Kato Lager Beer
Mankato Brewery

Kato Lager BeerKato Lager Beer
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Lager - Helles
Ranked #91
Ranked #27,895
3.81 | pDev: 9.19%
Mankato Brewery
Minnesota, United States
Kato Lager BeerKato Lager Beer
Reviews: 14 | Ratings: 31 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of defunksta
defunksta from North Dakota

3.74/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Pours a medium, mostly clear, golden color with a moderate, crispy foam head that fades and leaves a nice, thin layer on top. SRM of 9 (4.00)

Aroma: Stronger aromas of lemon-flower, bread dough, honey. Mostly flowers with honey. Some coriander and clove spices, like a witbier, that evolves into a lemon-apple flowery perfume fragrance which is actually pleasant and growing on me. (3.75)

Flavor: Really great and strong flavors. Tons of cloves, apple perfume, grass, sweet lemonflower, and honey. Showcases the noble hops well. All three flavors are well balanced. The honey evolves into somewhat of a tangy Munich malt profile, but still German hops and honey is what I get on the flavor. Leans a little sweet against a slightly bitter lemon or floral finish. There is a profound amount of lemon/apple fragrance with Belgian spices of clove on the flavor too. Quite nice. (3.75)

Feel: Lighter bodied, low carbonation, allows it to finish clean rather than too sweet. A nice lemonflower fragrance lingers. (4.00)

Compared to Bent Paddle's Classic (Cream ale) 4/11/20: Pours a darker color with a stronger aroma. Much more honey and lemonflower. Less bread and corn. Leans sweeter.

Compared to Surly Hell 5/8/20: Pours a similar color with less head. Similar aroma. More fragrant flower, bread dough, honey. Less lemon zest, yeast, and bitter wheat. Finishes more malty.

Compared to Bent Paddle's Classic 9/7/20: Pours a slightly darker color with a larger head. ore pear, green grape, juicy sour notes. Not expected from this beer. It must be a contaminant. Winner: Classic

Compared to Great Lakes Dortmund Gold 10/10/20: Pours a much lighter color. Aromas/flavors have more spices. Less earthy honeyflower, and malts. A lighter body.Winner: Dortmund

Overall: This is a well-made American helles. Leans with a lot of lemonflower and less bready that I would expect.. Lemongrass and honey here. Tons of flavor. Pretty typical for an American-made helles. Doesn't quite hit the German authenticity. Leans a little lighter, but the nice lemonflower notes are appreciated quite well.
(You have to let this beer warm to allow the flavor to come out)
Edit 9/7/20: On a subsequent review I get a lot of pear, green grape, slightly sour juice aromas. Not at all the previous aromas/flavors. A giant foamy head that erupts out of the can. This can must be contaminated with bacteria because it drinks like a bad saison. A dissapointment in quality coming from this brewery.
Edit 10/20/20: Again getting lemon/apple perfume and Saison-like Belgian spices. Strong Belgian spices and flower. A light body.
(Final Rating: 3.74)

Jul 13, 2019
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mngermanshepherd from Minnesota

3.92/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crisp, light and tasty. A little more soapy taste than I'd like, but overall, not bad. Pours a light golden color and a head that slowly dies off after a couple of minutes. On tap at the Boulder Tap House in Mankato.

Jun 29, 2019
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Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.87/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a single can into a pilsener glass.'

Pours a fine golden color with a decent one-finger head and fair lacing. Shimmering quality. Perhaps a bit lacking in visible effervescence.

Multiple malt aromas dominate the nose including bread dough, cracker, and a light fruity note. Hints of white pepper and hop in the background.'

The flavor is lively and well balanced between malty bready sweetness and spicy hops. Just a bit of sour/tart. Simple, straight, solid.

The feel is light and rather crisp, although it could use a bit more carbonation. A very drinkable brew.

Overall, a good take on a classic style.

Jun 16, 2019
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vette2006c5r from Minnesota

3.51/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Kato pours a crisp clean golden color, with a very small, but lacing head. Aroma is weaker, its very neutral, hints of a crisp grain. Flavor has a sweet start, grainy and crisp, with a nicer crisp slightly dry aftertaste. Good body and feel. Overall, its a nice Helles, very refreshing, good simple beer.

Feb 08, 2018
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zeff80 from Missouri

3.72/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12oz can. Poured out a clear, golden color with a good deal of carbonation. It smelled of caramel and floral notes. Sweet caramel flavor with a mild bitterness.

Jan 02, 2018
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pat61 from Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

L: pours bright gold with a very slight haze under a 1" cap with fiar to poor retention

S: Initial spicy hop aromas quickly blow off revealing smells of bread dough, cracker, and a faint hint of apple

T: flavors start slightly sweet with bread dough and cracker and finish crisp and dry with a hint of tartness with a medium spicy hop flavor

F: The carbonation is above average with some prickle and the body is medium light

O: This is an easy drinking, light flavorful beer

Dec 16, 2017
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TX-Badger from Texas

3.5/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear pale yellow color with white head. Cereal grains, wheat, hay, and a light grass on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with a light cereal grain sweetness, but mostly clean.

Feb 03, 2017
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morimech from Minnesota

3.52/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Purchased from liquor store in North Mankato.
Pours a pale straw color with a finger of quickly settling head. Not much for lacing. Rich bready and slightly fruity aroma. Light flavor of grain, slight fruit tones, with a little pepper. I expected more Noble hop for a Munich Helles. I would call this a pale lager. Carbonation is low, but far from flat. Gives a nice smooth texture. Very easy drinking even if a bit on the sweet side.

Apr 15, 2016
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Victory_Sabre1973 from Minnesota

3.66/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a very clear, golden color. The head was minimal. The nose is somewhat funky. The taste of this is pretty good for a lager. It has a full flavor. It feels rich going down.

Apr 11, 2016
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Chaz from Minnesota

3.6/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear (essentially brilliant) pale golden in color, topped by a shock white head. Good duration to and great lacing on the glass as the head drops.

Nose has sweet, rich malt notes and dry biscuit malt notes.

Lightly-sweet, with a grainy (in a good way) character on the first sip. Mildly bitter (almost bittersweet) in the middle, with really good biscuit character. There's also a malt character here which is reminiscent of some of the better regional lagers that my dad would let me sample, when I was very young -- major tastebud flashback!

Bitterness is more nuanced than I was expecting; I prefer Pils to Helles for the bitterness, but this one is really hitting all of the right 'in-between' style note for me.

Very easy drinking, and with a nice, light (but not too light) body.

This one is definitely much better than I'd imagined it might be, and is in the same league as some of the better American Craft renditions of the style. It might even hold up to an authentic, heritage brand from the old country -- might be worth a blind tasting against a fresh Paulaner.

Sep 13, 2015
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mjryan from Minnesota

4.53/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

When I was a young lad, my mother bought me an old wooden Kato Lager beer box. I used to store G.I. Joe guys in it. I still have it, as a matter of fact it lives on my book shelf in my dining room. I'm very fond of it, and you know what? I'm really fond of the resurrected Kato Lager Beer from Mankato Brewery. Brewed in the style of a Munich Helles, it is truly wonderful stuff. Pale gold color, fresh baked bread aroma, mildly sweet malt flavor, with a mild finish. Mankato knocked this one out of the park.

Jul 27, 2015
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garymuchow from Minnesota

4.45/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Not much to not like here starting with the classic looking label. I love it.
Soft grainy aroma. Smallish white head and mostly clear pale gold color.
Great grainy taste with hints of sweetness and sharp lager crispness moving towards bite. An enjoyable doughiiness shows too. Very nice.
Soft drying on the finish with a soft but noticeable lingering bitterness.
This is done very well.

Jul 05, 2015
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ZAP from Minnesota

4.42/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

My wishes for a locally brewed helles lager have been granted. Great tasting beer with a big bready honeyed grainy malt base. Aroma is very malt forward. This is what I dream of in a Helles Lager. Light side of medium bodied. Great effort here and a real gem for lager lovers.

2020 Update-Mostly the same but a little thinner in body than I remember with a lighter overall flavor profile. Easy drinker though with still that nice bready honey maltiness.

Jul 02, 2015
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MrUse from Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear gold color, about a finger of white head. Smells of malt, grain and fresh bread. Taste is also of fresh bread, a little sweetness. Smooth feel. Very well done, probably my favorite lager around.

Jul 01, 2015
Kato Lager Beer from Mankato Brewery
Beer rating: 84 out of 100 with 31 ratings