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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 jwjon1
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Great interpretation of a classic German style. But would you expect anything less from Stoudts? Crisp, well balanced, and enough going on flavor wise to keep it interesting. Perfect clarity and hue for the style, with a modest head. Some may find Kolsch beers boring, but I find them to be excellent daily drinkers for those warm summer days. And Stoudts did a fine job on their's!

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a single of this yesterday, the first time I'd seen it.

Pouring a light straw yellow with a dense, frothy, white head that lasts forever, leaving sheets of lace, this is near perfection for a Kolsch. The nose is excellent as well. Light and bready with a little cracker-like malt character, there's also a gentle, suffuse, hop character,lightly lemony. Not as grassy the way a pilsner is, this is a subtle classic. There's a touch of fruitiness as well. Ridiculously clean, this is a great lager.
The palate opens light with a little pils malt character and a very delicate hop character. Beautifully balanced, the light fruitiness marries perfectly with the hop and the malt character. Moderate lemon hop character is present, this beer dries out on the finish with an astounding finish, light, delicate and lingering. The last beer that impressed me this much was the Aktien Hell, this is a fabulously crafted beer

**Edit 23 April 2012**
I finally found this again. Best by July 2012. I only have to add that there's a faint sulfur note on the nose, and the lemon hop character on the nose comes into the palate as well. Excellent stuff, though I'm dropping my overall from 5 (I'd given it a 5 for drinkability) to 4.5

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Photo of david18
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

They had this on draft at the Amsterdam Ale house in Manhattan yesterday when it was sweltering and hot. What a perfect beer for a hot day. Refreshing and light while having some interesting ale-like character that allows you enjoy the yeast as well. Light orange color and very cloudy in look. Very enjoyable and I look forward to having one today, and tomorrow, and...

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Photo of jlindros
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The first nice hot spring day, time to try a nice koslch.

A: Pours a huge fizzy 2.5 finger head that is full of large bubbles and pasty white colored, supplemented by many bubbles floating to the top. It's a brilliantly clear golden yellow color. The head leaves a very slight lacing on the sides.

N: A nice toasty slightly malty sweet lager aroma. Very much so lager, and nice smelling too. Some light wheat and even a touch of banana.

T: Starts with a really nice crisp lager taste. Some light toasty malts, slightly sweet lager malts and definite nice lager flavor. Light, crisp and refreshing. SOme light wheat, very light citrus and banana. A little juicy and fruity too. A nice fresh grassy and slight citrus fresh hop flavor and slight bitterness comes through. A nice one too.

M: Medium body and it feels like it has some viscosity to it. Good carbonation.

F: Semi crisp on the finish, not as much as I expected though. Slightly dry too, but not that much. A slight bitter hop presence comes through on the finish, a nice grassy spicy hop flavor. More lingering lager malts and slight fruit too. A nice long finish for being a crisp clean lager koslch.

Reminds me a lot of my fav lager, Pretty Thing's American Darling, just slightly less hoppy. I really liked this one and it would be delicious on a hot summer's day.

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Photo of victory4me
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard shaker.

Pours a clear straw yellow with a two finger head which dissipates quickly. Floral aroma of noble hops, hints of lemon and a slightly metallic characteristic. Very typical of the style.

Washes over the tastebuds very nicely. A subtle, hop presence that is just strong enough to make itself known. Citrusy and light. Extremely refreshing and easy to drink. A nice prickly mouthfeel from the carbonation and the hops. I could drink many of these in a sitting and wouldn't have to think very hard about it.

A really nice surprise from Stoudts. A great intro beer for your BMC friends. Very refreshing and enjoyable. A perfect representation of the style.

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

A 12 oz bottle poured into my stange glass, this beer is a clear, medium golden color. White head was about 1/2 inch thick when poured before settling to a nice thick ring lining the inside of the glass and a nice surface film coating. Good lacing here too. Has a good floral malt and hop aroma, nothing great, but it is pleasant Mildly sweet malt flavor upfront followed by a nice hop presence with noticeable bitterness on the back end. Also a bit of a grassy citrus flavor. Very enjoyable. Has a crisp, light to medium bodied mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. Very easy to drink. Spot on for the style. Very good beer in this hot weather 75 degrees plus we are having here in Cleveland tonight.


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Photo of david131
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- An absolutely clear yellow liquid with a thin white head that leaves some decent lacing.

S- White bread, lemon peel, and just an overall nice malt presence. Smells pretty nice.

T- Light malts with a bit of lemon twist. Clean and smooth with some tasty ingredients.

M- A surprisingly creamy mouthfeel with a pretty clean aftertaste.

D- A very nice beer that is definitely worth trying. It is nice to see a well made kolsch once in awhile.

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

Had this on tap at MaHafffey's. Poured a hazy straw colow, a bit darker than what I expect from a Kolsch. Medium white head.
The aroma was bread dough and grain, but not roasted agressively. Mild hop presence, not very floral, not a lot of fruit notes.
The taste was dominated by very lightly roasted malt and sweet fruits, with a minor citrus and floral hop presence.
This was a light-bodied beer but slightly heavier than most Kolsch beers I've had. Smooth and crisp with a nice clean and sweet finish.
Overlal very drinkable, refreshing and another good one from Stoudt's. Hats off.

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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.

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

It poured a clear and pale straw colour with a nice two finger head which dissipated fairly quick to a ring around the glass that leaves a cool "puffy graffiti art" sort of lacing on the glass before settling back to the ring.

The aroma is of pale sweet malts and faint apple.

The taste is a little more complex. It starts off sweet, but it's never really sweet because of the thin nature of the body. As you sip, your nose picks up honey in the aroma and as the beer moves across your tongue the earthy hops tantalize the sides and back of your tongue. Some VERY faint white grape or apple may be present and then the beer finishes dry and mild hoppy with some peppery lingering. NICE!

The mouthfeel is thin and mildly dry with some playful carbonation.

Overall I would say that this is an excellent representation of the style AND an exceedingly good choice of a beer for the warmer weather. This would also be a great crossover beer for someone who needs be weaned off of that total crap called lager from those big breweries! 4 out of 5!

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Photo of jwhancher
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a single 12 oz. bottle on a recent trip to the brewery. Poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a brilliantly clear straw gold color. Nice white head that clings to the glass a little and then fades.

S: Definite fruity notes - banana, maybe a hint of clove. A little vanilla, also. I wonder what kind of yeast they used. Some floral notes.

T: Fruity and toasty, again w/the banana. Finishes dry and a tad bitter with a lemon-like taste.

M: A nice light beer w/adequate carbonation. Somewhat frothy.

D: Excellent warm weather beer. Nice and refreshing.

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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?

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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!

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Photo of Jwale73
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle served at 53 degrees in a stange. No freshness dating indicated. Poured a pale, translucent yellow with a loose, frothy, two inch bright white head that settles into a solid half inch cap. A thick band of lacing was revealed during the session. Excellent nose - Lemon zest upfront with a faint suggestion of wheat towards the back. Taste consistent with nose with a Noble hops presence coming out towards the back and expressing itself as a light, lingering earthy bitterness between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-bodied with a slightly prickly carbonation. I'm not a huge kolsch fan, but this is probably one of the better, style-consistent domestic offerings out there.

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Photo of generallee
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a pint glass glass. The bottle has no mention of its abv% but it does have a "best by" date of 9/3/10.

Appearance: It has a bright clear yellow color with a tall bright white head on top. The body has some streams of visible carbonation rising up to the head which is creamy and hangs on well. It also makes some cool slick lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has a light pale biscuity malt undertone with a nice grassy/floral hop character with a twist of lemon zest on top.

Taste/Palate: Its flavor mirrors the aroma with light, mildly sweet malt balanced by mildly bitter grassy/floral hops. The palate is light with a soft yet still lively carbonated texture.

Notes: This is a style that is growing on me and this is one more beer that reminds me how good this styles simple yet well craft drinkability can be.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lot of American breweries take "Kolsch" (Kölsch is actually a appellation restricted to the breweries in and around Cologne) too far, either using too much malt or too many hops, leaving a beer that's either just too big for the style, or out of balance in some way. Stoudt's is pretty much right on.

They've got the yellow-golden color right, along with the bright-white head; and the proper amount of malt, yeast fruitiness, and noble hops in the nose. That's probably the hardest part to achieve because you don't want too much malt, and certainly not too many hops, AND you've got to get that little bit of fruitiness in as well without letting it get too bright.

The flavor follow suit, and it's important that it's well rounded and balanced in the same way that the aroma is. The malt should be supple and slightly grainy-sweet, but attenuated; and the hops need to be judiciously used for both bitterness and flavor. Too much flavor throws off the balance, and too much bitterness takes it into another style.

In general it's on the mid-upper range of the style, but if they'd gone any lighter I'd imagine today's consumers would grumble, thinking it too light (don't let them know it has less alcohol than Bud). A touch more carbonation might help to give it a little more refreshing crispness, but it's still quite good as it is. Overall, they've done a very good job with a very specifically defined style (keeping it from becoming a Blonde ale or a fruity Euro "lager"). Best of all, it's probably fresh! Prost!

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Photo of Philabeerphia
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a 12oz bottle with a well done label (fun and fitting). Poured into an 8oz stange glass (okay, it's a 'rigged' stange if you will).

A beautiful clarity allows light to pass freely through the beer. No hues, no differentiation in coloring - this beer is a brilliant gold (slightly darker maybe than German variations?). The 2 finger head, bone in color and large in bubbling, has settled into a small foamy cap that sits put until the beer is gone.

The nose is dry - hints of earth & wheat and a light floral hoppiness give this a pleasing, subtle spread. I dig deeper and pick up some clean green grapes, or maybe even berries. A nice finish. Still very much on the 'refreshing' side of things.

In the mouth this is definitely true. Carbonation makes it's presence felt immediately, producing a soft roll on the tongue. Some lemon tartness emerges and zips quickly into high notes of bready malt and lower notes of sweet berries. It arcs then finishes with a quick turn, allowing a floral, piny hop to emerge. The finish is still full and not as dry as some other examples I've tried (unfortunately), but IMO it is a solid representation of the style and a great addition to the local beer scene this Spring. Overall the beer moves soft and quickly while still hitting high and low notes - telling a nice refreshing story for the drinker to imbibe.

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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.

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Photo of DNICE555
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the B

A - Looks very clean. Very clear golden body with a small white head. Not much lacing.

S - Grains, minor hop presence.

T- Beady grains, some hops, very light tasty beer.

M - Very light clean spring beer. Nice carbonation.

D - Very solid spring beer out on the deck on a warm spring day. Love this take on the style.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Karnival Kolsch has a bright, clear, yellow body with a lot of carbonation bubbles. The head is soapy yet sturdy looking, and both lacing and retention are quite good.

The aroma has earthy, grassy, and lemon flavors from the hops, along with a lightly toasted, slightly sweet, grainy pale malt character.

I love a good Kolsch, and this one is no exception. Although Karnival Kolsch is on the hoppy side, the malt profile is much more complex. Lots of hops bring earthy, grassy bitterness with a touch of citrus. A hint of fruity yeast pokes its head up in the middle of the beer, but only for a second, then its gone. The malt has flavors of lightly toasted pale malt, crackers, light sweetness, and grainy cereal. The finish has a bit more bitterness from the hops.

Really light body with a ton of carbonation. Good feel.

This Kolsch was just what I was looking for from the style. A really easy drinker that manages a good deal of complexity and enough hops to satisfy a hophead.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I think I could drink about 20 of these. They taste good and they are extremely drinkable. I rated it as if the old drinkability were in place of "overall." This shines in drinkability as this style should.

It is perhaps a bit too light, as the style should be. The smell is good - again, a bit lighter than my preference. But it's a well made beer and one you could drink again and again.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to mughugger for this bottle -12os poured fridge temp into my stange.

A - A clear golden straw w/ 2 fingers of soapy cap, confetti-like lace clings and the retention is good. The Kölsch has visible carbonation streaming upward steadily

S - A very malty nose w/ mild chalky note and slight hint of hops w/ mild german yeast which adds a light sulfur note to the aroma

M - The feel is light w/ high carbonation and slightly creamy malt texture as a result w/ a nice hop presence. The yeast gives a hint of spice to the fell in the finish w/ mineral-like effect but it doesn't usurp the malt and the sweetness is very mild throughout

T - A very toasty malt entry with a spicy yeast accent and nice mineral like flavors in the peripheral. The flavor has a mild creamy cereal-like maltiness. The taste is crisp like a pils w/ mild hopping which is more herbal and malt keeps pace w/ subtle nutty tinges and hints of sweetness. The hops give the Kölsch a spicy finish augmented by the mild sulfur note of the yeast

D - I was really impressed with this - what a quenching German Style ale -- crisp and refreshing, flavorful - a well brewed Kölsch
Kudos to Stoudts!

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Photo of DIM
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: This was a bright, clear golden straw color. It poured with a large, rocky head that faded to clumpy lace.

s: Lots of bready, biscuity malts, a hint of grape, and some faint floral hops.

t: Not as sweet as the Brewmaster's Select version as I recall. Dry overall, I tasted bready grains and biscuits, light grape flavors and a touch of lemon rind.

m: Crisply carbonated and refreshing.

d: A very good offering from Stoudt's, but I prefer their pils for something sessionable. Still, I'll definitely mix things up with a six pack every now and then.

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Photo of jkot79
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Excellent example of the style. Nice head when poured from the growler. Nice lacing left in the glass. Not overly bitter with a nice crystal malt undertone. This is a most drinkable beer especially with the weather turning warmer. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Chaney
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up some of these because it is currently #7 on BA for the style. Here goes...

A: Poured a fizzy yellow color, with tons of bubbles shooting up from the bottom. After a very assertive pour, I managed to summon up a pretty substantial 1 - 1.5 finger cloud white head. Tons of lacing stuck to the side of the glass, even as I siphoned down the brew.

S: Faint, yet still present scent of sweet bread and German malt... alongside a nice fruity, hop presence.

T: Remarkably sweet, crisp, malty taste, with a mild bitter hop character that I totally wasn't expecting. The dry finish doesn't linger. Satisfying and refreshing!

M: Medium bodied, with prickly carbonation that I felt was perfect and allowed me to experience more of the complex sweetness. I was pleasantly surprised that this didn't turn out to be the bubble fest that I thought it might have been upon first pour.

O: Highly drinkable for sure. I could see myself popping a few of these around the pool in the summertime. Hey, that's what this was created for right?

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