Archive for the 'Kolsch' category
I was recently in Gloucester, MA, so I thought I would pick up another Cape Ann Brewing beer. Not to say I can not get the beer in my neck of the woods, but being so close to the brewery, I thought I would participate in the “buy local” movement.
I am not a big Kolsch drinker (I do not remember the last time I had one), so I am not really sure what I am in store for with this beer. Poured into a mug, the beer’s body is a rich gold color, with a slight haze, topped with a tight frothy head. Aromas of grain and cereal reach out to greet the nose, while there is a slight hint of lemon to usher you in further. The beer is light in the mouth and runs quite smooth. The grains are present, but there are also hints of floral hop, which are a welcome surprise, and a smooth buttery note. The beer finishes off with a clean and light bitterness profile. The initial swallows had very little after taste, but towards the end of the beer, the tastes began to linger a little bit, which I found quite enjoyable.
To sum up I found this beer refreshing and enjoyable. Two good qualities for any beer. Hats off to Cape Ann Brewing for another good showing.
Whilst browsing through Sam’s Bluelight, I ran across a section of Weeping Radish brews. I wasn’t instantly interested but I did a little double take and noticed these beers are brewed right here in NC. SevenPack is a huge proponent of supporting local breweries so I picked up the Kolsch with the intention of going back and buying some of the other styles at a later date. Assuming this was a brand new brewery I went to their website to check it out. Turns out they are NC’s oldest microbrewery, originating in 1986 with operation out of a Manteo restaurant in Eastern NC. Apparently they have won awards and been featured in beer publications. Huh, who knew? I’m actually kinda ashamed that I hadn’t heard of these guys until 2 days ago. Better late than never I guess.
The Kolsch is a very light-looking beer, a welcome change given recent reviews. It is straw-colored and completely devoid of sediment. No head to speak of with this beer, just good ‘ole beer liquid. The smell has multiple fruit characteristics, including the bitterness of grapefruit and the sweetness of grapes. The taste is not as sweet as the smell suggests. Rather, the grape notes serve as a subtle compliment to a combination of malt and bitter floral flavors. The malts slowly creep across the tongue while the bitterness comes and goes at a faster pace in the back of the mouth. The overall taste is very passive, and the mouthfeel is quite light. I’m really enjoying this beer and will without a doubt buy some of the other styles with the hopes they are just as good.
That, my friends, is a mouthful. We’re moving on through this Schell sampler I got my hands on with a Kolsch. A Kolsch is, generally, a very crisp and refreshing light beer. I’m a bit skeptical of the addition of honey. No doubt, the flavor will suit the beer fairly well. However, honey additions can often bog down a crisp beer and give it a syrupiness that takes away from the refreshing effects. Let’s see how it works for the Zommerfest.
The pour of this beer is a very clear and light golden with tiny bubbles of carbonation and a uber-thin head. The aroma is light and fleeting, with just a whiff of light malt and no noticeable hop presence. In the mouth, the immediate presence is of the honey sweetness. Beyond this, the beer gets a little confusing. There is a fair amount of malt, a surprising hop flavor, and the ever-present honey flavor. However, I don’t think these all blend very well. It’s sort of a clusterf**k in the mouth for the first bit, and then all the flavors blend to provide a distasteful bitterness at the back of the throat. Furthermore, as I was afraid, the honey flavor (in my opinion) turns this thirst-quenching genre into a less refreshing beast. Honestly, if I had made this, I would be disappointed. I think it was an experiment worth performing, but it didn’t work out that well. When you’re playing around with a beer like this, I really think you need to leave that quenching sourness untouched – tossing some honey in just makes for a bad marriage…
Kolsch is a genre that, in my opinion, is under appreciated. I think a Kolsch ranks right up there with a tasty Pilsner in the genre of crisp, clear beers that are nigh on perfect for a hot summer day. Personally, I’d actually take a Kolsch over a Pilsner any day of the week when the sun’s out and the temperature’s right. I think many folks dismiss it as ‘just another light, yellow beer’, when in reality it has a unique taste with subtle nuances, and it really deserves a little appreciation! These beers particularly remind me of sitting on side streets of Cologne during the summer, drinking a beer on a sidewalk table while waiting for the next train out.
This particular Kolsch pours a rather rich golden color that is absolutely clear without a bit of debris. The aroma of the Gaffel is that of ripe straw and light malts. It is very summery and reminds you of standing in the middle of a just-harvested hayfield. In the mouth, the beer is crisp and flavorful. The taste is fairly uniform throughout the mouth, mostly consisting of a fleeting malty sweetness that is never overbearing and leaves the beer feeling quite light through the mouth. Towards the back of the tongue, we’re met with a fairly considerable hop bitterness – more than I see in most Kolsch’s. This bitterness kicks it to the back of the mouth where it remains in the aftertaste and journeys a bit up the nasal cavity. While the aftertaste sticks around for a while, the beer washes very clean and is extremely clean and refreshing. Personally, I don’t quite like this Kolsch as much as the Reissdorf (the two most common German Kolsch’s in NC), but it’s still mighty good. If you aren’t familiar with this genre, you really need to check it out while we’ve still got the summer heat.
This comes to us from a microbrewery in Black River Falls, WI. It is a Kolsch lager, a genre we typically; well to be honest almost never, review. According to the 2008 World Beer Competition criteria a kolsch is fermented at warm temperatures and aged at cooler ones. Apparently these cooler temperatures result in a “mellowing” of the fruitiness produced during the ferementing process, as well as creating the crisp, clean lager characteristics. Here ends the history lesson…
This is a pale, golden lager and it looks like it is unfiltered. There isn’t any sediment but it isn’t as translucent as say a pilsner or golden ale. This beer doens’t have any outstanding aromatic characteristics, instead it smells fresh, clean and crisp. If you try REALLY hard you might get a little wiff of orange but you will probably collapse a lung in the process. The taste is rather benign with little hop presence and no defining flavor. There is a slight citrus/banana flavor but mostly it’s just malty bitterness. I should note that this isn’t “skunky beer” bitter, it’s just typical metallic bitter. It tasty and refreshing but nothing to write home about. Given its anticlimactic qualities I’m not sure why Sand Creek decided to name this Groovy Brew. I would have named it the Humdrum or Lackluster Brew.
Editor’s note: I did a little more research on beeradvocate.com and they put the Kolsch in the German Ale category so now I am completely confused and utterly disinterested in this style. If anyone has any insight feel free to enlighten me and the rest of the beer-loving public.
This review comes to you live from Weaver Street Market in Carrboro, NC. I got roped into picking up Matty from work to get him home in time for a stupid fantasy football draft, so I figured I’d make the most of it by tanking up on a couple of beers while I wait.
I chose a Kolsch today because it is a remarkably crisp, refreshing, and lightly sweet beer – perfect for a warm afternoon. This particular beer pours a slightly light golden and seem oozing with carbonation. The beer actually bubbles like a champagne in the glass. The aroma is a subdued smell of grains with very little hop presence. In the mouth, you are immediately hit with the light sweetness that covers the tongue. Towards the back of the mouth a slight metallic undertone emerges with just the lightest hop bitterness – barely noticeable. This beer is best enjoyed chilled and does a great job of refreshing one after a hot day in a house with broken AC.