Mike Hess Brewing - Miramar

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Ranked #195
Ranked #38,463
3.7 | pDev: 10%
Mike Hess Brewing - Miramar
California, United States
Notes: Claritas is our 2016 World Beer Cup–winning Kölsch ale. This refreshingly smooth, authentically German beer is light straw in color, infused with light fruit and bready aromatics from the German Pilsner malt, hops, and yeast. The result is a smooth and dry ale with a refreshingly clean finish.
Reviews: 11 | Ratings: 83 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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BucannonXC5 from California

3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Type: 12-oz. can
Reviewed as: Kolsch
Glass: Modern Times 16-oz. Willi Becher glass
Price: $9.99 for a 6-pack
From: Windmill Farms in Del Cerro (San Diego), Calif.
Purchased: July 9, 2020
Consumed: July 11, 2020
Misc.: Canned on June 8, 2020

Spent way too much at Windmill Farms and then at North Park Beer Company, but happy with my selections. I’m mostly miss with Mike Hess beers, but I keep trying them. Was surprised that I hadn’t reviewed this, but looking it up I’d only had it once, giving a glass a 3.75 on Untappd on June 12, 2015. Their website calls it, “Claritas is our 2016 World Beer Cup–winning Kölsch ale. This refreshingly smooth, authentically German beer is light straw in color, infused with light fruit and bready aromatics from the German Pilsner malt, hops, and yeast. The result is a smooth and dry ale with a refreshingly clean finish.”

Poured a medium yellow clear color with 1-to-2 fingers of off-white fizzy head. Could see a few bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass at slow speeds. Below average watery lacing. Below average retention. (Sight - 3.25)

Smelled sweet grain, fresh baked bread, graham cracker, cookie and caramel malt. About the same from the can, maybe a little sweeter. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste wasn’t quite as good as the nose. Very flavorful for a Kolsch though. In order got sweet grain, graham cracker, cookie, fresh baked bread, biscuit, cereal and caramel malt. (Taste - 3.75)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Soft carbonation. Abrupt finish. (Feel - 4.00)

For a Kolsch, this was very good. Affordable for a 6-pack, too, at $9.99. (Overall - 3.75)

3.75 | 85 | B+

Aug 29, 2020
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mushroomcloud from Texas

3.87/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can with a pull off top and a canned on date of 1/10/20. Opened 4/9/20.
1" eggshell white head with good staying power and a slow move down to a solid cap. Straw gold color with a slight haze. Thick, sticky lacing.
Grainy (feed store) and bready malt nose up front. Hint of floral or grassy hops. Simple and smells very good.
Bready, lightly sweet malt with enough hop to balance, there's a touch of tree fruit (apple or pear maybe) but nothing out of bounds.
Clean, light body, medium carbonation. Dry finish with a light lingering bitterness. Good drinkability, refreshing. Well done.
Very good.

Can #2 4-11-20 Lots of apple in the nose.

Apr 09, 2020
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chuckyboomboom from California

4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a light straw color with a bit of cloudiness with a tight white head that dissipates quickly. The nose is malt, specifically German malt. The body is light, and the taste is slightly sweet malt which is more than balanced by a snappy noble hop finish. Well carbonated. This beer tastes like a real Kolsch and is perfect to follow up a hot summer day!

Aug 07, 2019
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timon from California

4.17/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Great and easy drinking beer! I looooove tripels and so this is lovely. It's like a light, bready tripel. The smell is fantastic. Very sweet, like apricots, lemon and pineapple with some bready background. The taste is of banana, lime, bread...and something else that I'm not good enough to identify. Very drinkable and refreshing. The look is nothing special with a glassy but slightly hazy gold color and mild lacing and it comes in a can (a great can with a big mouth). Still, it's underrated, imho.

Jul 05, 2019
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elNopalero from California

3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured this from a can that I could have drank out of. There's a slight light candied cherry note on the aroma. Initially the taste was off putting, with the floral and fruity character overbearing. Mellows out as it warms.

Jan 25, 2018
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Red5StandingBy from Maryland

3.96/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 16oz can into Stange. Canned on April 24th 2017.

L: Pale yellow, two finger white head has good retention.

S: Pale bready like malts, with honey and lemon.

T: Again bready like malts with honey and lemon.

F: Light, crisp, semi-dry grainy finish.

O: Pretty good.

Jul 10, 2017
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sweemzander from Illinois

4.31/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

16oz can poured into a lager pint glass
(A)- Pours a hazy gold color. Some good white froth with good retention and lacing
(S)- Bright biscuit and cereal grains meets some dusty honey sweetness with a slight hint of orange and lemon peel
(T)- Some nice bright floral hop and citrus bits met with some biscuit-like grains. Faint sweetness on the finish
(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Dry bittering hops meets subtle citrus and grains. Faint sweetness helps bring this around
(O)- One of the better Kolsch style beers I have had in awhile. LIght, but flavorful and balanced well

Sep 10, 2015
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rawfish from California

3.71/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A rough pour results in a clear gold body with a foaming white head of two fingers. Retention on this is pretty bad and eaves spotty rings of lace.

Graham cracker pie crust and some honey soaked white bread, a touch sweeter than most pilsner malts and very clean. Some citrus and grassy hop character with a touch of white grape skins and crisp green apple.

White bread, grainy cereal and honey sweetness in the malt. Grassy hops with a touch of citrus and white grape skins keep things light. Doughy malt in the lightly bittering finish. Tinge of metallic and earthiness.

Easy body but it could use an extra kick in the rear when it comes to carbonation which is very soft and lowers the crispness of the beer when it warms. Alcohol is a not factor and is pretty good at drying leaving behind only a slight honey dough sticky residue.

A very serviceable session Kolsch, tasty and clean but you also need to be in the mood for it. I prefer a bit more hops and carbonation but that's personal preference. The tall boy cans that Hess is pumping out are a thing of beauty.

May 05, 2014
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UCLABrewN84 from California

3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hess Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours a slightly murky orange with a foamy bone colored head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, and some grassy aromas. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of hop bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is drinkable but has a better taste than smell in my opinion.

Aug 07, 2012
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mactrail from Washington

3.8/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Really nutty flavor. Rather malty and quite rich. Sharp like a Saison. Less perfumey than some examples of the Kölsch style, and certainly a more robust mouthfeel. A hint of lemongrass and a nice fragrance. An interesting beer worth trying again.

A pleasant quaff, though it could use a little more carbonation in my opinion. On tap at Local Habit, San Diego. Brewer called it 5.8% ABV for that batch.

Nov 13, 2011
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HopHead84 from California

3.47/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3


On tap at Hess.

A: Cloudy dark yellow with a minuscule fast fading head.

S: Wheat with a little mineral and a touch of sulfur. Apple and pear are present in low quantities.

T: Apple and pear with a little wheat flavor. Sulfur is light. The finish is clean.

M: Upper light in body with upper low carbonation. Mouthfeel is a little heavy, lacking the crispness I so desire.

Overall: Nice aroma and flavor. If the appearance weren't so cloudy and if the mouthfeel were more crisp and less heavy this would be improved.

Jul 16, 2011
Claritas from Mike Hess Brewing - Miramar
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 83 ratings