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:
427
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
10.77%
 
 
Wants:
23
Gots:
72
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 427
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.

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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.

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Photo of DSlim71
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle from Captain Lawrence's brand new bottling line.
I've been going to the CL tasting room since my college days, so it's great to see them up and running in a new location. Cheers!

A - Pours clear yellow with a 1 inch white head that's gone pretty quickly. Bubbles stream up throughout, leaving a ring around the sides.

S - Smell is mostly bready malt, with a light grassy, almost vegetal, hop aroma.

T - The malt leads with bread and cereal flavors. The hops come out at the end with a grassy, herbal bitterness that finishes pretty clean.

M - Light, crisp, refreshing, exactly what a Kolsch should be. This is definitely an easy drinker.

I could easily throw back a few of these on a hot, summer day. Having said that, I remember this being a little better in the tap room. Still a solid American take on the style.

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Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into stange. Pale yellow and fizzy, clear with a thin fizzy head that fades into nothing pretty quickly. Smell is crisp and clean, malty and dry with slight wine-like scents. Taste is light and crisp, slightly dry with some few grassy and piney hops at the end giving a refreshing finish. Mouthfeel is clean and a bit dry.

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

Had on tap at a local pub, poured into a cheater pint.

A: nice straw yellow, slick 1/2" head with decent retention, reduces to a cap

S: neutral scent, slightly sweet, mild floral

T: nice biscuity and grain sweetness well balanced with flowery hops

M&d: as expected, ligh mouth. Excelllent drinkability. Kolschs are the shit and this is an excellent example.

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

Poured a light color like many other German Pilsners or Lagers.
Not a lot of aroma, small amount of hops. But the taste was near to perfect as a light German brew, but much smoother.
The mouthful was full and smooth with a small but enjoyable aftertaste.

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

Had on tap at Bar Great Harry in Brooklyn, New York and served in a pint glass. I wanted something light while we killed some time before heading over to Beer for Beasts, so this seemed like a good choice. I've only had one other Kolsch (Gaffel Kolsch), really enjoyed it, and am looking forward to comparing.

Look: bright yet slightly hazy pale golden color. Thin, white head that doesn't stick around for very long and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing.

Smell: balanced with some pale malt, a bit of grassy hops, bread, and fruitiness.

Taste: bread, pale malt, honey, a bit of lemon, floral and spicy hops. A little less flavorful than the other Kolsch I've had, but its still quite good.

Feel: medium-thin, crisp carbonation, pleasantly drinkable. This could make for an exceptional lawnmower beer.

Overall: I'm really digging Kolsch and I'm going to have to keep making an effort to find it. I'm definitely going to be brewing a Kolsch for this summer. I am starting to think that Kolsch doesn't get the respect it deserves from beer geeks. Captain Lawrence always does a good job brewing and this is no exception. Certainly worth a try. Cheers!

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Photo of jeffthecheff
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fresh growler split with Joe. Pours a light gold color into my pint glass with perfect clarity. The head is tight and white with good lacing and a solid cap till the end.

The aroma is very clean and grainy, with a small amount of fruitiness, suntan oil, and a very little bit of leafy hop. Subtle, but very impressive.

The flavor is clean and grainy up front like a lager, only with some fruitiness in the middle. A touch of carakery malt, a flroal, lavender flavor, and some ale fruitiness contribute a clean finish.

The mouthfeel is light bodied, but has more substance than the color suggests. A refreshing level of carbonation and the general, simple character makes this a very drinkable beer. It really started to grow on me by the second glass. I would get this again.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 yankeepride
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light, clear gold with a thick, foamy head. You can smell some wheat notes, but nothing thick. Everything about this screams "clean" and it pays off when you raise the glass to taste it. It's fairly light-bodied; maybe heavy for style, but to the world of craft beer it's fairly nimble. There is a bit of sweetness to it that really would pair amazingly well with classic German foods like a brat with sauerkraut. In fact, why the hell am I not eating that right now? Damnit.

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Photo of beagle826
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Super carbonated, big pillowy head

S: Sweet lemony aroma, faint hoppy citrus aroma mixed in. A bit of a stale smell mixed in

T: Overall solid and refreshing, finish is a bit bland.

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Photo of Lordquackingstic
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first CL since they started doing six packs. Let's see how it holds up...

A: Honey gold with a huge puffy cloud-white head. Lots of carbonation is visible. Decent lacing.

S: Lightly sweet honey, bread, biscuits.

T: Very crisp with (not sweet) honey tones, slightly spicy, and at the end of the swallow you get the bread dough flavors. There's also a nice hop character to it which is a nice twist on the style. Very nice.

M: Medium to high carbonation with a nice long finish. Bread dough flavors linger on the palette.

O: A fantastic summer beer, probably going to drink many more of these this summer. I'm happy these guys are basically in my backyard.

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

A: Poured into a Deschutes pint glass. Appears a slightly hazy, shimmering golden color with a sizable white head. Retention is pretty poor, however.

S: Sweet pale malt, alot of raw grainy aroma and a grassy, herbal hop.

T: Clean malt, a light indistinct fruitiness and a nice orangey, grassy, floral hop character. No bitterness. Finishes pretty dry and crisp with lingering grainy flavors.

M: Lively carbonation and a light to medium body. Nice drinking.

O: A very nice and refreshing beer. Easily sessionable. More great work by Captain Lawrence. Cheers!

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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 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 hmk22
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was in line at the CL brewery buying a growler of their Pale Ale and wondered out loud what my second growler should be... a guy there for free samples recommended the Kolsch. It's not usually my style but I had a sample myself and was pleasantly surprised. It's a bit sweet to start but somehow finishes dry and refrshing -- a neat trick that I have no idea how the brewmaster accomplishes, but it works. I do still prefer CL's hoppier recipes but this is a great summer beer and as one of those that makes you think "This must be what real beer used to taste like."

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Photo of MaltyMates
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured clear with a small white head that dissipated quickly, all of which are common to this style. Light malty smell that mixed with a very light fruit undertone. Taste was good- a little malty for this style but still good. Overall a good beer for a summer day.

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