Clearwater Kölsch | Captain Lawrence Brewing Co.

BA SCORE
87
very good
105 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
23
Gots:
69
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 425
Photo of utopiajane
4.18/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer has almost no nose. The malt is but a sweetness in the breath of it. It catches the light aflame because of it's haze. The crown is white. Only a shy depth from the grain will come to the nose. Taste is breaddy, a slight bitterness and only a whisper of herbal from hops. Very dry crisp.. You can barely perceive a fruity lightness from the grain because the malt is crisp and dramatic. In the finish it gives a slight pucker .

 437 characters

Photo of facundoCNB
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a clean straw yellow pour with 2 fingers foamy white head, nice retention.
smells of yeast up front, honey/sweet caramel, lemon, coriander.
taste is very sweet up front with some nice spices very reminiscent of a pie. slightly fruity/citrusy, has a peppery taste in the back. very tasty for the style!
light body, dry finish, nicely carbonated.

i used to refuse drinking kolsch style beers, but this is definitely an eye opener that the style has its ups apparently!

 467 characters

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

 415 characters

Photo of lovindahops
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thank you scott vacarro for choosing syracuse as a distribution spot for the Captain! We are all thankful that we can enjoy a NY brewery that puts out arguably some of the best brews out there

A- captain's kolsch pours a dark gold body with massive frothy head of white foam the coates the top of the brew like a muffin top. Glowing bright as carbonation races to the top

S- A sweet grain and biscuity scent that has grassy and floral characteristics sums this up. Very pilsner like but very mouth watering as the sweet grainy scent reaches through the nostrils. Hands done, this is on refreshing scent

T- A sweet honey flavored bready flavor with traces of grass and fresh flavors. Ridiculously refreshing and full of flavor, yet so light. This is how a kolsch should taste. I need to mention I don't remember the last time a kolsch tasted this sweet and crisp at the same time

M- crisp, flavorful, carbonated right, spot on with a refreshing feel

O- what a home run of an everyday beer. This is the best kolsch I have ever had. This might be my new lawn mower beer for the summertime. But wow this could become a simple go to beer when I'm at the store. Keep it coming vacarro!

 1,184 characters

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.

 544 characters

Photo of scootny
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the first German style beer to come out of the Captain's dry dock and it is superb. A honey gold with a white head and goodly amount of lace. A light amount of chill haze as my fridge is on the colder side but it was quite clear when I had it at the brewery. Gentle carbonation appears with each sip.

Smell is full of light sweet malt with a peppery spiciness and a touch of sweetgrass. There is a faint banana like fruitiness mixed with a grapeish overtone and a lemony flourish. Floral hops. A bready malt core underpins it all. Beautifully constructed.

Taste is much like the nose with a larger breadiness and a perfect balance of hop bitterness. The fruitiness is brighter with a bigger lemon edge and grape like sweetness picking up as the malt sugar fades. Finish is dry and clean with a citrusy hop presence and a lingering taste of crackers.

Feel is crisply carbonated with a light creaminess as it site on the tongue. Light in weight but not too light.

Drinkability is first rate. Refreshing and quite the quaffer. This is a top notch session beer and one I hope to see at the Captain often.

 1,113 characters

Photo of mjtiernan
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle poured into a nonic pint

A: Blonde (ok, yellow) crystal clear body with a bone-white head. Good amount of head settling to a thin covering cap of foam.

S: Delicate grassy hops, biscuit and grain. A touch of white pepper spiciness in there too.

T: Flavor is even lighter than the aroma. Watery up front with light bready malt in the middle and finishing with the grassy hops and grain.

M: Super drinkability. Light body, watery texture, soft carbonation. Finishes on the dry slightly chalky side.

O: I’d be hard pressed to find a beer easier to drink than this. Pleasant and refreshing. I will be re-visiting this during the summer.

 650 characters

Photo of Ralphs66
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first try of the style...so can't make a comparison, but I truly enjoyed this beer. I had it on a cold, rainy, what should have been spring day, and it made me think of sand, sun and summer. Poured beautifully, with a nice thick foamy white head. Clean smelling coming across like "beer"; kinda pure. Taste was sweet and crisp....and very, very drinkable. At 5.5%, the presence of alcohol was almost non existent and after two 10 oz glasses, I felt like I could drink a whole bunch more. I didn't however....I saved it for after dinner...I'll be revisiting this plenty over the coming months.

 595 characters

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

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip. No freshness information, but the Captain's Kolsch hasn't been available in my area for very long.

Appearance: Free pour yields a one inch fluffy white head that, like the beer, leaves no lacing. Crystal clear pale yellow.

Smell: Mild citrus, with some musty grape and apple. Very lightly floral. Interesting overall aroma.

Taste: Very bready up front, with some sweetness and slight fruitiness coming in before the very dry finish. Crisp and refreshing. There's a sweet, creamy pastry flavor way in the background that underlies the mild but succulent fruit and fruity candy flavors (grape, citrus, mild berry, slightly floral).

Lots going on, but all of it very subtle, which contrasts with the bold feel (sharp bitterness and carbonation, very dry). I like it.

Mouthfeel: Between light and medium bodied. Sharp carbonation, harsh but not over the top bitterness. Very dry finish. Very lively feel, making every sip "pop." I could see being able to drink a lot of this based just on the mouthfeel alone.

Overall: Par for the course with Captain Lawrence: lots of flavor, really well balanced. Awesome hot weather beer as well.

 1,166 characters

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.

 396 characters

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.

 716 characters

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.

 603 characters

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.

 644 characters

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.

 653 characters

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.

 522 characters

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

 205 characters

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.

 916 characters

Photo of riversider76
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear light golden with a thin white head. Some retention, and a good lace. Aroma is of grainy malts, and grassy hops. Body is light and crisp with some carbonation. Taste is sweet and honey like with a hint of hops in the finish. Very nice version of this style.

 271 characters

Photo of cavedave
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark straw color, topped by a finger of white foam. Some lacicles cling to the pint glass.

Nice light grainy nose, barley and what I thinks is wheat, even a tart rye aroma that could be from the yeast, even some very light floral and citrus.

Nice light taste with hints of floral hoppiness and gentle bready flavor leading a subtle array of tangy sweet, lightly lemony notes, and even lighter floral and spicy hop. The light bread of this holds through the sip, and allows a refreshing finish of gentle dry.

Low carb., easy on palate, refreshing, interesting, and finish that leaves the mouth in a state of enjoyment and readiness. Not an expert on this style, but this seems everything a Kolsch is reported to exhibit when it excels.

A marvelous beer, highly recommended, I guess those who like this style in southeast/southwest/northwest parts of country will need to trade for a growler.

 908 characters

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

Growler from the brewery.

A: Beautiful clarity! Good carbonation and a nice white head. Looks great for beer from a growler. Perhaps a bit dark for a kolsch with a touch of amberish, but not too bad. Mostly straw colored.

S: Nice light crisp malt. It has a tight nose but that's fine.

T: Good light crisp malt with some light bitterness. Just a light amount of hop flavor in addition to the bitterness. Almost a bit of sweetness in there, but not really. Great balance.

M: Nice and light and crisp.

D: Why the hell would they release a goddamned kolsch in the middle of the winter? This is a summer beer Scott!! The rosso release was brutal and nothing goes better with brutal cold than a kolsch...no wait, I meant any other beer besides a kolsch. I'll be generous and grade it as if it was a nice hot day outside.

 820 characters

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.

 747 characters

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer arrives essentially clear with a golden hue and a few centimeters white foam. The aroma is of lightly toasted malt with lots of bread and some huskiness. This continues on to the palate, with a touch of sweetness. Smooth as it roils across. A vague fruitiness emerges as the beer warms. This beer is, perhaps, not as clean as a Kolsch should be, but still plenty enjoyable.

 382 characters

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

A - This beer pours a nice clear golden straw color. It has a soft 2-finger white head on it. The head has good retention, and it leaves behind a nice sheet of lace.

S - It smells of light grainy malt and some sweetness. There is also some fruit smells, as well as some yeastiness. I am getting some mild hop presence as well. Pretty nice nose.

T - The taste starts off with a hefty dose of bready malts. There is a a big grassy flavor here as well. I am also getting a mild hop flavor, as well as a toasted flavor that comes in at the end. The finish has a lingering earthiness and hop flavor.

M - This has a medium body and average carbonation. It goes down easy and has a smooth easy feel to it. There is a little sweetness as well as an earthy bitterness. I found it to be pretty refreshing.

O - This has pretty good drinkability. It goes down easy, and is a nice refreshing beer for a hot summer day. Overall, I thought this was a nice beer. While not one of my favorite styles, I thought this one stood out a little more to me than others I have had in the past. I recommend giving it a shot.

 1,104 characters

Photo of MadScientist
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: A very pale golden with excellent clarity. A rocky white head with about a finger of foam with good head retention.

S: A low Pilsner malt aroma with a light, pear-like fruitiness along with a touch of citrus.

T: The flavor is light and subtle with a moderately-low Pils flavor but not sweetness and a very light fruitiness. A medium-low hops bitterness and little hops flavor. The balance is some what towards the bitter. The finish is dry and the aftertaste is of a quick hops bitterness.

M: A crisp light bodied beer with moderately-strong carbonation.

O: A crisp refreshing beer that'll quench your thirst on hot day while bring more flavor that light lager. I'd enjoy this liberally at a summer cookout or with a hotdog at a ball game myself. Definitely a hybrid with one foot in the Lager category and the other in the Ale.

 837 characters

Photo of davey101
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a tall pilsner glass. Date unknown, but it has the newer style logo cap AND its the first time I've seen six packs in CT so I assume its on the fresher side of things.

A - Crystal clear dark straw yellow body with rising carbonation. Bone white three finger head forms and sizzles down to a nice one finger high head with large bubbles. Moderate amount of lacing and retention.

S - Very spicy. Coriander, lemons, grass, bubble gum, and some floral qualities. Earthy with a bit of a dough like finish.

T - Really transcends the line between sweet and spice. It goes back and forth between honey, cracker malts, peppercorn, coriander, bubble gum, and fruity hops. Crazy delicious and easy drinking. Medium to light mouth feel with just the right amount of crisp carbonation.

O - I wasn't expecting to be blown away by this one, but I kind of was. Extremely delicious hot weather beer full of flavor. I'm a noob to the kolsch style, but this is a winner in my book. So glad to have this in six pack format.

 1,027 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.

    Subscribe