Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine by selecting 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 ummswimmin
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured this into a tulip style glass. I like the light, straw color. The foam is thin with light carbonation.

Off the top I get some lemon and pilsner smell. There is just a little smell of malt.

This tastes very light with a little fruitiness. The pilsner flavors continue in the taste as well.

It is a good summer brew. This is my first kolsch in a couple years and it is nice to get back to this.

 404 characters

Photo of bum732
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Spicy hops, slightly fruity with some apple cider notes. Just a touch of sulfur, very minor.

L: Crystal clear straw yellow, dusting of foam with some retention.

T: Pils malt sweetness with a firm spicy hoppiness. Medium spicy bitterness leads to a fairly clean finish. A nice noble hop bitterness persists throughout.

M: Medium light body, medium carbonation.

More pilsner than kolsch because of the excessive hoppiness, definitely an American interpretation. That said, i really enjoyed this beer, still had that recognizable Kolsch fruitiness.

 552 characters

Photo of Jenkster4
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a hazy pale yellow with about three fingers worth of head.
Nice carbonation, and overall not a bad looking brew.

Nose: Getting some herbal notes, hay, tad bit of spice, and a very slight hop presence.

Taste: Clean and refreshing. You get most of the the aspects that you pick off the nose. Nice lemon zing after it sets for a minute. Pretty good summer beer.

Mouth: Like I said before this is a clean and easy brew.

Overall: This one is not bad. Nice summer brew, nothing fancy but sometimes that is A-OK. I'd buy it again.

 534 characters

Photo of MacQ32
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice light hazy straw color, surprisingly thickish head for the SRM, leaves behind excellent lacing!

S - Lemony, slightly spicey, some floral hops and toasty malt

T - Like it smells, well balanced. very light and very earthy. Almost sour, dry finish.

M - Light bodied, super refreshing, appropriate carbonation.

O - Don't really care for Kolsch's but this is a good representation of the style. I could stand to drink a few of these in the right situation

 471 characters

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

This has long been a favorite summer beer of mine.
12oz bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: The body of the beer is a light straw colored yellow with perfect clarity. There was bubbly two finger head that displayed moderate retention and left behind a great deal of lacing.

S: The nose is incredibly balanced with a toasted malt presence, some cracked wheat, and a healthy dose of Hallertau hops. The hops are very earthy and floral reminiscent of a wild meadow in full bloom.

T: The earthy aspects come rushing forth with dank floral and herbal notes, followed by a distinct mineral-like finish. The toasted malt and wheat subtly enter mid-palate and provide a delicate sweetness to support the hops . It finishes dry and herbal.

M: Light to medium with a pleasant effervescence that borders on creamy.

O: This is my go to American Kolsch and always makes me feel like the season is changing. Cheers!

 903 characters

Photo of fx20736
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Pilsener glass. Pour yields a snow white 3/4 head which recedes slowly and leaves a shroud of white lace down the entire side of the glass. Beer is a pure gold with steady tiny bubbles. Aroma is muted, some maltiness and a touch of fruit. Mouthfeel is silky smooth. Taste is a restrained duet of hoppiness and pale mailtiness in perfect harmony. Finish is clean with a slight bitterness.

Great drinking experience. TBH, it doesn't seem too different from a lager, sort of like a dry Pilsener but more subdued and less grassy. It seems like balance and restraint are real hallmarks of this beer and I applaud Stoudts for making a fine version of a lesser known and hard to imitate style.

 720 characters

Photo of KajII
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

[Best served in a Kolsch glass]

Poured a slightly hazy pale yellow with a large white fizzy head that had good retention and produced excellent lacing. The aroma was of straw malts, a nice grassy hop and a soapy scented yeast with hints of citrus and maybe honey. It tasted rather bitter and mildly acidic with a nice citrus note at first with the flavor becoming just a bit sour with a nice hoppy finish. Mouthfeel was was light in body and watery in texture with a nice soft carbonation.Overall it was nice and flavorful, although nothing too special.

 554 characters

Photo of beerthulhu
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A crystal clarity with a pale golden yellow coloring is topped off by a bubbly head that was spongy with a bright white shine. Short lived was the head leaving only a faint smidge of a reminder of its presence in the way of lace. A very light effervesce shows though the window clarity of the drink that was rapid in speed, moderately spaced but starts to whimper out after a short time like a weezing old man.

S: Pale grains and lemon cake appear for aroma. Bread with a bit of sour musky citrus. Not particularly as clean or refined as its German counterparts grain wise. Also the hopping is a bit assertive, good if you like the American bastardization take on foreign styles, not much so if you’re a purist. Mixed feelings here, brings something extra to the table but feel reluctant to rate per style so going midway in my rating here.

T: The flavor was pale lemon hops and pale grains, lightly dry with a soft flowery scent of noble hops with a finish of musky citrus and a bit of dry fruitiness. Again the hopping is a bit more assertive of style. There is a light bread notes, a bit of acidity with a show of some fruity nature. Crisp and clean flavor with a delicate dryness reaches just the right balance before a extra helping of hops move in for the kill and finish.

M: Light bodied, fit per style, with a smooth slippery texture and a good bubbly presence of carbonation. Dry lemon citrus flowers fade off the tongue upon the swallow with a bit of sour musky fruit.

O: Overall a decent flavor with an added measure of hops making for a light drinking affair, maybe not as clean malt wise or as crisp as its german counterparts, but again this a tough act to measure up to. I consumed this at 99F and found it refreshing, drinking almost like a pale ale at times.

 1,788 characters

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.23/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty sure the date said to enjoy by july, but now I can't find it.

A - brilliant yellow golden body with a decent white head.

S - zesty and spicy lemon, pale malt.

T - Crisp and clean with a lightly bitter bite. Nice malt finish, very refreshing.

M - light, but not thin, lively carbonation.

O (D) - a fine summer beer for sure!

 339 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out as a really nice clarity, yellow body and a fizzy white head. The aroma is light, most has a nose of some malt and grains. Not really much hop aroma at all here. The taste is light all around. The flavor that it does have is pretty refreshing though. The mouthfeel is very light and very easy to drink. Overall not a bad Kolsch.

 348 characters

Photo of Trambo
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from bottle into a fluted pils glass mostly clear, with a pale golden color & nice carbonation streams, building a lovely white head 1 finger deep. Head disappeared quickly leaving nice lacing on glass.

S - Caramel maltiness and a lovely citrus note. Very pleasant aromas urging the first taste.

T - Very slightly sweet maltiness with a light bread taste, followed by a slightly lemony delicate hops bite. Great balance.

M - Light to medium mouthfeel, goes down smooth with a smart, crisp finish, begging for the next swig.

Very drinkable, good hot weather beer that wants you to follow with another. Overall, I enjoyed this greatlky, and was very pleasantly surprised by this American crafted tribute to the Kölsch style. Will definitely recommend!

 766 characters

Photo of ngeunit1
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden-yellow color with tons of bubbling carbonation and a half finger of crisp white head. The head fades fairly quickly down to a tin layer leaving some nice lacing behind.

S - Aroma is a mix of some light sweet caramel malts and a bit of floral hops as well. There is also some light citrus and honey as well.

T - Starts off with some light sweet caramel malt and lemon flavors. Through the middle some floral hops and honey sweetness come through. The finish is a mix of sweet caramel and citrus that lingers nicely.

M - Medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Very light and crisp without being watery. The sweetness and citrus flavor that lingers is really crisp.

D - Very drinkable. There is enough flavor and complexity to keep the beer interesting without every feeling watery or empty. The beer is super crisp and smooth and a nice balance of flavors. The light hop addition is really nice.

 930 characters

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

On-tap at Flannery's, Mercersburg PA

For a true Kolsch I think this misses the mark by being too bold in flavor but on its own it has a lot of merits as a beer.

A= golden, with modest head.

S= some light malts, hops florals and hints of honey.

T= much bolder on the hops bitters than I'd expected, far beyond a true Koln Kolsch. Thick bready malts, again much more so than a true Koln Kolsch. But enjoyable.

M= lingering hops bitters and thick malts.

O= very decent beer but a far stretch to call it a Kolsch.

 515 characters

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

Pale yellow body, touch of haze, a few bits of carbonation streams, topped by a big snow white densely headxm of micro-micro-bubbles.

Light but enticing aroma of lemon and fresh hay.

Sweet but nowhere near cloying. Lemon follows. Then a crisp hop nip at the swallow. Light lemon/hop mix carries through a short aftertaste.

Good firm mouthfeel for a beer this light.

A nice tasty hot day beer, better than a lot of other summer kolschs out there.

 450 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pale gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has everything a good pilsner has to offer; pilsner malts and Czech hops, except this beer has some mild Kolsch yeast esters. The taste is much the same. It's a little more bitter than most Kolschs' I've had in the past. It seems like it's modeled after a traditional Czech pilsner, but substituting the yeast strains. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low bodied beer with good carbonation. This is an easy drinking beer. It would be a hit with both ale and lager drinkers alike.

 597 characters

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

Poured from a 12 fl oz bottle into a pint glass. Best by 7/26/11?

Appearance: Pours a yellow body with a thin white head. Decent carbonation activity.

Smell: Smells of grassy light citrus. Slightly metallic.

Taste: Slight citrus flavor. Overall, very dry and bitter, almost to the point of being sour. Representative of the style as far as I can tell.

Mouthfeel: A light and refreshing beer with a lot of carbonation.

Overall: Overall a decent offering and you have to applaud Stoudts for producing a style that is relatively rare among American craft brewers.

 565 characters

Photo of CJfromPhilly
3.42/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the 12 oz. bottle a macro-like pale straw yellow with a foamy one finger head that settles into a collar of medium thickness. Carbonation is very active...there's a ton of bubbles rising. Aroma is slightly citrusy...there's a hint of lemon going on. 1st sip is light, crisp, and tart with more of the lemon peel thing going on. There is a bitterness on the background which comes more from the lemon than any hops notes. Mouthfeel is light & lager-like. Overall, this is an OK beer, but nothing that rocks my world. Would go nice with something off the grill on a hot summer weekend afternoon, but not something i'd put on my "must have" list.

 654 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at Casey's, Newtown Square, PA

Poured a clear, light golden color, with a frothy white head that dissipated rather quickly to a thin layer. Aroma of light malts and hay. Similar taste, with lightly toasted malts, hay, grass, earth, just a hint of hops, and a slightly bitter aftertaste. Very light profile, crisp, refreshing, and quite drinkable for a summer beer. I'm not a big fan of the style, but this was okay.

 434 characters

Photo of Franz4
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle best by 8/9/11

A-Light golden, nearly yellow, translucent with a decent white bubbly head that settled relatively quickly.

S- subdued lemon followed by straw, and then an even more subtle spiciness to it.

T- straw and white grapefruit flavor, spiciness continues to be there but I'm not able to identify it

M- initial blast of residual carbonation balances out nicely. Very dry and clean, very little aftertaste.

O- I'm enjoying this beer and it could be a good one for the summer months when you want something refreshing.

 541 characters

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

This was my first Kolsch beer.

This beer has a smooth and refreshing taste with a very faint bitter bite. Highly drinkable. I had it outside on a patio with bratwurst, it was wonderful in the spring sun. I can see myself drinking this beer again in the hot summer months.

 273 characters

Photo of timuel
1.9/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Anyone who's brewed with a Kolsch yeast has undoubtedly noted the terrible smell given off during primary fermentation. Only with aging at near-lagering temps and perhaps a finning agent or two can you get rid of that and let the more delicate notes shine. My impression of Karnival Kolsch was that it was rushed through production and filtered for clarity.

 357 characters

Photo of WVRadar
4.39/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very clear, sparkling straw to pale gold body, capped by a thin fizzy white head. Lots of bubbles racing to the surface. Moderate lacing. Pleasant malty aroma with a hint of fresh bread. Very tasty, sweet, crisp and smooth. Did not detect much of a hops presence. Mouthfeel is light, oily and soft. Certainly an upgrade over the everyday American lager, I really like this beer.

 378 characters

Photo of MicroBeerMan1980
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pale yellow and crystal clear. Bright and fresh. Creamy thin effervescent head. Very little retention.

S: Very sweet pilsner malts. Hops aren't heavy. Light and crisp aroma.

T: Lager-esque. Quintessential Kolsch. Clean, bright and refreshing. Very light hop profile, but very well balanced. It's like a doughy biscuit in your mouth.

M: Very light and smooth on the tongue and palate. Refreshing and effervescent.

D: This is the perfect lager to throw down on a warm summer day. Concert tailgate anyone?

 509 characters

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

A: bright gold with a white head. reasonable retention. brilliant clarity.

S: all aromas are mild and difficult to identify. low pilsner maltiness. faint aroma from a german hop varietal. sulfur characteristics are obviously present as well.

T: sweet maltiness is pleasantly balanced by a noble hop varietal that makes itself much more present on the palate than in the nose. a delicate fruit is notable as well. strawberry and pear.

M: very smooth, very rounded. light body with a medium carbonation.

D: refreshingly light. some subtle hop, and fruit flavors. overall a tasty nice summer beer.

 600 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean golden yellow, with a white head. In the aroma, a faint small malt and a hint of tart earthiness. In the taste, small faint tartness, earthy, and a dry malt. A small bite and light bodied mouthfeel, with a small dry to clean aftertaste. Nice earthy presence, clean and light.

 289 characters

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