Craftsman 1903 | Craftsman Brewing Co.

very good
70 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Craftsman Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gueuzedude on 09-28-2004

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Ratings: 70 |  Reviews: 22
Photo of GRG1313
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 532 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of metter98
3.69/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

 605 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of mactrail
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
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.

 715 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

 756 characters

Photo of Gobzilla
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of redfox405
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of outoffocus
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DoubleJ
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 360 characters

Photo of dwagner003
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev +1%
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.

 467 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

 683 characters

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

 1,510 characters

Photo of FosterJM
3.41/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

 735 characters

Photo of crob3888
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

 208 characters

Photo of mhaugo
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of bostonryan
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of mrcraft
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ste5venla
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

 544 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
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

 1,270 characters

Photo of beerpadawan
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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Craftsman 1903 from Craftsman Brewing Co.
3.86 out of 5 based on 70 ratings.
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