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Kayak Kölsch - Lake Superior Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Kayak KölschKayak Kölsch

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

99 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 99
Reviews: 52
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 12.23%
Wants: 2
Gots: 7 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lake Superior Brewing Company visit their website
Minnesota, United States

Style | ABV
Kölsch |  ABV ?

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 03-05-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 52 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BrewerB


3.95/5  rDev +7.3%

Grabbed this one on an early-summer trek around the Great Lakes region.

Poured into a Fruh Kolsch stange, this brew is mostly clear and a light gold color. Formed a 2-3 figure white foam that slowly retreated and rested atop.

Crackery malt, floral hop. Bowl of corn flakes. Slight, off-putting musty scent.

Clean, water cracker maltiness. Scant earthy hop notes in the middle and a hint of malty sweet on the end. A brisk, dry, clean finish encourages repeated sips.

Medium-light in body with a bristly carbonation whose effervesce increases the refreshing character of this kolsch-style ale.

Keeping in mind I've had this beer in the fridge for over 6 months, I'd say its held up quite well. The Kolsch style is one we should be consuming rather fresh yet despite its age, this beer is still very refreshing with crisp malty bite, a body that doesn't interfere with the subtle flavors, and a bustling carbonation to perk up your palette.

12-15-2011 03:32:16 | More by BrewerB
Photo of tbeq00


4/5  rDev +8.7%

12-12-2011 21:19:35 | More by tbeq00
Photo of bitterbeerguy


3.55/5  rDev -3.5%

Kayak pours a yellow-orange color, more leaning towards yellow. Small white bubbles permeate draft throughout sipping. Small amount of white head on top of glass as well

Aroma is very typical German-style: grain and yeast. Regretfully there is a musty smell that seems to be most noticeable compared to the other aromas. I think that I let this brew sit too long in the fridge

Taste was refreshing, even for a chilly Minnesota evening. Main flavor is grain, with hint of lemon citrus on back end. No hop character, which is to be expected. Amount of carbonation is perfect for this style of beer- nice mouthful without being overwhelming

Overall, although I think this is a nice brew, it sat in the fridge too long. The musty aroma takes away from the flavor. I think I will table my final verdict until next spring when i can enjoy some fresh stuff.


11-27-2011 03:27:41 | More by bitterbeerguy
Photo of dizztracted

North Dakota

4/5  rDev +8.7%

11-15-2011 02:49:10 | More by dizztracted
Photo of manitouman84


3.65/5  rDev -0.8%

Brew pours a translucent golden yellow with a thin white head. Aromas mostly of grain, noble hop aroma, and notes of grape. Tastes as it smells, I get grain and cereal malt as the base of the flavor, grape hangs in the background, finishes with yeast and very very mild hop bitterness. Feels crisp and refreshing, a light bodied, lightly carbonated, very sessionable brew.

09-05-2011 23:42:13 | More by manitouman84
Photo of zeledonia


3.68/5  rDev 0%

My first experience with the style

Pours a medium golden yellow, and hazy but still translucent. The half-finger off-white head dissipates quickly, but leaves some nice patchy lacing and a ring of foam around the surface.

Smell is pretty faint, but what's there is bready malts and a light sweetness suggestive of light fruit.

Taste is, likewise, pretty low-key. There's nothing about it that hits you in the face. But what eventually comes through is nicely balanced and decently tasty. The malts are there mostly as a base. Very little hop presence - just some grassy notes in the latter half of the taste. A faint sour pinch is the most notable thing about it, and makes it a lot more refreshing.

Medium-light body. Carbonation starts out low but picks up mid-way through, giving it more sizzle. Finish is kinda watery.

Nothing jumps out at me about this beer, but I'm really enjoying it. It has a touch of sour, kinda like Bell's Oarsman but less so, that I'm really enjoying on this hot summer day. A balanced, mostly malty, light beer, but flavorful and refreshing.

08-08-2011 03:25:56 | More by zeledonia
Photo of iadler


3.58/5  rDev -2.7%

12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- Light clear gold with a no head and no sign of lacing. Average looking brew.

S- Some fruit notes upfront with white grape, pear and peach followed by sweet malt.

T- Similar to the smell with some fruit notes including white grape, pear, peach and melon. Some floral notes and sweet malt are present as well. Slightly sour finish.

M- Medium carbonation, light body. A nice crisp finish.

O- A nice sessionable beer for the summer. It's quite different from other Kolch's I've had before, but not bad for the style.

06-22-2011 03:33:30 | More by iadler
Photo of mactrail


3.48/5  rDev -5.4%

A pleasant light beer with a hint of German character.

Nice light amber color, head dissipates more than some. Quite light bodied as you'd expect. Faint lemony taste but not much aroma. On the tart side. Malt is virtually undetectable and hops are quite modest, so I'd have to call it well balanced.

Very drinkable with a pleasing aftertaste of cereal and citrus. Clean and crisp. The better-than-lager alternative.

10-28-2010 04:08:31 | More by mactrail
Photo of dirtylou


3.4/5  rDev -7.6%

on-tap at the Gun Flint in Grand Marais, MN

cellphone notes

appearance: served in a shaker pint, pale golden body, light white crest

smell: grain, lemon, musty

taste: light caramel malt, grain, musty, lemon and honey, bready with notes of light yeast. I'm not a huge kolsch fan and this isn't one of the better ones out there

mouthfeel: light

drinkability: could be sessionable - but i find the grainy finish offputting

08-25-2010 01:37:23 | More by dirtylou
Photo of Parrotbeak


4.18/5  rDev +13.6%

Hazy yellow with an amber hue, and a thin white head that fades quickly.
Smell is spiced malts with some hops and barley. Clove, subtle banana, and cinnamon notes in there as well. Little bit of caramel and toffee.
Taste is spiced malts, with a touch of grassy hops. Notes of clove, banana, nutmeg, as well as some brown sugar and raisin. Finish is accompanied by some more spiced malts.
Mouthfeel is crisp and fairly smooth, with a moderate level of carbonation. Finish is fairly clean.
Drinkability is very good. One of the best takes on this style I've had.

07-10-2010 17:39:59 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

4.08/5  rDev +10.9%

The brew arrives a golden brew with only a wispy white head. It looks like a typical Kolsch. A few grainy notes in the nose along with hint of spicy hops. Agile and smooth on the palate, it goes down nicely. A nice combination of fruit and grain in the flavor. Hints of green apple and pear are easily detected. The beer finishes with a little spice.

Refreshing and a little subtle this beer fits in to the Kolsch paradigm well.

03-20-2010 23:53:13 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of Chaz


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%

Poured chilled from the 'fridge, this one is a lightly hazy amber-golden/straw in color, very much a pale lager to the casual observer. It's topped with an off-white head of good duration, along with more lace than I was expecting (looks like I found myself a fresh bottle for this sample). Very clear, with bigger bubbles loping to the top of the glass it looks like this one has dialed-back carbonation.

Nose is almost bland, with a blend of pale, crystal and a little caramel malt. Lightly musty yeast character, like a young cheese. A lighter clover honey-like sweetness along with a touch of barely-present aromatic hops, and biscuit notes round out the nose, this is an exercise in restraint and better than I'd remembered.

Fruity, pungent, and biscuit-y malt notes bolt out of the gate at first sip, making this 'exercise in restraint' much more than the bland, pale thing it appears to be at first glance! Honey notes noted in the aroma are more prominent here, and augment notes of ripish-pear. Yeast is somewhat-prominent but by no means distracting -- it plays as a counterpoint to the very mild hop bitterness. A lightly-hopped beer like this could easily become too sweet, but it strikes a perfect balance for easy-drinking.

Not the strongest or fullest-bodied beer out there by any stretch, but it satisfies the mouth, coating lightly and filling the palate with a bright and lively sensation. And yes, it's exceptionally drinkable.


Having enjoyed this one on more occasions than I can recall, I'm surprised I can't find notes for it, but am glad to rate and review it here, as it's a splendid interpretation of the style.

It's worth noting that -for as long as I can remember- Kayak Kolsch has been the 'snit' served with the signature 'Big Pickle' bloody mary at Pracna on Main in the historic waterfront district of Minneapolis, and it beats the heck out of Liller Lite(R)! In fact, I would often finish an evening at Pracna with one of these, as it tended to re-calibrate my palate for breakfast the next day (hey, I worked long hours back then.)

I'm very happy to still see this brand around town at retail, as there's no doubt plenty of competition for just such a beer in the marketplace.

01-20-2010 23:14:19 | More by Chaz
Photo of jjanega08


3.8/5  rDev +3.3%

A= poursa darker oange color with no head or lacing.... kinda disapointing.
S= malty sweetness with a touch or fruityness. Not too bad just not that complex either.
T= yeasty up front with a nice fruity middle. Some apricots or peaches are in it. The finish is sweet and refreshing. A little bready and buttery.
M= low carbonation and medium body.
D= pretty decent session beer. Good summertime brew. This is the first of the style I've had and I haven't heard many good things about the style but this is ok. Not amazing or blow you away at all but a little different and refreshing.

06-26-2009 03:36:20 | More by jjanega08
Photo of BDLbrewster


3.48/5  rDev -5.4%

Poured a 12oz. into my Horny Goat pint glass. Vibrant yellowish-orange hue with a weak head that dissipated quick not leaving a whole lot of lacing. Smells fresh and lemony, not a very powerful scent but still nice. Smooth and fresh tasting with very little aftertaste. Very tiny amount of hoppy bite on the front with a slightly fruity back. Not very complex but kolsch is not the wildest variety of brew. I like it a lot, perfect session beer for a hot summer day.

04-20-2009 02:00:45 | More by BDLbrewster
Photo of hardy008


3.58/5  rDev -2.7%

Appearance - Pours an almost perfect gold color with a 1 finger foamy white head.

Smell - Yeast, malt, and sweet fruit.

Taste - Sweet,with the taste of oranges, lemon, and malt.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and smooth.

Drinkability - Very drinkable. I could see drinking several bottles of this. It would make a nice session beer.

04-05-2009 21:00:20 | More by hardy008
Photo of optiontwo


3.78/5  rDev +2.7%

12oz. poured into hefe glass

Appearance: Clear yellowish gold with hardly any head but lots of streaming bubbles.

Smell: Berries and caramel mix with a strong biscuit smell.

Taste: Brown sugar, apple, and caramel, slightly floral, not a whole lot going on.

Mouthfeel: Very light and highly carbonated. Quite refreshing.

Drinkability: Perfectly sessionable, crisp and refreshing and low in ABV.

Overall: Aroma and taste is a little muted but it truly is refreshing. I could see enjoying this all day long during a hot summer.

02-15-2009 19:19:32 | More by optiontwo
Photo of sholland119


4/5  rDev +8.7%

Got this from beerbeagle in the favorite local beer and glass, BIF. Thanks, Randall.

Perhaps my second least favorite style as a rule, this was a darn good kolsch.

Clear golden with a thin white head and a bit of nice lacing.

Smell is lightly malty with a moderate fruity note (apricots, maybe pineapple).

Taste is a bit spicy, a bit sweet.

Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Very nicely drinkable. I enjoyed this one a lot.

12-04-2008 01:28:10 | More by sholland119
Photo of Greggy


4.22/5  rDev +14.7%

A- Poured into my strange. Leaves a nice thick head with nice peaks and valleys. Lacing is present. The body is yellow with a touch of very fine sediment.

S- Classic kolsch on the nose. Nice hop edge with the distinct mineral note that I find in kolsch beer. There is also a nice sweet malt in there two. Smells very fresh.

T- Starts out with a whack of balance hops followed by nice citrus notes of lime, slight lemon, a nice graininess with a slight note of honey. The finish is mostly a graham cracker note with the slightest dry hop feel. Very true to the style.

M- Nice carbonation stays in the pocket for the style and from first sip to finish, very authentic feel.

D- This was a real shocker for me. I was really impressed by how true this kolsch is to the style. I will definitely have this again.

10-03-2008 03:07:24 | More by Greggy
Photo of pweis909


4.1/5  rDev +11.4%

Clear, golden, with white head, about 1.5 cm. The head dissipated mostly, with the foam lacing the glass. Spicy noble (?) hops, some malt, and a wee bit a of fruitiness to the smell. My wife placed the fruitiness as apricot, seemed about right to me. A pleasant sweetness comes through in the taste; bittering is light. This is the sort of beer I would like in my mouth on a warm day. One pint went down so smoothly.

I've only had one other kolsch-style beer (also not a "true" Kolsch), so I can't say one way or the other whether it's true to style. I just liked it.

06-29-2008 21:18:47 | More by pweis909
Photo of morimech


3.5/5  rDev -4.9%

Pours a slightly hazy golden with just a slight head that quickly disappears. Some bubbles are evident at first but after a few minutes they disappear too.

The smell is fruity sweet.

It tastes fruity sweet as well with just a little diacetyl in the background. The fruit I would describe it tasting like would be grapefruit, lemons, and white grapes. A better tasting Kolsch. It has a light mouthfeel but the lack of carbonation really hurts its drinkability. Maybe I had an old bottle but I enjoyed enough of the beer to give it another try in the summer when a beer like this would be better appreciated.

11-27-2007 00:04:15 | More by morimech
Photo of shadow1961


3.68/5  rDev 0%

Lake Superior Kayak Kölsch, after a fairly hard pour yields a bif stiff
head over a slightly hazy honey colored brew. Carbonation is lively,
and the nose is light barly malt and herbal hop. The flavor is sweet
barley malt with a crisp tea-like herbal hop finish. The aftertaste is
faint barley with honey notes. Mouthfeel is dry and a little thin. It just
goes to show you that an ale can be just as crsp and light as a lager.
Very nice stuff.

09-12-2007 07:56:19 | More by shadow1961
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +10.1%

Pours a disappointingly thin head that all but disappears, and fast. Color is a coppery dark golden color, just a few shades lighter than your average lager. A smattering of bubbles work their way up the glass slowly.

Light aroma delivers a nice maltiness, very bready, a small hint of honey in the background. An overall fresh and lively aroma.

This is as full-bodied and full-flavored a Kolsch as I've come across. Honey, wheat bread, orange marmalade, flowery hops...nice crisp body to go along with it. Interesting orange-y aftertaste that I kind of like...and a sticky finish that I'm not sure about, but it helps give this more character in any case.

Very easy to drink, very easy to like. A solid brew for summer sipping, just a little bit different than many typical summer beers, yet nothing that strange either. I'd easily have another if I had another. Thanks to mnwags for this bottle.

09-10-2007 21:53:19 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of supercolter


3.83/5  rDev +4.1%

A good solid brew with no frills. As the previous reviewer noted, its nothing fancy. However, it is a solid brew.
A- kinda weak, not an impressive show here. No lacing or head at all.
S- Pretty good some dry fruits and weak smell of hops.
T&M- nice and smoothe, thicker and refreshing, not overpowering in any category.
D- Very nice.

09-09-2007 23:51:24 | More by supercolter
Photo of benito


3.55/5  rDev -3.5%

From an undistinguished bottle with no freshness date. Kayak Kolsch is one of Lake Superior Brewing's flagship beers, and with it, they do a fine job of offering an accessible, highly drinkable beer to craftbrew initiates and American-lager fans.

It is bright golden with a small head and light, fruity aromas. The flavor begins fruity--especially marked are the grape and pear flavors--and finishes slightly dry, though it lacks the bitter edge that I've found in better balanced and more complex interpretations of kolsch. It is frighteningly easy to drink and the soft, juicy mouthfeel makes this a great summer beer.

A tasty, straightforward, and worthwhile light beer. Kudos to the brewers in West Duluth for this offering. Don't miss it if you're in the Duluth area.

06-22-2007 06:02:30 | More by benito
Photo of umustdrink


3.6/5  rDev -2.2%

A - Pale, very light yellow color. Head fades to a ring around the edge.
Very little lacing.

S - Smell consists of orange pulp, green wheat stalks, and some bitterness.

T - More orangey goodness, a light sweetness at the tip of the tongue and a short hop finish.

M - More on the crisp side, carbonation adds to this effect.

D - Pretty good, just don't judge by the look of it. It's a light refreshing beer for the summer. Just like a Kölsch ought to be.

02-13-2007 06:23:30 | More by umustdrink
Kayak Kölsch from Lake Superior Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.