Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier | Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
84
good
91 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
United States | website

Style: Schwarzbier

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
21 IBU

Added by BEERchitect on 06-23-2008

BEER STATS
Reviews:
91
Ratings:
223
Avg:
3.72
pDev:
17.74%
 
 
Wants:
3
Gots:
17
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 91 | Ratings: 223
Photo of mikeg67
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled at Gordon Biersch restaurant in Dallas, TX. Pours almost black hue with a thin, white head . Aroma is coffee, nutty and some toasted malt. Body is creamy, medium-full. Taste is similar to the aroma. Long coffee like finish. On the whole, it is a nice session brew.

 272 characters

Photo of ArrogantBastage
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Deep black color with some ruby red highlights when held up to the light. Head was thick and rocky that disappeared very fast. Thin head present for the first several sips and then hardly present at all.

S: Coffee notes and deep roasted malt are in the forefront. Hard to detect anything beyond this.

T: Rich and malty with some slight alcohol in the finish. Nice and crisp as well.

M: Very light body despite the dark color. Nice and smooth also.

D: Very easy drinking beer, very easy to have several of these.

 521 characters

Photo of Tucquan
3.58/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this on 2010-05-24 at the brew pub in Kansas City, MO (from tasting notes).

A - Dark but not impentrable brown with a tan head and minimal lacing.

S - Smells of roasted grain and chocolate but not much else.

T - Pretty good with some caramel sweetness, and dark chocolate flavor but nothing else that takes it over the top. A "safe" taste.

M - Light body and carbonation give a watery feel.

D - Easy to quaf, just not all that interesting.

 448 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.67/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the DC location. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a dark chestnut brown with a slight tan head and a bit of lacing. The nose is darkly-roasted malts with some light chocolate as well as a moderate amount of earthy hops.

The taste is a bit more subdued. There is some nice roast, but the chocolate and earthy notes from the nose are quite a bit more muted. The feel is nice and pretty roasty. Fairly dry in general with a nice finish. Drinkability is decent enough, but there's not enough there to keep me hanging on.

 523 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.8/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pretty good drinking beer in and of itself. However, it seemed to me leaning more in the porter direction. Again it was served with a small, off-white head, and good lace, which seems to be policy at GB. Color was an opaque black brown. Aroma was malt, roast, vanilla. Flavor was similar plus was fairly dry, and well balanced. Body was full and round with good carbonation. Finish was like flavor and of medium length. Session beer.

 433 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
3.64/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Medium brown body with minimal carbonation. The head is minimal in a color of pale tan.

S - Roasty caramel with a toasty note.

T - Slightly sweet and slight chocolate among a soft carmel flavor and a nice transition into a subtle coffee flavored finish.

M - Coarse and ordinary, nothing too interesting here.

~ Would I recommend this beer??? I suppose, but not too highly.

 381 characters

Photo of adkirkish
4.08/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: poured dark brown with amber at the edges with an inch of foamy tan head that stuck around for a minute. No lacing.

A: roasted, dark, and chocolate malt profile, light husky astringency, no to little hop aromatics, no esthers / yeast aroma.

F: light caramel upfront and smooth blended roasted / chocolate malt on the finish. Finish also has some light smoke on it. No hops, no esthers, no astringency.

M: light med body, med mouthfeel and light carbonation. A little creaminess and drinks and finishes very smooth.

O: Great example to style, but would have liked an increase in hop aroma and caramel upfront, otherwise the initial taste is a little watery on the palate, otherwise a finely crafted beer. I paired this with the steak frite done medium w/ garlic fries drizzled in marzen sauce and I am in my place of zen, especially getting to use my AHA pub discount benefits » this beer set me back 2 bucks. Its good to be a homebrewer / aha member!!

 963 characters

Photo of zeff80
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out an opaque, jet black color with a small, light brown head of bubbly foam. It left thin rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of roasted malt, chocolate and some mild fruity aromas.

T - It tasted of chocolate, toffee and roasted malts. There was a very mild bitter hop presence.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light bodied lager with a very dry finish.

D - This is a nice schwarzbier. They really do a nice job with all these Greman brews.

 484 characters

Photo of Durge
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed at the San Jose location with my meal, this German style brew shows a deep black mahogany color with a modest off-white head and very little lace. The aroma is mild coffee grinds and delicate prune. A bit too subtle but not bad. The flavor brings bright cracker and weak coffee. Generally weak in feel with a medium light body and fair carbonation. There's a slight citrus hop idea and dry finish. Pretty crisp and refreshing, interesting but kind of wimpy. It's drinkable enough but not something I would necessarily nominate for sessioning.

 550 characters

Photo of tjsdomer2
3.04/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: I'm not impressed at all with this. Some ok lacing, but no foam retention at all. Looks like watery coffee. Definitely not black.

Smell: Some weak coffee.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Ok taste. Coffee/caramel malts. I actually sense some good hops bitterness as well.

Drinkability: A thin dark beer. It's clean though and kind of refreshing.

Overall: Highly disappointed with the Schwarzbier. It's definitely "bier" but not "schwarz." Definitely didn't reach expectations.

 476 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Had this beer on 5/10 at the Gordon Biersch brewpub in San Jose.

I'm not a huge fan of this style of beer, but what I had here was decent. Pour a cloudy, dark brown with a creamy white head. I definitely got some roastiness in the mix and tasted some light hops, but overall the flavor was mild and uninteresting. I didn't dislike this beer, but it was rather dull.

 366 characters

Photo of champ103
3.65/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark ruby brown color. A two finger beige head forms, and sticks around for a while. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Sweet caramel malt up front. Bread and biscuit. Light toasted malt and chocolate linger.
T: Big grainy malt up front. Though a nice toasted flavor come around. Some light chocolate as well.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. A little thin, Easy to drink. My pick of the litter for a session beer.

The best I had from the brewpub. Decent, and worth a look. Simple, but enjoyable.

 512 characters

Photo of Banger530
3.33/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Opaque brown, almost black. About an inch of head when the server brought it to me.

S: Slightly sweet chocolate, notes of chocolate

T: More chocolate flavor than I smelled. Pleasant malty flavor in the middle. A slight burnt coffee flavor aftertaste.

M: Medium to full body. Light to medium carbonation.

D: Drinkable. Maybe slightly better than average. I would get it again.

 384 characters

Photo of beer2day
3.86/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark, deep red pour into a GB pint glass. 2-finger dark cream head. Good retention and decent lacing.

Dark chocolate malt nose. Really nice. Anise appears late in the glass.

Thin hit, but cream quickly builds. Chocolate all over, with slight vanilla compliment in the finish.

Feel is right for the style. A tad thicker than expected.

Easy drinker with the light abv.

 371 characters

Photo of berley31
3.71/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Actually had on-tap at the GB brewpub in Seattle.

A: Large, tan head that diminished to about 1/2-finger or so. Body is virtually black and opaque... probably clear, but difficult to tell because the color is so dark.

S: Like the hefe, the aroma is a little weak... some roasted malt in there, but that's all I got.

T: Very smooth, with roasted malts and light amounts of coffee and bittersweet chocolate. Very nice.

M: Light-bodied, with a creamy texture and average carbonation.

D: Very easy drinking... the dark color may scare some away who aren't familiar with the style, but they should really give it a try. A good sipping beer.

 640 characters

Photo of mentor
3.5/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger light brown head over a very dark brown liquid. Smells strong dark malt with moticable noble or english hops. Roast and chocolate with a creamy hint. Earthy hops with gentle perfumey.

Tastes medium intensity roast with mild sweet underneath. Roast is coffee and char-like with a gentle sour edge. Mild hop grassiness. Drying finish due to good attenuation and a slight alcohol cleaning. Light body, but some creaminess. Modest carbonation. Nicely hopped for the style, but a bit too charred for the style.

 525 characters

Photo of Rootdog316
4.2/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another great beer at GB in Rockville. In the German language, this beer actually means "black beer." One would think there would be a heavier body, but did not come across as heavily bodied as one would think. It had a chocolate-esqe flavor to it and had a dark brown tint. A very good Schwarzbier. Definitely give it a try.

 333 characters

Photo of aristeros
4.07/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at their Tempe, AZ restaurant, served in a logo-emblazoned pint glass. Dark brown to black, ruby highlights are more prominent when held to the light. One and a half fingers of off-white head, some retention, good lacing. Smells smoky, roasted malts predominate. A little nip of hops.

Sweet malts followed by big roasted flavor. Somewhat like roasted chestnuts. Cream texture, medium body, medium carbonation seems appropriate. Malts may have been roasted a trifle too long--a bit of a charcoal effect here that's more appropriate to a porter or stout. Earthy finish

Goes down smoothly, really a wonderful beer, provided I pretend it's a porter. I'm hoping that maybe that some malt that was roasted too long went into it; I'll try it again with another batch in a few months to see if that's the case.

 811 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.12/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Deep dark brown, minimal head and lacing

S: Rich roasted malts... scents of roasted nuts, coffee beans and slight cocoa

T: Excellent flavor from full roasted malts... roasted nuts and coffee flavors.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied. Light on the carbonation. Some earthy feel to it but finishes thin.

D: Excellent Schwarzbeir. The roasted grains and organic feel make this top notch.

 398 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is pretty boring, which I guess is a fit with the style (I find Schwarzbiers to be pretty unexciting), but this one registers with me overall as just sort of OK. Dark, not too roasty, inoffensive. Dry? Yes. I just can't say much about this beer - there is not much here to describe, but there is certainly nothing off or offensive either. I don't know whether to recommend or not...I am stumped.

 405 characters

Photo of Norfawkers
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the best beers that Gordon Biersch has to offer given its balanced complexity; very versatile

Appearance: Very dark; reddish tone

Smell: Faint malty spiciness

Taste: Smokey and earthy

Mouthfeel: Quite smooth

Drinkability: Highly drinkable dark beer; versatile

 271 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.46/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours from the tap to an old motor oil black (expected of a Schwarzbier), with a thick foamy tan head that lingers well thru the entire drink and leaves decent lacing. The nose, while somewhat muted, is licorice and a hint of roasted nuts. Mouth is very tingly, albeit a tad weak, with the taste again leaning toward licorice. Finish is of medium duration and a little watery, but overall a pretty decent beer.

 410 characters

Photo of Nickls
3.98/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(From notes)

A - Poured with a thin mostly white head. Really deep dark brown coloring with light brown highlights. Good curtain-like lacing

S - Light maltiness; some roasted aromas; touch of raisin; good but kinda muted overall on this front

T - Flavors are more vibrant than the aroma suggests. Rich, roasted maltiness with dark fruit sweetness

M - Nearing on medium for the MF, nice breath of effervescent carbonation.

D - This would be a great session brew. Interesting, quaffable, low abv = my kind of session. Aside from the sessionable qualities, this brew is a bit more interesting than others in the style range and therefore a bit more drinkable for me.

Overall, great interpretation and really loved the roasted qualities in addition to the more traditional flavors for the style. Check it out.

 813 characters

Photo of mjl21
3.88/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at their restaurant in SF. Poured into their house pint glass. Comes in at 4.30%.

A-Pours a dark brown with some nice red hue when put to sunlight. Has a one and a half finger white head and some nice lace.

S-Roasted malt is the predominant aroma. Also smells in some ways like a crisp Pilsner.

T-Sweeter malt hits upfront. Not nearly as roasted as I would have expected. The roasted malt comes through most at the end. Like the smell, I am getting some Pilsner flavor going on in my mouth.

M-Light to medium bodied with a nice creamy texture.

D-Went down very easily. The Pilsner qualities really make this a great year round session beer.

A pleasant surprise from a place that I seem to go to once every 10 years. Would come back to have some more of this beer.

 777 characters

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.94/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This schwarzbier comes out of the tap a deep, opaque sable with a thick, fine-bubbled, light tan head. Rich aroma is primarily of roast, smoky malt. Strongly smoky flavor has coffee, nutty and caramel hints. Texture is smooth and has a good, strong tingle to it.

 262 characters

Gordon Biersch Schwarzbier from Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant
84 out of 100 based on 91 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe