Kirkland Signature German Style Lager | Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation

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Kirkland Signature German Style LagerKirkland Signature German Style Lager
127 Ratings
Kirkland Signature German Style LagerKirkland Signature German Style Lager

Brewed by:
Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
Washington, United States

Style: Märzen / Oktoberfest

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Troyone on 03-18-2009

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 127 |  Reviews: 49
Photo of gkunkle
3.27/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a copper color with an off-white head that leaves a little lacing. Smells malty and hoppy, pretty clean smell, but nothing astounding. The taste has more emphasis on the malts and it has a nice clean finish. Medium bodied beer with light carbonation. Overall it was okay, It was my first marzen, but its not something I am going to judge the style by.

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Photo of Gmann
3.33/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clear copper color with a soapy white head that quickly settles into a very light ring. The aroma is quite faint. I pick up a bready malt with hints of caramel and peppery spice and that is about it. The taste is quite bready with a sweet caramel/toffee flavor. There is a tea like bitterness in the back end, though it's not very strong. The bitterness seems a bit out of place for the style. The feel is light to moderate with active carbonation; finishes slightly bitter and astringent. I expected the beer to be more smooth. An average marzen; starts off nice and bready but then takes a downward turn. Could use some more caramel flavor and less tea-like bitterness.

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Photo of MikeBrandman
2.99/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Looks good when poured into a Sam Adams Sensory glass. Delicious brown body. Pretty much only brown with slight amber and redness to it. Little visible carbonation. No sediment, completely translucent. 1 finger of head; no lacing.

S - A pretty gross smell. Slight urine smell. A little sweetness to the smell. No hops or alcohol.

T - Similar to the smell. Very sweet taste. Slight metallic taste. Nothing really special here. Nothing stands out. Very low profile beer.

MF - A little syrupy. Doesn't complement the flavor well.

D - Fairly drinkable, if not for the taste.

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Photo of biggred1
3.48/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Copper amber with a fluffy eggshell head that leaves some sticky lace on the glass. Sweet caramel malty notes with fresh bread and an underlying earthy hop aroma. Sweet malty and bubblegum flavors with light noble hop bittering to balance. Finishes clean and slightly metallic. The body is on the lighter side of medium with sharp carbonation. An easy drinking enough beer but nothing to write home about, kind of a poor man's Sam Adams Boston lager.

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Photo of NeutroMan
2.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a becker.

A: Crystal clear dark gold/honey color with a modest off-white foamy head.

S: Breaded malts dominate; hops are rather muted. Clean lager aroma.

T: The breaded malts are again most forcefully present intially, although it finishes somewhat dry. German hops are a little more pronounced than in the nose, but still rather diminished.

M: Medium bodied with a creamy texture. Minimal carbonation, which was somewhat surprising.

D: This is a decent stab at a Märzen, but it's just missing too much. It's not offensive; I just probably won't be coming back for any more.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a Utica, N.Y. brewed 12 fl. oz. bottle with an expiration date of Apr 05, 2010. Sampled on April 17, 2010. It has an amber-orange pour with a short-lived head the bubbles up a bout a half inch and then dissolves right off. I found the aroma to be rather bland. Yeah, there were malts and light hpps but nothing stood out. It certainly had a crisp, cleanliness in the taste and I noted more malts than anything else. This beer expired a couple weeks ago and it shouldn't make a huge difference in that short of a time. Then again, maybe it did. Nothing I would go out of my wa for.

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Photo of sweemzander
2.21/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint. Best before June 15, 2010. Thanks to BeerFMAndy for the bottle.

(A)- Pours a clear caramel-like amber color. Produced an immediately dissipating white head.

(S)- A sweet corn meal & corn husk with hay.

(T)- Same as the smell. A really grass-like, almost sour hay with tons of corn meal. Bitter.

(M)- A good carbonation level. A very bitter/grassy/sweet yet sour corn thing.

(D)- Not a big fan of the bitter grass that turn almost sour. Just tastes like corn otherwise. Doesnt remind me of an oktoberfest much.

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Photo of RJLarse
3.2/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I bought a sampler of Kirkland Signature Beers at Costco, 4 beers 6 bottles of each. Poured in to a pint glass.

Pours a pale copper color and is clear. Small wispy white head leaves little lacing on the glass.

Smell is a sweet bread aroma, perhaps a bit of sweet squash scent as well.

Taste is a sweet malt taste, with a light caramel flavor along side and a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and clean, with a light carbonation.

A drinkable brew, particularly in the fall season. A very average representation of the Marzen style.

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Photo of jwc215
3.51/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before June 15, 2010:

Pours copper with a lasting white thin head. Some lines of lacing stick.

The smell is "clean" other than some caramel and a slight, slight scent of a mild noble hop aroma.

The taste is of caramel with a touch of roast/light toast. Light sweetness fades to a spicy, floral dryness (thanks to Hallertau, as listed on the label)in the finish.

It is light-to-medium bodied and smooth.

An easy "session" brew if you are looking for a beer that is light on the palate and the wallet. Well-balanced in a light, but not watery, way - has enough characteristics of a classic Marzen/O-fest to fit in pretty neatly in that style.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.07/5  rDev +33.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a weiss glass. 5.5% ABV, 22 IBUs, Best by Jun 15 2010.

A - Golden yellow with a crystal clear, carbonation-rich body and two-finger, slightly off-white head. Good retention but little lace left in the wake.

S - Surprisingly good nose of pilsner malts, pale malts, and a light straw hint. Subtle hops give the aroma a slightly refreshing, appetizing appeal.

T - Hops become more prominent in the flavor thankfully. A good noble flavor balances very well with the pilsner malts. Crisp and clean.

M - Medium-light bodied and almost over-carbonated. Sharp bite to the dry finish. Crisp and refreshing.

D - I don't know why I expected a sub-par beer from Costco knowing it would be brewed by someone (I hope) that knows what they're doing. It's a nice and very drinkable lager that's straight forward with no flaws hidden among bold malts or over hopping.

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Photo of colts9016
3.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass at 42 degrees

Appearance: A half finger white head with little retention. The color of the beer is a medium straw with copper hues- the Clarity of the beer is medium to clear. There is some carbonation bubbles

Nose: A nice toasty malt aroma yeast fruity esters grapefruit and pine.

Taste: A rich malty flavor there is a nice spicy floral grape-fruity and pine.

Mouth-feel: A medium carbonation spicy astringent but mild body medium light finish medium good beer but watery.

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Photo of unclejimbay
3.83/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Kirkland German Lager, 5.5% abv, 22 ibus
Bottle states "pilsner, Munich & dark caramel malts... Weihenstephan Lager yeast, Hallertau hops"

I do not think this style is listed properly on BA. This brew seems more like a lighter Marzen/Ofest to me. I am going to review it as such as I am confident is is listed improperly since it only has 15 reviews to date.

Appearance is copper in color with brillant clarity. 2 Finger head with respectable retention and lacing.
Smells of munich malty aromas, like a nice brew day is in the air, followed by some mild noble hop aroma.
Tastes as it smells, malt dominant with a nice noble hop balance.
Mouthfeell is a light-medium body, high carbonation.
Drinkability is solid. This is the standout of the 4 Kirkland offerings to date IMHO. It tastes like a ligheter version of a Marzen/Ofest brew and I dig it. It's a great price at $18 for a 4 variety case.

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Photo of bevenson
3.61/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Light copper and brilliantly clear. Off white head with fine texture. Lace clings to glass.

S - Sweet toasty malt with a hint of graininess. Mild herbal hop aroma. Clean yeast character.

T - Toasty malt flavor with a bit of caramel. Overall malt flavor is a little light. Firm hop bitterness compared to the light malt flavor. Spicy, herbal hop flavor.

M - Light body with medium carbonation and a smooth, dry finish. Lingering hop bitterness accentuates the dry finish.

D - First, this isn't a German Pilsner; it's a Vienna Lager. It's not the best vienna I've ever had, but it's an easy drinking beer that is worth the money.

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Photo of hackmann
2.32/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I was at costco the other day and saw the kirkland beer case. $18 for a case - good I'll save 60 bucks this week drinking this beer.

The appearance is a nice looking bronze color. Good looking off white head and thin lacing.

The smell was not that interesting for such a pretty looking beer. I'll have my wife smell the next one I open she has a nose of a blood hound. If there is something interesting in the aroma it is behind the clean soap water scent.

I have to admit I did not have great expectations for this purchase. I don't know if I even had good expectations. But, I really wanted this one to be good at least. Nope, The fresh water smacks you with your first sip and all the others. Buy a case of sprite - it atleast tastes better. A slight boring hop note and a little malt note. One sip I thought it tasted like a tin cup. Another sip I thought I tasted something I had before .... water!

Mouthfeel: it does leave a little tingling on the tongue. It does leave a taste on the palate from the hops and malts that is thin and the flavor left behind is a tin cup bite.

Eat something with this or smoke but, do something while you drink this beer. It needs help. While eating pizza or a sub you could down a few of these. The watery style will refresh your palate and the food my help the taste. That is why I gave it a 3 for drinkability. By itself - I will not do again. Matter of fact the two kirkland beers I have had so far - I lost my $18 on this purchase. Not all is lost - my wife may like these beers!!!

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Photo of ghebel
3.4/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours very clear, gold/amber color with adequate off-white, orange head, but leaves no lacing upon dissipation.

S - Sweet malty aroma. But also has an astringent almost sour component.

T - Mild bitterness. Grainy, caramel malt flavor. No hops stand out. Maybe boring, but overall not distasteful.

M - Thin, smooth, with dry finish. Carbonation evident. Some lingering bitterness.

D - Drinkable, average.

Overall - This is an average beer, without much character to stand out, but in the end is a drinkable beer that is a good buy for the price.

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Photo of Billolick
3.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, from a sampler case that I hiested a few bottles from at a party. Pours almond amber, clear, limited light khaki head, leaves a thin collar and just a wee bit of lace. Darker bready malts in the nose. Bland lager, caramel malts, moderatly dry and snappy finish. Not bad for the style, would work with newbies or as a sessioner in a pinch.

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Photo of Ek0nomik
3.28/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured In: Snifter Glass

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear bronze and amber color with a finger of head. The head retention isn't very good, as it disappears within seconds. There's also very little lace on the side of my glass. The beer is quite effervescent though, as there are quite a few bubbles continually climbing to the top of the snifter.

Smell: The nose is malty and biscuity. It reminds me of an Oktoberfest because it seems like it has a touch of toasted reddish malt. The nose isn't jaw dropping, it's malty and clean, but that's the nature of the beast here.

Taste: The palate is quite similar to the nose. Each sip reveals lots of German malts and just enough hops for bittering and to add a little touch of flavor on the aftertaste. Notes of biscuit, toasted and untoasted malt shine through with just a little herbal hop at the end. Of the 4 beers that I had from Costco I think this one actually had the least watery flavor to it. The other 3 beers seemed to be a little watery during the tasting, but this one held its own.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied beer, well carbonated, and a nice creamy mouthfeel that makes it easy to sip on.

Drinkability: The last of the Costco beer. Honestly, I must say that their beers weren't all that bad. To style, drinkable and cheap.

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Photo of hmk22
3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Awesomely average beer included in the Costco case (1 sixer of each type). I consider this the poorest or second-poorest of the 4 styles...I'm not sure what makes it a "German" style lager (despite what it says on the label) because it doesn't taste like any other German beer I've ever had. This is my 4th or 5th case of the Kirkland "house" beers and I'm less impressed each time...the price is right but they seem to to have cut corners in a way I can't really figure out. Kirkland prodcuts are generally very good quality so I'm not sure if they got overambitious or maybe the regional contract brewers aren't all up to the same standard.

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Photo of josiahschlender
3.78/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The recent reviews for this beer make me wonder if quality is deteriorating, or all the brewing has switched to a different contract brewer.

The Pilsner I'm enjoying was contract brewed by "Hopfen Und Maltz Brewing Company" in San Jose, CA. I believe it's an alias for Gordon Biersch, a (underappreciated, in my opinion) brewery in San Jose that makes many of Trader Joe's beers. All four beers in the Costco mixed-pack are solid in my opinion, and the lager is no exception.

I don't drink Pilsners too often, but this one pours a rich golden color with an amber hue. Darker than any macro lager out there. Respectable white cap has moderate lasting power, and retreats to a visible ring for the duration of the drink, leaving no lace.

Grassy Noble hops dominate the nose. Even with a cold pour, they're pretty potent compared to anything in its price range. I like the authenticity of the hop aroma. I also detect some bready, biscuit malts with a hint of sweeness.

Flavor opens up those malts. Quite a bit of biscuit, just a bit of caramel sweetness at the end, competing with moderate bittering. Those noble hops leave a bit of grass at the end that I'm not sure if I like a ton. Body is medium, with a refreshing and smooth finish. A bit of a palate cleanser, living up to its lagering.

A very drinkable beer... much more substance than any macro lager I've tried. Very versatile when pairing with food, and about as cheap as you can find and craft-brewed beer. (I paid $18 for 24-pack case)

The Costco case doesn't have a super clear stand-out in my opinion, but their halfway authentic and versatile German Lager is a great reason to get it if you're looking for a decent pils.

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Photo of GrandpaGeorg
3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The second of the four in the (mandatory) mixed case at Costco in VA (our MD stores don't sell beer... go figure). The label says "New Yorker Brewing Co." in Utica, NY; so I'm assuming a Matt (aka Saranac) connection. That's good because if this beer is any indication of quality (and Matt is involved so it can't be bad), being able to get craft brew for less than $4.75 a six pack is almost ridiculously cheap. But sometimes you get what you pay for.

I shouldn't have started with the Amber (the best of the bunch). This was a let-down. Wan yellow/gold in the glass with spritzy carbonation and a 1/2 inch head that disappeared quickly. Subtle malt with a bit of cardboard skunk in the nose, and the taste was a tad sweet then fruity, finally ending with a somewhat astringent aftertaste. Just didn't do it for me. Not bad, but just enough "off flavors" to render the whole less drinkable than I expected.

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Photo of Bookseeb
2.64/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance is a dark golden amber with a thin head and no lace. Smell is very grainy, sweet bread with hops. Taste also has the grain, light caramel with a bitter aftertaste. Mouthfeel has light - medium body with some viscosity and good carbonation. It could use a little smoothing around the edges to make it a little more drinkable.

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Photo of bonkers
3.3/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a standard pint glass. It pours a clear amber with a faint white head. The aroma and taste are both a bit bready, a bit sweet. The finish lingers a bit, slightply dry. The beer is light bodied and easy drinking. For me the beer was more of a light amber lager than a pilsner, not a beer I would seek out.

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Photo of dbmcrorie
2.56/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz. brown long neck bottle poured into a drinking glass. Served at room/cellar (a.k.a. garage) temperature. No freshness date available.
I grew up with Costco/Kirkland Signature products, so I couldn't resist trying their new line of beer. Sure enough, it's got Kirkland's signature quality all over it.

Golden amber body, see-through clear. Fizzy tan head that bubbled away like a diet Coke. Slight caps left behind.

Very soft and faint pale malt, with quite the grainy nose. Plenty of lager yeast with a hint of skunk like wet dog hair. Slight hop sourness with herbal notes hiding somewhere beneath the grain.

Very dry bitterness dominates the back of the tongue. A flash of fruit is notable in the beginning, leading to a smooth malty profile. Slight herbal hops in the middle before going back to the dry bitterness in the finish. Medium-light body with a slick mouthfeel; slightly rough carbonation.

A bit sloppy; no real hop or malt structure. And nothing German about this yeast strain. This is more of an American lager than a German pils. I guess they think simply calling it such helps marketing? I may pass on this in the future.
If I were to pair it with food, I'd take a stab at some baked seafood, grilled veggie sandwiches, or some hearty pastas.


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Photo of Arbitrator
2.61/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A friend of mine shared the Kirkland series with me. As another buddy put it, "You need better friends." Here goes.

A: Pours a clear amber color. Carbonation is evident up the glass, but the head is limpid at best despite a vigorous pour; retention is short; lacing is a pipe dream.

S: Bread, some caramel, and it seems to have a floral hop aroma.

T: Mostly caramel and bread for the majority of the taste. There is a floral bitterness in the aftertaste, which is strange because it's not evident at all before that point. It's the beer equivalent of a friend referring to a conversation you never had and insisting that you agreed to loan him $20.

M: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation. Doesn't really stand out in flavor or texture or anything. A watered-down flavor.

D: Meh. When I get hard up for cash, I just stop drinking. I don't really see a point where I'd want to pick this up just because it's cheap. I'm not against drinking it if someone brings it, but I'm not enthused about this in the slightest.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was an ok beer. I have had better german lagers.

Appearance- amber color, transparent

Smell- bready malt

Taste- malt

Mouthfeel- medium bodied

Drinkability- pretty good, can't beat the price from Costco, 15 dollars for 24 beers, 4 kinds, was quite pleased with that

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Kirkland Signature German Style Lager from Kirkland Signature / Costco Wholesale Corporation
Beer rating: 3.05 out of 5 with 127 ratings