Craftsman 1903
Craftsman Brewing Co.

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American Lager
Ranked #62
Ranked #21,581
3.85 | pDev: 12.47%
Craftsman Brewing Co.
California, United States
Very Good
View: Beers
Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 76 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of chitoryu12
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Look: Slightly hazy gold with a small half-finger white head.

Smell: Malt and a little citrus and hops.

Taste: Biscuity malt, a twinge of hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Average thickness and carbonation.

Overall: A solid lager with more hoppiness than typical.

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Photo of metter98
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Lucky Devils, Hollywood, CA

A: The beer is clear light yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a half finger high white head that died down and left lacing on the surface and the sides of the glass and a collar around the edge.
S: Light aromas of grainy malts and grassy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has light flavors of grainy malts along with a slight amount of bitterness.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is clean and easy to drink. It is a pretty good beer for the style.

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Photo of Emn
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to say, the craftsman 1903 (pasadena) is one of my favorite beers. I didn't like it much when I first tried it, due to the fact it had a bit of a bitter after taste but definitely did grow on me. If it is served cold, on tap, cold glass. It is Awesome!

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Photo of mactrail
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The greatest mouthful of lager ever. Rich with all the malty and hoppy flavors but just 5.3%. Amber gold color in the halt-litre nonic. Really fragrant with a flowery hoppiness. The hops are aromatic with none of the pine overdose and ever-popular dank bitterness.

Mellow and bright flavors with just enough bitterness to keep you looking for that next gulp. The right hint of malty sweetness to remind you why beer tastes good. Not overly strong. A brew with a bold flavor that is distinctive yet subtle. Stone, Ballast Point, and Green Flash-- drink this and weep for your lost years!

Altogether a fine brew that reminds me why lagers should be one of our favorite styles. On tap at Tiger! Tiger! in San Diego.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at one of my fav joints - Cole's French Dip in Downtown, LA.

Yep! Raul on dis one like a bumblebee on a stick of honey. Straight up, all Raul asks is why can't our major American macro's taste like this? I bet back in tha day when Cowboys were lassoin' indians and executives were jumpin out of buildings on Wall Street, this was the beer they sipped on before they did all those said thangs. Not amazing, but a solid lager.

Raul approves!

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a clear light orange-yellow with a foamy tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Foamy swaths of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, corn flakes, and some sweet/sugary aromas. Taste is much the same with some herbal hop flavors on the finish. There is a mild bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with a nice hoppy flavor.

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Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful yellow with a white head. Aromas and flavors of white bread, some malt sweetness, and a delicate hop profile balances it out. Super super super drinkable. One of my favorite Craftsman beers.

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Photo of FosterJM
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

852nd Review on BA
Draft to Taster

@Boho Gastropub, Hollywood, CA

App- A very light yellow color. A good amount of see through color as well. A big one finger slow receding head with good lines of cling.

Smell- A good deal of american lager notes in there. A little wheat, a little malt, and a bit of lemon.

Taste- Better than the nose so I was glad for that. Seems to retain more AAL flavors than nose, but more bold with a little more lemon and malt dominating to ratchet up flavors.

Mouth- A light bodied beer for sure. A very high carbonation as well. Retains a small amount of lemon flavors.

Drink- This was pretty tasty. A good take on a classic American style but done in a bold fashion. Id have this one around the house.

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Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the draft taps I had not tried before, recommended by our waiter at "The Saloon", in while in CA.
Pours a deep golden color, slightly darker than your average lager, with a short but solid white head with good retention.
Smell of bready/biscuity malt, grainy overall smell, not much hop smell. Taste was a nice suprise, bready malt, and some balancing hops made for an enjoyable pint. Smooth and crisp mouthfeel, refreshing and clean. This was a really good lager from Craftsman, will have to keep my eyes open for more from this brewer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at The Press

A: The pour is a clear golden amber color with a finger worth of white head that has pretty good retention.

S: There's a pretty nice bready malt character to the nose along with the distinctive aroma of lager yeast. Not a ton of hop aroma, but a nice bit of floral and grassy hop character.

T: A solid bread and malt flavor to start this one off. There's a touch of toasted character to it as well as some very subtle hints of corn. The hops are a bit more pronounced on the palate and give the beer a pleasing bitterness and balance.

M: The body is medium, pretty solid for this sort of lager, with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: This was one of the better Craftsman beers I've had. Quite a solid beer and very easy to drink.

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Photo of Krevee
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank 5/10/10
Reviewed from notes
Poured on-tap into a pint glass

A - The beer pours a light amber/orange with a moderate amount of head that had a decent amount of retention. There was very little lacing.

S - I can smell a decent amount of sweetness in the malts and some hops.

T - Taste is similar to the smell, but when drinking the beer I can taste a great amount of fruit in the sweetness. Has a slightly hoppy finish.

M - Light/medium body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Nice and crisp/refreshing with little to no lingering taste in the mouth.

D - Nice and easy drinking with low ABV. A nice example of a lager.

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Photo of Floydster
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pint at Father's Office in Santa Monica for around six dollars, have seen this many times and finally decided to try it

A-Medium orange color with some amber tint, thin creamy 1/2 inch white head that lasted a few minutes, some retention, no lacing
S-Wheat, corn husks, whole grains, mild hops, very soft malt, grassy accents, small amount of spice, lemon, and toasted bread
T-Starts off with a slightly sweet taste, mostly doughy bread though, the middle is made up of cornmeal and malt, slight hop presence in the finish but still malty and crisp, I taste some vanilla later on once it warms to add to the sweet variety, not too dry or sweet any point, nice and easy to drink
M-Crisp, grainy, and refreshing mouthfeel, thin to medium body, good strong level of carbonation, taste does not linger long but that is expected with this style
D-Goes down really easy, alcohol has to be pretty low, it seems like it is anyways, my guess would be somehwere around five or six percent, light on the stomach and smooth

Craftsman is a solid brewery and this is a pretty good representation of this style, this is pretty much their staple from what I have seen, it seems to be everywhere their beer is on draught, would drink again, something light and refreshing, worth trying

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Photo of callmescraps
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had to give the local favorite a try at the otheroom in Venice.

Appearance - Hard to say since it was about the darkest bar on the planet. Seemed to be a sort of yellow/gold. Definitely had a nice head on it, almost fluffy.

Smell - Like bread fresh from the oven. Very yeasty.

Taste - Also like a loaf of fresh bread. There was just a hint of hoppiness, and a little bitter lemon on the finish. Mostly just a big hunk of bread tho.

Mouthfeel - Pretty smooth and a little creamy.

Drinkability - Very solid. Pretty refreshing and crisp. Easy to session.

Overall not a bad offering. Reminds me of the Steel Rail from Berkshire, but not quite as good. Still, very nice and drinkable. Not a terribly demanding style, but one of my favorites for an easy-drinker.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Beachwood BBQ, on to the beer:

Impressive golden color in appearance, my draft was served with little head on top. This all-malt lager bursts into toasted flavors on the palate, with a mild hop finish in the back and a drying finish. Not much sweetness at all, which is what I was expecting. Quite meaty in flavor, yet mellow enough to be quaffable.

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Photo of dill
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

served draught style in a pint glass.

A: pale copper color with a thin head.

S: a bit of a sense of apple.

T: really light, a bit of fruit flavor with a hoppy finish.

M: smooth and easy to drink.

D: really light and easy to drink. I really enjoyed this one and will keep going back to it when something light is desired.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a light amber colour, slightly darker than your average pils, with a firm white head with good retention.

S: Full of bread malt, some sourdough, wheat husks, very grainy overall smell.

T: Tastes a lot like a fresher version of Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold which I just had last night for the second time. Delicious bready malt, biscuits, crisp hops make for a delightful tasting lager beer.

M: Smooth, crisp, refreshing, everything a Pre-Prohibition Lager Beer should be.

D: This is a really nice lager from Craftsman. Why can't the bigger boys on the block make something of this caliber? A true treat for the lager fan.

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Photo of sloejams
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I wish I could get this in bottle form to convert some friends from their BMC standards. This is usually on draught at the Library Bar in downtown LA, where I used to work. So I've had this a bunch of times.

The first thing you notice is the glorious malt profile in the nose. Touches of corn also come through. It's a full flavored lager - slight peaks of hops show through, but this is malty beverage. Refreshing in the summer, with high drinkability.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

16 oz (?) pint at Father's Office in Santa Monica on a lazy Saturday afternoon. I've had this one before, and it is just a great easy drinking enjoyable beer. But now that I sit down to review it, it really rises to the top of the heap for the style.

A pretty sunset golden hue with a fluffy snow-white head atop the liquid. Aromas of breakfast cereals. In fact, so much so, that it reminds me of the aromas of touring the Kellogg's plant in Battle Creek, Michigan as a kid (before they stopped the tours). Cooking Corn Flakes, and I mean that only in the best way.

Flavor follows through, but more malty (using the analogy, maybe Malt-O-Meal?). Hops are there, sure, but as a regulator only to keep things from going out of control. Edit: Now that I've read other reviews, someone mentioned nutty, and I think that's right on.

Creamy mouthfeel that makes me want to drink this beer all day long. This is the best of the style that I can recall.

Highly recommended, if you can find it in its very limited distribution.

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Photo of JayTheFinn
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had one of these on-tap at the Redwood Bar & Grill in downtown Los Angeles.

A - Golden sunshine body with a tiny white head.
S - Light corn and wheat in the nose.
T - Corn and wheat with some light fruit flavors.
M - Light and airy. Clean and crisp.
D - Slides down the throat very easily.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Fathers Office

A: Very pale clover honey color. Clean and clear with some bubble movement in the base of the glass. Head is there but not stellar, greenish tint with a slight frothy nature.

S: Green apple, white corn and fresh grass clippings

T: Begins lightly fruity and malted with notes of green grape, yellow apple and melon. Quickly moves to a nutty persona, sun flowers seeds come to mind. Bready nature becomas apparent and a pronounced peanut butter taste comes in focus. Finishes lightly hopped but very much toasted bread with peanut butter aspects. Aftertaste is fresh malted grains.

M: Medium body, smooth consistency.

D: This seriously tastes like peanut butter toast at times. Interesting brew.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On tap at 3rd stop in LA, near beverly hills. It forms a decent head, I had no idea what style it was when I ordered but after one whiff I knew it was leaning towards a macro lager feel. Pale yellow appearance with moderate carbonation.

I have to say that a slightly bitter feel comes through more than you would think with an all malt lager. Malts lean towards a slightly roasted side, although very mellow. Highly sessionable and interesting to say the least.

Notes: Eh....its alright. I like some Craftsman brews and I'm happy to see a LA/beverly hills establishment have it on tap but the other 5 craftsmans they had on tap were much better.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Served at Lucky Baldwin’s in Pasadena on a quiet and rather wet Saturday afternoon from one of the bank of neatly arranged Craftsman Taps that sits front and square at LB's bar. Tall thin square sectioned wooden Tap handle with the words "Craftsman – 1903" in black text running top to bottom. No strength listed.

Appearance: Pale yellow body with a slight hint of gold. Sheer clarity lends a thin look to the body but the soft white head rescues a decent presentation. Intermediate streamers are constant but there are not many of them.

Nose: Corn is definitely easily extracted from the aromas, yet I didn’t find too much trace of it in the rest of the brew.

Taste: Starts with a malty beginning, but the middle has a nice balanced crisp bitterness that rises in the finish. Sharp at times, soft and gentle at others. Lingering bitterness on the tongue after the swallow.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with some creamy aspects. Light body but it is very clean with a nice refreshing crispness.

Drinkability: The clean lines and bitter balanced malt sweetness make this a nice drinker. It also has a very refreshing quality. Could well be an easy going Session brew on hot days.

Overall: A solid craft interpretation of an old style, much better than the modern day legacy. I am not sure exactly what the date refers to specifically, but I do know that this is a pre-prohibition style lager. I first tried this at the Stone 9th Anniversary Party and I enjoyed it then also. Nicely done.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a lightly sweetish corn aroma to it, but it is backed by a solid maltiness as well. The taste is sweet, smooth an creamy. The finish then abruptly kicks in with a solid hit of bitterness that nicely balances the front of this beer. This is quite a good commercial example, it is sharp and biting yet smooth and creamy, with a hint of clean sweetness to it. This is quite enjoyable, and I wish there where more commercial example of this style out there.

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Craftsman 1903 from Craftsman Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 85 out of 100 with 76 ratings