Clearwater Kölsch | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
87
very good
105 Reviews
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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:
425
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
10.77%
 
 
Wants:
24
Gots:
69
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 425
Photo of Thorpe429
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Huge thanks to capra12 for picking up a growler of this at DeCicco's for me. Served in a Bruery tulip.

Pours a light yellow color with a pretty good white head. Decent retention and a bit of lacing as it goes down. The nose brings forward some light grain and very faint hops, but also brings forward an unfortunate DMS presence that is reminiscent of creamed corn and a bit of soaked cabbage. Luckily, it wasn't terribly overwhelming. The taste is along the same lines and it's tough to get past, though there are some nice element sin the background. Feel is light and fairly crisp. Other than the DMS issue, a really drinkable brew.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Growler shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer appears transparent and light yellow in color. The white head is a quarter inch thick and leaves a fair amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is of mild citrus and lightly toasted bread. The beer is fairly well balanced and light on the palate. The flavor has a subtle oddness about it, reminiscent of over-cooked vegetables. This is masked to some degree by the more pleasant flavors the beer has to offer. This would be a decent warm weather beer.

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Photo of Brodirt
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Im just a few miles from the brewery and this became my summer and fall go to beer.
Very light straw color and light bodied head. A very delicate sweetness along with a toasted white bread flavor.
A friend who I introduced to this beer described it as bottled joy.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes (11-28)
Had at Prime 16 in New Haven in a pint glass

A: Came clear, and was golden in color. A one half finger of foam on top with decent lacing down the sides.

S: Had a citrusy aroma, a nice little hop kick and a little bit of lemon rind. Some doughy malt on the back.

T: Similar to the nose, very grassy with the hops. The malts dominate the back end, almost has a roasted flavor as well.

M/D: Light to medium bodied with nice carbonation that keeps it crisp. Overall I quite enjoyed this beer. Very refreshing, a great beer to kick back with on a hot day..or a rainy evening with a burger as I did.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Jeff for offering up this growler at a recent tasting.

Appearance -- Pours a golden straw, good clarity, with two fingers of creamy white head that settles pretty quickly.

Smell -- Bready grain, grassy hops, lemon zest, and some out of place Berliner Weisse-type tartness.

Taste -- Overall, follows the nose rather well. Predominant flavor is of clean, crisp malt: bready with mild sweetness. Additionally, grassy hops keep things tight. My one quip is this tartness that slowly grows as one quaffs this brew. Very reminiscent of a Berliner Weisse, even more evident than in the nose.

Mouthfeel -- Medium in body, a bit syrupy for the style, with very mild carb. Needs more bubbles, but could well be a product of the growler.

Drinkability -- Overall, pretty refreshing, though I'm curious as to whether the tinge of funky tartness was intentional, a defect, or caused by poor growler maintenance.

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Photo of erosier
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Pours a darker amber color than I was expecting, medium sized white colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of sweet roasted malts, hints of citrus, a hint of hops at the end.
T: Tastes of sweet roasted malts, nice mix of some citrus flavors, a bit of sweetness to it that doesn't taste like malt, then a nice light citrus flavor at the end.
M: Smooth, somewhat sweet, medium bodied, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Pretty drinkable beer, nice mix of flavors, a bit darker for a Kolsch, but it was still tastey.

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Photo of dasenebler
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a DeCicco's growler, this Kölsch pours a brilliant, clear gold with a sticky one-finger head.

The aroma is lightly bready and grainy, with some green, grassy hops in there as well.

The flavor is excellent, with pleasant notes of crackers, dough and clean minerality. Lightly sweet overall, with an immaculate finish. Hint of clarified butter and ale fruitiness. Low hop bitterness and subtle earthy hop flavor. This light-bodied beer's fine, spritzy carbonation settles smoothly on the palate. Deliciously sessionable.

This might be one of the best Summer beers on the East Coast and one of the best Kölsch stylings brewed outside of Germany.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 7/24/10 notes. Had at the CL brewery.

a - Pours an amber-color transparent color with one inch of white head and low carbonation evident.

s - Smells of citrus hops, earthy malts, fruit, and maybe a hint of spice.

t - Tastes of bananas, bready malts, grain, and fruity malts.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

d - A very drinkable beer from Captain Lawrence. Would give another shot.

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Photo of STEG
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange yellow in color carbonated and bubbly on tap at the applebees near captain lawrence CdC eve it very nice to see this here. Smell is full of light wheat and fruit orange and lemon predominantly, but not much going on overall. Taste has a phenolic alcohol quality to it up front with orange lemon and what at the back and a pepperiness as it finishes. Mouthfeel is smooth and light. I had a couple and would have many more given the chance.

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Photo of david18
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I can't believe how long it took me to try this beer. Captain Lawrence is local and one of my favorite breweries and Kolsch is one of my favorite styles. I liked this a lot. Didn't love it but I defiinitely liked it. Typical of Kolsch, it was light in color and a bit cloudy. Great aroma, good flavor and a great mix of malt and hops. I'll have it again.

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Thirstybird for sharing. Poured a translucent orange-gold with a quarter inch loose, white head. Nose is herbal - something of a minty character and a bit of citrus. Taste follows nose - herbal quality is a bit more muted and some biscuity notes come out in the middle, with the herbal quality coming out again at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-bodied, with an easy carbonation. All and all, a very light, easy drinking, flavorful and refreshing. Slightly off-center for the style, but quite quaffable and tasty.

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Photo of Adamdc
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Growler received from my sister as a birthday present. Yay, me! Poured into CL pint glass.

A: Clear yellow body topped by quarter inch of bright white foam with active carbonation coming up from bottom. Significant lacing.

S: Grassy, herbal aroma that's very estery---banana, hay, lemon and citrus. Hops (noble, maybe?) are there also.

T: There are alot of 'lager-like' qualities to this beer. It's a clean crisp hop-centered taste that's estery and fruity. The banana, spice and yeast come through along with lemon and very slight citrus.

M: Very dry but it's not as carbonated as I expected---not necessarily a bad thing. Mouthfeel is between light and medium. I like the slight thickness to it.

D: This is probably the strong point of this beer. Goes down so smoothly and at 5.5% I may attempt to take down the whole growler tonight.

I don't think I've ever had a Kolsch before. I had to consult BA to see if Kolsches were lagers or ales. As mentioned above, this beer had alot of lager properties but the fruitiness and the 'bigger' mouthfeel made this very enjoyable. Another great beer by CL! Thanks, sis!

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Photo of m1ked
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It's been awhile, but yet another growler fill from WF Bowery beer room. Always something good pouring there.

A- Pours a light, bright golden yellow, with a hint of haze. A couple of streamers noted and a brief 1/4" white cap that quickly fades to a mere white skimming.

S- Kind of reminds me of their liquid gold or tripel with some tropical sweet fruits, almost some strawberry in there. Smells good, but not what I had expected.

T- That sweetness is there, but not as much as the nose would lead you to believe. There's some modest grains, that almost seems toasted. I wonder what kind of yeast they used. It almost seems like a belgian style kolsch, if that makes any sense. I like it.

M- Light, crisp, low carbonation, somewhat dry, with a little linger of that sweetness, easy to drink.

D- What a surprise, another solid brew from CL. I have really embraced the sessionable beers lately. This is a solid, yet interesting off from CL, nothing extreme or high hops or ABV, just a tastey brew. Try it.

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Photo of jimmy82063
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a Captain Lawrence Growler into a Captain Lawrence Pint Glass!

It's about 90 and humid today and I think I found the perfect beer for the weather.

Pours a nice medium golden color, not much in the way of a head.

The beer is nicely sweet with basically no notable hops present. Very easy to drink.

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Photo of berkey
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Growler courtesy of ineedabeerhere just in time for Kölsch weather here in the East Bay Area. Poured into a stange glass my friend happened to have after a late breakfast on Memorial Day.

A great white head in forms and leaves some nice lacing behind as it slowly settles. Highly active carbonation can be seen against a very pale blonde body.

Smells faintly fruity with some mild bitter hops and a bready aroma. It's nice but I wish the hops had a stronger German character.

Flavor basically follows the aroma for the most part. At moments this tastes a little like the better American Pale Lagers out there but with the pleasant sweetness caused by the influence of the ale yeast.

As expected of the style this is extremely drinkable. In fact I think I got through most of the growler myself as the hop head friends I shared this with weren't really sure about it.

Another pleasant Captain Lawrence brew that makes me glad I have a regular growler connection in the area.

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Photo of Stigs
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz pour at Prime 16 in New Haven, served in a standard pint glass

A - came with a thin layer of loose bubbly white foam, clear in color, burnt gold/amber. spotty lacing throughout the drink.

S - very bready and biscuity, some lemon rind, caramel, faint earthy/grassy hop spice.

T - floral and grassy hops are present throughout, very strong biscuity malts, bread, honey drizzles biscuits. caramel and hops fight to get through all the bread.

M - medium to lighter body, carbonation is light yet crispy. finishes with some lingering sweetness and faint grassy hops.

D - great for the style, nice to finally have a Kolsch worth drinking more than once. pairs nice with some lighter cuisine, salad and chicken.

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Photo of TheycallmeTim
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a growler into a Hennepin flute.

A--Darker than any kolsch I've seen--more gold or even orange than yellow. Decent one finger white fizzy head that retreats to skim but laces a little. Lively bubbles throughout the tasting.

S--Also lively: full of lemons and bright grassiness. Maybe a little sweet honey back there suggesting toastier malt.

M--mmm. Still bright, still snappy from the hops, which again add lemons and grass, especially at the very front and very back ends. But the malt profile is what really impresses me: very very good balance of a more hefty bread crust and cracker to give some volume and the bright hop notes (which are earthy at points toward the back) that quickly wash away the cereal flavors and keep them light. There's also a restrained fruitiness (pear? mango? I can't quite nail it down but it comes through in other CL offerings, too) from the yeast that lends buoyancy.

D&M--Both are superb. Mouthfeel is crisp, with lager-like carbonation. Drinkability is insane, especially for warmer weather.

This to me embodies the German spirit of brewing: keep it clean, but pack it with plenty of flavor. This tastes conditioned and fresh at the same time. Great work, yet again, from the Captain aka Scott Vaccaro. This guy is a real blessing to the NYC area beer crowd.

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Photo of Errto
4.45/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale gold color, a touch of cloudiness. A fairly aggressive pour from the growler leaves a loose head, laces nicely though.

The smell, which matches the taste, has a healthy dose of breaded malt, but not much sweetness. A little of that floral American hop flavor, but not much bitterness. Finishes with almost a little lemon tartness, though this is not actually a sour beer. Mouthfeel is relatively light but crisp, and leaves a coating on the tongue.

Overall, my perfect idea of a subtle, flavorful, yet easy-drinking summer beer.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Prime 16 into a shaker pint.

A: Clear gold body with a finger of soft, creamy white foam. Decent retention and some light lacing. Not bad, but not remarkable.

S: Some floral hops and plenty of fruity esters. Some light bready malt at the core. Not really exciting, but quite nice.

T: Light and easy-drinking yet flavorful, this brings mild maltiness up front, followed by some dry yeastiness and a decidedly grassy, herbal finish. Refreshing.

M: Light and bubbly, which works perfectly for the style. Just a little residual stickiness.

D: Very easy to drink indeed, but that's what I expect from a kölsch.

Notes: This is certainly a tasty beer and a solid example of the style, but it didn't strike me as being anything special. I'll gladly recommend it to non-craft friends, but won't be seeking it out again myself.

Cheers!

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Photo of Overlord
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Quite a remarkable beer. Thanks, Ineedabeerhere. I may have to seek out more kolsches ... kolschi ... kolsch ... just what is the plural version?

Pours a golden yellow. Two or three inch white foam head. Looks pretty decent.

Smells faintly of bread and yeast, strongly of dried fruit and crackers, and there's a hint of pungent ... mineral-iness ... to the aroma. Very, very nice. I'm impressed.

Taste is clean, crisp, and quite good. Bone dry mineral, yeast, bread, and a hint of cut grass/hops that taste like cut grass, and a really nice balancing banana spiciness. This is really good!

Very drinkable, extremely light pleasant mouthfeel. Perfect for an afternoon by the pool.

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Photo of plaid75
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Barcade, Brooklyn, New York.

Poured a dark straw hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a light biscuity malt with a grassy hop.

The taste was well balanced with a clean malt and light grassy and slightly lemony hop.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a very tasty kolsch.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.48/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks for the huge growler of this. I have heard great things about this new offering from CL and I was not disappointed at all. Saved this one for dinner time so we could all have a big glass, served cold and poured into pint glasses, this one was consumed on 04/04/2010.

The pour was bright, huge golden color with tons of bright yellow highlights that really showed off the clarity and brightness of this one. Huge head of white that towered over the glass at first settled down like a soft pillow that gently coated the outside of the glass and gave a rich, and dense color to it. Aroma is light, airy, with hints of banana and light fruit that is layered on top of bready tones and hints of light grain. Very light, cannot stress that enough as it really was coming through quite well on a 90 degree afternoon. Warming brought out a touch of almost citrus like smells across the nose, but then you go in for a taste and its over. Light and refreshing taste just overwhelms the palate. Tons of carbonation just making the entire profile pop as it light notes of pears and almost lavender come across the tongue. Light, crisp, clean and refreshing it is everything you want a Kolsch to be, sublime I have to say. Each sip was effortless and with a smooth, dry finish I could have drank this one for days. The last sips bringing back that light lemon, citrus kick that I caught earlier in the evening.

Overall very, very good. One of the better examples of the style I have had in a very long time. With the summer heat coming up one can only hope that this one becomes a staple!

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Photo of Ineedabeerhere
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this a few times now, reviewing from notes on 3.13 with my homie Jeff.

Poured into a pint glass with a tight white cap atop a surprisingly clear golden-straw color. Impressive web-like lacing, decent retention.

Aroma opens up with some graininess and a little pine-sol without being medicinal. Very clean overall... a little bit of lotion-like fragrance though. The taste is very clean and approachable. Grainy with a little herbal hop note, unsalted flatbread cracker mid palate. A lighter fruit presence integrated in.

The thing about this kolsch is that the mouthfeel is not totally thin, it still has some substance to it that makes it a better beer and keeps it a little more interesting with the flavor profile going on. It hurts the drinkability just a touch though.

Having said that, I still will get growlers of this regularly to enjoy as the weather warms up a bit more. Another hit for the Captain, and I think that this beer will help a lot of beer novices open up to some of their more obscure or aggressive styles.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drseamus got a growler then took it away. Then I got my own at the brewery at the Rosso release. Really looking forward to this.

A: Very nice clear deep golden color with a finger of white head. A nice amount of lacing as well.

S: Very nice earthy and bready smell. The malt is crystal clear. Kind of a tight nose but to style to the T.

T: Very nice. Massive fresh malt taste. I get quite a bit of two row.Little bit of sweetness right behind that. Almost has a little adjuncty taste. Just very clean tasting overall. You get a little bit of the yeast in the back.

M: Very well attenuated. Nice and dry. Super light and well carbonated.

D: Unlike drseamus I waited till it was 80 out to crack this. This was supposed to be my Yankees Red Sox 2010 opener beer but it was too nice out not to drink this. I really loved this beer. This is a solid yet boring hit from Captain Lawrence. Something I would get a keg of during the summer if my better half did not hate the style. More on tap in the summer outdoors please.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 64oz growler into a 20oz imperial pint. Extra special thanks to Ineedabeerhere for this from our most recent trade.

A: Sitting on the top shelf of my fridge, backlit in a clear growler...this beer looks gorgeous! Bright, glowing gold with a slight yeasty haze. A vigorous pour yields a full three fingers of bright white, rocky head that quickly melts down to a whisp of a skim. Successive pours featured much better retention. Pretty lace webbing was left stuck to the glass.

S: Aromas of fresh baked biscuits, crackers, honey, lavender, and grassy hops. A lemon-y citrus aroma pops up and sticks around for the duration, as well.

T: Tastes almost exactly as it smells. Minor differences between the two would include much more spicy/floral hops in the taste than the smell would lead me to believe. Also, the citrus is sort of overshadowed by the biscuity/toasty malt flavor.

M: Starts smooth with a hint of malty sweetness and then the bitter, grassy middle takes over and holds court on through the dry and spicy finish.

D: Joe, you were right. This is a fantastic beer! This growler arrived just in time for me to sit on my balcony and enjoy temps in the 70's...in March...in Chicago. Brilliant!

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Clearwater Kölsch from Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.
3.9 out of 5 based on 425 ratings.
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