Columbia Street Amber | Karl Strauss Brewing Company

Columbia Street AmberColumbia Street Amber
BA SCORE
3.34/5
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:
#42,217
Reviews:
68
Ratings:
195
pDev:
15.27%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
5
Gots:
31
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 |  Reviews: 68
Photo of dcmchew
3.45/5  rDev +3.3%
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 mactrail
3.47/5  rDev +3.9%
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 smithj4
3.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of atrocity
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of mdfb79
3.22/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev +19.8%

Photo of GarthDanielson
2.3/5  rDev -31.1%
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 BeerOps
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of DoubleJ
3.48/5  rDev +4.2%
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 -4.5%
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 -15.6%
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 -25.1%

Photo of rodbeermunch
3.1/5  rDev -7.2%
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 HopHead84
3.58/5  rDev +7.2%
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 barleywinefiend
2.6/5  rDev -22.2%
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 -3.3%
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

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.2/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a smidge darker than amber, but still looks nice with just a wisp of white head on it. Roasty, nutty, slightly warmed malt sensation in the aroma.

More nuttiness, oktoberfest like sweetness, a beer that drinks heavier than you would think from looking at the abv. Its not exactly complex, but it is a substantial step up above fizzy yellow stuff, this is a good gateway beer. Reminiscient of Sprecher's Vienna Lager if you're into that. Use this beer to warm people up to the idea of getting into drinking the heavier and crazier stuff with you someday. Its decent and flavorful without being out there or too adventurous.

 629 characters

Photo of GraduatedCashew
3.25/5  rDev -2.7%

Photo of cdwil
3/5  rDev -10.2%

Photo of Gusler
3/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draught @ San Diego Airport
As I was at the airport waiting on my flight back to Phoenix after two wonderful days of “Strong Ale”, and meeting up with a bunch of great “BA’s” and also meeting some great friends from “Ratebeer”, I truly needed something to get my arse up from around my ankles.

The beer as it sat in my $6.00 plastic cup at the airport was a translucent deep amber color with a rather thin off white head that was bubbly in texture, and the lace a micro thin sheet to not quite seal the glass. Nose was mostly malt with a hint of citrus, start sweet and nicely malted with the top light to middling in feel. Finish was stingingly acidic, the hops apropos to the style and the aftertaste dry and long lasting, a drinkable beer, but certainly nothing to get excited about.

 797 characters

Photo of dertyd
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

Photo of bumchilly25
3.5/5  rDev +4.8%

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

Pours a amber honey hue with a nice frothy off white 2 finger head. Poor retention and doesn't leave alot of lacing on the glass.

Picking up alot of processed clover honey, mild nuttiness and some pale malt and adjunct grain. Lager yeast and a hint of hay and lemon.

Honey and pale malt dominant perhaps a bit sweet but nothing offensive no adjunct grains or anything. Hop profile is lemon zest, hay and mildly spicy. Quite different in a good way. Finishes rather crisp and drying. Could use more flavor overall.

Light body for the color as well and active carbonation which I enjoyed. Slick on the palate and dries well.

Pretty decent, I think that it's on par with a Boston Lager, flavor is a bit on the lighter side and the honey sweetness is probably what drops down the score for alot of ppl but the hop profile is refreshing and different in a lager. For what it is, it's very nice.

 893 characters

Photo of popery
3.13/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A rather average beer, but, for the style, it's certainly not terrible. It's funny that the reviews are sort of all over the place (kinda sounds like the LAX bar needs to clean their tap lines). This is a clean, somewhat sweet lager. It's a nice, clear amber with a dissipating white head that manages to hang on with a very tight white cap after a minute. The aroma is mostly doughy malt sweetness. There's a faint hint of herbal hops, but it's just a low abv amber lager with its roots in German brewing. It lacks any real depth of malt flavor. The flavor is vaguely sweet and fairly clean. It's nice to have a <4.5% abv beer, but this one wants for flavor. Mouthfeel is inoffensive, though the carbonation seems oddly low. Ok beer.

 737 characters

Photo of Sludgeman
4.25/5  rDev +27.2%

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