Columbia Street Amber | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

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Columbia Street AmberColumbia Street Amber
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Karl Strauss Brewing Company
California, United States
karlstrauss.com

Style: Vienna Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.20%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly Karl Strauss Amber

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-26-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
192
Reviews:
68
Avg:
3.31
pDev:
15.41%
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
29
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 192 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.08/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange color with a 1 inch off-white head that fades to a thin film. Random splotches of lace form here and there on the glass on the drink down. Smells of toasted malt and slight hay/grass. Taste is pretty watered down malt with some grass/hop flavors coming in on the end. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and clean mouthfeel. Overall, this is a a pretty average beer all around. Nothing too great but nothing too offensive. A good choice if there is nothing else worthwhile.

 513 characters

Photo of spycow
3.06/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of t0rin0
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of kojevergas
2.62/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a generic hefeweissbier glass in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are moderately low.

A: Pours a one and a half finger head - extremely thin, without cream, and of abysmal retention. Appears overcarbonated. Colour is a semitransparent copper-gold. (Certainly not amber-coloured).

Sm: Caramelized malt, barley, and light cream. A mild strength aroma.

T: Stale cream over top a simple barley foundation. Some hops are present - definitely the best aspect of the beer. If they'd amp up the hop content I could see this being much better. As is, it's boring and a bit bland. But it does show promise for improvement, with effort. Simple and imbalanced, but still somewhat refreshing.

Mf: Smooth and wet, but overcarbonated, making it a bit sharp and too thick. Doesn't suit the flavours.

Dr: Drinkable but very mundane. I wouldn't have it again. It needs more complexity, more smoothness, and some serious flavour profile to be worthy of consumption.

 1,056 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.5/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of brentk56
3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a crystal clear amber (surprise!) color with a marshmallow fluff head; OK retention and a smattering of lace

Smell: Doughy malts and toffee

Taste: The taste follows the aroma, with the doughy malts being complemented by the toffee through mid-palate, where a grainy, nutskin bitterness arrives; after the swallow, the sweeter elements tend to dominate, though the lager twang lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: After a while, the sweetness really gets overbearing, rendering this beer a bit tough to drink in any quantity

Thanks, mrmiles, for the opportunity

 635 characters

Photo of LXIXME
3.49/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Large off white head dies leaving a decent lacing over a clear golden-copper colored beer.

Aroma of light caramel hops comes through quite nicely.

Caramel grain malts taste that seems quite light, smooth and easy drinking.

This medium bodied beer has a very light dryish aftertaste that brings with it some of the caramel malt tastes.

A decent easy drinking amber.

 368 characters

Photo of zestar
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of dmorgan310
2.82/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of mactrail
3.47/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nutty, roasty, and caramel flavors are the good points. Makes a good first impression and ends up being inoffensive. Very fragrant nose of flowers and malt. This one could have better carbonation to qualify for the big gulp award. IBU in the teens so it's shy on bitterness.

Quite unassuming but a good example of how much flavor can be packed into a low-alcohol, low-hop beer. It manages to be quite drinkable with a warm flavor and just a touch of tartness.

 461 characters

Photo of dcmchew
3.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

4.5 abv. 25 years anniversary cap.
Pours clear amber, very tiny white head, quickly to a lasting sticky lacing.
Smell of biscuit, caramel, light sweet citrus and some nuttiness.
Dense maltiness in the taste, with slightly toasted white bread and caramel covered biscuits. Some mild sweet cake spices and faint cooked apples. The bit of sweetness is cut off by some earthy chestnuts. Mild hop finish, a bit citrusy but mostly grassy.
Buttery feel, low carbonation, pretty thick for its style.
Very tasty, but a bit too oily and not so easy to drink.

 548 characters

Photo of smithj4
3.44/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of atrocity
3.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +20.8%

Photo of BeerOps
3/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.3/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured on-tap in downtown San Diego at the Columbia Street brewpub. There isn't a whole lot of good to say about this, so I will keep this short and sweet. The beer was poured into a pint glass. It was extremely light colored, especially for the style. The beer had no real outstanding flavors. Basic malt backbone, with little to offer past that. It has a very disappointing aftertate, although typical of a lager; musty and a bit sour. Sour aftertaste, as well.

 463 characters

Photo of DoubleJ
3.48/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Karl Strauss beers usually aren't widely distributed, but I can find many of the varieties at a local store of mine. How about an amber lager for tongiht? Sure. On to the beer:

Twist off the top and pour in into a stange and you get, well, a clear amber colored beer and a decent sized head. Light bready notes and fruit in the aroma, just enough to tease the nose. Good malt flavor in the taste, which is biscuity and bready. Light on the sweetness/fruit and lighter hops, which are enough to balance out the beer. It's light enough to quaff, but full enough to keep you going with a good flavor and pretty good mouthfeel.

The neck label displays "it is Karl's favorite beer!" in small print. Good choice Karl. Or is it? I have two other of his beers in my fridge which I will sample sometime, so I hope this, while quite good indeed, isn't the brand's high tide.

 867 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.19/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I last tasted this stuff at their little brew pub stand in LAX I wonder if the correct glass and the bottled version are better?

This certainly looks good in the glass an ultra clear bronze colored all with a tall tan head with a reddish tinge to it.

The smell is very sweet and heavy on the malt. Hops are limited to a vague soapy herbal scent in the background but you can tell that it is Nobel hops.

The taste starts out sweet and very grainy with a dark bread flavor. Not as sweet as I remember but this is certainly malty. Good hop bitterness here it does a lot to tame the malt. Flavors of fig and raisin are present with a nutty after taste.

The mouthfeel is good.

Drinkability is much improved with the malt tamed I have to suspect they altered the recipe. A beer that seems to be better in the bottle than the tap.

 828 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
2.82/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle,

A: Pours amber with a light one finger white head, fizzy carbonation. Below average retention, no lace.

S: Toasty malt with a note of caramel sweetness. Light hints of apple peel.

T: Biscuity toasty malt with a mild noble hop backing. Some minor grassiness. Red apple bits are nice, I just wish there was something more to the malt flavour.

M: Light-bodied, thin watery finish. Crisp and clean, refreshing.

D: This is basically in the Dos Equis Amber realm of Vienna lager. Not bad tasting, just not interesting at all. Boston Lager and Negra Modelo completely outshine this effort in the same category.

 623 characters

Photo of Raziel313
2.5/5  rDev -24.5%

Photo of HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12/23/2011

On tap at Karl Strauss. From where I'm sitting I don't have an ideal view of the coy pond, but I grabbed the closest seat I could find. I can see the water, but very few coy. Perhaps I'll try to find a better seat as people head back to work after lunch.

A: Aptly named, the beer appears transparent amber with an inch of white froth.

S: Pronounced bread and grain with lesser notes of biscuit and just a dash of caramel.

T: Bread, biscuit, and grainy malt with almost no hop influence (a shadow of noble hop character). The finish is simple, very grainy, and clean.

M: Light in body with lower high carbonation.

Overall: A very simple amber lager with simplicity being its only flaw. All things considered, this is pretty enjoyable. A man could drink a lot of this.

 783 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.1/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A dark amber/auburn color, tiny white, fractional head on top of it. Roasty, nutty aroma, delivered heavier than a lager, but without any yeasty component to it.

Hit the sweet malt notes more than the roasted, ample malt bill for a Vienna, decent for people who like their beer darker than fizzy yellow, but not heavy or well hopped.

 336 characters

Photo of barleywinefiend
2.6/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured a medium gold color, small white foamy head. Looked more like an IPA or Pale. Aroma is malty and slightly sweet. Mild malts and hops. Mild flavor, good balance of hops and malts. Slight taste of roasted malts, very subtle. Finish is smooth. Aftertaste is slightly malty, no bitterness.

 292 characters

Photo of Suds
3.23/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

During a recent visit to San Diego, I had this brew on tap in a Gaslamp area restaurant. I found it to be an enjoyable, flavorful, if ordinary brew. It’s a deep golden color, with only a shadow of amber, and a modest white head. The aroma is a well proportioned mix of malt and hop, of medium intensity. There’s a little grain and notable caramel. The taste is mildly sweet, with a slant toward maltiness. It’s certainly not outstanding, but it went well with dinner and left me satisfied.

 492 characters

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Columbia Street Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
3.31 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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