Gaffel Kölsch | Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.

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Gaffel KölschGaffel Kölsch
893 Ratings
Gaffel KölschGaffel Kölsch

Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.

Style: German Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-13-2002

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Ratings: 893 |  Reviews: 395
Reviews by greenjeff4141:
Photo of greenjeff4141
4.03/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fragrant hops on the nose. Taste, at first a little sweetness followed by the hops and alcohol follows behind. Has a clean yeasty taste and moderate carbonation with a slight bitterness at the end. I haven't had the pleasure of drinking many of this style, but I will again after trying this one. It is a very easy drinking beer, if it had just slightly less carbonation it would probably be perfect.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Trombone69
4.22/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

If we are rating beers within their style, then, since this is one of the most highly rated Kolsch beers, wouldn't it be good for at least a 4? Nobody appreciates a beer that's only 4.8% ABV anymore. It's not "extreme" enough. Phooey. This is a beautiful beer. I'll have another please. And then maybe another after that.

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Photo of bultrey
4.18/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ahhh how good it is to rediscover simple, elegant styles of beer after bombarding your palate for months with over-hopped, over-malty, over-roasted bombastic beers.
Gaffel Kolsch is a delighful hot-weather beer, that, like many German beers needs to be fresh, fresh, fresh. This beer is no exception, and when it is not fresh, it goes south quickly.
The beer I had was nice and fresh, with a light golden color and a lively, spritzy carbonation that produce the slightest of heads. The nose is not huge, a kind of metallic herbalness. The taste is crisp and clean, steely with other mineral notes, like a good German riesling, that softens into Granny smith apples with a touch of lemon juice, and perhaps some herb like thyme. The finish ends as it begins, with that steely character coming back into a bone-dry palate cleansing deliciousness. Mouthfeel reveals lively carbonation, a little thin, but what would you expect for this style. Drinakability is high -- I could suck three or four of these imperial pint bottles down on one hot summer night. A classic that I would LOVE to have in its home country.

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Photo of hopalongcassidy2
4.75/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Why do I rate this beer so highly? Because it's the REAL deal. Call me a purist, but if you want to know what a _real_ Kolsch taste like, you need to start by checking out the source, which is Köln (a.k.a. Cologne) Germany. Kölsch is the official beer style associated with Köln, and they take their beer brewing very seriously. So what, you ask, makes a great Kölsch? By an unusual process (it starts it's life as an ale, then goes through a lagering at the end) you end up with the following characteristics: absolutely crisp and clean taste, but with an exceedingly slight, yet _essential_ and appealing fruitiness to the malt. You really don't taste the hops at first sip. Not even as it rolling in your mouth. Only as you swallow do the hops gently, but firmly provoke your taste buds, making your brain say, "I must have another sip!" That is the Kölsch experience in a nutshell. Here in the States there are three regularly available imported Kölsch beers: Reisdorf, Fruh, and Gaffel. They are all good, but Gaffel is slightly hoppier than the others and it is my favorite, though it is not at all hoppy by IPA standards. We're probably talking 15 IBU's. Fruh is the least hoppy, and Reisdorf is in the middle. There are some good "true to style" Kolsch beers made in the U.S., but once you've tried the original than you can decide what you think of them. (P.s. This is such a clean, simple beer...freshness is of course essential, so get it as fresh as you can)

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Photo of edward_boumil
4.19/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

I must have gotten lucky and actually caught this beer fresh, but it's finally helped me understand this style. I've had many kolsch in my day, either imported from Cologne or fresh domestic ones, but nothing really stuck out with me as remarkable. Purchased a 6-pack of Gaffel the other day, first drank was ok, but as I broke into more and more of them the fruityness inherent in the kolsch style became more and more apparent. This was over the course of a couple days so you can't blame the alcohol here.
But I quite like this. Drinks like a somewhat standard helles, or better yet, a pretty standard pils, sweet honey-granola like malts with a dry hop finish. The hops are nice, earthy and spicy, not all that different from any German pils really. But what sets this apart is the fruitiness, which is present within the sweet malt flavors. Its subtle, and imparts a melon or pear like flavor to the beer.
To be honest I am quite fond of this, and I get it now as to why this style is so loved in Cologne. If I can get this fresh regularly I will certainly be making this a staple.

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Photo of ordybill
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass at the World of Beer in Pooler, GA. This beer pours a pale clear yellow color. The aroma is full of malt and hops and is very pleasing. The flavor is crisp and and has a very nice malt flavor; very refreshing. Overall, I really enjoyed this beer a really good example of a Kolsch.

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Photo of millses90
4.51/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An unbelievable Kolsch. Don't let that biased "light beer rating" fool you. It looks beautiful straw yellow. The nose has a refined mellow ale yeast aroma with a mild malt nose and hints of german noble hops. The taste is crisp, and refreshing with mild hop bitterness and flavor. The flavor profile also holds a strong light munich pils malt character. Mouthfeel is fairly light, as a kolsch should be. I have had thousands of light beers and this truly is the one for me. As a home brewer and beer enthusiast, I can say I have found the one.


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Photo of Beermanic
4.71/5  rDev +28.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Very light straw colour with a very nice white as snow head.

S:Classic sweet pilsner aroma, reminds me of Germany. (getting excited)

T: The flavor so wonderful. Sweet pilsner malt, that nice bready/grain flavor, with a clean dry, crisp finish.

M: Nice higher carbonation, with a dryish lager finish.

O: A cheaper trip to Germany, probably the best commercial example you can find in America.

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Photo of kojevergas
2.9/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Regrettably brief notes from a half-litre can purchased at a Rewe market in Koln, Germany in March, 2016:

4.80% ABV. Brewed with hop extract.

A: ~2cm white cap. Frothy and soft-looking, with fair creaminess and average complexion.

Body is a clear pale copper - not the vibrant yellow of most Koln-brewed beers in the style. Clean, with no visible yeast particulate.

It's a decent looking Kolsch.

Sm: Muted and reticent. Faint Munich or pilsner malts (something light, anyway), and generic floral hop character. That's all I get given the faintness of the aroma.

T: Bright malts (probably Munich) and generic floral hop character. The yeast profile helps set this apart, with hints of common ale yeast-induced fruity esters, but otherwise it's on par with many mid-grade German beers. Balance is decent, but it's so simple that isn't much of a complement. Lacks the nuanced hop character of superior beers in the style, as well as the freshness of the malt backbone. I don't dislike it, but it leaves a lot to be desired.

Mf: Not unrefreshing, but the sharp overcarbonation does impede drinkability substantially. Smooth, wet, light to medium-bodied, clean drinking. Not as crisp, delicate/fragile, light-bodied, or fresh as the best Kolschbiere I've had in Koln. This does a decent job complementing the flavour profile, but there isn't a perfect harmony of texture and taste per se.

O: Drinkable but underwhelming - especially for a Kolsch brewed in Koln. Not as poorly executed as Gaffel's own Richmodis, but still on the lower end in terms of the Kolschbiere I've tried in the region. Sure, it's better than many American stabs at the style, but discerning drinkers won't be dazzled.


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Photo of Jacobier10
4.21/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap @ Max Bratwurst und Bier in Astoria, NY.

Served in a 0.4 L Gaffel stange. Beautiful, clear, pale gold color that shines in the glass. Small white head with good retention. Subtle aroma here with fresh grainy malt combining with a hint of fruit (think pear or apple). The flavor is an exercise in nuance and subtlety. Everything seems to work in harmony. The lightly sweet grainy malt, the fruitiness of the yeast, a touch of floral hops at the end. Soft, with just enough bitterness in the finish. One of the easiest beers on the planet to drink. But that's what I've come to learn that Kölsch is. Clean, crisp, soft, and eminently drinkable. A delicate style where freshness is key. Find it on tap somewhere and enjoy. I think I'll have another, please!

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Photo of TheHammer
3.18/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Poured with a half finger of head, with high body carbonation that quickly disappeared. Speaking of the body, there's quite a bit of sandy looking particulate floating in it. It's a pale yellow, as is the norm.

Smell: Not very much going on, even with warming. Smells like a weak generic Kolsch, meaning primary straw smell with a peppery undertone. Nothing bad, it's just too absentee for my liking.

Taste: Most Kolsch I've had, the peppery spice note doesn't start the beer, but it does here and then the straw malt with a hint of lemon and ending with another touch of earth and pepper. Very clean.

Mouthfeel: As I said, very clean and crisp. The aftertaste sticks mostly to the malt with only a hint of pepper. The carbonation helps out the start of the beer but doesn't quite pan out near the end.

Drinkability: It's crispness helps to make it refreshing and it's lighter body helps it on that front as well. The carbonation seems to settle down the right amount to give it more interest then a generic lager.

Final Thoughts: At first I didn't think this beer was going to fare too well, but it grew on me. Really this seems to be the measuring stick for Kolsch. Nothing bad, but nothing exceptional. If you haven't had Kolsch before, I'd recommend this one, but it's a bit lackluster for a more dedicated craft enthusiast.

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Photo of oberon
3.81/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice shimmering light golden topped with a blooming,fluffy head that sticks to the glass as it settles,very fruit scented of some green apple mainly with a touch of iron very pleasant.Very delicate flavors some of that green apple along with lightly toasted grain and iron.Very food-friendly went well with some fresh bratwurst and weiss wurst with some my mother- in- laws potato pancakes,infinently drinkable.

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Photo of RoyalT
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – Light yellow in color with a little bit of carbonation with a big, frothing head.

Smell – Very light hoppy aroma that’s a bit musty but pleasing to the nose.

Taste – The deep hop flavor comes out well at the taste. It’s more of the traditional floral type with just a very hint of sweetness.

Mouthfeel – The light carbonation dances effortlessly on the tongue. This one is light-bodied and very dry.

Drinkability – This was a wonderful interpretation of the style.

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Photo of MadScientist
4.25/5  rDev +15.8%

Photo of CavemanRamblin
3.89/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dcurrin
5/5  rDev +36.2%

Photo of JMD71
3.76/5  rDev +2.5%

Photo of Jpinoniemi
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of generallee
3.85/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from a brown 12 oz bottle into a tall stange glass. The neck label has a brief description and there is an abv (4.8%) but no freshness date.

Appearance: The body has a bright light yellow color with great clarity. The pour produced a tall soapy white head. This fluffy light head fades quickly leaving just a thin ring of bubbles to hug the edge of the glass. Lacing is minimal and spotty.

Smell: The aroma is light overall and there is delicate bready malt with a decent amount of floral and botanical hop notes. It also has a hint of sulfur to it as well.

Taste/Palate: Its light body has a delicate bready maltiness with a slight fruity quality to it. The hops are in prefect light balance. They add a similar floral/botanical spice and bitterness as detected in the aroma. It finishes clean and crisp.

Notes: Its delicate flavor and light texture and body make it an easy hot weather drinker. It was ok in the bottle but I would bet that it is much better fresh on tap in Germany!!!

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Photo of SolarPower36
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Gaffel Kolsch gets a solid 3.5 and I liked member's reviews with ratings higher than mine > It looks like a light beer ... I couldn't smell anything .... It tastes and feels good ...Overall, trying this beer has my attention to dive into more German beers. I would definitely purchase Gaffel Kolsch again! Dieses verdammte Bier ist sehr gut!

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Photo of Guden
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of petewheeler
4/5  rDev +9%

Photo of merlin48
4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale yellow body topped by a two centimeter snowwhite head. Good retention and quite a bit of spotty lace.

Aroma is spicy and noble hops, with a note of dried hay. Toasty and biscuity malt in the background.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and well carbonated.

Taste has a toasty and grainy malt presence that manages to be both biscuity and bready. Spicy and grassy hops provide a nice hops bitterness to balance. Crisp and refreshing.

An understated style that is very appropriate for warm weather. Refreshing and easy to drink, a classic example of the style.

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Photo of henryclay_
3.75/5  rDev +2.2%

Photo of kaneel
3.5/5  rDev -4.6%

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Gaffel Kölsch from Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.
Beer rating: 3.67 out of 5 with 893 ratings