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 →

Riverwest Stein Beer - Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

Not Rated.
Riverwest Stein BeerRiverwest Stein Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

267 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 267
Hads: 663
Avg: 3.79
pDev: 19.26%
Wants: 44
Gots: 93 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lakefront Brewery, Inc. visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Lager |  5.68% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-18-2002

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 Riverwest Stein Beer Alström Bros
Reviews: 267 | Hads: 663
Photo of TheSSG
4.4/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice, dense, off-white head. Sweet malt with soft floral hops (a touch of a citrus aroma, too) in the nose. Lovely amber color. Starts a touch tart, almost, from the light hopping. Peaks in a low bitterness, then malt EXPLODES onto your palate. The hops take a slightly grassy/grainy quality to them as they finish softly on this smooth, smooth malt.

Holy hell, this if absolutely fantastic. Why have I not been buying cases of this?

 442 characters

Photo of guityler83
3.37/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A: Marmalade orange, clear with moderate haze. small off white head that laces nicely with each sip

S: Caramel and toffee malt aroma. Sweet with no hops in the nose.

T: The aroma and the flavor profile are very similar. Caramel and toffee with some toast highlights. Sweet with almost no hop flavor. Clean finish with no residual flavors

M: Crisp with moderate body, higher carbonation levels

O: The ol' go to beer in these parts of the MKE where every bar carrys BMC (and LF). While I think its a good easy drinking amber lager I'd like some hop character to come through in this beer. Between Riverwest and east side dark I prefer the east side dark (i know i know they are totally different beers) but most carry RW over ESD not sure why...

 748 characters

Photo of JonB1958
4.39/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at State in Chicago, in a tall pilsner glass.

Beautiful dark copper color, lots of sweet malt in the nose, but with a hop bit at first taste that yields to a sweet, slightly citrusy body. Extraordinary good mouthfeel that finishes as smooth as any lager I've ever had. A big surprise, and a great beer.

 311 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A medium amber with a good bit of orange and reddish highlights and excellent clarity. There isn't a lot of head but it is long lasting with an off-white ring around the glass that leaves a some lacing in the glass.

S: A moderate amount of German Malt like Munich with a crusty bread aroma. The lagering is pretty clean leaving no esters or phenols. There is a low Noble hops aroma. It's almost a bock meets marzen.

T: A rich malt flavor with a firm hops bitterness and a moderately-low spicy Noble hops flavor. The balance is slight bitter with the moderate hops bitterness dominating the light malt sweetness. The finish is dry with a slight bitter and crusty bread aftertaste.

M: Medium bodied with a moderately-strong carbonation. The beer is somewhat crisp with a carbonic dryness on the palate>

O: A refreshing yet somewhat substantial lager that would pair well with german sausages and sauerkraut.

 917 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.5/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear bubbly deep amber red. Nice inch deep off white head and notchy lacing. Sweet and bready smell with some floral and piney citrus hop smells. This is just a really nice balanced flavorful beer. It's biscuty and malty in the begining. This gives way to a touch of sweet caramel flavors. There is not a huge hop presance, but some bitter pine and citrus hoppy notes come out. All this is held together by an awesome rich creamy mouthfeel. Very smooth and drinkable. There is nothing here that will wow anyone. It's just a well made pefectly balanced red. Really nice beer flavors and very easy drinking.

 614 characters

Photo of searsclone
4.31/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured from a bottle into a flared pint glass. amber color with almost no head or lace.

smell is strong like juicy fruit gum in the bottle, but much less pronounced in the glass. in the glass, earthy with a faint sweet fruit followed by spices

taste is spicy cloves and pine, followed by sweet fruit, then to enough bitterness to dry the palate. seems perfectly balanced with just the right amount of everything.

mouthfeel is smooth and easy to drink

overall, a lot going on, easy to drink and it leaves me wanting to have another.

 536 characters

Photo of irrgalaxy
2.68/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into my giant Oktoberfest novelty stein (seemed appropriate). Beer always looks sad when it's taking up the bottom quarter of your glass ...

A: dark amber color, with fairly large bubbles from carbonation. Couple of centimeters of head, settling quickly.

S: dry, crisp smell; reminds me of autumn.

T: Not much bitterness. Malt flavors. Slightly sour at the finish.

M: Lots of bubbles from the carbonation; medium on the palate

O: An OK beer, but nothing really distinctive in the flavor profile. It's a little too heavy to be a hot weather beer (or anything I'd want to quaff out of a full stein). Would likely be a delicious pairing for beer cheese soup, beer bread, or food in general - drinking standalone isn't the best experience, though.

 772 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.85/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium snifter (as soon as this review was done, I immediately poured the remains into a nice big mug). The pour is a bit cloudy with a fairly dark, reddish-amber color. Low carbonation yields a rather thin head. Faint nose offers up some toast and a slight fruity note.

Flavor is pretty spot-on for the style (which is really Vienna Lager, not American Amber like this site says). The beer has a nice firm, semi-creamy feel and medium body. Sweet, chewy, toasted malt flavors dominate all over the palate. Hopheads go home. This one is a traditional Germanic lager. In other words, liquid bread. The only contribution the hops make is to add a spicy hint to the finish that's very reminiscent of a good Maibock.

This beer has been around for quite a while and I can see why. It is an outstanding example of a Vienna-style lager. It's too bad a lot of beer advocates shun this style and gravitate towards more hoppy and extreme beers. I love Vienna lagers and go back to them often. No other beer complements food like these do. This one does just fine.

 1,088 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.7/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a decent looking amber colored brew, the head was white and fizzy. The smell of the beer gives of some lager yeast aromas as well as some hops and malts, all seemed pretty well balanced. The taste of the beer was nice, it was earthy and crisp with a sweetness in there too. The mouthfeel was on the lighter side I thought for a lager, it was drinkable and nicely carbonated. Overall the beer wasn't anything too special to me but still was nice to try.

 476 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.07/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Clear, filtered orangey brew. Light lacing on top.

S - Orange and citrus rind notes, with tangy acidity about. Lagered yeast aromas and bitter grains/dry wood. Fruity and malty sweetness.

T - This beer is very flavorful, with tangy yeast, bitter grains and tart acidity. Dry nutty notes and wooden barrel flavors. Malt sweetness adds a nice side.

M - Very refreshing and clean. Effervescent and crisp. Highly drinkable.

O - I was pleasantly surprised when I had this for the first time at a backyard bbq. I was even more pleasantly surprised when I found it at my local beer store.

 589 characters

Photo of martyl1000
4.3/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

UPDATE 7/2015
It's been three years of my own, misguided beer snobbery since I've had a Riverwest Stein. I'm upping my old score (3.76), way up. It's so much better than I could perceive back then. My palate just wasn't that sensitive -- I had to have min. 9% abv, and all that a big beer entails.

Now I'm reassessing regular-strength beers. And I'm now able to appreciate what more seasoned craft beer lovers say about this exceptional brew.

12/2011, orig. score: 3.76
On tap at The Fountain (Madison). Thin, off-white head. Orange-amber beer, w/ very little carbonation visible. Mild, "clean" lacing that leaves nothing behind on the sides of the American pint glass.

Bready malt and Mild-mannered hops balance out well. It's a pretty hot day on the sidewalk of this restaurant, and served ice-cold, even the toasted-bread flavor come off as refreshing. Caramel and nut flavors emerge if you squint and seek them out. The hops assert themselves in the throat after one swallows.

There's hardly any carbonation on the tongue. But I could have called this "smooth", as this lack of carbonation is not a drawback here.

On tap, it's a very good summer beer for a malt lover. (Not sure the bottle version is quite as good.)

 1,243 characters

Photo of TX-Badger
4.53/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've had this delicious beer many times, but never really sat down to review it. I finally decided to review the Riverwest Stein from Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, WI. I had a 12oz bottle poured into a pint/nonic glass.

A - it has a very dark amber color to it, more of a dark red than what I'm used to for an amber lager. A nice slight white head at the top of the glass.

S - very balanced between the hops and the malt, it has a slight floral note it as well.

T - here is where the malt really comes through as well as the lager yeast versus an ale yeast. There is mainly a rich caramel note on the palate, and I get a hint of sweetness on the finish with an interesting hop bite at the end.

M - crisp, yet not too carbonated. Medium bodied, not too heavy, not too light.

O - I enjoyed this beer and the reviewing process. It gave me a better appreciation for what is really in this beer, a complex amber lager that should be enjoyed thoroughly.

 955 characters

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.18/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Lakefront imperial pint.
Bottled during May Wk1 (2012) notched on label.

A - A giant lumpy, fluffy, egg-shell colored head floats atop a clear and well-carbonated deep amber colored beer. After thinning out to loose bubbles, the foam left lots of lacing.

S - Malt heavy but well-balanced in deed, Riverwest is loaded with toast and bread qualities draped in melted caramel cube along side shards of toffee and a light nut blend. Earthy hops faintly arise through a vigorous swirl.

T - Hops emerge with a finer level of balance, asserting themselves into the flavor of this malty lager. The same earthy notes combine with just a pinch of pine to teeter-totter the delicious toasted bread malts with a slight hint of mild, light, Connecticut Shade tobacco.

M - Riverwest is a medium-bodied lager that's crisp and clean, exhibiting no off flavors, but, while there's a carbonation tickle on the tongue, it still feels kind of flat, very slick almost. It's incredibly smooth, but mid-palate, Riverwest falls short. The finish has some nice lingering dryness and mild astringent bitterness to balance the malt out.

O - Lakefront's "flagship" beer, Riverwest, is an easy-drinking amber lager that's got the malt and hop balance down pat. If you like your lagers malty but not cloyingly sweet, this utterly smooth lager is for you!

 1,356 characters

Photo of cjgator3
3.04/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz bottle

A- Pours a clear amber color with an off-white head.

S- The aroma is sweet malt and caramel. Not much in the hop department.

T- The taste is smooth and malty with sweet malt and caramel up front, with a mild bitterness in the finish from the hops. After drinking the whole bottle the sweetness starts to become a bit much for me. I would prefer a little more hops to balance this one out.

M- The mouthfeel is between is light bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

O- Overall, this is a good Amber overall.

 527 characters

Photo of CreamCity
4.08/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into pint glass.

A- Thick off white two finger rocky head. Mild carbonation. Head lingers for well over 2 minutes. Dark copper-amber in color. Lacing follows me down the whole glass.

S- Floral-woody hops. Sweet and nutty. Mild citrus. Someone mentioned juicy fruit. I would say that's a pretty darn good example.

T- Toasted malts. Creamy. Good hop presence. The sweetness of the malts overpowered most of the bitterness.

M- Very smooth and creamy. Pretty crisp.

O- Very drinkable. An extremely attractive beer (color, head, lacing). Very flavorful. Leaves a good taste in your mouth long after you're done.

 618 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.38/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at Drop Off Service in New York, NY

A: Pours a crystal clear dark amber in color. The beer has a thin light beige head that reduces to an extremely thin layer over the entire surface of the beer with a thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Significant lacing is observed.

S: The aroma is on the lighter side with the primary notes being caramel malts.

T: Very malty with caramel flavors really dominating. There is a light amount of hops and just a touch of lingering bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Fairly easy to drink and enjoyable but nothing really special. Definitely a sessionable beer but not sure it is one I really want to get again.

 702 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.92/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy medium copper with a one finger head that refuses to ago away.

Smells quite floral with some caramel and biscuit.

Taste is all floral up front with caramel following close behind. There is a lot of biscuit about halfway through all fading away to a moderate bitterness. Mouthfeel is fairly full for the style.

Overall this beer surprised me. It is really good with my one complaint being I wish the finish was a little crisper. Besides that a pretty outstanding beer.

 516 characters

Photo of Jparker37
3.09/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle week 2 of October. Poured into lager stein.

A - Big caramel colored head. Small bubbles lie atop a red hued bright brown beer. Leaves a nice bit of lacing.

S - Quite sweet on the nose. Some toasty malt but a bit of sweetness. Clean with a tiny bit of herbal hops.

T - Pretty sweet and a little toasty. Munich malt showcases a little darker malt flavor than in the aroma, a smidgin of nuttiness. A touch short with hopping as this beer leans far onto my malty palate.

M - Medium bodied, medium carbonation. A bit too sweet of a finish.

O - Hops were relatively absent. Nice complexity to its malt but a little to off balance. Still clean and a nice lager.

 669 characters

Photo of milwaukee512
4.6/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is maybe Lakefront's best beer, and certainly the most likely to find around bars in Wisconsin. I lean heavily toward hoppy beers, but this is one of the few exceptions. Very classic amber lager flavor and feel, with enough carbonation to keep it from feeling too heavy. Appeals to lots of beer drinkers, and definitely worth a try.

 340 characters

Photo of BeerLover99
3.88/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: shiny/copper/clear

S: mild malt, hint of pine hops, nuttiness

T: sweet biscuit malt, hint of citrus, nuts,
toffee, smooth finish

M: med/light body, smooth mouth

O: This is one of my least favorite styles, but
Lakefront nails it. I would get again and highly
recommend to all of your NB Fat Tire friends.
Seems like lots of flavor for a lighter beer.


 379 characters

Photo of dhannes
4.63/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Had a sampler at Glass Nickel Pizza in Madison.

A=Nice rich red amber...no head to speak of.

S=Slight hop smell.

T=Nice "amber" flavor--hint of cedar?

M=Very drinkable...smooth and tasty.

O=A very flavorable amber...worthy of a 6-pack down the road.

12/1/12 update--I had a full glass this time and this is much better than I recall--changed Appearance to 5.0 and taste to 5.0. 1/23/13; changed Overall to 4.75.

 417 characters

Photo of steveh
4.03/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Renewing some old friendships and reviewing in the process.

Back in the early days of micros, when they were few and far between on shelves, Riverwest used to be one of my favorites.

12 oz. bottle, bottled the 4th week of November.

A -- Clear, coppery-amber with a dense, long-lasting, light tan head.

S -- Nutty character with mildly spicy hops back.

T -- Mellow nutty malts with some vague citrus, fruity esters back and finishing with some terrific toasted malts. Aftertaste is the mild hop spiciness.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft and smooth with a light-medium body.

O -- Overall this is a really nice drinker. Not in-your-face, but also letting you know you've got something out-of-the-ordinary in your glass. The Amber lager is a catch-all style for BA, but don't mistake this for Leinie's Red. VaTech Hop Head -- you need to find some fresher stock.

 857 characters

Photo of VaTechHopHead
2.41/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Looks and smells like an amber lager or red ale but after one sip there is definitely something wrong with this one it tastes like a hard apple cider or faint farmhouse ale. Don't know if something went wrong or is infected but this one is way off the style guidelines not worth reviewing in my mind, avoid

 306 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.73/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

355ml bottle, the last of the eight-pack sampler from Lakefront.

This beer pours a slight hazy, medium bronzed amber colour, with two fingers of puffy, foamy, and weakly bubbly beige head, which leaves some low-lying blotches of webbed lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of toasted and biscuity caramel malt, nutty breakfast cereal, thin brown sugar, tannic black tea, and surprisingly mild citrusy and earthy hops. The taste is still quite big on the malt - toffee, biscuit, and doughy bread, all - more demarara sugar, oversteeped tea, blase orange rind, a certain oily nuttiness, a somewhat offsetting herbal and weedy hoppiness, and some mildly metallic alcohol warming.

The carbonation is on the low side, what with its trolling frothiness, the body a decent medium weight, and smooth, in the sense of the funny fat kid behind you in homeroom. It finishes well off-dry, the malt not quite ready to release its hold, in the face of some barely qualifying herbal, grassy hops.

A decent enough amber lager, (or 'stein beer', I suppose), but the bar is pretty freaking low for that style around here, so, I guess I gotta say something sorta nice about this here offering - uh, nope, I got nothing - just an adequately balanced, good to go brew.

 1,271 characters

Photo of wordemupg
3.94/5  rDev +4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

355ml bottle poured into pint glass 4/11/11

A slight haze in a golden orange body, some tiny suspended particles and little slowly raising bubbles floating up to a fast falling finger of lace that leaves no lace

S herbal hops with some malty toffee and a little citrus

T taste mimics the smell quite well and I'm OK with that, a little more earthy then the nose

M fairly light but more carbonation then I would expect from what I could see in the glass, leaves a little behind to savor but its mellow

O reminds me of something I'd drink in October so I suppose I'm a few days late, no issues other then an average appearance

this is a decent beer and gives me a little hope for the rest of my mixed pack that's been pretty basic to this point

 749 characters

Riverwest Stein Beer from Lakefront Brewery, Inc.
85 out of 100 based on 267 ratings.