1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Gila Monster Amber Lager - Steinhaus Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Gila Monster Amber LagerGila Monster Amber Lager

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
76
okay

68 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 68
Reviews: 57
rAvg: 3.29
pDev: 16.11%
Wants: 7
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Steinhaus Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Jason on 08-21-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 57 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Stubbie1:
Photo of Stubbie1
2.05/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This brew starts off good with a nice deep gold color and light tan (thick) head. Head stayed a spell and finished to a thin lace. After that it is all down hill. Little to no aroma. Hints of caremel but that is it. Watry and thin in the mouth. Not much going on and I'm having a hard time to describe what this beer lacks. Lets just say everything

Stubbie1, Jan 21, 2006
More User Reviews:
Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz brown long neck bottle with no freshness date and little info about the beer or brewery.

Appearance: Its and amber lager so you guessed it … it is amber hued, very bright with a perfect clarity as a lager should have. Yeah the head retention is fine which sticks here and there.

Smell: Big waft of sweet caramel maltiness in the nose, almost cake like in the aroma.

Taste: Just as smooth as it is crisp with in the moderate body, big bready malty palate … a bit fluffy in the mouth. A clean and mildly citrusy hop bitterness rounds out the brew with a superb lingering flavour. More breadiness invades with a caramel backing, hops punch one more time with a light citric twang. Then the finish comes around the corner with a clean, dry and faint graininess.

Notes: For a contract brewed lager this is damn good. Very clean with a pluck of malt and splash of hops. I’ll be going back to this one, especially at $4.99 a six pack at Boston area Trader Joe’s.

Jason, Aug 21, 2002
Photo of richkrull
3.43/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this one in a mixed 6-pack from Trader Joe's.

Poured a dark reddish brown with a decent amount of white head on it. Not much on the nose to me, just some maltiness. Taste is pretty light as well. Caramel flavor with a slightly bitter finish. Pretty light feel, easy drinking beer.

richkrull, Feb 17, 2011
Photo of ltdantheman
3/5  rDev -8.8%

ltdantheman, Feb 25, 2012
Photo of asabreed
3.03/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Why aren't ambers ever an amber color these days? Or rather, why aren't a lot of them? It's more of a lighter copper color, though there's a decent lacing and retention that save it.

Smell: Astringent and metallic bitterness with a slim sense of caramel malt and sweetness. Not too much is discernible.

Taste: There's a weird balance between hops and malt here, almost astringently and pungently so, but it's almost metallic rather than representative of good hopping. Too much odd bitterness kind of drowns out any semblance of caramel malt flavor. Astringent and fairly short finish.

Mouthfeel: Lighter bodied with way too much carbonation, which doesn't help the flavors to come out, obviously, and unfortunately.

Drinkability: "Clean and malty"? Kind of. Could I drink a few of these after mowing the lawn? Yep. But there are many better ambers out there, even for $6 a 6-pack.

asabreed, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of pmcadamis
2.98/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this one whilst tailgating at a U of I game. It was graciously supplied by my father in law.

A - Deep amber with a one finger white head. Nothing special here.

S - Malty caramel notes with a tinge of brisk hop fruitiness. Smells nice and bready.

T - Tangy hops steal the show after a malt dominated nose. Slightly fruity, tangy, and fresh with no real pine or citrus flavors.

M - Medium bodied and foamy in the mouth. Finishes clean with a little residual hop.

D - A serviceable, but slighlty boring amber ale. I liked this one, but it's not what I would call memorable.

pmcadamis, Sep 07, 2008
Photo of cliff1066
3/5  rDev -8.8%

cliff1066, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of Shumista
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Picked up a 6-pack of this at Trader Joe's for only $5.99. I'm a real sucker for their beer department when I'm grocery shopping because of how good the prices are. It seems that a lot of the selection are Trader Joe's exclusive beers (even the ones that aren't TJ's brand beers.) I'm pretty sure this one can only be found at TJ's as well. Anyways the prices are good but the beers are really hit or miss. Some have been great like Black Toad, and others like this one are a little bit lacking.

A- Gila Monster pours a clear copper with a 1 finger white head, it looks very carbonated.
S- Not very appealing, some weak malts and an odd metallic smell.
T- Thin sweet caramel malt with a little bit of bready character to it. Not bad, but definitely not anything to write home about.
M- Thin and highly carbonated.
D- I guess Gila Monster does pretty well in this category as you could put a few in a row away.

Overall I guess for $5.99 I shouldn't really be complaining that this beer is just mediocre.

Shumista, Jan 20, 2009
Photo of jackndan
2.05/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Gila Monster Amber Lager: A Trader Joe’s house brand. Good-looking beer, nice head and lace. Ugh, awful aroma, and even worse taste. Really awful on so many levels, very adjunct-y taste, sour malts. I mean it is not a bad looking beer, but the taste was primarily of bad bready malts. No redeeming qualities.

jackndan, Jan 26, 2003
Photo of andrewm190
4/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a glass with little head. Posseses a nice color. Its a nice crisp beer. The taste is a little sweet with some fruity feel on it Certainly a worth while six pack to pick up. Certainly the caramel is notable. Recommend it you your friends and enjoy the taste. A fine encounter on a summer afternoon.

andrewm190, Aug 17, 2008
Photo of tjd112
4.18/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Purchased in Westfield, NJ at the only Trader Joe's in the state that has a liquor license.

A - Pours an amber colour, inch head with moderate lacing
S - Very malty, but loses a few points for being metallic
T - A very balanced hoppiness and maltiness, I detect some toasted caramel in the malts
M - Medium to light bodied
D - A very good lawnmower beer

A really good beer for the value.

tjd112, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of leprakhan
3/5  rDev -8.8%

leprakhan, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of matjack85
3.25/5  rDev -1.2%

matjack85, Feb 07, 2013
Photo of flintsilver7
4.45/5  rDev +35.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been a longtime fan of this beer but never really got into the beer review thing. Once I found this site, I found it only fitting to review this beer first.

First, some background. I enjoy Trader Joe's, mostly for their beer and occasional beef selection. It's the only place around DC I can get great beer at good prices - usually just Leffe and Chimay. One time a lone six-pack of GM caught my eye. I figured I'd try it, not expecting much for $4.99.

The beer pours a rich amber - that you might expect from the name. There's not much head in this, and it seems light on the carbonation. Depending on what you're looking for, that's a great beer. It smells somewhat sweet - the caramel was obvious before I even read the bottle. Nothing extremely strong about the scent - just smells like sweet beer.

The real strength of this beer for me is the taste. It's sweet, smooth, and about as drinkable as they come. (If you're at a beer festival and trying things out, this should pleasantly surprise you. If you're watching football and somebody hands you a GM, you're likely to drink a bit and say "Damn, that's good." Those who expect everything from a beer won't like this, but those people don't really like anything.) Regardless, it's got a good flavor. Not too strong, and not weak at all. It goes with more or less any food or bread I've tried it with. The rating might seem high, but it is what is for two reasons. One, it's not a Belgian beer and it should never be confused with one. This is a casual beer, and it stands head and shoulders above other casual beers. Two, it has a pleasant smoothness to it that will make you ask what you're drinking if you haven't already.

The mouthfeel is smooth and can't be described too well but it agrees perfectly with mine. If I were good at describing mouthfeel, I could do so, but I'm just not. So suffice to say the mouthfeel is rather pleasant. If I were going to complain about it at all, I'd have to say it's a tad bit too mild. Still, great overall.

The drinkability is probably its best point - this is one of my everyday beers. Regardless of what I'm doing, it fits. You won't get tired of the taste and the smoothness - enjoy it if you've got a Trader Joe's around. It's not legendary by any stretch of the imagination, but in almost all situations you won't be disappointed reaching for this. When I entertain people I don't know that well and they have free access to the beer fridge, this is the beer that gets taken first. I recommend this highly - but only if you're expecting a smooth, drinkable amber, and not a world-class beer.

flintsilver7, Sep 29, 2004
Photo of blackie
2.83/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a: Into a shaker pint, an average off-white head on an amber colored beer. Some light retention.

s: Caramel malts, carries a fruity ester aroma uncharacteristic of the style and not complimentary to the beer. A touch metallic with an earthy, aged hop aroma.

m: medium carbonation, body on the lighter side of medium

t: Bland caramel malts with an off flavor that seems to stem from the malt...a little too estery, hop flavor benign. Pretty grainy/husky and some possible light oxidation. Moderate bitterness.

d: eh...don't care for another

blackie, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of MTNboy
3/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: A dark amber with an off white head and average lace.

Smell: Actually the smell is weak. There are mild hop and malt tones

Taste: It is sweet at first but gets a little bitterer as you go but still mild.

Mouthfeel: A little thin and watery

Drinkability: Average.

MTNboy, Oct 04, 2008
Photo of KiltedCulinarian
3.2/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was unable to pour because of my location. The flavour was rather nice, starting off a little bitter, moving through stages of tart, and finishing pretty smooth. A little light on the carbonation, but it still felt rich and full. Overall a nice drink, and I think it would pair well with hearty, earthy foods.

KiltedCulinarian, Nov 22, 2007
Photo of MadTown1000
3.78/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a darkish translucent copper with an inch of head which dissipates over about 30 seconds leaving little lace. Smell is a little bit sweet, a little bit hoppy, generally pleasant, but gives little clue as to what the beer will actually taste like.

In fact, it tastes pretty much like it smells, although a little bit sweeter. It's on the sweeter side compared to some other amber lagers - the label talks about caramel malts, and they're out in force. Goes down very easily - you can drink this like a light lager. Mouthfeel is edges on syrupy, but not cloyingly so. Altogether very well balanced, with no negatives to speak of.

MadTown1000, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of daliandragon
3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Another cheapie I picked up at the new Trader Joe's in Cary this weekend; for ninety two cents it's hard to go wrong. Pours a deep brownish copper with a healthy, slow deteriorating head and quality lacing. Nose is properly malty but touched with metallic tones.

Taste is open and has some decent malt flavor but finishes a bit grainy and again seems to have been soaked with rusty pennies. some backing hoppiness but nothing real inspiring. It's not completely debilitating, and the mouthfeel is fairly smooth and crisp, but this isn't a beer you can't live without trying.

daliandragon, Feb 16, 2007
Photo of MaltyGoodness
2.63/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle thanks to Ira

Pours a clear amber color with a small white head that recedes. Mild lacing on the glass.

Aroma is caramel malty and slightly sweet smelling. A slight herbal hop aroma is also present.

Clean taste upfront with just a hint of malt and a faint herbal hop taste. Finishes rather bland with a mild metallic aftertaste.

Light body, low carbonation.

I at least expect an amber lager to be easy to drink, which this is not. Not worth my time to finish the glass....

MaltyGoodness, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of granger10
3.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

$.84 at Trader Joe's. Good deal again. Coppery color with a smallish tan head which soon recedes. Decent carbonation. Aroma is caramelly and a bit nutty. Taste is on the sweet side with honey prevalent along with caramel and toffee. A slight buttery flavor lies underneath and maybe some earthy buscuity tones. Lightly citric hop underneath is really unnoticeable until the finish. This beer is lacking a bit in body but it doens't take away from my enjoyment too much. Incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Another TJ success.

granger10, Feb 12, 2006
Photo of RBorsato
4.47/5  rDev +35.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark gold, light amber with a low light tan head but fairly low carbonation. Nice crispy malt aroma; toasty and nutty tones with a spicy touch. Nice soft malty flavor with all of the above characteristics and not very sweet at all which I like. Light-medium bodied and smooth.

Agree with Jason on this one - a bargain at $4.99 !!

Per Label: "New Ulm, MN" (this one must have been contract brewed at August Schell)

Date on Neck: 03136 (Julian Date ?)
Tasted: 07/18/03

($4.99 / 6-pack)

RBorsato, Jul 21, 2003
Photo of hustlesworth
3.53/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- clear brownish orange amber with a light and airy beige head. great retention and nice spotty lace.

S- toasted holiday bread, caramel, cinnamon, nutmeg, lots of nice sweetness going on, some milk chocolate as well.

T- sweet and nutty, caramel, metallic, wood and stone, earthy hops, milk chocolate, toffee, the whole combination is like SKOR candy bar. finishes with nice little hoppiness and some weak coffee flavors.

MF- some weight on the tongue, a little juicy but with a slight cloying feel of residual sweetness. low carbonation.

D- a decent amber with some generic tendencies. makes me burp alot despite low low carbonation.

hustlesworth, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of mikeg67
3.1/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle from Trader Joe's. Pours a copper color with a small short lived head. Not much lacing. Aroma is very light, some hops and toffee. Taste is some pine hops with citrus notes and caramel malts. Finish is long and pleasantly dry. On the whole, there is not much to write about but dissent brew nevertheless

mikeg67, Dec 17, 2010
Photo of jdhilt
3.38/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Little head and carbonation and not much lace. Light amber color. Good mix of malt and hops with the finish slightly hoppy. Brewer says it is a clean malty beer but it isn't that malty.

jdhilt, Nov 26, 2002
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Gila Monster Amber Lager from Steinhaus Brewing Co.
76 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.