Review – Golden Stout from Karl Strauss

My Trader Joe’s has a weird set of beers from one week to the next as if they blindfold pick from a book of beers. Which can work in my favor as I found this Golden Stout from Karl Strauss Brewing.

I have been seeing more Golden Stouts with coffee on beer menus which I like because it allows for crossovers with coffee roasters, in this case Bird Rock.

Pours a cream soda color in the glass. Vanilla latte notes in the aroma. Quite carbonated. The cocoa nibs are light to not there but the brans of coffee and the beans of vanilla have a nice give and take to it. There is a sharpness to the mouthfeel that is a bit too much though it does offset the sweet notes. The coffee is really puts this into positive territory.


Karl Strauss calls their new collaboration with Harland Brewing Co. an “experimental Cold IPA”.

Brisky Business is described as “vibrant floral, citrus, and sweet fruit notes from this unique blend of Strata, Chinook, HBC 586, and 638 hops. The puffed jasmine rice lends to an extremely crisp mouthfeel and ultra-clean finish.”

I don’t know what ultra-clean is but leading with Strata hops has me intrigued.

Changing the Barrel

Karl Strauss Brewing Company is racking up the years and for the 31st anniversary, they Barrel Aged a Scotch Ale.

It was aged for 12 months in American whiskey barrel as part of the Changing of the Barrels anniversary tradition that is now in it’s 10th year, a coconut imperial stout took the place of the Scotch ale for year 32.

San Diego to Santa Rosa

Look for the highlights in this press release. I will explain at the end why I have highlighted them…

“California brewery icons Russian River Brewing Company and Karl Strauss Brewing Company proudly introduce their collaboration beer, New California IPA. This modern India Pale Ale is the first collaboration between these storied institutions of California craft beer.

This beer focuses on each critical stage of hop addition: bittering, flavor, aroma, and dry-hopping. The star of this India Pale Ale is a rather new cultivar: the Pahto hop. It is a high-alpha hop that lends a palatable bitterness throughout the beer, while an all-star lineup of Strata, Ekuanot, Amarillo, and Idaho 7 hops deliver wildly diverse layers of flavors, from bright citrus to tropical fruit to resinous pine. 

New California IPA will be available on draft and in 16oz can 4-packs beginning on August 1st (which is not-so-coincidentally IPA Day!)”

It is crazy to think that these two long-standing breweries hadn’t collaborated before. By this point it seems all breweries have collaborated with each other. Point two. Pahto hop? Where did that come from? Gonna have to look that up. Lastly, Russian River in cans, even if not done in Santa Rosa is a sign of change.