Clearwater Kölsch | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
87
very good
105 Reviews
THE BROS
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Clearwater KölschClearwater Kölsch
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
New York, United States
captainlawrencebrewing.com

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Formerly known as Captain's Kölsch

This is the first beer that we have brewed that is not considered an ale. Brewed with imported German yeast, Kolsch is a style of beer that is stuck in between the two main styles of ale and lager… not as fruity as an Ale, and yet not quite as subtle as a Lager; our Kolsch blurs the lines between the two.

Added by jeffthecheff on 03-14-2010

BEER STATS
Reviews:
105
Ratings:
427
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
10.77%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
73
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 427
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Captain Lawrence Brewing Co. "Clear Water Kölsch"
12 fl. oz. brown glass bottle, "BOTTLED 09062016" and sampled 12302016
$2 @ Weis Market, Conshohocken, PA

American brewed Kölsch are generally tedious for me to review because so many of them are so poorly done. It's a beer that's all about balance and drinkability with finesse, and too many brewers over-do the malt, or the hops, or even the fruitiness from the fermentation. I was a bit relieved however when I read the label which stated that "Columbus & Crystal hops" were used - Crystal is one of my favorite hops, and I feel it works great in beers like these. Fortunately I needn't have worried anyway, as it's turned out that the beer is great.

I'll fault it for clarity as it's fairly hazy and I've never had a Kölsch in Germany that wasn't filtered bright, but beyond that it hit the nail on the head for every point. In the aroma the malt is as it should be, and the apple and berry-like fruitiness is at the right level. Additionally, what hops are there are kept in the background as they should be. The flavor then brings everything back, and although the fruitiness might be a touch high there, it's still within reason, and actually very pleasant and interesting with a subtle citrus character. The malt is round and delicately sweetish, and not grassy; and a moderate medium-low bitterness balances it nicely, leaving the palate dry and ready for another go-'round. It's medium-light in body and crisp-then-smooth with a standard carbonation level. Most importantly, and probably the one thing that really pinpoints the style is the finish, which is dry but with just a little bit of fading residual malt, fruit, and hop that gives it a kind of a twang - reviving the palate so that you want more!

Superbly done, I'm quite surprised that it hasn't scored better on BeerAdvocate. I'd have to do a side-by-side tasting of fresh samples to be sure, but I'm currently thinking that this is one of the best Kölsch-style beers brewed in the U.S.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.79/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. bottled 8/25/16, so 5-6 weeks old.

faintly hazy pale yellow body. small head dissipating to a covering and thick ring. ok lacing

nose is sweet malts with a faint mustiness.

pleasantly malty with a slight bite around the edge of the tongue

below medium on the mouth, strong malt wash with a faintly bitter finish.

overall, a pretty ok drink. 5 more in the fridge to enjoy

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Photo of chinchill
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle with a bottling date of June 2016, served in a lager in Sept. 2016.

Orangish-amber body is hazy but clear enough to see plenty of rising carbonation bubbles. Large, foamy white head has very good retention. Decent lacing.

Aroma: Euro hops.with citrus notes.
Flavor: more nuanced and malty. Good balance. Ample flavor for style.

Feel: light body but not watery; medium-high carbonation.

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Photo of tlema1
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L: clear straw color, thin white head
S: a little bready, a little grassy
T: slightly fruity, touch of citrusy hops
F: light body, dry finish
O: different interpretation of the style, refreshing, not bad

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Photo of YoungMtn52
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy and under 5% ABV....this Capt. Lawrence offering has a crisp hoppy taste...subtle smell with a foamy head and ample carbonation...I like this beer, though it's a far different kolsh than the Ithaca Day Dreamer that I just reviewed....

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Photo of RozzieBoy
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

L - Light golden look with a slight haze and a big white, foamy head. Lots of carbonation and lacing lasted a while.
F- slightly foamy feel. Not as crisp as other kolsch's I've had.
S - Slight hops and malt.
T - A tingle that lasts on the tongue.
O - A decent beer, overall. Certainly an easy beer to drink.

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Photo of MacMalt
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on draught in a bar. It was served in a pint glass. It poured a hazy, light yellow color with a thin, milk-white head and minimal lacing. It smells of bready malt, grass, lemon peel, and some sweet fruit. Its taste includes malt, cracker, lemon, apple, and caramel, and it finishes with a slight hop bitterness. It is light, crisp, and easy to drink with an ABV of only 5.5% Overall, this is a pleasant Kolsch; perfect for a hot summer day. There are better ones out there but this one hit the spot for me.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 6/25/2016 at Pizza J’s in Providence, RI, served in a stange glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a medium white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is faint but contains light caramelized malts, grain and some hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of grain and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. Then some malt sweetness comes in. The hops presence is good for the style and brings a very good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of avalon07
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Poured from a bottle to a cylinder glass. Had a golden yellow color and a clear texture. There was a massive, creamy, long-lasting head. Pretty good lacing.

S: A nice aroma of hops, some malt, and citrus elements.

T: Tasted of a fair amount of hops, light malt notes, some citrusy overtones (lemon, in particular), and a lightly spiced quality as well. A solid flavor that's very light and somewhat sweet. Very light and enjoyable.

F: A good amount of carbonation with a slightly slick finish. Light-bodied.

O: For the most part this is a drinkable beer. Extremely easy to drink (as most kolschs are) and quite likable.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a straw color with an ultra thin ring like lace that mostly retains until the very end. Initially there is a grassy aroma, followed by a malt sweetness and toasted bread. I also detect floral hops. In the flavor, there is a solid toasted malt base. Although there is some sweetness, I feel like the taste is soon predominated by a peppery hop presence that provides a medium bitterness. The feel is crisp and light to medium bodied. The spiciness of the hops provides a prickly feel that makes it fuller and more chewy than other kolsch styles that I've had. Overall, this is a solid take on the style, it is easy to drink and refreshing.

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Photo of CNoj012
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This beer pours a crystal clear light straw color with a small, fizzy bright white head. Retention is pretty minimal and there are a few spots of lacing. Smell is subtle. Lemon zest, floral grassy hops, and light crackery malt. Taste is similar with some spiciness too. Feel is light and refreshing with moderate carbonation. Overall a solid beer. Not my favorite, but definitely a decent kolsch.

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Photo of IronLover
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pale yellow in color with just slight haze. Poured with a thick, soapy, bright white foam with excellent retention. Medium light, clean, soft pilsner malt aroma. No hop aromas or fruity aromas. On the lighter side of medium bodied with medium, soft carbonation. Clean and very refreshing. Medium light pilsner malt flavors up front followed by medium light, lightly tangy, biting hop bitterness through the middle. No hop flavors. Finished cleanly and semi-dryly with a light crackery aftertaste. Great balance between subtle malt and hop bitterness. Light, refreshing, clean feel. Incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of generallee
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tall German style glass.

Appearance: The body has a Pale yellow color with a slight haze. There is a lot of lively carbonation flowing up though the beer. This is topped off the a nice tall head of bright white foam. It’s head holds on well but has minimal lacing.

Smell: It’s aroma is extremely light and clean. I only get a very slight cereal maltiness with some straw like hops.

Taste / Palate: The flavor is light overall but brings some light cracker like maltiness with light fruity notes of apple, white grapes and pear. The finish has a snappy dry hay like hop character. The palate feels light and fairly crisp.

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Photo of dd43
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Very surprised by this beer. I wasnt sure what to expect. Looked great in the glass, bright gold in color with a fair bit of haze. Head was substantial with large bubbles, collapsed into an attractive cap.

Aromas are bready malts and a fruity quality, but not sweet. Also some grassiness, like smelling a lawn bag after emptying the lawn mower into it. Maybe also a very slight touch of lemon in the legs on the inside of the glass?

Great mouthfeel, really nice malt level. Not tacky or sticky at all, but present on the tongue. Im going to have to seek out other Kolsch beers to see how they hold up to this.

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Photo of fx20736
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bought a single from Beers of The World on 7/24/15. Served chilled in a pint glass. Hazy lemon yellow with a natural white head and nice lacing. Aroma is slightly sour and fruity like pears. Taste is bready upfront then flashes to a medium herbal bitterness and finishes clean. Mouthfeel is structured and full. This is a nice little beer.

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Photo of ARoman
3.11/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

On tap poured into a shaker. the aroma as a bit of a stone / mineral quality to it with hints of grass and an even lighter apricot juicy sweetness hidden in there. It pours a clear, effervescent pale yellow with a foamy white head that has decent retention and lace. The taste is a medium bitter with slightly less sweetness. The texture is thin and zippy with a bit of a slick wax quality to it. The light body is flavored with mineral water, bitter spice and fruit, and a hint of grass that strengthens during the crisp dry finish that's acidic and a hint of spice. The aftertaste is that of mineral water and muffin dough with a hint of wax that is mellow, but has a moderate length to it.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4/5  rDev +2.6%

On tap at the Engine Room in Mystic CT
Comes to the table in a tall cylinder a slightly hazy light golden color with a decent sized bubbly white head. Sweet bready pilsner malt with spicy floral hops to balance. Sweet bready flavor, nice crisp hop bite. Great little beer.

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Photo of jman42
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Crystal clear, pale yellow with great lacing

Smell: Very interesting. Can't put my finger on whether it is a spicy, citrusy, or hoppy aroma, but I like it

Taste: Nice. Not as good as the Oberon I just reviewed, but another good summer beer (that I wouldn't want come November)

Mouthfeel: Great. After swallowing, my tongue feels happy. No lingering aftertaste

Overall: Good summer beer. No need to rush out and buy more right away, nor does it being me back to several fun nights I spent in Cologne Germany drinking kolsch, but a nice beer

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Photo of woodychandler
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I picked this up on a recent visit to Brooklyn and as yet another snowfall looms on Presidents Day, I am continuing to reduce my backlog, especially of bottles.

From the bottle: "East Coast Ales"; "Est. 2006"; "Craft brewed in New York"; "Light, crisp and refreshing are a few of the words that come to mind when when thinking about the Kolsch style beer. This version is no different! Being that we are not in Germany, we could not resist putting our own twist on it by using good old American Crystal hops to give it a refreshing hoppy finish. [undersigned] Scott Varner".

My pour netted me a brief, fizzy finger of bone-white head that faded like anything colored red when exposed to bright, unrelenting sunlight. Color was a light, lemon-yellow (SRM = > 2, < 4) with NE-quality clarity. Nose had a malty quality, not very hoppy, despite what they said on the label. Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was very light, almost like lemon-lime soda pop. Lemony, slightly grassy, very dry and refreshing. They were right on the money in terms of the style and I think that I would enjoy it much more on a hot, humid summer's day than a cold, dry winter's one. The finish was equally light and crisp and I would be reaching for another except that I only had one.

 1,269 characters

Photo of Zach136
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, dated 8/14/13', poured into a Gaffel Kölsch Stange.

A - Light straw, two finger, mountainous head. Meh lacing.

S - Honey and pilsner malts. Little to no hop aroma.

T - Light hay and author slightest touch of floral hop.

M - Light, crisp and refreshing as a Kölsch should.

O - Great example of the style. Really glad I got this in a trade because it would have been easy to overlook otherwise. But a tasty treat indeed.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle from Wegmans Dewitt NY for $2

Appearance - Slightly hazy gold colour with an average size white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, hops, grass, lemons

Taste & Mouth - There is an average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, caramel, and noble hops. There is also some lemon, grass, and a touch of ginger.

Overall - Really well done and very refreshing. I haven't had many beers from this brewer, but I will search some out based on this brew. Reminds me a bit of prima pils by victory.

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Photo of CloudStrife
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours a slightly hazy light golden yellow with a mild white head. Some visible chunks floating in the body. A few spots of lacing.

S: Light malting, bit of a sweetness going on. Grassy or farmhouse type feel. Yeast seems to add the most to the aroma.

T: The taste is quite pleasant, a mix of belgian and german qualities. Malts are strong but at the same time light enough to keep this a kolsch. Low hop bitterness. Malts linger real nicely in the aftertaste.

M: Creamy mouthfeel but remains on the light side. High sessionability with this one. Finish is clean and crisp.

Overall perfect for one of the last warm days of summer. Light beer yet still full flavored with great yeast action. Worth a go.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-clear light golden color with a decent white head and some lacing

S-toasted bread, lemon, herbal, little yeast

T- toasted malt, lemon, fruity, herbal, little bitter in the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-nice for this style, refreshing on a hot day

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Photo of argock
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz brown bottle into a Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass. No freshness date. Single purchased at Oliver's Beverage (Albany, NY).

A: Straw gold, clear, with a short, 1/2-finger white head with average retention and no lacing.

S: Soft slightly grainy malty aroma with a mild fruity undercurrent and noble hops. Subtle and without yeast esters.

T: Crisp, clean, like a solid all-malt lager, very refreshing. Crackery lightly bready maltiness with a mild cereal grain character. Hops are noble-style with herbal character. THe mild fruitiness in the nose is mainly present in the finish and is light pear and apple but very subtle.

M: Light body with soft carbonation and clean finish.

O: An excellent kolsch -- makes me want to brew one!

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Photo of dar482
2.75/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

I unfortunately had this in a bottle, but surely savored the (disappointing).

Thankfully, they started bottle dating, so this was 5/30/13. Pretty fresh.

The front hits you with some nice fruity sweetness. Orange, lemon, and honey. It's quite sweet. But then there's an offensive funky sour flavor. It almost tastes like biting into an over ripe/rotten apple, orange, or juicy fruit. It's subtle, but definitely hits you with an off flavor. (Glad to see another reviewer called it over cooked vegetables, or DMS off flavoring).

The sweetness hides it slightly, but not enough. The finish has some gentle grassy bitterness.

Disappointing. The sweetness was a bit much, but the DMS is too much.

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Clearwater Kölsch from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.9 out of 5 based on 427 ratings.
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