Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe 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 wedge
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear golden-yellow topped with a small, pure white head. Light, pleasant aroma of fruit, earthy-floral hops, and sweet dough. Pale malt flavor upfront...bitter, sweet fruity hoppiness, dry grass and other mild noble-hop flavors. Dry and crisp in the finish. Light bodied and fairly well carbonated as well, making for a very drinkable beer on a warm day. They maybe should have saved this one for a summer seasonal, but if we keep getting 90 degree weather all spring, I could see myself drinking this one regularly.

 525 characters

Photo of pvsob
4.07/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Crystal clear, pale gold color with a one inch head that fades slowly and leaves average lacing.

S- Noble hops, dry grass, lemon zest, malt, crackers, and hints of fruit (melon/green grapes).

T- Spicy hops and light maltiness upfront. Finishes crisp with touches of lemon. Well balanced and extremely "chuggable".

M- Light to medium feel with a medium level of carbonation. I really like the way this beer feels in my mouth.

D/O- Morning to night drinkability with this one. Flavorful enough to please a beer geek, but still easily approachable to craft beer neophytes. Just another great German style churned out by the brewers at Stoudts. Highly recommended. Prost!

 674 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 JunkYardJake
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to pilsner glass.
Pours a crystal clear pale straw color. White fluffy head lasts a long time and laced well. Smell is grainy and yeasty with a a bit of lemon. Palate is clean and balanced. Cracker malts and bready yeast are balanced with a touch of floral hops. Mild bitterness with a spot-on dry mouthfeel. Very easy drinking and true to form kolsch.

 364 characters

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

Brilliant pale yellow in color with perfect clarity. Poured with a short, fizzy, white foam that quickly reduced to a wispy cap. Earthy dry grain, bready and lightly toasted malt and light herbal floral hop aromas. Medium bodied with an oily feel on the tongue surrounded by crisp, drying carbonation throughout. A nice balance of bready malt and herbal hop flavors throughout. Finished crisp and bone dry with light herbal hop aftertaste. A superb, crisp, refreshing summertime ale.

 483 characters

Photo of Onenote81
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Glad to see some of this at City Bev today. 12oz bottle poured into a stange glass. Pours a pale good with a slight chill haze to it. A big billowy white head rests atop. Scents of noble hops, garden veggies, cut grass, and just the faintest of skunk.

The mouth is carbonated well, but this beer carries a smooth quality that is absent in most of this style. I kind of like that. Great crisp lemon zest at the front, some creamy butter, fresh hop bite, and a little herbal finish. Very nice. This really hit the spot on this scorcher of an afternoon.

 552 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 ClockworkOrange
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 ounce bottle picked up at Abe's. Poured into my nonic pint glass. Appears a clear golden yellow color with about an inch of pillowy white foam. Nose and flavors are of white grapes, green apples, peach, lightly toasted bread, grassy, a touch of lemon. Light to medium bodied with quite lively carbonation. Finish is prickly and spicy on the tongue. Very clean and drinkable, worth a shot.

 393 characters

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

12 ounce bottle - $2.49 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours out a clear, yellow-hued body with a goodly-sized, fluffy, white head.

Smell: Subtle, refined scent of light pale malts along with notes of everything from flowers to wheat dough to lemon peels to wine.

Taste: Mild taste of pale German malts with a faint sweetness. The thin hint of a single, solitary Wheat Thins cracker. Fresh floral, grassy hop character with sufficient bitterness. Little gulp of white wine with a lemon twist. Dry on the back half with a subtle spiciness gliding into the crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium-high carbonation, keeping things brisk and active.

Drinkability: Crisp, refreshing and light without being entirely devoid of flavor. Recommended for good ole Summertime drinking.

 809 characters

Photo of techdiver
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Head dependant upon diameter of glass and aggression of pour, thus a kolsch glass can easily reward you with a 3 finger head. Great carbonation & just a great summertime beer, crisp, clean & refreshing.

 202 characters

Photo of ZeroSignal
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A - Pours a pale, golden straw color with a half finger of foamy white head. Lacing is minimal.

S - Grape is predominant, and a light malt and alcohol presence is detectable as well.

T&M - Grapes again; it almost has a white wine-like quality. This is lighter bodied and feels dry on the pallet after swallowing. There is very little hop bitterness, and some lightly toasted malt flavor and some residual sweetness

D - This is a lot better then I was expecting. I think it's a very nice representation of the style, and one you don't see too often at that. I found myself thoroughly enjoying this brew.

 633 characters

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

Mowed the lawn tonight, so here we are -- drinking a light, summery, "lawnmower beer" from Stoudts.

A: Poured into a pilsner glass, the body is clear light golden with bubbles rising throughout. White head, 1-finger in size, leaves behind loads and loads of lace. Nice looking summery-type beer.

S: Nose isn't terribly strong, but there's cereal grain and some floral and grassy hops.

T: Starts out a bit like sourdough bread. Grassy, slightly minerally hop bitterness at the finish provides a nice drying feel. After a few sips and an adjustment to the bitterness I notice some generic fruity sweetness -- at times I do think white wine-like grapes (more Pinot Grigio than Chardonnay), but bitterness and crispness is still there at the finish.

M: Light bodied. Good crispness, finishes clean.

D: Very good. Goes down easy. I could drink a few on a hot summer day/night.

 877 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 Bouleboubier
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

(on tap at Sidecar Bar - served in a shaker pint)

Is it just me, or does this taste an awful lot like their Stoudts Gold?

I can't see how this would be considered a Kölsch - has far too much body and earthy, grainy malt flavor compared to the true examples I've had from Köln (Gaffel, Reissdorf, Früh, Sünner... I think that's all).... The magnificent foam stand doesn't seem to match those beers either - I'd swear that if I never put the glass to my lips, the foam would still be resting an inch high upon it...

So then, what could you call this? To me, it tastes like a fine Helles - or any fuller-flavored, pale, all-malt lager - just with a more fulfilling, silky-grainier texture. That's about it.

Looking at what I said about their Gold - could use a "lil bit more malt richness" - I feel like they pretty much met that desire in this, and then some - liquid bread.... but that slightly yeasty aroma hiding below the lightly-toasty malt and green-leafy (chlorophyll) notes just does not fit

The taste and texture of this beer does not match the style's requisite characteristics. Having had the German imports countless times, one should find a unique crispness, mild mineral-ity, and those subtle apple and/or white grape esters. None of that here. That said, this is still a mighty fine drink. <shrug>

 1,326 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 Stinkypuss
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Karnival Kolsch pours a clear golden with fine clarity and some bone white fizzling head. Aroma of some hops and pale malts backing. In the flavor, nice crisp green hop presence, giving a nice herbal spiciness to the beer. Base beer is of crystal malts and a nice even grainyness. Grassy and slightly citric hops are there the whole way through. Mouthfeel is clean and light. Overall, a nice kolsch brewed to style. Refreshing and would be a good summer beer.

 459 characters

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

. A clear golden straw color pour with a small frothy white head , jagged lacing, lively carbonation . Aroma of citrus ,honey ,bread dough and spicy hops . Flavor is peppery , citrus ,and grassy hops , honey candy sugar and bread dough , crisp clean mouthfeel , short hoppy dry finish , light to medium bitterness , light body , quite sessionable and good , a nice try and a good beer .

 386 characters

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

A- Pale yellow with a small head and lost of bubbles.
S- Smells like a wheat beer with lemon.
T- Dull hoppy koelsch taste, refreshing.
MD- This is a very good Koelsch style beer. Extremely easy drinking. Makes you want to take a trip to Cologne and get the real thing. Thanks to DonH for the sample.

 299 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 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 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 Buggies
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a straw yellow. Crystal clear too. Quite pretty to look at. Aroma is quite nice also. Sweet malt aroma with citrus. Little bit of corn and straw there too.

Tastes great. Citrus mostly. Slight sweetness in the background. Nice crispness from the carbonation. Bitterness is spot on I think. It rides through the finish cutting away some of the sweet citrus notes.

I'm a big fan of Stoudts. So, to me this is another example of a good beer from a great brewery.

 466 characters

Photo of Deuane
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Brilliant golden yellow with a medium bright white head. Head reduces to a thin cap that never disappears and leaves a surprising amount of lace behind.

S-Nice zip of floral hops with a touch of herbal perfume and some zesty lemon rind. Very light biscuit malt in the background..

T-Surprisingly flavourful with a nice pop of floral and lemon rind hops A lightly sweet underlying biscuit malt base does a very nice job in balancing things out.

M-Medium-light bodied rather sharp and crisp, quite pilsner like. Nice zing of carbonation and good lingering lemon rind bitterness.

D-Wow! I certainly was not expecting much from this one and turn out to be very pleasantly surprised! A near perfect summer session beer. Plenty of flavour without an heavy feel makes it easy to drink. A really good beer to have in your frig for the summer to have when you want "a beer" or to offer that knuckle dragging BMC drinking neighbor or brother-in-law when they ask you for a beer! Well done Stoudts thanks for doing such a nice job with this old world classic!

 1,055 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

"Everything being a constant carnival, there is no carnival left."

--Victor Hugo

Haystack yellow with corn silk edges and a crown of sheep's wool white. Lots of farm references there. The head has a cottony texture that looks good as it fades, all the while leaving small chunklets of sticky lace on the sides of the glass.

The aroma has the musky, grassy, spicy quality of German nobles. Probably Saaz and at least one or two others. Malt makes very little olfactory impact, which is par for the style course. Hints of skunk (which is odd given the brown glass bottle) aren't too much of a negative.

If Karnival Kolsch is truly a spring seasonal then this bottle has held up remarkably well. It's still pretty hoppy and the finish is crisp and tight. Tastes like it was brewed no more than a few months ago.

The flavor profile is fairly simple, as expected, but that doesn't make it bad beer. On the contrary. There's a pleasant backdrop of cereal grains and bread crusts, then come top notes of bitter grasses and a wee twist of lemon peel. If this bottle is 8-10 months old then Stoudts has made a brewing deal with the devil.

The mouthfeel is quality through and through. Plenty of size for the ABV, good lift and creaminess, dialed-in carbonation. Check, check... and check.

Stoudts Karnival Kolsch is an outstanding lawnmower-type ale. It has an abundance of flavor and isn't as simple as it first appears. The brewery should seriously think about a year-round release. Hey, those of us in the Midwest need snowblower beers too.

 1,541 characters

Photo of plaid75
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a medium straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light lemon zest and a subtle grassy hop.

The taste was well balanced with a soft malt and moderate noble hop.
The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a good kolsch.

 302 characters

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