Brewer's Alley Kölsch | Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery

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Brewer's Alley KölschBrewer's Alley Kölsch

Brewed by:
Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery
Maryland, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This style originated in the area of Cologne, Germany. It exhibits the more desirable features of both ales and lagers. Our Kölsch is pale gold with light body and a slightly dry palate. It has a mild bitterness and delicate hop aroma. This beer is a clean and pleasant thirst quencher, which earned a Bronze Medal at the 1998 Great American Beer Festival.

Added by Todd on 10-31-2003

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Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 82
Photo of hopflyer
3.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

pours straw/gold color with one finger white head
nose is lager/adjunct blended with floral hops, grass
taste carries the adjunct flavors with some white grape juice notes. some bitterness that's a bit aggressive, battery acid like, metallic
clean feel and ample carbonation. bitterness does linger a touch but otherwise finishes pretty clean.
not familiar with this style but it is an easy drinking beer.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.17/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Clear golden straw colored pour with a minimal white head. Nice grainy aroma with a hint of floral hops. Taste has grassy and corn flavors upfront backed by malty bread and biscuit flavors. Light and thin body with moderate carbonation. Drinks easy.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.24/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

This one pours a straw yellow, with a half inch head, and just a little bit of lacing.

Smells like bready malt and lager yeast, not much here, but doesn't smell bad.

This one tastes like mild grassy hops, with a fruity Kolschy yeast flavor, and bready malt. Not bad but very very bland.

It's very drinkable, with a crisp bite, and a moderate level of carbonation.

Not bad, but there are many better kolsches out there.

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Photo of scbeerman
3.54/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

This isn't a bad kolsch and is likely one I'll go for again when I can't find my favorites. A little breadier than most and would like to see a little more hop and fruity yeast character to fit the style, but overall this is very drinkable a solid kolsch with no off flavors.

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Photo of BMMillsy
3.31/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Strangely enough, my first Kolsch. Bottle from the old man. Hometown brew for me. Pours a clear deep golden with nearly no head. Some white lacing around the glass. Aroma of honey, straw, sweetness, some floral hops. Light bodied with highish carbonation. Flavor is sweet malts, honey, some corny finish. Some bitter hop presence. Not bad and easy drinking. Slightly metallic. Would take over a pale lager for sure.

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Photo of dexterk1
3.47/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance once in a glass is a little average overall. Mostly yellow with some orange. Head is not very thick and is not really impressive.
Odor is not too bad. Malt and some grain. Slightly fruity as well.
Taste is actually pretty good. Bready and malty. Slight fruityness detected as well. Mouth feel is light and carbonated. Not a bad beer for summer and warmer weather(as kolsch is intended). Overall, not a bad kolsch, but not the nest I have had.

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Photo of MacEnvy
3.16/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Not a large head, dissipates quickly, no lacing. Lovely gold-orange color.

S: No hop aroma to speak of. Malt apparent but subdued. Sweet smelling, perhaps unusual for a kolsch.

T: Relatively sweet for the style. Some tea, light caramel, grass. Very little hops at all. Sweetness approaches sickly after most of the glass.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth.

O: A very drinkable beer that even my wife (who drinks exclusively Belgian ales) enjoyed. It's honestly a little too sweet for the style - most kolsches outside of Dom are crisper. The malt presence is forward and could be balanced with a bit more hop character. Overall, a pretty enjoyable beer though.

I really enjoy Brewer's Alley as a restaurant (if you're ever in Frederick look them up), but they make finer beers than this. It's just "okay" for a craft brew.

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Photo of bubseymour
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - very unattractive in the glass. No head or retention at all. Plenty of carbonation and bubbles sticking to sides of glass. Clear pale orange.

Smell - Very off putting sulfuring smell with some bready and cracker scents.

Taste - Very grainy flavor but very easy to drink. No bitterness at all. Not bad at all.

Mouthfeel - watery

Overall - This is too much like an American Macro to spend the extra money for craft. Its easy to drink swill none-the-less.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.92/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into a Gaffel stange glass.

An off white yellow head is formed rich is really soapy, and doesn't stick around for very long, sitting on a clear gold crystal clear body of about orange/dark brass color. Head looks like weak shampoo.

Nose is a mild malt, small sour grain, and slight toasted white bread. Pretty good, not too bad.

Taste though is really dam solid. Big bread punch hinting with a crisp malt and finishing with doughy baked white bread. Texture has just the right amount of thickness to go along with the malty punch. Light hopped grass on the finish also.

Overall this feels pretty exciting considering it seemed like it started off so poorly, but they did a real solid job here. Good for the local gang up in Frederick, more for me please!

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Photo of binkman
3.84/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a bottle...

Appearance: Near brilliant clarity, mostly yellowish with a tinge of orange color, a little darker than is usual for the style. Head is thin and disappears quickly.

Smell: Very low aroma, but slight note of pilsner and some fruit.

Taste: Slight malt and noble hops flavors meld beautifully, followed by a very slightly tart and faint fruity taste, a little bit cherry and pear-like. Could finish a bit more dryly.

Mouthfeel: Maybe a little over-carbonated, but it detracts little from the final product.

Drinkability: Exceptionally drinkable. A very well balanced beer with clean, crisp, very slightly sweet finish. Great lawn-mower beer.

I love Kölsch to begin with, so my review might be a little soft, but this is a damn good beer! Strictly speaking, it's a little darker than what is traditionally expected, and could be a little drier and creamier, but a great balance of malt and hops.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Date: 7 March 2011
Glass: 5oz pilsner
Type: On-tap

Drank on tap at Brewer's Alley in Frederick, MD. Taken from notes:

This is pretty much another 'tick' beer, as there is nothing extremely special about it.

Appearance: Apple juice color, no head, runny lacing.

Smell: None? Like a cheap adjunct aroma.

Taste: Smooth pils flavor without the skunk.

Mouthfeel: Just like a Miller Lite, without skunk!

Drinkability: Oh yeah. Smooth-drinking, but that's all it has going for it.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub poured into pint glass. From random notes: Pours clear gold with a small, creamy white head, medium retention with good lacing. Aroma is heavy malt (bread, hay, straw, meal), light hops (spicy), and light esters (fruity). Flavor is heavy malt (bread, grainy, meal, cereal), light hops (spicy), and light esters (fruity). Light body, low warmth and creaminess, medium carbonation and a dry finish.

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Photo of patreely12
3.52/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

had this at the brewer's alley restaurant where it's brewed.

A - light orange/ golden color. small amount of soapy head, barely any lacing.

S - bready smell, slight hops and bit of citrus too.

T/M - crisp and dry. same as the nose, bready malts and some earthy, citrusy hops. smooth drink and very refreshing.

D - does go down smooth, don't know if this was because I was drinking it with food. but I was done the pint and on to another in no time.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.76/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Was in Frederick on other business and decided to pop into Brewer's Alley for lunch with the wife. Ordered this because it sounded great sitting in the hot hot sun. Beer served in a shaker pint glass.

Beer is yellow and clear. Forms a white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves a moderate amount of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate.

Aroma is nearly non-existent. Mildly sweet.

Beer is plain and super drinkable. There is some grassiness to it and some grainy edge as well. Its a great lawn mower beer but its just the run of the mill kolsch. In my opinion a very under appreciated style.

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Photo of tone77
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a brown 12 oz. bottle. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is mild, slightly sweet. Taste is crisp, some malts, finishing a little bitter. Not an overly flavorful beer. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has decent drinkability. Overall this is a fairly good brew.

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Photo of ITK4ever
3.77/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tried this at the brew-pub on a hot Saturday afternoon.

Nice head, smooth rich color, slightly cloudy. Deinitely a Kolsch nose to it and nice lacing on the glass. This place uses quality ingredients and it shows.

You can tell they went for the Kolsch, but something stopped them from going all the way with it. Perhaps they were trying to appeal to the Fredneck market where all you can really sell is Bud. There's a Kolsch sense, but I do like it a little dryer, a little more Kolschy. I'd get it again, but I prefer BA's IPA.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.35/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a pint.

Pours a clear gold with several foamy fingers of brite-white colored head. Retains with a thin fizzy layer foam, which leaves light spotty lace back. The aroma smells of buttery bread, with accents of fruity citrus and a gentle floral spicy feel in the nose.

The taste is toasty sweetness with a splash of citrus, along with a firm (and just a touch spicy) bitterness. Gentle dryness in the finish. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a bubbly carbonation that sits on top of a much prickier feel underneath. Good eveness between the two feels.

This was OK. It lacked the real dryness that I like in a good Kölsch but the flavors and body made this quenching enough. I'd like to give this a dry on draft sometime down at the brewpub.

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Photo of DefenCorps
2.83/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Offering from a local brewery? Sure, why not!

Mildly hazy orange with a thin off-white head, this seems a touch darker than mandated. There is plenty of carbonation visible. As I drink this, there's some lacing

Surprisingly hoppy (with American hops, nonetheless), there's a prominent citrus character with a certain chalky character that I've come to associate with old Cascade-hopped beers. Mild caramel malt aroma is present behind it, this does not smell like a Kolsch either.

The flavors are no better. While I haven't had too many Kolschs, I do know that they are not supposed to taste like watery American Pale Ales. Opening thin with some citrus hop flavor with low bitterness, this is strange. A little bit of caramel and toast comes through on the mid-palate before a mildly bitter and sweet finish. Mildly sulfury, this really is strange. Light and almost watery in body, this is strange. While the carbonation is ample, that's about as close as this beer comes to resembling a Kolsch.

As a Kolsch, this beer definitely fails. As a beer, it barely passes.

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Photo of deereless
3.18/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Color of golden straw, wafer thin layer of head - 3.75, S: Aromas of earth and grain, crisp and refreshing, very smooth and subtle - 4.25, T: A nice hint of hop bite, medium-dry, lots of pale malts on the palate, somewhat on the side of meek - 3.00, M: Light bodied - 3.00, D: Generally Kolschs are not my style, though this one is nicely crafted I think it could benefit for a slight boost in malts - 3.00

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Photo of bonbini26
3.01/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

on tap @ the brewpub 01-02-09

A= golden clean honey-yellow, almost no head.

S= nice florals, malts, traditional bready scent.

T= Mild bitterness and light finish

M= clean, enough mild hops bite and florals with light sweetness to savor for a while.

D= pretty easy drinking, clean and a plesant thirst quencher

Would recommend for someone who is used to drinking bud light or something along those lines.

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Photo of potownbill
3.63/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this at the State Line, off exit 109 in Maryland.

A: Pale golden yellow, thin white head that dissipated quickly. Minimal lacing

Smell: Sweet grain. Pretzels fresh from the oven. A little hops.

Taste: Grain, some floral hops, but mostly the grain.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin, not much carbonation

Drinkability: I drank this after finishing a Strong English Ale, so this was a welcome contrast. Even though it was a little thin, I enjoyed the taste and could easily down a few more.

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

Figured I'd pop into the Alley the other day and quaff a couple. One of 'em was their Kölsch. It was light (as expected by the style) and crisp on the tongue - pretty refreshing, considering these are the lingering days of summer when it's still a tad hot. The aroma was nothing special; it was a bit wheaty/bready with some hints of citrus poking through. The hops weren't very noticeable. The taste and mouthfeel was light, refreshing, a bit citrusy. As per the Kölsch style, I expected it to be a bit watery - which it was. Not bad, and pretty uplifting. I could see this being a decent decision for a session beer.

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Photo of therica
3.97/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Rather nice clean Cologne-esque Kölsch, would probably be found to be fairly acceptable to Köln visitors to the US. One of the better US Kölsch's that I've found to be satisfactory.

A= golden clean honey-yellow, almost no head.

S= nice florals, malts, traditional bready scent.

T= close to some that I had in Köln, on the sweeter end of the spectrum, there. Not quite Fruh but similar. Delightful bouquet of hops florals, very mild bitters, sweet malt, lingering hops florals in the finish. The bottled version seems similar.

M= clean, enough mild hops bite and florals with light sweetness to savor for a while.

D= great, if this suits your interests at the moment.

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Photo of jwc215
3.45/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours golden yellow with plenty of clarity. A thin white head becomes a swirling patch.

The smell is grainy with a vague floral touch.

The taste is of sweet grain, a bit seltery. Doughy yeast comes through a bit. There a floral touch in the back.

The feel is quite thin - almost fizzy.

A light ale - could be an American blonde that was labeled a Kolsch because of its lightness. Decent, for that, but nothing special.

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.1/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle

Pours a clear golden straw color with a small white head that maintains. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is light and malty, with a nice fresh crispness. A bit of herbal hops sneaks around in the background and comes through a bit more as it warms.

Crisp maltiness upfront with just a slight fruitiness. Mild bitterness and just a touch of herbal hops to balance things out. Nice dry finish.

Light body, well carbonated.

This is indeed a nice kolsch, and would do very well as a session beer on a warm evening. Wish I had another bottle....

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Brewer's Alley Kölsch from Brewer's Alley Restaurant & Brewery
3.51 out of 5 based on 82 ratings.
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