A crisp, light, and refreshing beer is my beer preference on a hot day and a Kölsch is all that and more :) Kölsch is a German-style beer that is only brewed in Cologne. Cologne is a city located in North Rhine-Westphalia (Nordrhein-Westfalen), Germany. It is not a city necessarily known for its beer brewing except for the Kölsch with Kölsch being the local dialect for “of Cologne.”
A Kölsch is similar to a Pilsner but more complex in flavor and has less of a bitter taste. The Kölsch is a lightly-hopped, golden beer with subtle fruit notes. It is a top-fermented and filtered brew.
Technically the Kölsch is an ale but it is fermented at cooler temperatures allowing it to gain characteristics of a lager. It is lighter than typical ales but contains the familiar hints of fruit. It pours a white head that usually does not persist.
To truly be a “Kölsch” it must be brewed in Cologne, however there are American imitations of this style of beer. The Asher Brewery in Boulder, Colorado brews a tasty Green Lantern Organic Kolsch. It was a light bodied golden ale with a “kiss of hops.” Though I have not been able to taste a fresh Kölsch in Cologne it has the similar qualities as the Sunner Kölsch.
It was so refreshing I forgot to take a picture (right) before I drank it all! I will write a more in depth review of the Asher Brewery soon and it will contain the restaurants in Colorado that have their beers on tap.
The Kölsch shares a history with the Altbier or “old beer.” Grimm Brothers in Loveland, Colorado brews a Little Red Cap that is an Altbier style (check back soon for a detailed review).
More and more American breweries have been experimenting with the Kölsch style beer but it is still somewhat of a hidden secret. It is difficult to brew and easy to ruin which is why many brewers stay away.
This beer is for all beer lovers, no matter your personal preference. The flavor may be delicate but it is still enough to keep you intrigued!