Sierra Nevada German-Style Kölsch | Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

very good
32 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Sierra Nevada German-Style KölschSierra Nevada German-Style Kölsch

Brewed by:
Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
California, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rayjay on 11-09-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 144
Photo of Svingjo
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

this pours a crystal clear golden straw like colour with a minimal head. The nose seems very fruity at first with Apple and citrus hints along with a light yeastiness. The taste reveals a lot of the same but with a pale malt sweetness up front followed by an earthy hop bitterness that tends to linger. The mouthfeel is very light and active but finishes quickly. A nice beer to take to the beach on a hot sunny day.

 419 characters

Photo of twage04
4.02/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pretty good kolsch, fruity ale taste but lager smoothness. I've had others of this style that have a more pleasant breadyness but this was still pleasant to drink.

 163 characters

Photo of bubseymour
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very doughy, bready and sweet smell. Taste follows the nose with addition of crispness in the finish. An absolutely exceptional Kolsch. Highly recommend.

 156 characters

Photo of IchLiebeBier
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straw gold; effervescent; medium frothy white head, long lasting; good lacing

Smell: bready; faint citrus; grassy

Taste: clean malts with some citrus and a hint of mango at first; moves to some hop spice and finishes with a bit of hop bitterness; pretty clean and balanced overall

Feel: medium body with zippy carbonation; a little fuller than some Koelsches I remember; good though

Remarks: I think this would be a good summer session beer for me

 468 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours crystal clear and the palest of yellows with a white, finger width head. Fair retention gives way to a thin, broken layer of surface suds and a decent run of bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass.

Smell - Strong bready aroma. Hints of grass and hop spice.

Taste - Follows the nose. Sweet and bready upfront. Back end hits on the hop character; fair spice bite that fades into light grass and hints of citrus. Touches on some fruity esters. Bittersweet finish.

Mouthfeel - Light in body with a vigorous, bitey carbonation. Slick texture with a crisp finish.

Overall - Not bad at all, in fact pretty good considering the style. Certainly a solid summertime option, and a good choice for their Summer Variety pack.

 740 characters

Photo of secondtooth
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clean yellow with thick white head. Loopy tree-line lace.

Aroma: Clean malts, with a hint of citrus and a tinge of tropical hops. Very pleasant already!

Taste: Clean and refreshing. The body here is light but there is a ton of flavor, with a bounty of hoppiness that puts this one well ahead of the pack, and proves to be a big success for Sierra Nevada. I’d buy this one again, yes.

 399 characters

Photo of 57md
3.47/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pale straw in color. The flavor is clean but not quite as crisp as I would like. The finish is dry.

This offering is decent and drinkable but very basic.

 154 characters

Photo of CTbrew32
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Golden yellow in color with crystal clear visibility. Pours a two finger white colored head with a soapy texture.

Aroma- Combination of citrus and spicy hops along with a grainy malt.

Taste- Starts off with a snap of spicy hops and then lemony citrus hops adding a light fruit component. After the initial hop flavors die down the malt finishes things out with a sweet grainy taste.

Feel- Medium bodied, a little fuller for a lagered beer maybe due to the ale yeast, or the malt. Carbonation is at a medium level.

Overall- Very nice hop forward kolsch from Sierra Nevada. The traditional aspects of this beer are well represented with a good twist of american hops that make this unique. Great option for the summerpack and hopefully it remains a seasonal offering.

 789 characters

Photo of barnzy78
3.84/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle, PKGD 04/01/15
A - creamy white head holds good retention capping a pale golden body
S - spicy, floral, & grassy hops, faint yeast and lemon zest
T - grass, lemon, and spicy hops, pale malt, maybe a bit of pilsner too
M - lighter body, very dry with a mild bitter finish
O - nice tasting Kölsch. I'd buy this again if it was available. It's very refreshing and easy to drink.

 388 characters

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.96/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Golden yellow, clear, with a big white head and major lacing.

S - Sour bread and grain notes, touch of grassy hops.

T - Solid, clean bread, like a crusty french baguette, and a bit of bittering in the close as the hops come forward. Simple, and crisp.

M - Bright, with a slight acidity that fades quickly to a clean, refreshing finish.

O - A very solid rendition, with great, clear notes that make for a highly drinkable summer beer.

 442 characters

Photo of Beric
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Serving: Bottle into pint (...unfortunately don't have any Stangen)
Served: 10 June 2014

Appearance: Pours that really light, pale yellow so normal to a Kölsch, or Kölsch-style beer. Crowned with a soft, soapy, pearl head that leaves around a bit of sheen. Clear with visible carbonation coming from the bottom.

Smell: Not much happening in the nose to be honest- I get some light biscuity notes along with a hint of yeasty funk, a bit of fruity herbalness, but in all very muted.

Taste: Incredibly quaffable- the flavors are all there that you want: soft lagery biscuitiness but an ale-like fullness as well. Soft fruity notes from the unique yeast used for Kölsch and Kölsch-style beers. Soft herbal bitterness, but nothing crazy.

Mouthfeel: Soft and silky body with prickly carbonation.

Overall: One of Sierra Nevada's smoothest drinking beers, and another home-run lager from them.

 894 characters

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bright yellow body. Billowing pure white foam. Drippy lace.

Grass/hay and lemon aroma. Hints of cracker.

Lightly sweet up front. Bitter bite at the the swallow. The sweet and bitter entwine in the afterglow.

Light but prickly mouthfeel.

A Kolsch with a little more bite to it than most. Nice treat from the summer box.

 322 characters

Photo of vkv822
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden yellow with a foamy white head.

Floral, lightly fruity hops with a clean, grassy malt backbone.

Medium body, fizzy, foamy carbonation.

A very well done, and tasty Kolsch.

 186 characters

Photo of microbrewlover
3.99/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a 50% transparent straw color with a minimal head; although some of it does last as a collar until the end. Lots of carbonation and even some lacing.

The smell is like straw and wet grass with some lemon. There are some peppery hops in there too. Cracker like and crisp.

The taste is surprisingly crisp and cracker like. Sweet malts and straw. There is a very slight caramel malt backbone and the peppery hop finish is surprisingly lager like.

I don't normally drink Kolsch but I will visit this one again. Good for hanging out outside on a hot summer day.

 575 characters

Photo of HoppyBastard
4.16/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a Shaker pint glass, "PKGD 4-2-15".

APPEARANCE: pours a clear, pale yellow color with one-finger white head that dissipated quickly leaving a thin, broken layer of bubbles, medium carbonation, almost no lacing on the glass.

SMELL: bread, flowers, some citrus and banana.

TASTE: not very sweet up front, malt bill is understated, then banana and bread, finishes with a nice hop profile that is more assertive than most in this style.

PALATE: medium body and carbonation.

OVERALL: this is a bolder interpretation of the Kolsch style for sure, I really enjoyed this, to be honest Kolsch is one of the most boring styles but I would have this one again no problem, Sierra Nevada makes everything better.

 744 characters

Photo of bsp77
4.28/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into pseudo-Stange.

Appearance: Bright straw color with very thick, bubbly, white head.

Smell: White pepper and a general spiciness. Dried out apple. A hint of citrus.

Taste: Crackery malts with strong apple undercurrents. Fairly hoppy for a Kolsch, with pepper, spicy & floral notes, and some nice citrus as well. A hint of sourness.

Feel: Pretty high carbonation with a fairly light body. Very crisp and dry.

Overall: This is the best Kolsch I have had, despite being a little off-style. I really wish I could buy a six pack of this, although the Summer Pack is nice overall.

 616 characters

Photo of cavedave
4.08/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a beautiful white gold, crystal clear, topped by a long lasting finger of white foam. Gorgeous.

A bit of tart yeast leads a lightly fruity and citrus aroma that balances some super crisp malt notes.

Really crisp light sweet grain meets lemony hop, floral hop, and a bit of really rounded tart in a full flavored (for a koesch that is) brew. Sip ends with a bit of fruity bitter and light tart.

Medium bodied, medium carb, excellent finish, not to style by any means with the hops so assertive in the linger but a refreshing and interesting take for sure.

Highly recommended, so juicy and good, just dry enough and just hoppy enough to blow the style but make for a delicious beer.

 692 characters

Photo of steveh
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The Summer Sampler Pack finally showed in my area and I'm excited to try the new Kölsch. Bottled on April 8, 2015.

A -- Pours a clear, bright gold with lightly dense white head that holds up well.

S -- Grainy malt with light DMS and light spicy hops.

T -- Taste is a mildly harsh graininess up front with balancing bitter hops following and finishing off the sample. There is a definite soft bready character that helps balance the dry bitterness from hops, but the earthy and piny character from the Simcoe hops is assertive.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft to crisp with a medium-light body.

O -- While the SN Kölsch takes the American side of hopping to make it a true Sierra Nevada beer, the use Simcoe and 2 Row keep me from really liking this beer to-style. On the other hand, the overall impression of the beer is that I find it very tasty and refreshing.

 863 characters

Photo of wedge
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Clear, shining yellow under a thick lumpy head that drops to a milky covering. Aromas are clean and earthy...hay, wheaty sweetness, and a little hit of sulfer. Grainy malts and spicy hops in the flavor. Grassy, crisp, and refreshing. Fairly light bodied and very drinkable. Good summer drinker.

 299 characters

Photo of breadwinner
4.14/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's SN, so this one has some hops, to be sure, floral and limey citrusy, but they manage to balance out with the malt to keep things light and satisfying. Probably a touch heftier than a traditional kolsch, sure, but still super drinkable. Would love to see this one appear in future seasonals/mix packs.

 305 characters

Photo of BEERMILER12
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright yellow color with 2 fingers of head that slowly fade down to a nice cap that leaves some good lacing

S: Fruity, citrusy, and wheaty up front with some light spicy hops in the back. Hops are definitely very prevalent but don't take the characteristics of the style over

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a bit of fruitiness and light spicy notes then goes into a light bitterness and wheat notes. Finishes with lingering light bitterness and some fruitiness

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A nice hoppy take on a kölsch that is very drinkable and refreshing. Definitely cool seeing it in the summer pack

 648 characters

Photo of Philousa
4.31/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Imbibed at Burger on 2/3/13

Very clear pale yellow, like the sun on a foggy summer morning. White frothy head with good retention. Clean aroma with some nuttiness and slight bready grain to it. Mostly light though, even a little lemony. Lemon also extends to flavor, kicking things off, followed by a tart body, no doubt from the yeast. Nuttiness is mealy, like a walnut, adding to complexity without taking away from the "cleanliness" of the flavor profile. Noble hops have their place, bringing a flowery nectar-ish bitterness to the end. Finish is dry with feel tending towards watery. This is a great Kölsch that I want on a hot summer's day, but would have any time of the year.

 685 characters

Photo of tdm168
4.35/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at World of Beer Raleigh

A - gold with a big, frothy, white head that has great retention

S - musty, cereal grains

T - grassy, mild bitter hops, faint lemon

M - crisp, light bodied, smooth

This is a decent, highly drinkable example of the style. The flavor is on point and to style. This is a perfect trade-out for any American Lager.

 346 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap for the 4th Anniversary event at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a clear yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, grass, and hay. Taste is much the same with a mild amount of herbal hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is drinkable but very basic.

 538 characters

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at the Blond Tiger, NYC.

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

The smell featured a light herbal hop spice a clean grain.

The taste was very well balanced and round on nature with a smooth light doughiness and complimentary noble hop spice.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style.

Overall a nicely crafted kolsch beer. Easy drinking.

 439 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Sierra Nevada German-Style Kölsch from Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
3.96 out of 5 based on 144 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.