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Sympathy For The Lager | Karbach Brewing Co.

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47 Reviews
Sympathy For The LagerSympathy For The Lager

Brewed by:
Karbach Brewing Co.
Texas, United States

Style: Euro Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by champ103 on 09-29-2011

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Reviews: 47 | Ratings: 302
Photo of cavedave
3.69/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Premo88 for this delicious Pilsener.

Pours a clear white gold color, topped briefly by a finger of white foam, which retracts to few spotty islands in a mostly bare cap.

Light/medium aroma is grainy sweet, with a very light yeasty tart presence and spicy hop just barely there to balance things.

Also a light/medium strength taste, featuring a delicious grainy sweetness that is just right, and a hint of hops and yeast to round it out into a very delicious beer.

Low carb., light in mouth, super clean on palate, and really refreshing make this a fantastic mouthfeel to showcase flavors and quench thirst.

Delicious beer, understated and balanced perfectly. Wish I had more. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Premo88
4.04/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

16 oz. on-tap poured into pint at the Hay Merchant in Houston (great place!)

L: very dark gold; not a ton of lacing; strange ... it's much darker than a standard lager (Euro pale lager on here ... at the Hay Merchant, I think they list it as a "Helles")

S: light, weak, sweet

T: light but with good bitter hops up front. it wants to smooth out like an ale but doesn't ... and it shouldn't. it's a lager, right?

F: real mouthful for a lager; say what you want, this is not water.

O: not bad at all; probably a great session beer. and i might be over-rating it a tick or two, but it really impressed me for a lager (not an overly expensive one, either)

Karbach is doing things. I saw it on tap all over Houston this past weekend.

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Photo of Atlas1
3.84/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

First off, I dig the name. And the can design. The whole record theme and the "lagerhythm" play on words appeals to me. Not sure what that says about me. I am a Stones fan, though.

Poured from the can into a Sam Adams lager pint glass. This is a nice golden color with a hint of amber hue in the shadows. One finger head at the pour, with some decent lace. The nose is okay, if a bit dull. Malty and earthy, with maybe a hint of vanilla, but with no significant distinguishing characteristics. The taste, though is quite good. Crisp and refreshing. Malty sweet up front with a clean, slightly bitter hop finish. Bready. Earthy. Solid stuff here. This is how lagers should taste, in my opinion. Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth.

Aside from the fact that I am thrilled beers like this are finally being brewed in Texas on a larger scale, this is just a damn fine beer. Not fancy, but clean and refreshing and very very drinkable. I don't brew myself, but I've always heard that lagers are harder to brew with consistency. Karbach has obviously figured things out. I really like this beer. Cheers.

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Photo of Lagerquestrian
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I did a quick review on this gem awhile back. Got a bad habit of being lazy and not doing write ups. For some reason I have passed this beer up for the last 4 months since I first seen it sitting along side it's counterpart brews from Karbach. This is one of the finest lagers available. I picked up a six'er at HEB. I like cans, they are the next thing in craft beer, stays fresh and gets cold fast. This beer taste like a lager should. Clean, crisp and refreshing with a nice balance. Good lacing if poured. The can taste great as is. Maybe a good BBQ beer, beach beer? You decide. Don't be afraid to try this one. I'm happy with it. Support Texas breweries!

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This one pours a rich golden color with a thick rich head that is bready in texture and settles slowly leaving an adequate amount of lacing down the glass.

The nose is sweet malt, mild pepper, grass and orange zest.

The taste is complimentary to the nose with a very dry malt that has a bitter flavor dominating the malt. Not a lot of complexity here.

The mouthfeel is just right for a lager, not to watery and not to rich.

Overall this is a drinkable lager but not exceptional. A good example to be sure, but not my favorite either. I recommend trying it and seeing if it is to your liking.

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Photo of OKbrew89
3.59/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stella glass. Clear golden color with good carbonation that leaves a good head and light lacing at the top of the glass. Smell is bready with some citrus and pepper. The citrus works well with the malt to make a smooth taste that is capped off with a hop finish. No alcohol aftertaste or bitterness from the hops. Medium-light body and medium-light carbonation. Very crisp and refreshing.
It has the hop profile and kick that most lagers lack. It doesn't feel too light or watered down. Lagers tend to come with low expectations, and this one was a nice surprise. I got way more out of it than I expected to. Easily a good BBQ/grill/summer beer.

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Photo of VaterRoss
4.03/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can into Red Oak becker.

Pours a clear golden yellow with a good sized fluffy white head. Smell is some lager yeast and sweet malt, hint of floral malt. Taste is malty (caramel?) with floral hops and a clean bitter finish. There is a sulfur taste as well that I am not crazy about. Body is medium weight and fairly high carb.

This is actually quite pretty for a lager. Overall a very solid all malt lager, perhaps a bit sharp and somewhat pilsner-like. Good amount of taste. Goes amazingly well with soft pretzels and good mustard.

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Photo of ARoman
3.5/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can poured into a shaker. The aroma is a mild bread and muffin dough, with some lemon, coriander, and grass. It pours a lightly, hazy straw color with a white, fuzzy head that leaves a moderate amount of lace and has an ok retention. The taste is a medium sweet with a light bitter. The oily and slick beer has a light and creamy fuzz for carbonation and a light body. Flavors of stone fruit and minerals are first noted with follow up notes of baked bread. The finish is crisp with a citrus zest and light clove honey smoothness. The aftertaste is sweet lemon that mellows towards bread and clove honey with a mild astringentcy. The moderate length tails off and leaves a clean resin feel.

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Photo of LadyOfMuchBeer
3.23/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Small 32oz growler, acquired day of drinking from DnQ in Houston, poured into pint glass, careful pour. pours clear amber with a full inch head, fades quick to just edge lacing. not much visible carbonation. Smells of citrus(orange) and coriander, very "pale" traditional aroma. slight bread-y (yeast and grain) odor.
Flavors are very floral, yeast, light hoppyness, amber, wheat "bockiness" is strong. definitely a lager, not a huge fan of the style, but this is pretty drinkable. Aromas and flavors don't appear to match however.

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Photo of Victory_Sabre1973
3.79/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a slightly amber golden color. The head is thick and rich. The nose is hard to describe, but pleasing. The taste is good. It is actually pretty full flavored for a lager.

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Photo of hmph
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Another Texas beer got in what seems to be an unending trade with Tofuspeedstar, Thanks again!

A - wow, beautiful golden evening sun yellow and orange, large crisply white foamy head, looks very nice in the glass

S - huge lager aroma with a bit extra heartiness to it, an almost sourdough biscuit smell to it. *Initially thought it was just a lager, after seeing its 'style' classification here it seems to match it well*

T - huge biscuity malt taste throughout, it is intermingled with a bit of bitter sweetness that I've noticed more so with beers that use honey malt, almost a sour lactic sweetness but not quite, its highly prevalent in the aftertaste but still intriguing and enjoyable

O - this was quite a surprise, I had asked for it because I've been looking for a good Lager and was not dissapointed, this is a tasty beer with a degree of complexity I was not initially expecting. Kudos to Karbach you're doing the style and state of Texas proud!

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Photo of KatyBeerGuy
4.06/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from can. Nice two finger head dissipated fairly quick. Nicely carbonated. Smell is a little malty, but taste is nicely balanced malt and hops. Fantastic summer beer.

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Photo of 1ale_man
4.21/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. can into a modified pilsner glass.
Pours a light honey gold, clear with a one inch head. Head dissipates quickly a thin line but stays to the end. Clingy lacing.
Has that slight skunky smell that I like in a lager and a little flower smell. I guess the skunk is wearing perfume.
Can taste that skunkiness which I love, but not the flowers. Malt is there.
Feel is good. Not watered down. Creamy.
Overall a great beer! First time I've found this beer in my area. At Sam's of all places. Will keep on hand as long as I can get it. Fresh too. Filled on 3-26-16.

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Photo of kungpao
3.36/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at hobbit cafe.

A- dark amber with Orange highlights. Nice color for a lager!

S- not much to speak of. A bit more hops and malt than a usual lager but overall muted.

T- a clean full flavor lager. Bittering hops and sweet bisciuty malts take front seat. Kind of reminds me of a hoppy marzen.

M- average for the style.

O-one of the most flavorful lagers I've had yet. Well done

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Photo of mpk_tx
4.21/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

One of my go-to's... This is just a dang good lager. Clear brown/orange color that is very pretty. Balanced properly with sweetness and bitterness. Simply well done. Has a nice hoppy smell as well. Thumbs up Karbach. I seem to like their off-the-wall varieties best, as I'm no Hopadillo or Weekend Warrior fan. This hits the spot. Just odd enough to bring tasty interest. Where else can you get a lager this complexly satisfying? I haven't come across one

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Photo of StuartCarter
3.95/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can provided by by neighbour whose sister brought it over from Texas. No canning date that I could discern on the can.

Nice funky nose, slightly sweet taste, brilliant golden yellow colour, slightly crisp hop bite in the after taste. Very nicely done indeed.

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Photo of TheYeagermeister
3.58/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A--Apricot-colored, pale orange and clean looking. Pours about an inch of head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving behind layers on the glass.
S--Wheat, red apples, cinnamon, musky malts, maybe pear, virtually no hops in the smell. Not particularly strong.
T--Malts are up front, but not long lived. I get the same cinnamon apple from the smell, and some light honey and caramel notes. Floral hops dominate and linger on the palate. Sort of a bitter, sulfur aftertaste.
M--A bit thicker than medium bodied. Carbonation is high, maybe a little too high for my liking.
D--I could see myself going for another one, but this wouldn't be a session beer for me.

Overall, the hubby and I like it and appreciate it for how big it is for the style. A full flavored, complex lager worth trying. Karbach Brewing Co. continues to impress.

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Photo of TexasRedskinFan
2.76/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This seems like a Michelob on steroids. It's not great. It's not horrible. It's kinda bitter. But not hoppy at all. It's malty but not sweet. It's darker than Budweiser. But has the worst looking head and no aroma.
Idk what to say about this beer. I REALLY REALLY FLIPPING LIKE THE HOPADILLO.... But this is disappointing. Second brew I've had from this local brewer (Houston beer culture is slim).

Skip this beer. Buy almost anything else. I mean its better than Natural Light. But I think PBR or Budweiser is still better.


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Photo of Matty412
2.11/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Has an aftertaste very similar to Heineken unfortunately skunky out of a can. Nose of a typical lager. Sorry to say I'd rather drink a (shivers) Budweiser

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Photo of Enrico_il_octovo
5/5  rDev +39.3%

I like this beer it's great!!!. I have had lots and lots of different beers, wines and distilled spirits in my travels and having lived in various countries around the world. This is a beer like the Lager/Pilsen types that I've enjoyed in the Czech Republic, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Hungary. The Micro brew movement in the U.S. is turning out some really world class brews. Cheers mates! and keep up the bleedin' great work!!!!!

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Photo of TM300
4.11/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Got this from walmart on sale for $4...thats a steal being that this goes for $8.99 everywhere i look. Drank at room temp..nice floral aroma with a bitter-ish creamy taste. Not a bad beer at all. Didnt pour out of the can..drank it straight from it. No metallic taste from the can. This beer would taste great cold. Overall a good beer with nice flavor. I would give it a solid 4.

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Photo of Galaxy_Stranger
1.12/5  rDev -68.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon Karbach's in Houston and was interested, and I like supporting local brewers. I thought it was interesting how they canned everything whereas many "craft" brewers forego canning altogether. I thought, "Cool, I'll have to try them some time", and went about my day.

A week or so later, I noticed they were being sold at Kroger. Excited to try this new brand out, I grabbed a canned 6-back of Sympathy for the Lager. I like lighter beers, so I went for that one. And this is what happened...

I generally don't believe in reviewing color or head. Those attributes can be indicative of certain things but have ZERO bearing on how good a beer is. I drank this straight out of the can.

My first impression was: Utter Crap. I was thirsty, it was chilled - straight from the store. It tasted like what I imagine the bottom of my shoe tastes like. It's really not fair to judge from one mouthful, so I perservered and finished the can. Nope - nothing changed. Ok, one beer isn't enough to throw everything out. So, I had a total of four beers that evening - and they were all the same. I taste no hopps. I taste nothing like malted anything. And the AFTERTASTE... The bland, bitter taste is really indescribable. Karbach says they were going for an "authentic" recipe. God save the Czechs/Germans if this is what a genuine Pilsner or any other lager tastes like...

So, I had two beers left and brought them to my work buddies. I didn't want them to expect perfection, so I said, "I didn't go for this beer - tell me what you think". And they poured a can into glasses and proceded with caution... Now, you have to understand, all four of us are home-brewers. We all know what decent beer should taste like - whatever the style. None of them even finished their glasses. One of them almost spit it out without swallowing! (...that's what she said...)

This beer tasted like everything that is horrible and communist about American beer - only amplified with the flavor of the open road. Amazing. Schlitz is better than this.

I am willing to accept that this could have been just a bad batch, but it's not like I didn't give it a fair shake. A literal BAD batch of beer is infected and undrinkable. I have no reason to believe that what I had was not the intended final product.

Houston - cut me off into space, I'm not coming back. I'll say "Hi" to Voyager for you...

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Sympathy For The Lager from Karbach Brewing Co.
3.59 out of 5 based on 302 ratings.
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