Beer Throwdown: Warsteiner vs Krombacher

Warfteiner and Krombacher Pils

Warfteiner and Krombacher bottles used for this comparison

There’s a shindig up in Northern Germany called Kieler Woche, where a bunch of people go sailing. But more importantly, there are food booths set up by restaurants and locals. My brother and his friend, we’ll call them “Gumball” and “Care Bear”, set up a booth last year to sell hamburgers, and it worked out pretty well. They’re doing it again this year, but with beer!

They’re prepared to sell beers in bottles from Brooklyn Brewery, but they’re also selling beer from a keg. They have two options; Warsteiner or Krombacher. Which one should they go with? Naturally, they turned to an expert for tasting notes.

Warsteiner

Warsteiner had a larger store presence. I’ve seen this stuff all over Degerloch. It pours a very light, almond yellow, into a 0,25 liter glass. The markings on the glass are from the Stuttgarter Weindorf 2001. That shouldn’t matter.

  • Smells awful. Like something went bad.
  • The after-smell is malty.
  • After smelling a few more times, I’m convinced the average smell is “malty”.
  • As I sip, I’m getting a bit of a bitterness.
  • The aftertaste is malty.

Second Pour

I rinsed both glasses, and swapped them. Now I’m using a similarly shaped glass-mug-thing from Stuttgarter Weindorf 1999.

  • The smell is slightly undesirable. Like … meaty somehow.
  • The flavor is a clear malty winner. It’s not overt, but it’s present.

After Eating A Delicious Croissant

Same. Bottom line, the aroma leaves something to be desired, but it’s overall malty. The flavor has good maltiness, especially in the aftertaste. However, the foam and the smell after the initial pour is… not good. Just… I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s in the same category as popcorn-farts.

Alissa confirms the smell is a little off.

Krombacher

Old Man Button

Old Man Button

This beer was described by my brothers German wife as being “drunk by old men”. So. It should be good. Old men do whatever the hell they want; not because something is cool or fashionable. Sometimes they press this button while on crosswalks, to give them a little extra time to get across the street. But that’s not relevant to this discussion.

The pour is darker, like apple juice. The head lasts longer, but I think that might be a downside when pouring beers from a tap.

  • Not much maltiness at all. I get very little aroma.
  • Lightly bitter, which I suppose implies hops, though I don’t get much hop aroma.
  • I can’t find a place on my tongue on which this beer says “hello, I am beer”. Instead, it has an antisocial look on it’s face and slinks away.

Second Pour

  • The smell is a bit soapy.
  • I’m still only getting bitter flavors. And it’s a sharp bitter, not a nice hoppiness.
  • I’m struggling to come up with a good side to this beer.

After Eating A Delicious Croissant

Same. Bottom line, it’s got a boring taste, boring smell, and doesn’t really present itself very well.

However, Alissa describes it thus:

Typical German beer. Wheatey in the beginning, but bitter at the end. Soft, grain-based. Like Life cereal.

Conclusion

I would absoutly go with the Warsteiner. Less foam, more malt flavor. But Alissa’s choice was the Krombacher! And she was pretty set on it.

At the end of the day, both beers are fine. They’re both typical German beers, and I don’t really think they can go wrong here. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.

 

2 thoughts on “Beer Throwdown: Warsteiner vs Krombacher

  1. Adrian says:

    Both Warsteiner and Krombacher are Pilseners of which I feel are up there with the top ten of Pilseners. To class them as boring or undesirable in taste and smell shows that you clearly do not enjoy Pilseners therefore cannot give an unbiased opinion on their quality. It would have been more constructive to compare their taste and smell to a Pilsener that you do enjoy.

    Happy drinking

    • James says:

      For the purposes of this article, only the comparison between the two was appropriate. But if you want an example of a good pils, try a Rothaus Tannenzäpfle. Or a Calwer-Eck-Bräu Pils. The Krombacher and Warsteiner are probably only in the top ten of those German pils exported to the US.

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