Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch | Otter Creek Brewing

82 Reviews
Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style KölschOtter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch

Brewed by:
Otter Creek Brewing
Vermont, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.85%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Bitterbill on 01-20-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 82 | Ratings: 95
Photo of JohnPan
4.2/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm surprised at the amount of poor reviews of this beer. Discovered in February 2010 and, since I love the Kolsch style, I grabbed a 6-pack to try. My overall impression is that this is a very good beer, one that I look forward to having again. My only complaint is I think it misses the Kolsch flavor (a little too strong) and body (a little too heavy) profile. I'll put it in a horizontal of mixed Kolsch this spring and see what my friends think.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.18/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 12oz. bottle into a stange the beer was a translucent medium gold color with one finger of pure white fluffy head. Steady carbonation streaming up the glass and the had retained very well with thick dense rings of lace all the way down the glass.

Malty nose with a slight grainy (cereal) aroma. Very soft fruit.

Taste stars out malty with a bready and slightly buttery backbone. This gives way to a very slight mild hoppiness with just a sublt bitterness in the background. Hop presence is mild, very mild, and more noble hoppish, nothing brash here, just enough to balance the malty sweetness the beer begins with. Finishes slight grains, clean, and dry with a sublte buttery sweetness.

Medium body and about average carbonation.

This is a very drinkable seasonal. It's tough to find a quality domestic Kolsch and this is certainly that. Nicely balanced, clean, not overly carbonated, and very refreshing. I'll be back to this each year.

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Photo of mwa423
4.14/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Out of the bottle into a pint glass with a finger and a half of head, slightly hazy pale straw color.

S - Interesting blend of flower, spice, and grain. Not a common combination but very enjoyable

T - Lots of grain, flower, and wheat flavors. Very good for the style.

M - Very crisp, clean, and very little aftertaste.

D - Will definitely be picking up more next time I'm in the mood for a Kolsch.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's a Kölsch-style ale. It is what it is, so if you go into it expecting simple, refreshing golden beer, you'll enjoy this one. Otter Creek does such a good job with their beers, and this one is no exception. Nice gold color in the glass with a mild malt in the nose and just a hint of hops bitterness in the taste. Dry finish, not too sweet, extremely drinkable and highly recommended. A much better alternative than the typical lawn mower beer for your summer BBQ.

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Photo of jwc215
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 1/28/08 (printed on the neck):

Pours light golden yellow with a thin, lasting white head.

The smell is of cracker breadiness, sweet grain, restrained floral notes.

The taste is of sweet grain, light wheat tang, bready, with a restrained bitterness. Crisp and clean, with a refreshingly dry finish.

Appropriately light-bodied and refreshing. It has a sweetish, malty aftertaste that doesn't linger too long.

Nice interpretation of the style - on-target. Very drinkable. Hits the spot on a warm Spring day! An easy, yet tasty, "session" ale.

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Photo of brentk56
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a fluffy head that shows good retention and deposits a few dots of lace

Smell: Crisp, with hints of lemon and biscuit

Taste: Biscuity up front, with a hint of lemon developing; after the swallow, the finish is clean, with just a hint of fruit

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice example of the style which some brewers have difficulty pulling off

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Photo of dedrinker
4.1/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light honey color with a small, but dense white head. Aroma of lightly toasted grain and hint of hop spice. Flavor is light, crisp toasty bread with just a hint of earth hop. This is a Kolsch, which means light color, light body, light-hearted. As such I found it to be quite refreshing and tasty - fresh. However this does taste like most brew-pub's standard offering for craft beer amateurs - light and inoffensive, but relatively much more body and flavor than a macro. This is a great brunch/ lunch/ fishing, or just lurking about the river bank on a spring day.

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Photo of megahurts4
4.08/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Otter Creek Spring Ale

Appearance: golden, smell head, and good lacing.

Smell: pleasant light grain and malt.

Taste: mild hops and grain.

Mouthfeel: medium-light and smooth with a creamy finish.

This is a nice kölsch. Full flavored and creamy smoothness make it one to try for kölsch fans.

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Photo of jhammel01
4.07/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden clear yellow color with a soapy head that doesnt amount to much. Not even much lacing at all! Other ones in the 6 pack were fine so maybe I did something wrong...
Still nice and fresh looking. No cloudiness at all.

Smells of yeast but honestly, not much else.

Makes up its ground in the taste! Nice and light tasting bodied beer with moderate carbonation. At 1st taste there's plenty of malt and yeast pushing through with a bit of clean hops. Not overwhelmingly so but just enough. Very well balanced. Also lemon zest with a nice bready finish. Perfect for a spring/summer afternoon.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
4.05/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Possibly my favorite post-run beer.

Clear gold with a white head that leaves good retention and splashy lacing. Nose is light grai, and mild hops-- a little grassy, a little herbal.

Not as crisp as I would anticipate from a kolsch but pleasantly smooth, light and biscuity. Light herbal/floral (jasmine-esque?) hop peeps up in back.

Perhaps the perfect post-run beer.

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Photo of JayNH
4.03/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear pale straw color with a monster frothy white head. Ample lacing is left on the glass.

S- Hops! Plenty of earthy, spicy German hops. A hint of sweet malt lurking in the background.

T- Starts malty then a earthy hoppiness blooms on the palate. A tinge of grapey malt shows up in the aftertaste.

M- Moderate body, very smooth with a dry finish. Carbonation is just right.

D- Excellent. Otter Creek nailed the style, definitely worth checking out. These would go down quite well in the warm weather.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.02/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drinking a cellar temp bottle poured into a snifter.
The beer pours a clear gold from the bottle but appears slightly orange in the glass. Bleached white fizzy head of 1 cm foams up and rests lightly on the surface of the beer.
Aroma is clean and crisp with some spicy and earth hops and general grainy malt. Not overly complex but it doesnt have to be for the style.
First sip is a light to average body with fine fizzy carbonation.
Flavor is straight forward and refreshing. Grainy malt with a little husk to it, followed by some grassy hops that are just slightly bitter on the finish. A bit dry on the palate after each swallow as well.
The beer is well made and would taste great cold on a hot day. Put a 6er in the cooler and sit poolside for a hot sunny day!

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue II:

It's nice to see any early spring release--this one came out in January. Makes the winter seem less wintry. It's also nice to see a spring seasonal offering that's not another Belgian Wit or other wheat beer.

Clear and bright golden-colored brew, white head that drops to a translucent lace. Fresh grain and a touch of green grass in the nose. Very smooth on the palate with a near medium body. Crisp snap up front, with a moderate carbonation level. Hint of mineral opens up to a biscuity malt profile, followed by a hint of honey and bread. Dry overall, mildly sweet. Soft herbal hop character, more grass. Dry and biscuity in the finish, with some lingering grain.

A well-built Kölsch. Balanced. Very refreshing beer. Quite the session beer. The world needs more.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a nice beer, but I still prefer Geary's Summer Ale as an example of a good kolsch.
In a pint glass the beer was a hazy gold color with a medium white head. A bit of lacing.
It had a citrus and sweet malt aroma.
Taste of lemon, some bread, and a bit of late hops.
Crisp and dry.
Nice beer.

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Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a nice gold color with a 1/2" white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a grainy pale malt scent along with a bready yeast aroma. It's light, yet sweet smelling. The taste is good as well. It has a very smooth and malty flavor. It's not particularly heavy, but it's complex and quite enjoyable. It has a wonderful pale malt taste that goes down easy and finishes dry, yet malty. It's a bit grainy with some light breadlike notes. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a highly drinkable spring ale; an excellent choice.

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Photo of Durge
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew poured cold into a pint glass is a yellow gold color with a minor white foam that dies to a mere ring with a bit of lacing none the less. The aroma comes off as a pretty typical wheat affair with some hints of clove and ham and a touch of floral bouquet I would say. Once committed to the tongue, it's a tangy but relatively smooth, clean feel for the style. There's a touch of floral sweetness over the grainy roughness. I don't have too much more to say. It's refreshing and reasonably drinkable but it's no taste treat to me. Kind of dry in the finish, a bit harsh to my tastebuds but it grows on you and seems to mellow a bit as you go. Definitely worth a try but I'm no expert on Kolsch style beers.

New bottle a year-and-a-half later...
A nice clear amber color with steady bubblage and a fair white cap and very nice blanketing lacing. The aroma brings nice malty lemon bread with even a hint of milk chocolate with illusions of salt water taffy! Quite nice. The flavor offers a simple but refreshing mouthful of cardboard malt and subtle lemon hop. Mildly but pleasantly carbonated the malt dominates but the dry citrus hop balances out nicely. It's medium light bodied with a refreshing and sturdy feel for the style. There's a little nuttiness, some oaky touches. Just a solid offering all around that's plenty drinkable. Nice job by the Otter.

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Photo of Brad007
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color: Pours a yellow color with a thin one-finger head.

Aroma: Clean and malty. Smooth. Like a kolsch.

Taste: Malty/bready upfront with a tiny bit of hop bitterness. Not much beyond that. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and bready with a tiny bit of bitterness. Goes down very smooth.

Verdict: Drinkable. A good spring beer but I wonder if it would be better suited as a summer beer (I miss the ESB from last year).

I would choose this over a macro lager when it comes to a beer you drink after/while mowing the lawn or kicking back on a hot day.

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Photo of sraimondi
4/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour into a pint glass. About a 2 finger white head which dissipates quickly but hangs around as a nice surface head. Some spot lacing sticks to the sides of the glass. Medium gold color, a bit darker than the BJCP guideline, but quite close. Very high clarity.

No real tell-tale aroma, but some faint cherry notes do come through.

The taste is pretty close to the classic examples (Reissdorf, Gaffel, etc.), with some bitterness in the finish, but not enough to "pucker" which is what the classic versions impart. Still quite nice. Drying.

Mouthfeel is also quite nice, rounded and nicely crispy.

This is a very good version of a beer style which is "protected" by an appellation, the Kolsch Konvention, and also generally misunderstood. It is also a style which is a challenge to brew. This style is a truly great (the best??) lawn mower beer. Hats off to Otter Creek for brewing a very good US version.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.98/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this bottle in a trade with jwc215. Thanks Joe!

It pours a clear straw gold with a 2 finger and growing head of foam. More foam sipping is in order here. ;^) Heaqd retention is above average and there's some good lacing.

It has a nice malty/citrus hoppy nose going on. It *smells* refreshing.

The taste has a nice mix of bready malt and citrus hops that are nicely balanced and make for a very smooth tasting beer. Nice.

It's light bodied and the carbonation is lower than what I expected judging from how bubbly it looks in the glass, and it finishes with both some bread and some lemon zest. This is a very drinkable example of the style and I think it does the style proud. Well done Otter Creek!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Otter Creek's German-style Kolsch is quite a change from their previous spring style, the Mud Bock. Obviously, bock was brewed for spring as is tradition, but I think the Kolsch style may be a little more...

It pours a clear, very deep golden body at 8 or 9 SRM, just slightly darker than the normal 3.5 to 7 SRM range of those brewed in Germany. The creamy white head rises shortly, and then drops fairly readily. Lacing about the glass is limited to spots and streaks.

The nose expresses floral hops and fruitiness over grainy maltiness.

In the flavor it's pretty much right on for the style with a little bit of yeasty fruitiness to it. It still has a clean, lager edge to it, but there's that nice dollop of fruitiness to lend it character. On the other hand, the malt is a little bit more flavorful and full than those I've had from Cologne. This is not necessarily a bad thing, just an observation. It's grainy, not caramelish, and gives a fuller, wider flavor. The bitterness is pretty solid with Bu's in the mid to upper 20's, and it finishes dry with some lingering grainy malt that passes quickly leaving flowery hops behind.

Overall: accessible; full flavored enough to keep you coming back; drinkable.

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Photo of tempest
3.97/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yummy. Pale, bready, biscuity grains with a hint of yeast and grassy hops. Clear golden body with a white head that too quickly disappears. The aroma is a mild version of the taste with mild grains, a little fruit, and hops. The carbonation is on the high side of medium and it's very very drinkable. This is a great pairing for sautéed vegetables or a rich salad.

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Photo of Stimack
3.95/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Was looking for something a little different while at the beer store and saw this offering from Otter Creek and thought it was worth the try. The brew pours to a somewhat deep golden yellow color with a fair sized white head that has some retention. The aroma gives a nice mix of yeasty bread like notes, buttery, slight husk note, and grassy smell. Nice smells, fresh. The flavors are nice, have a nice crispness that ends with a fair hop presence that seems to cut off the other flavors and ends quickly itself leaving a nice dry feel in the back of my mouth. The flavors seem to mimic the scents that I noted a bit but the malt flavor seems to stand out a bit though they seems quite light. Nice bread like flavors, slightly toasted. Nice tasting brew, glad to have gotten this one to change it up a bit. Would not mind seeing this one transition into the summer months as it has a nice light feel while possessing nice flavors.

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Photo of thekevlarkid
3.93/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Off the tap at the brewery this beer was a pale gold color with an off-white head two-fingers thick. The retention was good and the lacing was very good in thin sheets. The aroma was 'bright', floral hops, pale malt and citrus. The flavors were crisp and refreshing. Summery notes of citrus hops, pale malt and floral hops, especially on the finish. Semi-acidic and clean. A good example of the style. The mouthfeel was soft but a touch watery, the body medium/light and the carbonation appropriate.

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Photo of Procrastinator
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought a sixer of this at Total Wine a few months back. Bottle dating on neck is unreadable. Poured into tulip pint glass from a brown bottle.

Appearance: deep golden colored body (darker than expected) with a white soapy head which dies immediately to leave a thin layer and decent lacing. No streams of carbonation, except just below the cap.

Smell: sweet bread crusts, honey and malted graininess, slight sour lemon rinds and grassy hops.

Taste: flavors coincide with scents. Slightly sweet breadiness is met immediately by bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: medium body and complimenting carbonation. Sweet chewiness ends with bitter crisp dryness. Well balanced.

Drinkability: definitely a drinkable session beer. Flavors are enjoyable with a nice dry finish. Alcohol never really rears its head. Next time I'd like to review this closer to spring release.

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Photo of Walken
3.92/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Otter Creek: Spring Ale, Kolsch (Bottled: 01/05/10) (Tasted 04/12/10)
12 oz. bottle, poured into a dimple mug.

Appearance: Bright, lightly hazed golden liquid with a squat soap-bubble head that leaves a few strands of lacing on the sides of the glass.
Odor: Lemon zest, hints of rich maltiness and a smattering of floral hop aromas wafts up into my nose.
Consistency: Crisp feel with a moderate level of carbonation which lends a fluffy feel to the beer.
Flavor: That 'ol familiar Otter Creek bread-crust yeast flavor kicks things off, it works extremely well for this style. Citric, slightly waxy hop flavor phases in and out, adding a hint of lemon zest, as noted from the nose. Finish is dry, yeasty and short. Bit of lemon and bread-crust lingers.

This is a good beer, no glaring flaws, in fact, it's a great thirst quencher. For my money though, I prefer more depth to the malt flavor in a kolsch, more dough/bread pils malt goodness.

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Otter Creek Spring Ale: German-style Kölsch from Otter Creek Brewing
3.64 out of 5 based on 95 ratings.
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