Live Oak Brewing Company

Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
German Roggenbier
Ranked #4
Ranked #16,969
3.89 | pDev: 10.54%
Live Oak Brewing Company
Texas, United States
Very Good
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 83
Photo of ElegantRose
4.69/5  rDev +20.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This delicious, sessionable rye beer fulfills many, if not all, expectations admirably. The smell, delivered closer to room temperature than usual, gives off esters of maple and caramel, without the 'candy' (ester) that sweeter beers (such as Belgians) tend to promise.

This is one of my favorite sessionable growler beers because it's almost universally agreeable amongst friends. The rye, which can be spicy, is well nuanced and balanced. Live Oak (a wonderful German-style brewery from Austin) delivers quality hefeweizens (and other beers), but this beer is certainly a head above the rest; an excellent sample of what a rye beer can truly be, and do.

I love German beers, and I reserve a fair amount of judgment for each contribution to the category. In conclusion, I would humbly state that if you have the chance to drink this beer, do.

 845 characters

Photo of Premo88
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

on tap at the Hay Merchant in Houston on June 23, 2014
poured into 16 oz. pint glass

L: murky brown; off-white/beige head almost 1/3-inch tall and real thick

S: toasted malt ... slight tartness, some slightly sweet fruit; rye?; sour grain ... as it warms, the sour grain shows through a lot -- might be rye?

T: smooth as silk with no hop presence; slight fruit, peach; toasted grain and nutty; almost a smoked fruit taste ... the end result is a lot like a toasted English pale ale

F: almost nitro-like it's so silky; very mild carbonation

O: not bad at all but a bit hard to place with a soft mouthfeel -- different. it tastes like a great alternative for the non-hop crowd and hefeweizen fans; and you for sure get some smokey/toasty flavors in a very easy-drinking vessel

 779 characters

Photo of zac16125
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live Oak Roggenbier
12oz bottle poured into a mug
brown bottle with no label, but Live Oak Roggenbier cap

This one was sent to me as a bonus from a trading partner, after the initial trade was FedEX exempted. Apparently this was hand bottled by a Live Oak Brewery employee, who was a friend of the trader. Must be something thats done fairly commonly as they have labeled caps. Thanks to Zadavis for sending over this bottle from a brewery who doesn't bottle!

A: Pours a murky caramel brown with 2.5 fingers width of almond colored head. Good retention, taking a long while to dissipate down. Lots of sedimentation is seen suspended throughout the glass. Leaves effectively no lacing.

S: Really tart, with sour fruits and citrus, a significant rye aroma. Not at all what I anticipated, with the big sour notes, but I like it! Makes me wonder if this is infected though.

T: Flavor is somewhat bland, although there is a tart character here as well. Some sour fruits. Decent amount of rye. Touch of caramel. Really rather enjoyable with the mild tart sourness in there. I dont get much spice though at all. It really does taste like it was brewed with a while yeast.

M/D: Medium bodied, appropriate carbonation, drinkability is good.

O: Overall, I really enjoyed this. It seems I may have gotten an infected batch, as my experience with the flavor and aroma was quite different than all the other reviews I see, and it has a significant tart character. However, I enjoyed that aspect of it. I'd like to try this again sometime, to see if it taste at all the same as this one.

 1,583 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at the Whip In in Austin.

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma has some rye mixed in, but the majority of what I smell is grain.

The flavor is a little better than the aroma. I get a lot of grain and rye notes, as well as some toffee and caramel malt. There are not really any hops present in the beer and the alcohol is not present, which is what I expect for a beer this low in alcohol. While the beer is not too flavorful, it is easy to drink.

Medium mouthfeel and high carbonation.

 520 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

huge thanks to my boy jamie for the little growler so I could get a taste

rich hazelnut brown color coming forward immediatly from the glass. Rich looking, and very clear. Lots of carbonation bubbling up toward the surface to reinforce a rich looking head of about an inch in height that settled down to a nice thin veil with a good amount of side glass lace.

The aroma was rich, Lots of caramel mixed in as well. providing a slightly sweet balance to it. The only downside would have to be the lightness of the aroma, needed a little more kick. The flavor was very well rounded. Started with a nice punch of caramel, with a decent roasted malt, and smoked quality coming through in the middle. Light grain and bready nature with a decidedly sweet finish to it that rolled off the tongue with a subtle tone. There was a very nice feel on this one, coating would be a good word as it rolled through the mouth and stuck to every surface available

 946 characters

Photo of elNopalero
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on draught, poured with absolutely no head/foam. Very very thin layer, like a lace of lacing. A cloudy light molasses color, like amber honey. unfiltered? Not picking up a whole lot on the nose. But the taste! Wow! The rye bursts through. Such a great taste, such a great rye profile. There’s a smoothness to this beer that is met with the rye spiciness, and a clean finish. It could go wrong in so many ways but doesn’t. (if it was chewy I don’t think id enjoy it as much. And its not overly sweet either.) great mouthfeel, the rye dominates & it shines. Another beer I wish was bottled or made its way to San Anto. I’ve never tasted such a rye forward beer before. Usually they seem to be blends, like a ryePA.

 720 characters

Photo of TexIndy
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had on tap at the Flying Saucer in Addison. Served in a pint glass. Hard to tell the exact color due to poor bar lighting but seemed to be a darker brown with some copper highlights. By the time it got to me, any head was down to a small collar and some moderate carb streams. Moderate sheeting with none sticking.

The aroma was pretty subdued. Sweet malt with some rye but nowhere near what others had mentioned. What was their smelled good but needed to be amped up more as I had to sniff hard to get any aroma. The flavor was stronger than the aroma and a good light rye flavor to go along with the bready malt. Very drinkable and goes down smooth on a hot day. Mouthfeel was light and a little watery. Good carbonation and not much aftertaste.

Overall, an interesting beer but it just didn't have as much aroma or flavor as I'd expected. Refreshing but can't say I'd be searching it out. Would like to try again just to make sure I got a good sample of it [resample]

 972 characters

Photo of rcfunk
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love it.

This is one rye beer where you can really taste the rye. I enjoyed the hell out of it at Alamo Village and highly recommend this beer to everyone.

The only downside is that it appeared to be a little under carbonated. This might be due to the draft system, but who knows? There was zero head on the beer when it was served to me.

Very mild hop profile; really showcases the rye. Highly drinkable and delicious. I guess you need a real live German to brew a good Roggenbier. It takes a guy who loves pumpernickel! Heh.

 529 characters

Photo of omnigrits
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted at the Ginger Man... or was it the Draught House? I really should be more careful about putting the location on my notes.

A. A dark brown/copper colour, slightly hazy, and with a creamy off-white head that's got a lot of retention.

S. The smell is a bit muted but very promising. Sweet, bready, yeasty and with more than a hint of rye.

T. Not so much sweetness in the flavour but quite tangy and spicy. Very crisp. Moderately bitter in the finish.

M. Strong carbonation but the body is a bit on the thin side. It could use a bit more weight.

O. Full disclosure - I'm something of a novice with this style so I can only go by what my taste buds are telling me and what I've read about it. The message I'm getting is that I'd like some more of it, and at 4.8% I may well sit on this one all evening. It's a good accompaniment to the hot weather.

 855 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler shared by drabmuh. Served in a Jackie O's tulip.

Pours a moderate brown color with a copper hue. Medium off-white head with a bit of retention and some spotty lacing. The nose carries quite a bit of rye, and not nearly as much yeast character as I would prefer. Malt and yeast heavy. The flavor falls along the same lines. A bit of German yeast, but other than that, lots of rye and accompanying light spice. Bready malt in the background. Light to medium body with good carbonation. Pretty drinkable, though not quite as good as the other Live Oak beers that I've had.

 578 characters

Photo of wagenvolks
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Billy's On Burnet.

Served in the pint glass with a hazy, muddy water color and somewhat of a short-lived head of light tan bubbles. Turbid, and strangely inviting. Aroma is mild, but pleasant, with big notes of rye bread crust, fruity citrus zest, and a touch of German yeast esters.

The flavor of Live Oak's Roggenbier is quite lively, with that signature rye 'spice' coating the entire palate from start to finish. Slightly fruity and floral, with enough bitterness from the hops to balance the rye maltiness. Mouthfeel is chewy and creamy, but strangely thin enough in body to make for an easy sipper...the <5% ABV doesn't hurt, either. Overall, a tasty take on a style that American brewers are just starting to catch on to. Live Oak rarely disappoints with their German interpretations, and the Roggenbier is no exception.

 842 characters

Photo of Biermaedchen
4.83/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I like beers with history… it makes them all the more interesting. That being said- whoever it was that decided rye ought to be reserved for making solid, as opposed to liquid bread, robbed the world of a tasty brew.

I've had this on tap & brought a growler home to review:

Appearance is a deep hazy brown with a burnt red/orange tint. I’ve never seen a beer that looks similar and it doesn’t look like any Roggenbier I’ve had out of a bottle. A two finger off white head that faded into lacing.

Aroma holds a small hint of floral/citrus with a subtle bready aroma…smells slightly sweet…In a way it’s similar to a Hefe but more malty… very pleasant & inviting and again- unique.

Tastes mildly sweet and hearty, quenches your thirst and invites you back for more sips of a wonderfully balanced sweet, malty, spicy taste. Unlike anything I’ve ever tasted.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with nice carbonation and clean finish.

Overall very refreshing and enjoyable… Light enough to drink a few but complex enough to keep you interested... 'quaffable'. It’s easy to see why LOBC chose this for their summer seasonal and I definitely hope to have it again next summer.

 1,192 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler obtained from my favorite Texas brewpub that makes German ales...and lagers...and some other stuff. Served in a 0.5 L Gordon Biersch glass for some reason.

Beer is brown and hazy with a big off white head, heavily carbonated, so much so that it was quite difficult to fill a bunch of hand bottles of this growler for others. Hopefully they'll turn out.

Aroma is bready and yeasty with this kind of spiciness that reminds me of a Belgian ale yeast, this is the third Roggenbier I've had and they've all had similar aromas, I assume this is what it is suppose to smell like.

Beer is thin on flavor but the finish is good. Wet and spicy, the rye comes through as almost an aftertaste, it is creamy on the palate, the more I drink the better it gets. The taste is a slight let down unfortunately. It is thin up front with almost nothing, the midpalate opens up to a mild banana some yeast, the finish is the best part.

I like it, it is probably the best roggenbier I've ever had and I drank a liter of it but I don't know if I would have it again. I guess I would if it is on draft someplace. More places need to make roggenbiers.

This is also my 2000th review.

 1,170 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass mug.

Thanks to jefferz5000 for this growler!

Cracked this bad boy during taiyed's graduation party (congrats on the Master's, Alex!). It pours a cloudy amber-/auburn- tawn topped by a couple fingers of cream foam. The nose comprises wheat, lemon zest, lemon peel, black pepper, and orange peel. The taste holds notes of wheat, grass, light clove, very light black pepper, flowers, dark greens, and more wheat. I don't get all that much rye character here, oddly enough. The body straddles the line between hefty light and light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a lightly grainy feel. Overall, a decent roggen, but lacking in much rye character and nearly boring beyond that. Very easy to drink, though, and in no way objectionable.

 769 characters

Photo of champ103
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Queen Vic in Houston.

A: Pours a hazy reddish/orange color. A two finger beige head forms that gently recedes to a ring. The ring sticks throughout. Light lace.
S: At first a honey sweetness with a kiss of floral hops. Some fruity esters of banana with a light spice. Bread and biscuit malts from the rye finishes everything off nicely.
T: A quick snap of floral and grassy hops at first. A nice honey sweetness. Some fruity esters and spice. Big toasted and bready malts. Lots of biscuit and grains. Just excellent.
M/D: A medium body with good carbonation. Very clean, crisp and bone dry. This is something I can drink all day. Just excellent.

I love this. There is an excellent bready rye character that is pretty much perfect for the style. I had several pints of this, and could have easily had more. Awesome, and highly recommended.

 850 characters

Photo of jamescain
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass at the Draught House.

Appearance: Light brown and hazy with yellow hues around the edges. There was a thin head about a finger thick, but I’m sure there could be more given a different glass. The head receded into a thin lacing on the top of the beer.

Aroma: Hint so of lemon and citrus with a rye twang and a subtle bready aroma.

Taste: Citrusy and slightly tart from the rye. Not as yeasty as I was expecting due to the aroma.

Mouthfeel: Moderately high carbonation with a nice clean finish.

Overall: Very refreshing and enjoyable. I hope Live Oak turns this into a regular summer seasonal, because I will look forward to it.

 663 characters

Photo of UTCengOwl
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not all that experienced with Rye Beers, but what the hell, let's give this a shot.

The beer pours a hazy caramel orange with a very tight, dirty tan head. I don't think I've seen a beer quite this color before. Interesting. The head is also pretty darned nice to look at while it's up. Then again, it's always a bit dark in the Draught House.

The nose is mainly crisp rye. Some noble hops come in on later sniff, but I'm mainly getting rye.

The taste is up front with spicy rye, but that blends into a mix of tartness and slight caramel sweetness. The mouthful is creamy with perfect carbonation. How does Live Oak do that every time? It's just heavenly to drink. This thing is smooth going down, refreshing and enjoyable. I'd take a keg of this at the house for the warm summer months. Very tasty.

Edit: As I keep drinking, I start to get a slightly dirty buildup on my tongue. Docks a bit from the taste. Still very enjoyable.

 937 characters

Roggenbier from Live Oak Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 83 ratings