Dismiss Notice
Extreme Beer Fest:Los Angeles

Join us December 9th in Los Angeles for the ultimate throwdown of craft beer creativity!

Learn more...
Dismiss Notice
Introducing: Project Extreme Brewing (a Dogfish Head + BeerAdvocate project)

Columbia Street Amber | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Columbia Street AmberColumbia Street Amber
BA SCORE
3.34/5
Okay
195 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#42,717
Reviews:
68
Ratings:
195
pDev:
15.27%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
6
Gots:
31
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 195 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of bill_rue
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of rob99er
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of DoctorB2B
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of Eriktheipaman
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of loubar
3.93/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle. Malt forward beers like this typically don’t get as much respect. But I found it to be an easy drinking, low key amber with distinct, yet faint, woody and earthy flavors and little hop bitterness. Not particularly complex, just light, smooth and refreshing. Love the dry finish and low ABV.

 307 characters

Photo of chickenandrice
3.85/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Clear amber with finger width of head. The head dies quickly. Modest amounts of lacing.

S - Rich malts and sweetness like butterscotch candy. No real hops to speak of.

T - Very sweet from the malts, sweet candy and caramel dominate.

M - Light body and average carbonation.

D - Wife's favorite, so can say anything bad about it! I would have anything bad to say anyways!

Cheers!

 436 characters

Photo of billshmeinke
3.82/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a nonic.

Clear amber color. Two fingers of off white head, dies down to a ring of foam and some decent lacing left behind.

Smells lightly of caramel, toffee, and most prominently of biscuity yeast.

Taste follows smell light smack of caramel/toffee, biscuit, some yeast.

Medium bodied, could be more carbonated though.

Solid vienna lager.

 354 characters

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.8/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. The color is caramel with a tint of amber or ruby. Two fingers of buttery, off-white head developed and left a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Sweet caramel, vanilla, and butterscotch. Another reviewer mentioned it smelling like Werther's Originals, and I have to agree.

Taste: Follows the smell, but it thankfully tastes more like beer. The caramel is mostly sweet, but has a slightly toasted edge to it. The vanilla is also detectable, but the butterscotch is not as prominent. Floral hops provide a touch of balanced bitterness, which lingers after each sip.

Drinkability: Very tasty and smooth drinking. It is the most flavorful lager I've ever had.

 718 characters

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
3.78/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at the San Diego airport.

A: Pours a very deep solid copper golden amber body.

S: Nose is very biscuity w/a lot of caramel sweetness that mostly dominates.

T &M: Just like the nose, the malt sweetness is very dominanat in this brew. Starts off with a biscuit like flavor that rides through into a very solid caramel sweetness taste with a tea like flavor as well. Hops are just there enough at the end to prevent it from being too sweet. Minimal hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is defenitely solid, not watery at all. Just right for the style of beer.

D: Comparing this to other amber lagers I have had, I would say this is good and highly drinkable. In my opinion, even for the style, it needs a little more hop presence to be considered a good brew. That said, this is a very good session brew and more interesting than their Woody Gold.

 862 characters

Photo of teejay76
3.77/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Golden honey amber color.

Smell - Sweet hops smell.

Taste - I'm not one who typically likes sweet beers but this one might change my mind.

Mouthfeel - Very smooth but finishes slightly heavier than the start.

Drinkability - Again, normally not a sweet fan but this had such a great taste. It also helps that this was custom served in a gallon jug and the two of us finished it off in one night. It was nice.

I would recommend this to friends and I'd drink this again.

 487 characters

Photo of AlexBassBerger
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Made Me want to have another :-)

32 characters

Photo of a_sh0pping_cart
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of MichaelBuck
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of Bockrules
3.75/5  rDev +12.3%

Photo of Kaiser81
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is one of the first beers that got me into craft beers. I'm finally reviewing it.

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter glass.

A - Pours a very clear amber with less than a finger width of head. The head dies down fairly quickly. Modest amounts of lacing left on the glass

S - Rich malts and sweetness like butterscotch candy...or those Werther's originals. No real hops to speak of.

T - Very sweet from the malts. It pretty much follows the nose, sweet candy and caramel kind of dominate. There is the aftertaste of a lager, but not a bitter...unsatisfying aftertaste left by BMC lagers.

M - Light body with medium carbonation.

D - It has a special place in my heart, so I can always drink these at a party, though there are a lot of other beers I prefer

 775 characters

Photo of Domingo
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I actually had this in a few spots in downtown San Diego. I interspursed this with some Stone brews to add some drinkability on a warm day!

Came a rich red color. Golden light pours through. Head was a little light at all of the locations. There was some, but not much.

Smell is of a very malty lager. Reminds me a little of the Yeungling traditional. Not a lot of hops, but a pretty strong malt backbone.

Flavor is VERY malty actually. Reminds me a little of a lager version of Fat Tire. Quenching, but still having a lot of flavor to keep you coming back.

It's a little thin, but I get the feeling that's on purpose. This comes across as a really tasty alternative to the "big 3" and it's a quencher beer instead of a sipper.

Drinkability is quite high. The flavor makes you want to come back, but nothing is really too strong or off.

Not the greatest beer in the world, but on a warm summer day, this makes a wonderful "lawnmower" brew. If you crossed a Yeungling with a Fat Tire, that's what this beer is.

 1,027 characters

Photo of birdypowder
3.73/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge creamy head with amazingly consistent bubble size. Head dissipates quickly.

Floral aroma, some prune aroma? Dark fruit aroma. Caramel for sure. Slight hop aroma.

Brillant orange color.

Slight bitter finish, very little, if any? aftertaste.

Slight sweetness kick in the beginning, followed by light mouthfeel and a medium carbonation.

A tasty lager that won't wow you with flavor but will be a hit with most palates. Can I order a pitcher?

 449 characters

Photo of Rasmonton
3.71/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rwaynes
3.68/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Photo of jbsteiny
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at LAX. I don't think this is really an American amber, it tastes to me more like a Vienna lager -- like a thinner Sam Adams with more diacetyl (sweet butteriness).

Poured into a weizen glass -- clear, amber color with a thin white head that quickly fades to a ring. Spots of retention, but they don't last long. Smells too sweet, with caramel malt dominating. Tastes better, with a touch of hop spice and dark bready flavors. The finish is dominated by the diacetyl, which I think is okay for the style, but it's not syrupy like most beers with high diacetyl. The lagering leaves it fairly light bodied for its malty flavor. I think this is one of the most sessionable malty beers I've had of late, and if I lived out here, I could see buying a sixer of this for some sweet summertime suds.

 799 characters

Photo of Wrjte51
3.66/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of megahurts4
3.65/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Karl Strauss Amber
On draft in LAX

Appearance: amber, medium head, and some good lacing.

Smell: malt grain and hop.

Taste: malts, grain, and hop.

Mouthfeel: medium-light.

Overall: this is a decent amber. It is very malty. It has a bunch of flavors that seem to only mix ok, but not perfect.

 297 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - Pours a crystal clear, bright amber with a white, 2 finger head. Decent retention. Spotty lacing with little stick.

Smell - Notes of honey hit first, backed by a strong caramel undertone.

Taste - Follows the nose with sweet, malt forward honey and caramel character. Hints at bread mid-taste and into the finish. No noticeable hops present, but the beer isn't cloyingly sweet. Simple, clean finish.

Mouthfeel - Light to medium bodied with light, tingly carbonation. Smooth, goes down with exceptional ease.

Overall - A fairly good, though simple, lager from Karl Strauss. Drinks close to an Oktoberfest / Marzen brew. Drinkable, and somewhat enjoyable, but I wouldn't go out of my way to find it. Would make for a decent session brew.

 751 characters

Photo of BKotch
3.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of T100Mark
3.6/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A 12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint glass.

Appearance - This beer is the color of a brand new penny (with clarity to match). Mediocre head that dissipates quickly. Zero stickage.

Smell - Mild malt sweetness mixed with a whiff of flowery hops. Nice and simple.

Taste - Mild malt sweetness mixed with a touch of flowery hops (very similar to an American adjunct lager). The flavor is pleasant but short-lived.

Mouth - Fizzy (again, like an American adjunct lager).

Overall - This beer is a cross between a real amber ale (think Ballast Point Calico Copper Amber Ale) and a Miller Genuine Draft. The beer is not offensive, it's just lacking in character. Karl Strauss' own Red Trolly Ale is a better interpretation of the style.

 741 characters

Columbia Street Amber from Karl Strauss Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.34 out of 5 with 195 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.