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Gaffel Kölsch - Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.

Not Rated.
Gaffel KölschGaffel Kölsch

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

661 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 661
Reviews: 326
rAvg: 3.66
pDev: 13.39%
Wants: 14
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co. visit their website

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 661 | Reviews: 326 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DoubleJ
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

How 'bout a Kolsch to quench the thirst? On to the beer:

Bubbly pale gold colored with a thick soapy head on top which drops to a small dotted lace within a minute. Its grainy nose with corn chip notes is fairly clean.

The taste is clean and light as expected. Grape-like, hay, and plain cereals make up most of the flavor. There's also a little bit of sulfur character. Its carbonation is very springy, almost like some Belgian ales. In the case of this Kolsch, it's a two way street, fun but also a little much.

I had no problems drinking it, even though I'm not a huge Kolsch guy. Worth a try if you want to get a taste of Cologne.

DoubleJ, Oct 19, 2011
Photo of amphion1065
3.05/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

16 oz. pour into a pint glass. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a crystal clear gold, almost entirely translucent. Visible carbonation, but almost no head to speak of.

Slight citrus and wheat in the aroma, with a touch of hops. There's a very crisp, grassy character and also some light malt at work.

The taste is more of the same, with a muted hop bitterness and a defined grassy taste. Biscuit, bread flavor from the malt adds a touch of sweetness.

The mouthfeel is on the thin side, but nothing egregious for the style. A refreshing beer, certainly.

An average kolsch in every respect. Fine in a pinch, but nothing I'd seek out again.

amphion1065, Oct 13, 2011
Photo of Neorebel
4.43/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gaffel is a great pick/example of the true Kolsch style. I've had this both on tap in the brewery in Koln and bottled at home. I am thrilled it's available in the US, but make sure the bottles aren't dusty! Some people might not prefer this beer because of the perception of a session beer... Don't compare to an American ale or Belgian beer loaded with all sorts of bold flavors. For fans of German Pils. What it is, is a clean tasting beer with a certain sweetness and earthiness that must be fresh and is also best when drank with the proper 'ritual.' Drink it in the 'Stanger' type glasses meant for pounding the beer down with friends! Good times.

Neorebel, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of ConchobarNessa
3.68/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance- Above average color, great lightly clouded hay yellow with light little bubbles splashing about in this wonderful beer. The head was a bit disappointing, it has absolutely no staying power.

Smell- Wheat and bread. Loved the smell of bread and wheat but this is not a strong smelling beer. Fans of German beers will recognize the smell right off the bat. Seems to be much better the fresher it is or if it is well taken care of while it travels. (Edit: Boosting this a bit upon having had a second bottle that obviously traveled better)

Taste- I loved this beer. Didn't expect much from the descriptions I had read of the kolsh style but I have to say the taste was a great surprise. I loved the straight-forward wheat-hop-bread play this beer had going for it. Great malt in this beer, adds a lot to the taste. Though it didn't score tops because it IS light tasting. SOME apple to it as well.

Mouth feel- Nothing to report here, very standard of German style mouth feel. Spot on viscosity and light carbonation. Neither heavy nor light.

Overall- Kolsh is an under appreciated style. Gaffel's Kolsh is an easy drinker, very tasty and needs a better place in the beer pantheon. I wouldn't say its an go-absolutely-out-of-your-way-to-find-it but... If you happen upon a bottle... You must try it, it is very much worth it.

ConchobarNessa, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of bubseymour
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - nice really clear pale yellow with lots of carbonation in body. 1 finger head that disappeared quickly

Smell - slightly skunky but with some cracker flavors

Taste - A easy drinker with some crisp hop finish. Slightly skunked with some off flavorings however.

Overall - Not worth going out of your way, but if someone pours you a glass, its an easy drinker and a decent session beer.

bubseymour, Sep 13, 2011
Photo of ummswimmin
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at a local restaurant. They poured it into a DAB glass mug. Due to a typical bar pour, there was minimal head.

This is a light, straw color. The carbonation was present, but it wasn't as present as I would have liked.

The smell and taste were both very minimal. There was very light malting and grain presence. I didn't get anything else.

ummswimmin, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of TOMHONE
4.18/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't usually drink beer from a can but with this beer is was OK with me. Great tasting to say the least. Very smooth, less carbonated and very tasty. I bought a 6 pack of 17 OZ and brought them home to the USA. Will do so every month now as I'm commuting back and forth.

TOMHONE, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of mlazzaro
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle slightly chilled

Ultra clear yellow color. Lower carbonation than what I expected, probably around 2.5 volumes of co2. White head at first but disappointingly instantly dissipates. The aroma has lager like characteristics. Grainy-yeasty aroma. Very clean and pleasant. Slight sweetness and fruitiness to the yeast. Very simple, but nice. The flavor is much more ale like as compared to the smell. Crisp and light like a lager, but fruity yeast and fuller body like an ale. It seems similar to an extra pale ale in the US. Nothing is blowing my mind right now, but it delicious refreshing beer with no major technical flaws. Would gladly have again.

mlazzaro, Sep 01, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in D.C.

The beer is golden in color, with 1/4" of white head that leaves some random lacing on the snifter. The aroma is bready and slightly sweet - very fresh and inviting. Refreshing and crisp, with a delicate honey sweetness throughout. Sweet, bready malts with some subtle earthy, herbal, hop notes. Well done. Light in body, this is a great choice for a quaffable summer brew. I would have this again.

Huhzubendah, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
3.58/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey yesterday. Served in a mini-snifter.
Pours a clear bright yellow-straw color with a good white head and some spotty lacing on the way down. The nose brings forward some light floral hops behind a solid base of straw and grain. Flavor is light malt and grain with a touch of light sweetness. Light and crisp with good carbonation. Nice beer on a hot day.

Thorpe429, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of bgjohnston
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is clear, pale yellow, and well carbonated. I don't really detect much from smelling it, and I also find the taste mild, lightly sweet, and lightly astringent in the finish.

It is pretty much what I was expecting, and seems true to style. A nice summer beer.

bgjohnston, Aug 09, 2011
Photo of StaEva
4.51/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A great Kolsch. The only thing keeping this beer from having a higher rating is the fact that you people don't have any appreciation for subtlety. This is the greatest Kolsch available in America, hands down. I will argue anyone on this fact until you give up and realize your foolishness.

StaEva, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of KenC
4.28/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a pint glass.

A: Clear, yellow/gold/red color with three fingers of foamy white head. Dissipates to almost nothing quickly, with no lacing. This is very much typical for the style, and just as I anticipated.

S: Upfront - malt, some wheat and some noble hops. A note of fruit, too.

T: Intense malt starts it off and then it gets fruity in the middle. True to the style, the aftertaste is that noble hop bitterness that I was waiting for. It didn’t disappoint!

M: Light to medium. It’s very smooth and just the right amount of carbonation.

D: I guess several centuries of brewing this style have given them ample opportunity to perfect their craft. Job well done. This was great with pulled pork on a hot Sunday afternoon out on the deck

KenC, Aug 04, 2011
Photo of EkimGram
2.28/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Appearance: 12oz bottle puored into an Innis & Gunn flute-like glass. Colour is a pale golden yellow. Moderate amounts of visible carbonation. Two-finger head slowly fades to a bubbly lacing.

Smell: Strong aroma of malt. A little musty.

Taste: Very metallic. The malts are barely noticeable. Metallic and bitter - that's all.

Mouthfeel: Light, carbonated, crisp. Finishes dry and with a bite.

Drinkability: I fear this bottle may have been conditioned poorly. It doesn't taste of skunk but the metal flavours are extremely unpleasant.

EkimGram, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of flagmantho
2.83/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 330mL bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: light straw-colored hue with a crystal-clear body. Head is a thick finger of fizzy white foam. Stylistically appropriate, if not particularly inspiring.

Smell: light malt aroma with a bit of sour graininess. Not bad, per se, but I like my Kölsches a bit sweeter/maltier.

Taste: kind of disappointing. Grain up front with a light, sweetish malt at the back end. This tastes much more like a pale lager when compared to other Kölsches I've had (although, being brewed in Cologne, you'd think this would be the real deal). I just feel like there should be more to this beer.

Mouthfeel: this beer has a decent carbonation which adds to its refreshing qualities. Not bad.

Overall: meh. I don't feel the desire to have this beer again; despite its provenance I've had much better Kölsches than Gaffel.

flagmantho, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of Brabander
3.3/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I bought this beer several months ago when i was in Germany. Had it for a while in my fridge now bacause the best before date was march 2011. Ooops, time to drink this one! It was the whole time in my beerfridge so no worries on this side.

Poured as always in my Struise glas this beer looks nice. Yellow fluid with some residu floating around in the beer. Very light carbonation. Nothing much to smell.

Taste is with a light bitterness and the beer feels a bit watery because of the low ABV. Not a spectacular beer which you must drink when you see it.

Brabander, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of TheDeuce
3/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gaffel Kolsch….on tap at 10 Downing Restaurant in New York, NY

Appearance-came to me from the bar in an Kolsch style long thin glass. Color of yellow gold sand with a white head, about three fingers at first . Letting it sit the head fizzes out and dies down into the glass.

Smell-light aroma, hard sniffs give me a mix of grain, yeast and lemon mix. Alcohol is hidden as is any sign of malt, certainly light.

Taste/Mouthfeel-Light body, taste is layers of grain mixed with a lemon bite, sweeter than I expected. Nice smoothness and carbonation, hits you in the face with the flavor and then clears out quickly. Finishes very clean. No trace of hop bitterness or malt sweetness throughout

Overall-Refreshing on this hot day, an ok Kolsch, not world class but hits the style notes fine and is a passable version.

TheDeuce, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of emerge077
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a 0,2l stange glass.

Brilliant bright pale gold, fluffy white foam that lasts for awhile, depositing spotty lace all around the glass. It has a pristine look about it.

Minerally aroma, some apple from the yeast, along with wet wheat husks.

Crisp and imminently drinkable. Sliced apples and bread, very lightly dry herbal hop bitterness in the aftertaste. Extra clean, simple and flavorful. Simplicity is vastly underrated these days. Light carbonation, exceptionally easy to drink a few in the hot July weather.

emerge077, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of Durge
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on a hot afternoon at the Keybar in New York City served in a tall glass this beer shows a very clear yellow gold with a modest white head and a few specks of lace. The aroma is classic, somewhat thick, cereal grain with a slight, tasteful yeast. The flavor is bright cereal rice grain with a hint of yeasty corn. It has firm but pleasant carbonation and a crisp, aqueous feel. It is highly drinkable and refreshing, and excellent summer refreshment with a little citrus hop that becomes evident at the finish. Enjoyable but nothing very different. A relable refresher.

Durge, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of atr2605
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours transparent yellow with a white head that dies quickly
S- zesty lemon with a grassy/yeasty smell
T-more of the grassy flavor. A touch of the lemon but not much. bitterness in the after taste. but not a hoppy/pleasant bitterness, just bland and bitter
M-light bodied, definitely a session beer
O- Not great. Reminds me of a macro brew. A kolsch shouldn't be loaded with flavor but I still feel like this one is falling short.

atr2605, Jun 21, 2011
Photo of fx20736
1.88/5  rDev -48.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into Pilsener glass. Pale Straw clear & yellow with pure white foaming head which recedes quickly with no lacing. Aroma is skunky, taste is worse. very bitter and astringent with that skunk smell coming through. I am glad I only bought a single 12 oz bottle. I will not buy another. It doesn't begin to resemble Reissdorf Kolsch in any way which is a superior brew.

fx20736, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of
3.45/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - very clear, very pale yellow with a frothy white head that has good retention.

Smell - herbal, grassy European hops; bread, and a touch of citrus.

Mouthfeel - Soft and gently carbonated, very light.

Taste - Pretty much much what you would expect from the smell. Grassy and herbal, very subtle bitterness, with a hint of green apple on top of sweet malt.

Very refreshing and light.

, Jun 11, 2011
Photo of peensteen
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright pale blonde, one finger of white head, some lace at the top of the glass. Smell is of bready malt, cereal, grassy, slight hop and lemon zest. Taste is quite malty, earth notes, some bitterness shows up, finishes slightly sweet. Decent weight, med to full body, soft and slightly creamy, good use of carbonation. Not a bad brew, probably wont spend 3 and change on this again but is passable.

peensteen, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of Reaper16
2.53/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a sunshine golden yellow color that basically looks indistinguishable from Corona. Super clear and actively spritzy. A little greater than one finger of sterling white head forms, but doesn't stick around for very long. Good lines of lacing, though.

Lots of cereal grains in the nose. The first sniff was all grain and a slightly-skunked aroma. Thankfully, this beer develops into something more interesting once the cold starts to wear off after a minute or two post-pour. There's a small hint of Fruit Pebbles cereal here, along with the expected Kolsch yeast aromas of apple. There's a small touch of synthetic lemon flavoring here too; think lemon Pledge or something similar. This isn't as pleasant as Gaffel's main competitor, Reissdorf Kolsch, but it does a decent enough job.

This is not a good beer. The graininess dominates the palate. I've had macro lagers that I'd prefer over this beer. I'd prefer a Coors Light to this beer. The subtle apple and crisp hops that I expect from a Kolsch are out of balance here. The appley yeast only shows up on the finish, and the hops are nowhere near as crisp as desired, instead washing over your tongue as a vague bitterness without flavor. Mixed with the grain taste, this beer has a flavor approximating that of burnt popcorn (unbuttered and unsalted).

I can't hate on the mouthfeel. It's as light and spritzy as you want a session lager such as Kolsch to be. There isn't much to say about it other than it fits the parameters of the style. Overall, this is a disappointment. The city of Cologne can do much better than submit Gaffel Kolsch as a beer representative of the city. This is out-of-balance and no true competition to the far-superior Reissdorf Kolsch.

Reaper16, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of kershner23
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Kölsch experience, and while it was certainly not my favorite, I am far from turned off from it.

First thing noticed obviously is the color. Very clear light gold yellow. Two fingers of white foam that quickly dissipate to about an 1/8 inch of head.

Aroma is very grassy and of some citrus. Not my cup of tea, but certainly not unpleasant.

Light in the mouth, low carbonation that I like, goes down nice. Flavor is what you would expect form the smell. Grass and lemon. Light bitterness lingers but surely isn't overpowering. 90 degrees today, made t his pretty refreshing.

Like I said, it is my first Kölsch, and it won't be my last. It is a style that every beer lover needs to try. I can see fans of lagers and pilseners enjoying this more than us stout fans, but it has a place on warm days like today was.

kershner23, May 31, 2011
Gaffel Kölsch from Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.
83 out of 100 based on 661 ratings.