, bread and biscuit at first. Though plenty of caramel sweetness as well. A sharp bitterness lingers.
M/D: A light to medium body. Good carbonation and crisp. Easy and quaffable beer to drink.

Very enjoyable, and a nice addition to the Houston beer scene. I will continue to drink this again, but I think there are better lagers made in Texas. Karbach blew me away with their first release. Not so much with the others. Still very enjoyable and worth a try.

Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.55/5  rDev -0.8%
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 TheYeagermeister
3.58/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A--Apricot-colored, pale orange and clean looking. Pours about an inch of head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving behind layers on the glass.
S--Wheat, red apples, cinnamon, musky malts, maybe pear, virtually no hops in the smell. Not particularly strong.
T--Malts are up front, but not long lived. I get the same cinnamon apple from the smell, and some light honey and caramel notes. Floral hops dominate and linger on the palate. Sort of a bitter, sulfur aftertaste.
M--A bit thicker than medium bodied. Carbonation is high, maybe a little too high for my liking.
D--I could see myself going for another one, but this wouldn't be a session beer for me.

Overall, the hubby and I like it and appreciate it for how big it is for the style. A full flavored, complex lager worth trying. Karbach Brewing Co. continues to impress.

Photo of OKbrew89
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stella glass. Clear golden color with good carbonation that leaves a good head and light lacing at the top of the glass. Smell is bready with some citrus and pepper. The citrus works well with the malt to make a smooth taste that is capped off with a hop finish. No alcohol aftertaste or bitterness from the hops. Medium-light body and medium-light carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing.
It has the hop profile and kick that most lagers lack. It doesn't feel too light or watered down. Lagers tend to come with low expectations, and this one was a nice surprise. I got way more out of it than I expected to. Easily a good BBQ/grill/summer beer.

Photo of StArnoldFan
3.59/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I had this awhile back and didn't care for it. Revisiting 5/21/15 and had to come change my rating. Not sure if the recipe changed or my taste did but this beer is pretty solid.

Photo of Stevedore
3.6/5  rDev +0.6%
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 +1.7%
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 Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Onion Creek in Houston.

The beer pours an orange-yellow color with a white head. The aroma is extremely malty with quite a bit of toffee malt, as well as some light caramel notes. There is not much, if any, hop or alcohol character in the aroma.

The flavor is also very malty. There is a ton of toffee and caramel malt, as well as the resulting sweetness. There is also a little bit of earth character from the hops, but this is still all about the malt.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of cavedave
3.69/5  rDev +3.1%
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 twiggamortis420
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz can pours a very clear, medium gold color with a creamy cap of white head. Nice retention and lacing. Good looking brew.

Nose is sulfurous lager yeast and floral hops. Little bit of a sweet biscuity malt background.

Smooth graininess with a pretty big punch of hoppy bitterness. The mouthfeel is surprisingly full and rich for this type of lager. Id actually place it more in the American Pale Lager category or maybe a helles as opposed to an Amber/Red lager. There is nothing amber or red about it. Whatever you call it, it is damn tasty. I’ll be buying this one again, for sure.

Photo of ilikebeer03
3.73/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Sympathy For The Lager from Karbach Brewing Co.
81 out of 100 based on 251 ratings.