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 →

Karnival Kolsch - Stoudts Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Karnival KolschKarnival Kolsch

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

162 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 162
Hads: 347
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 18.75%
Wants: 22
Gots: 16 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Stoudts Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Spring

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: bbeane on 02-27-2010

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Karnival Kolsch Alström Bros
Reviews: 162 | Hads: 347
Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up down at Total Wine in West Orange since I had never had it before. I'm not a huge fan of this style but I like Stout's beers and this was the time of the year to have this. Although I've had better beers during the warmer months, this was a good example of the style and relatively easy to drink if the sour taste was a bit overlooked.

The pour to this was clear and gold with a nice amount of head and good carbonation. Not a lot of body to this and the grape notes took over first and foremost. A good amount of grass and straw were here too with just a hint of bread in the taste. The finish was pretty clean but I think this would have been better with a fuller mouthfeel with just a hint of dough to round it out.

Even though I only had one of these in a sitting, I could have had more since this was easygoing and pretty light on the alcoholic aspects. Because this style isn't that common, this would suffice for anyone looking to enjoy a beer of this style. Better examples are out there but since they're not easy to find, this should please most people.

 1,082 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap in a pint glass at the Bridge View Tavern in Sleepy Hollow.

Appearance: light golden hue with a good effervescence. Head is a thin layer of white foam. Looks good like a Kölsch should!

Smell: light, sweetish malt aroma with a hint of lagery yeastiness. Good but rather mild.

Taste: malty with a good yeast character. There is a light noble hop quality and moderate and balanced bitterness that works quite well. I like it.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a huge carbonation and absolutely bodacious creaminess. Ka-pow! Creamiest Kölsch I've ever had!

Overall: a very satisfying and refreshing example of the style. I really wish this were available in my area.

 689 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour is a clear golden color with a nice white head. Sweet, but crisp. Good pale malt aroma, light hoppiness (mostly floral), and quite clean. The flavor is nicely refreshing. Good clean malt and hop flavors with minimal bitterness. A mild sweetness of bread and a crisp finish.

 282 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2012-07-06 in Columbia, PA

A - Clear, straw-yellow with a pillowy 3-finger white head and mild lacing.

S - Bready malt, a touch of grass and not much else.

T - Bready malt then some citrus, grass and a nice bittering finish that sticks around. Not very complex but pleasant.

M - Light-medium body and medium carbonation. A bit thin/watery but refreshing.

O - A nice summer refresher with enough flavors to be interesting.

 438 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle from the IGA Potsdam NY for 1.89$

Appearance - Clear gold colour with an average size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes.

Smell - Corn, herbal/straw/grass, hops

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste hops, malts, and herbal/grassy notes. There is also some light lemon/grapefruit peel flavours and a bit of ginger. It ends with a herbal slightly bitter aftertaste.

Overall - An above average Kölsch that is very drinkable especially on a hot day. Not something I'd go out of my way to have again, but well worth a try.

 672 characters

Photo of DrDemento456
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Picked this up from the House of 1,000 beers mix and match price $1.65

A - Even though it's a touch old it still poured a clear, clean bright hay colored yellow with a 1/2 inch of rocky white head.

S - Smells of mild wheat, a touch of floral hops, and some dough.

T - It's a bit floral with some wheat and grass making way to the palate giving it a yeasty kind of lemon taste but the finish is clean.

M - Light to medium a good bodied summer beer.

Overall it's a good Kolsch but I can find more crisp and balanced versions of the style.

 541 characters

Photo of Mitchster
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$1.89 for a 12oz bottle at BevCo. 22 IBU, 4.8% ABV, Bittering and aroma hops=Hallertauer. Includes Red Wheat...interesting.

Pours out to a sparkingly clear pale straw golden, forming a tall bone white beautiful and creamy head. Excellent retention and lacing. Appears filtered. Medium crisp carbonation, ~2.5 carbs. The aroma is as a Kolsch should be...clean Kolsch yeast profile with a hint of sulfur, freshly mown hay, delicate hops and no flaws. Mouthfeel is crisp and clean with a light body. The taste is wonderful...delicate pilsner malt, freshly mown hay, with a hint of saltine cracker. Pleasantly firm well balanced bitterness. No off-flavors. Dry clean finish.

A perfectly brewed Kolsch. One of the very best I've had. An exceptional beer. I will be going back to the store and getting a few 6'ers of this for sure. Highly recommended.

 847 characters

Photo of KTCamm
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a pint glass. Another mix a six pickup.

Pours a very clear golden color. See through. German pils-y smell. Firm. Taste is clean, flavorful, delicious. Mild hop runs throughout. Light lemony touch. Not much to describe, but perfect for the style.

Great summer beer.

 306 characters

Photo of mactrail
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice example of a Kölsch. Rich flavor, perfumey, tangy mouthfeel. Light golden with a slight haze in the glass. Excellent sudsy head.

Resiny flavor is quite pervasive. Crisp and clean with a lager character. A hint of biscuits and yeast. Pleasant carbonation that lasts really well. Overall, a refreshing quaff.

From the 12 oz bottle purchased at the Foodery in Philadelphia.

 379 characters

Photo of nickfl
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one and a half fingers of white foam on top of a slightly hazy, golden body. The head settles rapidly and leaves very nice lace.

S - An aroma of light, sweet malt and spicy, herbal European hops.

T - Sweet malt up front with some herbal hops and a touch of bitterness. Flavors of hay and honey in the middle with a bitter finish that is grassy, but balanced by a moderately strong malt flavor.

M - Slightly thick malt, moderate carbonatiion, and a lightly sweet finish.

D - Not bad, it is a good example of the style and while it won't win any points for complexity it is very refreshing.

 607 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: half finger bright white head on a cloudypale golden body. Thick lacing.

S: musty malt, lemon custard, a touch spicey

T: very clean tasting with pale malts grains and a nice yeast character. The sweetness is again lemon custard late into the finish.

M: light body and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: A very nice Kolsch. Flavorful, no off putting notes and nice body to this one.

 392 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Pours a completely clear straw color. Body is light and glowing. Head is bright white and fizzes down to only a tiny skin above the body.

S-Quite bread and zesty. Smells quite clean and tight. A little floral a little citrusy. A bit of spice too.

T-What a crisp, clean flavor with an interesting finish. This beer starts off like a buttered biscuit then it morphs into some surprising grassy bitterness. A bit spicy and lemony. Great finish that is both drier and more bitter than I anticipated it to be. Tastes like animal crackers.

M-Light and super crisp. Far from watery however. Excellent carbonation. Superb feel.

O/D-A great beer from a style I am not very familiar with. I really enjoyed this. An awesome warm-weather beer. Light but boasts plenty of flavor. Cool, cool, cool.

 790 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: The bottle pours a clear straw color, capped by a modest snow-white head; just a few clumps of foam cling to the pint glass

Smell: Clean aromatics of pilsener malt, with a hint of lemon

Taste: Clean and bready, up front, with a bit of lemon and grassy hops in the mid-palate; dry finish

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with reasonably crisp carbonation

Overall: A refreshing example of the style - not unexpected from this brewery with a knack for the Germanic

 477 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Strong aroma is malty and yeasty with a hint of caramel. It pours a clear, wan yellow with a fluffy and not persistent white head. OK, what can I say - I prefer darker beers. Fortunately, appearance is this beer’s weakest point, as the malty flavor has firm yeasty and fruity notes, not complex but refreshing. Texture has good body and a fair amount of fizz. Overall, nothing to Tweet about but still OK.

 407 characters

Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stoudts Karnival Kolsch has a very thick, white head and a clear, bubbly, straw appearance, with a good amount of lacing left on the glass. The aroma is of sugary sweetness, grass, and lightly toasted barley malt. Taste is of sweet, light barley and pale cracker, with a nice hop bitterness in the middle-to-end of the sip. Mouthfeel is light, watery, and lager-like, and Stoudts Karnival Kolsch finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, dry, and highly drinkable. I rate this one excellent. Get some!


 500 characters

Photo of Pahn
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. Best by 8/15/12 printed on the bottle (consumed 5/4/12).

Appearance: Free pour yields a 1 inch fluffy white head that dissipates a bit slowly and leaves some bubbly lacing near the surface. Pours a crystal clear pale yellow. Leaves a few small splotches of lacing.

Smell: At first, lemony, with a faint sulfury aroma. Mild. With warmth some nice noble hop aroma builds up. Never really takes off though.

Taste: Bready malt, with lemony and fruity highlights (more lemony). Dry, mineraly finish. Hop flavor is present, but barely.

As the beer warms, it develops a small lagery tang through the middle into the finish. I'd love the almost berry-like fruitiness suggested at first to return. It does not, but the lemon builds up, along with some very pleasant herbal hops.

Perfect mild bitterness to balance the malt sweetness. Yeast could stand to be cleaner. Ultimately, enough going on to hold my interest, and very refreshing.

Mouthfeel: Like the appearance, really spot on. Light side of medium bodied. Slightly prickly carbonation. Subtle creaminess while still remaining refreshing. Solidly dry finish, but not bone dry. Very good.

Overall: Good beer. Could easily have a lot of these in the summer. There's things I'd like to be done a bit differently (more hops in the flavor and aroma, less yeast presence in flavor), but it's still a well done beer, and a good value.

 1,415 characters

Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a bold, clear gold with no head or lace. It's aroma is of lemons, bread, and honey. The flavor has notes of lemon, honey, and cake with a hop bitterness in the finish that mellows as it warms. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. Stoudts Karnival Kolsch is a good beer, recommended.

 300 characters

Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.21/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsener- pours a clear golden straw color with one inch of creamy white head; great retention and nice rows of beautiful lacing. Pours with more foam/retention the warmer it is.

Smell is nice and light- smells a little herby and a little grassy. Nice light German hops. Light earthy yeast scent as well.

Taste is consistent but more fleshed out- nice pale malt sweetness coupled with grassy hops, slightly dry finish.

Great mouthfeel- light bodied and well carbonated (I do love the prickly ones). Not a must have in my book but certainly a delicious and refreshing session beer.

 617 characters

Photo of woodychandler
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

My heavy-handed pour resulted in a massive two-plus fingers of eggshell-white head with very good retention. Nose smelled very pleasantly of Noble hops, probably Saaz, and my mouth began to water.

I am a self-avowed hophead but it was not until my FerMentor, Lew Bryson, explained to me about certain types of lagers as being hops-forward that I had any truck with Kolsch. I still say that the best Kolsch I ever had was made by Bryan (DJ Lil Guy) Selders when he was still with Neversink B.C. in Reading, PA before becoming Sam Calagione's right-hand man.

Color was a beautiful pale lemon-yellow and if that makes me a sissy in Greg Koch's eyes, so be it. Mouthfeel was full, almost creamy and the soft grassy hops were delicious in the mouth. The finish was semi-dry and very refreshing. This would be a most welcome summer beer, especially after doing lawn work. Plus, the sticky lacing was beautiful.

 908 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.96/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beer is yellow and crystal clear. Bright and clean. Huge white head, some lacing. Nice carbonation. 

Aroma is plain. A little sweet a little weak but good. 

Beer is wet and nice. It is clean and sweet up front. Nice crispness to the palate and the finish is great. I'd have this again. 

 291 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
3.01/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The brew pours a cloudy golden color, like straw, with a half-finger head, light lacing and medium carbonation.

The smell is of straw, possibly lemongrass, yeast and wet hay.

The taste is yeasty, slightly malty and there is a bite on the aftertaste which appears to be due to the carbonation. There is also a light dose of bitter hops. Light spice of type.

The mouthfeel is light thin and creamy.

Overall there is not much going on here but I guess this is the Kolsch style; this is similar to other Kolsch style beers I have had. It is not all bad the the addition of some fruit, more spice and hops would soup this up nicely.

 631 characters

Photo of chefhatt
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draft at paradise by the slice. It had a nice clear golden color body with a nice 2"foamy head that hung around a while. The smell was of lemony, grassy hops. The taste was nice and crisp, sweet grain and some bitter hops to finish it off. The mouth feel was great, nice and smooth and very tasty, good one to drink when it is warm out.

 350 characters

Photo of JWU
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a tumbler glass.

A- crystal clear straw yellow with a white, fizzy head. Little lacing.

S- clean grains and cereals with a bit of ale yeast and a hint of spicy hops

T- starts with a hint of bitterness, which transitions into a defined smoothness with the sweet grains and cereal base. A bit rough on the back end (aggressively crisp on the palette), likely due to the ale yeast.

M- Crisp, smooth, and slightly creamy. Almost too crisp on the finish.

O- Almost like their gold lager, made with ale yeast. A very refreshing spring/summer beer, and would be a great gateway beer for macro drinkers.

 625 characters

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color and has a moderate amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high bright white head that gradually died down, consistently leaving a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and lots of lacing down the sides of the glass.
S: There are light aromas of floral and spicy hops in the nose.
T: The overall taste is filled with flavors of biscuit malts and has a light to moderate amount of bitterness.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation. The hops lend a moderate amount of dryness throughout the taste from start to finish.
O: Dryness, bitterness and maltiness seem to stand out in this beer, which is quite easy to drink given its low alcohol content.

 769 characters

Photo of Finn
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Karnival kolsch pours pale yellow and holds a modest, creamy head of foam. It has a crisp, clean aroma of grainy lemony grassiness. A subtle malt sweetness comes through behind subdued lemony hoppy notes. The mouthfeel is great: creamy and smooth with a little crisp bite from the moderate carbonation. Overall I like this one a lot and is a nice "light" craft beer for the warmer weather.

 389 characters

Karnival Kolsch from Stoudts Brewing Co.
86 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.