Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.

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Lager - Schwarzbier
Ranked #15
Ranked #13,016
3.92 | pDev: 11.73%
Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
Very Good
Notes: First-class, refined ingredients, the unique recipe and a passionate brewing tradition that you can taste: Köstritzer Schwarzbier stands for pleasure in perfection. It is the unique roasting of malting barley to the finest roasted malt, which gives Köstritzer Schwarzbier its unique malt aroma and unmatched character.

The market leader in the segment of bottom-fermented, dark beers presents itself in an elegant, bubbly manner, and promises a special kind of beer experience at first sight with its strong color and pronounced foam crown.

Taste the difference and enjoy Germany's most popular black beer.
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Reviews: 924 | Ratings: 2,131 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Danzifer
Danzifer from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours extremely deep red, like it couldn't possibly be any deeper. Has a creamy smooth yet slightly rich malty smell. Very delicious malt taste! Would certainly drink again.

Thursday at 01:25 AM
Photo of Tony787
Tony787 from Canada (ON)

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I bought a can at the lcbo in Ontario 500ml at 4.8% dark black color poured a 2 finger head into glass looked like a creamy root beer.
meduim bitterness refreshing lager malty taste.
overall a very good black lager beer.

Jan 06, 2021
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Weisenbeer from Ohio

4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eat your heart out Guinness!! Smooth, creamy, and quite delicious....this hits all the high points of what a"schwartzbier" should be ... Hard to find, but worth a search

Dec 31, 2020
Photo of Anders91
Anders91 from California

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: black with a mocha head

Smell: hop, malt, and yeast

Taste: very malty, with some chocolate notes, kinda of a irony flavor

Feel: smooth with a medium level of carbonation

Dec 29, 2020
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sethmeister from New Hampshire

3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a can marked L 2020.09.10 12:30

Pours into my Pilsen glass a reddish brown with a great sudsy cream colored head. Held to the light it is crystal clear dark brown with ruby highlights. Head has decent staying power and leaves fluffy lace as it does go. Really a good looking beer.

Scent is caramel and leafy hops. A hint of yeast tang possibly.

Taste is caramel and nuts but there is very little sweetness or that which is present is met with equal dryness/bitterness. As the beer warms dark fruit flavors emerge and the yeast does seem to give a bit of a tang which makes me think of German weizens. Roasted notes. Leafy herbal hops peek out now and again.

Mouth is soft and creamy with a nice drying finish. There is a slight chalkiness.

An attractive shwarzbier with a mild flavor

Dec 26, 2020
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timobkg from New Jersey

3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Köstritzer certainly looks the part - dark black with off-white head.

The aroma is pretty basic - roasted malts and not much else.

The taste is nice. Nice. Not thrilling, but nice. Straightforward roasted malts, a bit of a burnt toast character, a hint of sweetness balanced with mild bitterness, and a flavour I can only describe as stereotypical lager. The flavour is overall pretty mild.

Overall, it's decent. It'll scratch that black lager itch. But there's a world of wonderful, flavorful, black lagers out there, and compared to those Köstritzer is sorely lacking. I won't turn it down at a party, but I won't be buying it again when there are much tastier black lagers out there such as Bernard or Xingu.

Dec 03, 2020
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HappyBeers from Oregon

3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours dark, almost black with a little cola brown in the light with a thick, creamy head. Chocolate. coffee. and bread come through strong in the aroma. Tastes the same as it smells, malty, chocolate, and coffee in a wonderful balance. Light carbonation, medium to full bodied but doesn't feel heavy. This is surprisingly refreshing. Not bitter at all. Very drinkable. I'm wishing I had some smoked meats to eat alongside this dark lager.

Nov 26, 2020
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ATL6245 from Georgia

4.58/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Black with mousse-like khaki head, excellent retention

Aroma: Dark roasted malt aroma, but not burnt. Bready as you let it warm some.

Flavor & Aftertaste: Dark roasted malt, no burnt flavors. Very restrained bitterness. Hint of coffee.

Mouth-feel: Medium bodied & creamy. Zero astringency. Medium length finish, with faint bitterness lingering, but barely noticeable.

Overall: This is a terrific Schwarzbier. Medium, almost full-bodied, lot of flavor, low bitterness, easy to drink. Like most German beers, this one pours to a beautiful, thick mousse-like head that lingers. Schwarzbier is one of the most underappreciated dark beers on the plant. You get some nice dark roasted malt flavors without the burnt flavors and bitterness of a stout. They drink so easy. This one is high quality. I can't find anything to pick apart.

Nov 25, 2020
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q33jeff from New Jersey

3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75


Can to tulip glass. One of the 2 beers I used in making a beer cheese for my homemade pretzels. Yum.

LOOK: dark black but brown around the edges, thinnish look to body, medium eggshell head, poor retention.
AROMA: nice mineral and barley, medium strength. pleasant.
TASTE: very nice roasted malts, some earth/mineral flavors, touch of ash. tasty
FEEL: light to medium body, easy sipping, pretty flat,

Tasty brew, but lacking body or complexity. May the Schwarzbier be with you.


Nov 19, 2020
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elnachooo from Spain

3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

De color cobre, con un dedo de espuma de buena retención. Cuerpo medio y carbonatación media/alta. Aroma tostado y frutos rojos. Sabor ligeramente con leves notas de café.

Nov 17, 2020
Photo of BNSlums
BNSlums from Washington

4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tall boy into Pils glass canned 3/18/20.

L: A monstrous head, 3+ inches and dark tan. Color is a very deep chestnut, nearly opaque but not haze. Head very well retained.

S: Malted barley and sweetness, very light chocolate and honey. Old, treated lumber later on, like an abandoned barn.

T: Baked dark chocolate chip bread, Roastiness on the front, that gives way to sweeter elements. Honey on the finish, all creamed together and balanced. bitterness only noted on finish.

F: So pleasantly smooth, velvety and light on the palate. Minimal bitterness and carbonation.

I am thoroughly impressed with Köstrizer's Schwarz beer. The flavors are delicate yet direct, of rich bakery bread and honey and the medium body renders this brew drinkable, not overwhelming the palate. What is great about Schwarz beer is that you can get a deep roasted and chocolate flavor without it being thick and over encumbering. This brew is light and bold, a rare combination. I would absolutely drink this again by choice over a thick winter ale this season, although there are less spices involved, per the German Purity Laws.

Nov 15, 2020
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Profundobaso from New York

3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look - poured from a 500ml can into a tulip glass. Dark brown to black, transparent, with a good two finger head and excellent lacing retention.
Smell - coffee, cocoa beans, malts, and some sweetness. similar to a non barrel-aged stout, but a bit lighter and a bit of hoppy presence.
Taste - roasted malts come forward initially, followed by chocolate and coffee notes. finish is on the cleaner end, though smooth and has plenty of lingering flavor. a bit of hoppy bitterness also detectable.
Feel - medium bodied, average carbonation, and standard on ABV at 4.8%.
Overall - its an excellent Schwarzbier that checks off all of the categories. a great option for long fall/winter nights...

Nov 13, 2020
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JohnniEMc from Pennsylvania

3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A pint can was carefully drained into a proper Imperial pint glass mug with the Kostritzer label. It's a lovely black beer with a nice biege head and good glass lacing. Roasted malt aroma is about all that escapes from the glass. Lagers aren't supposed to be bitter, but this is exceptionally smooth. Definitely not an ale, as the roasted malt brings color, but not much earthiness. A beautiful beer with an above average lager taste.

Oct 22, 2020
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JohnnyHopps from Indiana

3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - The beer was black with brown hues and an off-white head crowning the glass.

Smell - Roasted malts really came through in the nose, but the yeast was also detectable.

Taste - The initial taste was very rusty. The logger yeast was detectable, with little bitterness. The profile lingered nicely in the back.

Mouthfeel - The feel had modest carbonation with the lager yeast allowing the profile to coat the mouth.

Overall - This was a nice German example of the style.

Oct 18, 2020
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havenje from Washington

3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Very middling beer, could almost be described as a diluted rich stout. It possesses the same rich/roasted flavors but muted and thus easier to drink.

Sep 03, 2020
Photo of Peach63
Peach63 from New York

3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a 2 inch creamy tan head, which lasts. Heavy lacing to the end.

Aroma of roast malts, coffee. Slightly metallic.

Taste is roast malts, coffee, dark chocolate.

Medium bodied, smooth and creamy. Light carbonation.

A smooth, mild tasting black lager. Very good.

Aug 23, 2020
Photo of BJB13
BJB13 from Maryland

4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle poured into a Pilsner glass.
Best by: 10/09/2020

Pouring black with ruby highlights it yields three fingers of tan sticky foam. The head has good retention and leaves lace on the glass. The nose is strong and satisfying, light roast and caramel malt, spicy and herbal hops and the aroma of rain are all present. A fairly clean palate matches the aforementioned nose, lowly sweet, mildly bitter and finishing dry with increased roasty bitterness. The light to medium body is crisp with underlying softness. Carbonation is moderate and the finish is short making for a refreshing glass of beer. Easy drinking and flavorful, this is very good in my opinion.

Aug 19, 2020
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StoutElk_92 from Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

500ml can dated L 2019.12.19 BB 2020.12.18

Pours clear amber maroon red brown black with a creamy frothy light khaki colored foam head. Smells like tobacco leaf, toasty brown raisin bread, light chocolate, caramel, molasses, and funky earthy herbal hops. Tastes like dark nutty toasted bread, brown bread, some raisin, roasty chocolate, dark caramel, molasses, coffee grounds, mild apple, pear, tobacco leaf, and earthy herbal floral hops. Feels light-medium bodied, creamy with smooth moderate carbonation. Overall a nice schwarzbier.

Jul 30, 2020
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jimmah120 from Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2oz 330ml bottle from Goimany

Looks delicious, black root beer with a pillowy mocha capping. Smells like sweet milk chocolate along with the grain and flowery hops. Very mild drinking: choco with a caramel finish -reminds me of milk duds candy. Very slight smoke, low amount of carbonation for the style.

An extremely fine lager with a little extra character. Drinks like a porter at times. This 4.8% could easily pass for 6.8% if there were just a bit more body

Jul 25, 2020
Photo of VABA
VABA from Virginia

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark color with a nice head and lacing
Aroma has roasted malt hints
The taste follows the nose with a roasted malt flavor
A medium bodied moderately carbonated beer
A good Scwarzbier

Jul 25, 2020
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realJohnnyHobo from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A very fun beer to drink, you get a bit of both world in the porters/ stouts without the intense hoppy or overly roasted notes and this one delivers on that overwhelmingly.

The smell is of roasted malts, nothing else really peaks outward. The taste is the full-bodied and medium mouthfeel with a bit of a creamy aftertaste and finish. I recommend this beer to be consumed at 42˚F to release a bit of the maltier nature of the brew. You will find the hop character to be a bit mellow, the malts are really the headliner in this brew and the yeast is very mild. It is lip-smacking good.

I'd highly recommend pairing this with grilled meats. You'd be surprised at how a nicely warmed schwarzbier and smoked meats, cheeses, and even rich buttered scampi shrimp pair together. Prosit.

Jun 26, 2020
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Dark brown pour that can easily be called "black", nice creamy two fingered tan colored creamy foam layer sitting on top.

S - Bread crust, chocolate malt, and nice delicate smokiness.

T - Bread crust, light chocolate malt sweetness, some smokiness, and ends with a really well balanced char bitterness that scrubs away the sweetness.

M - Medium body with a little thinness around the edges and very dry on the finish.

O - Full of flavor for 4.8%. I really dig this one.

Jun 23, 2020
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milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown, small head, light lacing. Roasted malts give the aroma a smokey, nutty touch. Roasted malts prevail in the taste along with modest spicyness. Fairly bitter but not harsh. Dry, medium bodied, liberally carbonated mouthfeel.

May 14, 2020
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jkblr from Indiana

3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500mL can stamped 2019.02.13 2020.02.13 (14 months old- 2 months past BB date) (hurray for curbside craft purchasing) poured into a pokal glass at fridge temp 4.8% ABV. The beer pours very dark brown with abundant tan colored head. The head recedes to a thin cap and leaves plenty of lacing. The aroma is faint with a hint of grain and yeast. The taste is slightly roasty, slightly bitter and ashy with a somewhat weird dishwater aftertaste. The mouthfeel is medium to thin bodied with average carbonation and a dry finish. Overall, to old to really know. I'd like to think this would have a lot more pop fresh. Numerically rated to the current average with hopes of finding a fresher four pack.

Apr 16, 2020
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Thisdrinkinglife from Switzerland

3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review: 0,5l lovely black bottle of Köstritzer Schwarzbier: 4.8% vol.

Says from "1543" on bottle, wow that is some history...............comes in bottle and in can, and can be found in draft in certain selected areas, and is purportedly Germany's most popular black beer.  

On pour you get a pitch black colour, as one would expect! Also getting a lovely looking tan head, quite big on the pour, massive actually! But it eventually settles down to a decent normal sized foamy head. Some lacing. An ok in the appearance department.

Smell is of light lager notes, but not much on the nose at all, very mild. Not really getting the expected caramel or coffee notes though. Dark fruits and roasted malts on the low level. A little disappointing on the nose.

Onto the taste, I am getting a lovely frothy feel on the tongue, very nice, and a smoky peaty kind of taste, very nice. Great start to the beer, hits you straight off the bat, lovely.

Dark chocolate, coffee and caramel in prominence and the barley and roasted malt flavours working them taste buds, delicious. 

And as expected with a big bottle, you get a lot, another plus of course!

The flavours do fall off the more you get into the beer, but still enough in the mouth to enjoy.

A very pleasant light bodied beer to drink and one of the better Schwarzbiers I have had in a long while.

That dark chocolate and roasted malt flavour kick just about hangs around. 

Overall I enjoyed this beer a lot, very easy to drink, very smooth and soft, and the tastes and flavours are there doing the business, and this is one I will be returning to for further inspection in the future. A clean crisp well balanced Schwarzbier. Nice one. 

Apr 11, 2020
Schwarzbier from Köstritzer Schwarzbierbrauerei GmbH & Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 2131 ratings