Lancaster Kölsch - Lancaster Brewing Company

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Lancaster KölschLancaster Kölsch

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236 Ratings
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Ratings: 236
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.61
pDev: 11.91%
Wants: 7
Gots: 28 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  4.80% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: DmanGTR on 06-15-2010

Our German-style Kolsch pays homage to the traditional beer of Cologne. It pours a pale straw color, delivering floral hop notes and a smooth malt character developed from extended cold aging.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 236 | Reviews: 72
Reviews by jeremy13586:
Photo of jeremy13586
3.43/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear light cold color. Poured one finger of pillowy white head. Left some pretty decent lacing as the head vanished.

Bready malt that followed with some peppery and floral hops.

Light bitter hops hit the palate first, and then mellow out as the malt backbone supports. Not a whole lot going on, but very unoffensive.

Very smooth and crisp brew. Light in body, but with plenty of substance. Very clean finish.

Nothing incredibly extravagant about this kolsch, but it is an incredibly refreshing beer that I look forward to having every summer.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerIsland
3.98/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been looking forward to reviewing this beer while watching the USA/Ghana match somewhere else than home alone. LBC was rather quiet when I showed up, as was the American team during the first half. All of a sudden, 50 bus riding Home Brewers from Lehigh Valley poured in plus a large wedding party and the joint was jumping. The staff really hopped to and all the sample glasses were used up in about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I could sit back and enjoy the game (up until the end!) and converse with the patrons. A very pleaseant afternoon.

This beer appeared golden in the glass with a bit of lemon green tint (looking at beers through the mug club mug can accentuate the color!). The frothy head dissapated in a bit, leaving some lacing behind. The nose was subtle, mostly malts. This beer hits the tongue very nicely, crisp hops throughout and a hefty (for a Kolsch) malt base through the middle. I think the addition of Vanguard is an interesting choice and provides some of those citrusy notes reviewed elsewhere (too subtle for this old tongue!) The malt flavors tend toward the toasty biscuity. It's incredibly easy going down and the conditioning is just right.

In general, this verion is much more flavorful than most Kolsches I've tried but far from too heavy for the warmest of days. I'm very interested in trying it in the can and took a 12pack home. All in all an extremely good beer. I really enjoyed this one.

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice surprise to see a Lancaster beer in the almighty can. This one pours a brilliant golden straw color with a big frothing bright eggshell white head. Fine speckled lacing coats the sides of my Hennepin chalice. Aroma has citrus lemon grass noted earthy fresh cut grass amongst a nice pale bready/cracker malt backbone. A nice balanced malty/hop mix going on, lays on some semi sweet biscuit malt presence with a lemon rind grassy earthy finish that really makes the beer crisper than most American brewed Kolsch. Great dryness in the finish, flavorful session beer this is great stuff the kind of light beer that you can sink you teeth into. Carbonation is on from the can sometimes I've seen carbonation issues that's not the case here good stuff. I'm glad I bought a case at just over 20 bucks in the Burgh to bring in the fourth this weekend.

Photo of Stigs
3.65/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a couple fingers of fuzzy white foam...the beer is crystal clear, bright gold in color.

S - very grainy, corn and some cooked veggies...very bright grassy hops and some zesty lemon peel.

T - begins with clean grains, lightly sweet...slightly bitter and bright grassy hops along with some citrus zest.

M - light body, lacking some carbonation which dulls everything down a bit and kills the refreshing qualities of the beer. finishes dry, as it should.

D - somewhat easy to drink, really wish it had an extra spark or two of carbonation.- all around solid nonetheless.

Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a can for $4 at Tap and Table in Emmaus. It was a slightly hazy golden beer with a short head. This wasn't a perfect kolsch, but it was plenty tasty and went nicely with the Fromager d'Affinois. There's a crisp herbal citrus hop bite followed by a smooth berry fruit character. It's a good summer beer, check it out.

Photo of beerluvr
3.42/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall Kolsch glass...what else? Pillowy and bright white head that takes time settling atop clear brilliant straw-gold liquid. Light bready malty nose with a flowery hop tone tell me this is promising. Light and delicately hoppiness with light malt backing. Finishes crisp and hoppy. A quintessential hot weather session drinker...hits the mark here during the current NJ heatwave. Delicious.

Photo of russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from woodychandler, review based on notes

Poured into my Koln Christmarkt Kolsch Glass, renders an effervescent honey color with 2 fingers of ivory colored head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Straw & grassyness faint breadyness, all faded over time

T: Bready notes, lemony hops, slight apricot & pear flavors up front. Lemony hops & grainyness, plus slight astringency as this warms, some floral hops, pears & a touch of honey. Finishes crisp & slightly grainy

MF: Light/medium bodied, light carbonation & nice overall crispness; great balance

An easy drinker. Good take on the style

Photo of Kegatron
3.33/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz can into a German stange glass.

Pours a clear gold, with 2-3 fingers of thick and rich bright-white head. This retains with a thin creamy layer of foam that rings the sides of the glass with lacing. The aroma is floral and spicy smelling with a green and earthy tinge to it. Fruit and malt team up to give this an underlying sweet twang in the nose. The spice REALLY comes out strongly as this warms up.

That spiciness carries over to the taste, with peppery notes helping bring out the gritty bitterness of the hops. Fruity citric character is present but is coming off as a little more green than sweet, as a crisp malt backing provides most of the balancing sweetness here. This finishes earthy with that lingering spice really hanging around for a good while. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a sharp creaminess to it but this also seems to carry a touch of syrupy heft underneath as well which is holding the drinkibility of this back some.

This was rather middle of pack for me as far as the Kölsch styles go. Just a lot of spice here and that syrupy mix of sweetness and fruit could have maybe have used even more balancing bitterness than what was there. Not horrible by any means but there are some others out there that I would go to first. I do like the canning of this by Lancaster though. We need more cans in Central PA!

Photo of Kolsch
3.88/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into Pilsner Flute.

Appearance: Nice golden color and foamy 1' head. Pretty impressive coming out of the can.

Smell: slight cracker smell and touch of honey sweetness

Taste: starts out sweet but towards end of swallow, hops take over and lets you know this a German style kolsch which provides the bitterness that is needed. I definitely get some bready cracker taste and even though this is sweet, it just right for this particular version.

Overall: probably the best beer that Lancaster makes. I do like the sho-fly porter alot but this is much more enjoyable especially since I can get this locally.

Photo of tone77
3.5/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz, can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of malts, a bit on the sweet side. Taste is crisp, a touch sweet, good malt and hops balance, finishing a tad bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a Gaffel Kolsch stange glass.

Real nice brassy orange and crystal clear colored body, with some moderate speed rising carbonation cola like bubbles. Very good retention on the head, soapy and large pock marked and swiss chessed all over. Good staying power. Looks great, love this orange hue to the beer.

Faint crisp bready malt, faint sour and fruity esters. Kind of a nice spicy hop angle as well, and some good dry flour bread sense. Enjoyable smells quite nice.

This is quite a hoppy Kolsch. Nice bite to this brew with a good lime bitterness of hop. Crisp seems to be subdued with a faint drying finish, and nothing that lingers. Malts sweeten the palate a bit after some repeated sips. Lingering rolling almost astringent hop quality and lime action after some time.

Real refreshing Kolsch, going to be enjoying these, great price for them too. I'd buy this again easily.

4.29/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can to pint glass. Phenomenal value at $23 a case.

A: Pours with a bright white bubbly head that struggles to get up to 1 finger. Medium retention leaves a thin, sudsy film. The body is pale golden straw, clear and very light in color. Super thin sheets of lace with tattered ends. Nothing particularly great about the appearance but, given the style, nothing exciting was expected.

S & T: Average malts of grains, biscuit and straw, soft (from the wheat malt) and untoasted. Average hop contribution: grassy and floral. Lightly yeasty, leafy and somewhat soapy. Subtle fruit flavors of apple and pear. Light front-end sweetness and average flavor duration. Stylistically on point.

M: The body is medium full and semi thick right out of the fridge. It does, however, thin out a bit as the beer warms. Lively carbonation with a crisp, dry finish. This is a very refreshing, highly quaffable summer brew.

D: LBC's Kölsch makes it easy to realize the importance of drinking seasonally. I've bought 2 cases to drink throughout the summer's hottest days, which is the only way this brew should be enjoyed.

Photo of metter98
3.49/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear straw yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head.
S: Light aromas of bready and grainy malts are present in the nose. As the beer warms up, hints of fruit also become perceptible.
T: The taste has flavors of green grapes and pears intermixed with strong notes of grainy malts. There is a slight amount of bitterness and dryness towards the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and could make for a good choice if you are looking for something sessionable during the summer months.

Serving type: can

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank directly from the can so the only description of appearance is that the beer presented as a slightly hazy medium straw hue.

The smell featured a potent noble hop spice with a soft grainy malt.

The taste offered vibrant hop spice and a clean grainy malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a vigorous carbonation.

Overall an easily quaffable kolsch. Excellent summer style.

Photo of DocBrewroo
4.92/5  rDev +36.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The cans where a huge hit! Enjoyed with friends on the water off Annapolis.

Slightly darker gold than expected, this brew poured with a white frothy head that lingered leaving behind subtle lacing. I picked up nice malts and citrus on the nose; on the palate those same malts show with a slightly more assertive hop character than I expected(but totally enjoyed.) All in all an excellent release from LBC, great for these ridiculously hot summer days.

It's about time Lancaster started moving in the right direction with new management and better beer quality. I can't wait to see what Bill Moore & Company have up their sleeves for the fall !

Photo of oline73
3.73/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden with a mild orange hut. There is a two finger white head that leaves a layer and some good lacing.

Smell: Very light and crisp malt with some german yeast in there as well.

Taste: Light and easy to drink. Mild german yeast and a little crisp and sweet malt. Bitter finish overwhelms other flavors a bit. Still good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A nice, easy drinking Kolsch. Would have another if I'm in the mood.

Photo of drtth
3.51/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear yellow straw color with light visible carbonation. The 3/4” ivory foamy head that recedes fairly soon leaving a thin layer on the liquid and a ring of foam around the glass. Sipping leaves small patches and legs of lacing that quickly become liquid and slide back down. By about half way through the beer there's virtually nothing left.

The aromas are bready with faint touch of grassy.

The flavors include some sweet bready malt and some grassiness from the hops. There’s also a light fruit character which reminds of pear.

The mouth feel is on the light side of medium and there is light prickly carbonation. The finish begins with decline of the bready sweetness that becomes dry and lightly bitter.

Overall, for me this is an OK beer, but one I’d pass by in favor of the Stoudts’ Karnival Kolsch or some of the German imports such as Gaffel or Reissdorf when they are on tap.

Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.28/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks gold with some dirty orange and a touch of haze accompanied by a field of bubbles. The head is an irregular film with a thick collar.

Smells of dry, sweet wheat with a sour citrus bite that falls into a woody dryness. This is accompanied by a few floral notes.

Tastes quite fruity with a clean, dry orange and a musky wheat. This quickly picks up a thick and slightly chalky, dry yeast. Finishes with what I would imagine a piece of fresh pine with a mushroom growing on it would taste like.

Feels pretty big and dense which works against the fruity notes of this one. The carbonation feels trapped and suspended which adds quite a bit to the texture.

A Kolsch? I'm not so sure I would have guessed this one by style had I tried it blind. Maybe an American Wheat Ale.

Photo of bigfnjoe
4.35/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Took awhile for this to get on tap due to some distro issues. Finally had it a couple of weeks after I was initially told about'd it measure up?

Served on tap into my huge mug club mug of death.

A- pours a cloudy, honey colored shade of gold with a one finger white head. Laces nicely.

S- getting a lot of lemonish hops. Unique for something by Lancaster...a pretty strong scent! I likey.

T- you get a huge bite of bitterness from the lemons and first, and then some sweetness. Tastes like...summer.

M- feel is good. Nothing outstanding.

D- oh hells yes this is drinkable! Low ABV, nice tasting, plus, its sold in cans so you can bring it on the beach with you. Total summer beer, and one of the better ones I've had. Kudos to LBC for churning this one out...much better than the Rare Rooster I'm used to from them in the summer.

Photo of scottbrew4u
3.53/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good tailgating beer. Smooth and crisp finish.

Photo of JunkYardJake
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into pilsner glass.
Nice suprise seeing a new seasonal from LBC. And in cans!! At $22 a case, I couldn't resist. Can says Wilkes Barre, PA so I'm guessing this is another contract brew from The Lion. Poured a hazy straw color with 2 fingers head. A bit of lace sticks on the glass as the head recedes. The smell reminds me of a barn full of hay. Palate is nicely balanced with cracker malts and grassy german hops. Also notice a hint of lemon zest in there. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing with a nice body that coats the mouth and lingers a bit. Great brew for the summer months and a great example of the style.

2.63/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I bought a six pack of this stuff thinking it would be a great lawnmower beer. It was a hot day and I really looked forward to some refreshing beer.
It pours nice and looks good. Had a nice head but the bubbles were big and not creamy. Very little lacing and the head was gone super quick. Settled down to look a lot like a bright yellow pabst. Then I drank it.

1) Way too sweet.
2) Overly carbonated.
3) Strange vegetable taste

Realy bad when the over carbonation factor kicks in and you start burping this stuff up. Whatever flavor that is. It isn't good. I gave the rest of it (I drank 2 cans)to my buddy who drinks anything, and he said it was good.

Photo of woodychandler
3.92/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The CANQuest has finally come to my hometown! CAN you believe it?!?

Brewer Bill Moore had SO wanted to be able to show these CANs off during Philly Beer Week, but it just did not come off on a timely basis. For traders: Let me know if you are interested. I have plenty.

From the CAN: "Crisp, clean & refreshing. Lancaster Summer Seasonal. Our German style Kolsch pays homage to the traditional beer of Cologne. It pours a pale straw color and delivers floral hop notes and smooth malt character from extended cold aging. Crisp, flavorful and refreshing, our German style Kolsch is the perfect summer craft brew."

My pour produced just over a finger's worth of rocky bone-white head that fell like the raindrops outside my window on this hot, humid summer afternoon. Color was a hazy golden-yellow, darker than the straw mentioned on the CAN. I definitely smelled grassy hops on the nose, almost peppery in their intensity. Mouthfeel was medium with a dry, lager-like crispness on the tongue. The finish had the same hoppiness but accompanied by a light honey-like flavor. I am impressed by their first CANned offering and look forward to other of their beers in a CAN in the future. This would certainly go into my cooler and if others need help in getting some, just drop me a Beer Mail.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.97/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring a cold can into a pint glass. The beer pours a slightly hazy golden hue with a bleached white frothy head of 3 cm foaming up even with a fairly gentle pour. Head fades to a surface layer during sampling and leaves some tight lattice as it fades downward after each sip.
Aroma is some grainy malt and a bit of spicy and earthy hops, but overall the nose is mild.
First sip reveals a fairly light bodied brew with fine yet tingly carbonation.
Flavor is a bit of sweet malt and some spicy hops rolling through on the finish. Not a robust flavor profile, which is accurate for the style. Maybe a little white grape or other mild fruit mixes in after a few more sips, but the beer does finish with a little bit of drying on the palate.
A very crisp enjoyable beer for these hot July days. A pretty good example of the style, not an exemplar but good enough to know if you enjoy and appreciate the style for what it is.

Photo of Neorebel
3.18/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lancaster's take on the Kolsch style... let's begin with the appearance. It it appropriately carbonated, with a pure white cap of fluff and a torrent of rising bubbles. There's even some lacing left on my Kolsch glass. I take issue with the color - it is about a half shade too dark.

The aroma is the best part - toasted grains, straw, herbal lemon drops, and crisp European hops. This is all great, but there's a bit of an oxidized characteristic here, which should not be, since it is from a can. The taste is too hoppy/bitter for a true Kolsch, and that oxidized quality and some other indistinguishable thing makes it seem like an AAL to me. Not good.

Overall, I would not recommend this. I would rather have a stale Kolsch imported from Koln out of the bottle. Even without my judgement of this vs. German Kolsch beers, it does not stand on it's own as a summer beer or a session ale. There's MUCH better out there in those departments as well.

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Lancaster Kölsch from Lancaster Brewing Company
82 out of 100 based on 236 ratings.