Gaffel Kölsch | Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.

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Gaffel KölschGaffel Kölsch

Brewed by:
Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.

Style: 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: 842 |  Reviews: 374
Photo of atr2605
2.97/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-pours transparent yellow with a white head that dies quickly
S- zesty lemon with a grassy/yeasty smell
T-more of the grassy flavor. A touch of the lemon but not much. bitterness in the after taste. but not a hoppy/pleasant bitterness, just bland and bitter
M-light bodied, definitely a session beer
O- Not great. Reminds me of a macro brew. A kolsch shouldn't be loaded with flavor but I still feel like this one is falling short.

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Photo of fx20736
1.91/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

12 oz bottle poured into Pilsener glass. Pale Straw clear & yellow with pure white foaming head which recedes quickly with no lacing. Aroma is skunky, taste is worse. very bitter and astringent with that skunk smell coming through. I am glad I only bought a single 12 oz bottle. I will not buy another. It doesn't begin to resemble Reissdorf Kolsch in any way which is a superior brew.

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Photo of
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - very clear, very pale yellow with a frothy white head that has good retention.

Smell - herbal, grassy European hops; bread, and a touch of citrus.

Mouthfeel - Soft and gently carbonated, very light.

Taste - Pretty much much what you would expect from the smell. Grassy and herbal, very subtle bitterness, with a hint of green apple on top of sweet malt.

Very refreshing and light.

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Photo of peensteen
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bright pale blonde, one finger of white head, some lace at the top of the glass. Smell is of bready malt, cereal, grassy, slight hop and lemon zest. Taste is quite malty, earth notes, some bitterness shows up, finishes slightly sweet. Decent weight, med to full body, soft and slightly creamy, good use of carbonation. Not a bad brew, probably wont spend 3 and change on this again but is passable.

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Photo of Reaper16
2.58/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz. bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours a sunshine golden yellow color that basically looks indistinguishable from Corona. Super clear and actively spritzy. A little greater than one finger of sterling white head forms, but doesn't stick around for very long. Good lines of lacing, though.

Lots of cereal grains in the nose. The first sniff was all grain and a slightly-skunked aroma. Thankfully, this beer develops into something more interesting once the cold starts to wear off after a minute or two post-pour. There's a small hint of Fruit Pebbles cereal here, along with the expected Kolsch yeast aromas of apple. There's a small touch of synthetic lemon flavoring here too; think lemon Pledge or something similar. This isn't as pleasant as Gaffel's main competitor, Reissdorf Kolsch, but it does a decent enough job.

This is not a good beer. The graininess dominates the palate. I've had macro lagers that I'd prefer over this beer. I'd prefer a Coors Light to this beer. The subtle apple and crisp hops that I expect from a Kolsch are out of balance here. The appley yeast only shows up on the finish, and the hops are nowhere near as crisp as desired, instead washing over your tongue as a vague bitterness without flavor. Mixed with the grain taste, this beer has a flavor approximating that of burnt popcorn (unbuttered and unsalted).

I can't hate on the mouthfeel. It's as light and spritzy as you want a session lager such as Kolsch to be. There isn't much to say about it other than it fits the parameters of the style. Overall, this is a disappointment. The city of Cologne can do much better than submit Gaffel Kolsch as a beer representative of the city. This is out-of-balance and no true competition to the far-superior Reissdorf Kolsch.

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Photo of kershner23
3.4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is my first Kölsch experience, and while it was certainly not my favorite, I am far from turned off from it.

First thing noticed obviously is the color. Very clear light gold yellow. Two fingers of white foam that quickly dissipate to about an 1/8 inch of head.

Aroma is very grassy and of some citrus. Not my cup of tea, but certainly not unpleasant.

Light in the mouth, low carbonation that I like, goes down nice. Flavor is what you would expect form the smell. Grass and lemon. Light bitterness lingers but surely isn't overpowering. 90 degrees today, made t his pretty refreshing.

Like I said, it is my first Kölsch, and it won't be my last. It is a style that every beer lover needs to try. I can see fans of lagers and pilseners enjoying this more than us stout fans, but it has a place on warm days like today was.

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Photo of TheHoppiest
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. Pours a straw yellow with a 1/2" foamy white head that remains due to some very active carbonation.

Has a very grassy aroma, with wet straw and barley notes, and mild floral undertones.

Has a clean malt start, with a light floral bouquet. Grassy, with hints of lemon and tea leaves.

Has a crisp start, clean finish with a bit of carbonation that hits the back of the throat. A very mild hop bitterness dries the tongue.

A nice Kolsch, though at $11 a six pack, I can certainly get my Kolsch fix for less.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.22/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: bright light gold. very clear body allows great visibility of the rapid carbonation. big bubbly white head at the initial pour calms to a manageable size.

S: pilsner malt, apple/pear combo, followed by spicy hop component. a sulfur character is notable towards the finish.

T: rich maltiness plays oh so nice with a bubble-gum like fruitiness. earthy/spicy german hops keep everything in check. pretty dry finish.

M: very smooth but also crisp. light/medium body with medium/hard carbonation.

D: such a good style and a great example of the style. kinda surprised this beer doesnt have higher reviews....

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Photo of Stocean1
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - poured from a 500ml bottle from the LCBO into a tulip - clear pale yellow with a one finger head that quickly dissipated - no lacing and little chance to swirl it in the glass for fear of it jumping onto the floor

S - clean light pale malt slightly bitter scent of hops - nothing strong or unpleasant but not pleasant either - neutral and uncomplicated

T - pale malt tanginess, slightly spicy and bitter especially on the back end

M - light to medium body with little carbonation - easy to swish in your mouth leaving your taste buds and lips tingling from the bitterness/ spiciness - drinkable and could put back a few in a pinch

O - This is not my style however I like to try brews that are out of character - so I am happy I tried it - however, it is too much like the generic lagers/ pilseners etc I no longer drink and I used to steal from dad (blue or 50) - however, from what I have read it seems true to the style and is simply not my cup of tea

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Photo of SkunkWorks
4.1/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at TJ Finley's in Bay Shore, NY. Served in a Gaffel stange. I've had this before in a bottle but fresh on tap sounds good.

Look: yellow, golden body with a thin white head that dissipates quickly and doesn't leave much in the way of lacing. Good for the style.

Smell: clean, pale malt with a bit of fruit and spicy hops. Subtle and appropriate for a Kolsch.

Taste: follows the nose with a big pale malt flavor, some quiet hoppiness, and a little tartness with a dry finish.

Feel: light in body, moderately carbonated, crisp and refreshing. Easy drinking and makes for a great session beer.

Overall: quite good, slightly better than the tap version, and based on what I've had so far, a great Kolsch. Wholeheartedly recommend this for someone trying to learn about the style. Can't wait till I can get to Cologne to drink some local Kolsches! Cheers!

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Photo of TerryW
3.53/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear pale yellow beer with a good-sized white head, lots of carbonation. The head settles to about 1/4" and leaves some thin lace. Pretty good looking beer.

Some malt and noticeably grassy hops in the nose. Taste is dominated by grassy hops. Has a slightly spicy bite that sets it off some. Enjoyable, easy drinking, not heavy handed, but not watery either. Subtle. Decent middle-of-the-road brew.

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Photo of smakawhat
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into an official Gaffel stange.

A three finger white soapy head that falls slow and steady off the pour. Body color is light straw gold body. Leaves a minor puck and collar. No lacing at all with this beer.

Smell is a mild malt, even some faint hop in the background kind of spicy. Small but good a little gassy though.

Taste though is still solid, suprisingly I like this beetter out of the bottle. Bread swallow finish, Slight crispness but not too much, hint of spicy gas and perhaps phenols from hops mixed in with alcohol heat feeling. Neat sensation.

Strangely, I like this better out of the bottle, I think it's less gassy and what I was served on tap was a bit to cold also to let the flavors out.

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Photo of Kartoffeln
3.74/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours pale yellow, clear and bright, with a bubbly head that dissipates quickly to nothing and leaves no lacing.

S: Smells of sweet pale malts, grassy hops, and white wine. It's actually quite appealing, but the scent is weak.

T: Malt tastes of grain, white grapes, and a bit of wheat - not entirely unlike a Hefeweizen. Prominent hops, floral and spicy, help to bring out a slight fruity character.

M: Body is on the light end of medium, with fine, smooth carbonation. The fairly dry, slightly bitter finish works with the carbonation to keep it refreshing.

D: I've no other Koelsch to compare it to, but it seems to be within style and makes for a pleasant session or summer beer.

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Photo of Knapp85
3/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This Kölsch wasn't too bad. Still an average brew to me but it was flavorful enough to keep me into it. The beer is a very clear light yellow, traditional color for this style of beer. The head wasn't overly large and it dwindled down a after a little while. The brew tasted like a mix of a Kölsch and Pilsner. It was decent. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing good for a summer brew if you're not into fruit beers.

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.15/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Interesting how I had the opportunity to drink/review this beer. Three buddies and I went to Deep Ellum for an evening of beers and some food. One of my buddies is an emerging beer geek, but fairly early in the progression. For the past two years he would always taste a small glass of what we were drinking..make some face and then go back to his Coor's Light. I always gave him credit for expanding his pallet. Nugget Nectar & DFH 60 Minute get credit for lighting his beer geek flame. He's been off like a rocket ever since. Back to this beer. He asked me what he should try and I wanted to slowly ease him into the beers that Deep Ellum has to offer. I suggested this Kolsch and then was going to have him move up through some other styles.

The beer hit the table, he took a few sips and said he liked it.... BUT, he wanted something with more flavor and punch.... I was so proud.. Anyway, I offered to drink the beer and he ordered a Hop15. Welcome to the club Mike!!!

The beer came in a glass that looked like a combination of a pilsner & Hefe-weiss glass. Tall. A finger of light fluffy/creamy white head topped the beer but faded very quickly. The color was more gold than straw, but still very light. Just a touch of lacing remained.

Nose was nice, fresh and a bit more pronounced than expected. Floral, a touch of grass and very light malt.

Grain and grass rule the day here. Very light fruit, but barely there. Pretty refreshing and just shy of crisp. A touch of yeast that adds slightly to the flavor. Not doughy, not full cracker malt tones, but somewhere in between. Perhaps lightly toasted bread.

Smooth, milky in that it's almost creamy, but nowhere nearly as thick.

I'd say right on for the style. Personally, I think on BA this style gets the shaft as it's certainly more subtle and reminds people of BMC type beers. Of course, it's not as complex as an Imp Stout. But it's not supposed to be. Good representation of the style. Nice beer.

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Photo of razorsdescent
2.96/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bought at a local whole foods

A- The appearanc eof this beer is slightly darker than a coors or bud but still lighter than an IPA

S- The smell is very thin, almost has a wine note to it.

T- again i am reminded of a white wine crisp and not terrbbly complex kind of a more savory heineken

M- The mouthfeel on this is a bit thin to my taste almost no lacing on the glass as opposed to a stout or IPA

D- Now where this beer shines is its drinkability, i could pound these down, if im ever in germany and dont know what to order (one of everything) then i believe tis would be a safe bet and id definatley be interested to tr it on tap.

I often wonder about the reviews foreign beers get, i love some belgian beers but i just dont see much going on in this beer, it kind of seems like a german coors but it has a B average here. I am attracted to beer because it can have big rich palates, it can be big and bold with hops or malts or chocolate ETC so this beer dint really do anything for me.

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Photo of jpkoch1962
3.41/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

According Eric Warner's classic definition, a kolsch should exhibit a subtle blend of soft maltiness, a smooth body, and a gentle hops bitterness and aroma. However, if I took a blindfold test of Gaffel's Kolsch I would swear that I was drinking a Bavarian Helles. By appearances, Gaffel's offering looks promising; it is clear and bright - a very pale blonde color with no chill haze. The head wasn't rocky, but was made up of tiny bubbles, which indicates plenty of dextrins.

However, the beer goes downhill with the aroma. It isn't that the smell was bad. There just wasn't any aroma save a faint whiff of malt. Kolsch should exhibit an upfront aroma of hops in the nose. Upon tasting Gaffel's Kolsch, a rather sticky malt sweetness dominates this beer. The body is full like a Helles and the carbonation keeps it from being cloying. But the taste of malts and toffee remain in the finish. The beer obviously isn't as well attenuated as it should be, as the finish is too sweet.

The few drought Kolsch's I had when living in Germany were well attenuated, with a firm malt base but they had an up front bitterness and dry finish that set them apart from Helles or Exports. One or two even had such an up front noble hop aroma that was similar to a English Bitter.

Gaffel's beer may be a nice Helles, but a Kolsch it is not. I detracted accordingly.

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Photo of afksports
2.6/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Well, maybe this is an old keg or something. But I don't get the "B" rating that Gaffel Kolsch has on BeerAdvocate. It's like German Budweiser to me.

Poured without much head (I fault the bartender), whatever lacing was there dissipated within 15 minutes. Little to no carbonation is left in this straw to gold light beer. The smell is indistinct, maybe some light fruits, a touch of grain, pinch of hops. (I sound like Julia Child here).

The taste is ... mediocre? There's a bite of some grassy hops, and a sense of white grapes here, but ultimately the watery finish is what dominates. Light beer that's light, I suppose as it should be, but that's ultimately... unremarkable.

Had on tap at Brad's by NYU, where I had to go to study because NYU can't figure out how to open study spaces on the weekend. I'm relegated to drinking. See what you've done to me, NYU?

Also: The girlfriend got a beerface from this. Minus points. Budweiser with grapes.

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear straw color with a fizzy, white head that leaves almost no lacing.

Smells of grassy, spicy hops.

Tastes of solid malts with a good dose of hops. Malts have a light, slightly sweet grain character. Hops are deliciously spicy and grassy. Some fruitiness also appears in the end.

Mouthfeel is light with a fine amount of carbonation.

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.8/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

had this one in a traditional german restaurant along the rhine river in koln. Served in a 0.2 ml glass. Straw golden colour with white head. Smells a bit more hoppy than the other variants of kolsch i tried. Taste is like most kolsch beers, with a bit more dry finish. Very drinkable and pairs great with bratwurst!

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Photo of fastsrt
4.4/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Draft pour In a gaffel Stange glass

A: golden, white head looks good in the glass

S: grape, malt, great aroma

T: grapes, malts, awsome beer smooth and easy drinking

M: good carbonation. Light, dry

D: could drink a few goes down smooth real good beer. Have not have many of this style however i am trying to experience more styles

 336 characters

Photo of jpro
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Coast in downtown Chas... Served in a Gaffel stange -

A: Gold, with a minimal, cotton-white head; a few specks of lace are left on the glass and the head manages some very slight retention.

S: Grains; lightly fruity; maybe some earthy hops.

T: Grain / wheat malts; some sweetness on the finish; a light dose of bittering hops.

M: Lighter-bodied; crisp; moderate carbonation.

D: Very drinkable and smooth; paired well with buffalo shrimp tacos! I don't know if I'll seek any of this stuff out, but I'd probably get it again if they continue to carry it at Coast.

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Photo of emsroth
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at George keeleys in Manhattan.40cl of pure beer goodness.

App: straw gold with a white head.

Smell: apples, grapes, and a touch of honey. A bit of grain as well.

Taste. Super Fruity. Much like the smell with flavors of apple, grape, and honey up front. Ends incredibly dry with, unfortunately no hop flavor (so 4.5).

Light refreshing body, even in the dead of winter.

When fresh (it was better last month) I could drink it all night long.

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Photo of Guitarctica
3.06/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was poured into a curved pint glass as I didn't have a stange unfortunately.

A - It pours a crystal clear golden yellow like straw. Has visible effervescence inside the beer which always looks nice. White head that dissipates almost instantly into a centered circle on top. No lacing to speak of.

S - Malted barley. Some citrus. Not much on smell, but I expected as much.

T - More earthy malts. Light sweetness probably from the wheat. I'm not sure if they used Noble hops in this, but it sure tastes like it. Not much bitterness at all. Very earthy, almost floral quality to the hops in finishing. Moderate corbonation.

M - Pretty smooth. Light body, however at times it almost seems watery.

D - Although it is very smooth, it just doesn't suit me. It's not very tasty but it is refreshing like a kolsch should be. I just wish there was more to it I suppose.

I didn't dislike this by any means, I just wasn't particularly impressed. It was refreshing, but somewhat watery without much flavor. It's a great session beer that I would buy again for that purpose.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a Pilsener glass (I don't have Stanges unfortunately).

Look - straw or hay-colored, relatively clear, with about 2 fingers of off-white foam that dissipates relatively quickly. Very good carbonation.

Smell - fairly hoppy-smelling, but otherwise pretty plain.

Taste and Mouthfeel - Also fairly hoppy in taste, but without too much bitterness, mostly just bitter in the finish, but the middle has a bit of a sweetness, like orange or something citrus. Texture is pretty mild and well-balanced.

Drinkability - Bitterness is definitely present in this brew, but not as overpowering as some that I've sampled. Nice to have a Koelsch again, but it's not quite as I remembered.

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Gaffel Kölsch from Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co.
3.65 out of 5 based on 842 ratings.
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