Krankshaft Kölsch | Metropolitan Brewing

very good
97 Reviews
Krankshaft KölschKrankshaft Kölsch

Brewed by:
Metropolitan Brewing
Illinois, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Brewed in homage to the beer of Cologne, Krankshaft is a pale straw hued smile in a glass. We throw in a little wheat malt to round out an easy Santiam hop bitterness. There are no Köbes to serve them up, but you should feel free to have as many as you like.

28 IBU

Added by emerge077 on 07-07-2009

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Reviews: 97 | Ratings: 353
Photo of CitizenRay
4.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Golden and very clear. Lot of carbonation bubbles visible and a pretty persistent head.

S: Grainy sweetness, toffee, and very slight hop aroma. Nice light-malt aroma.

MF: light bodied, and amply carbonated.

T: A bit of grainy sweetness, just a touch of bitterness, some sweet malts through the middle with a faint caramel taste and a clean finish.

O: This is a great beer, and an excellent warm weather beer, very crisp and clean. Perfect examples of this style.

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Photo of inhoc00
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Saw a sixer at whole foods and had to give it a try.

A - very light yellow, with a white fluffy head that quickly fades.

S- Slight lemon almost orange

T- Amazingly simple yet quite complex. The slightest bit of hops balanced with lemon flavor. What is so good is the initial aftertaste is an amazing cereal like quality. Very good.

M- Very light with good carbonation.

D- Coming out in the fall when all I want is big hops and looking forward to stouts and barleywines and yet this is so refreshing. I could drink so many of these. This is a huge contender to my summer favorite Gumballhead. Really well done, Metro. I'm a fan again.

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Photo of stace
4.71/5  rDev +22.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer has replaced Oberon as my favorite summer beer. I find it a very good example of the style, and an immensely drinkable beer. If you consider a 5% beer a session beer, this is it.

Crisp, clear appearance, the right nose, mouthfeel is great, but the flavor is where it's at. There's a lot going on in this beer. It has a surprisingly full malt profile, but not beyond the style's norm.

If you can get it, do it. It's great on tap as well.

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Photo of steveh
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The last of my sampling of the Metropolitan beers. The 3 previous styles were as near to perfection as any German beer consumed at its origin, so the Krank Shaft has a lot to live up to!

A -- Clear, pale straw color with a dense, white head that holds well through the duration and leaves light lacing.

S -- Juicy malt with mellow citrus characters finishing with spicy noble hops in good balance.

T -- Mmm. Bready malt up front that folds into mellow fruit characters then finishes with light, spicy & bitter hops. The malt makes a great backbone throughout the beer leaving a great, sweet bready character in the aftertaste.

M -- Mouthfeel is soft to crisp across the palate, finishing dry and the body is light.

O -- Overall impression? Another style home run -- not to mention delicious, to Metropolitan. I'm glad I looked past the price tag on these beers to find that they are so spot on for the styles - and so fresh that they will give anyone the true character of German style beers. Don't know what Aasher was drinking, but I'm guessing it may have been the first pour of the day and he should have requested a fresh glass.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Streeter's Tavern. This is a pretty authentic tasting and looking Kolsch - its straw colored to gold, brilliant, light foamy white collar, fruity and light.

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Photo of Duesseldog
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the only American Koelsch I've ever had that actually tastes like Koelsch. It's got a light, fruity taste that hop-lovers might find insignificant, but that I find delicate and nuanced -- but you have to make sure they serve it to you in the right glass!!!!

In Cologne, you'll get it in little glasses that are shaped like beakers and hold just 0.2 liters with the top inch or so being foam, and there is a reason for that: it goes flat fast, and its flavor dissipates if you get it in a big glass, even one with a small lip. In the wrong glass, this stuff will have no flavor at all.

I've found most places don't have Koelsch glasses, but some do offer beer in a "taste" glass?!?!?!? These work well. I've also had it in a Jever glass, but that's still not the same. A more scientific reviewer than I will have to get into the whys, but I certainly do find that this beer -- like all Koelsch -- needs that time-tested little glass.

Note: Even in Cologne, some beer gardens serve it in 0.4 glasses because it's such a nuisance to keep bringing out those little ones, but you'll find the flavor just dissipates in those. It's a very delicate beer, and I encourage you to try a taste-test: drink some from a Koelsch-type glass, and some from a normal beer glass, and see if it tastes different.

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Photo of emerge077
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Delicate. That would be my one word review. This is quite a fresh Kölsch, and full of light, delicate flavors. Score is with style in mind.

Pours an ultra pale canary yellow into a stange glass. Bone white foam, a pillar of white bubbles leaves random lacing along the sides. A quick swirl snaps the head back into place.

Aroma is vaguely bready biscuit with a trace of flinty wet stone minerality.

Crisp and snappy, light breadiness and white grape essence. A bigger swig brings on a dry noble hop bitterness, with a soft bready blanket wrapping things up. Damn, if this isn't the freshest Kölsch i've ever had. Airy feel, like fragile crystalline cobwebs. Pairs with food well and drinks like a champ. Super clean and delicious.

Metro date stamps their six packs (3 months out), so there's really no reason to drink or review old bottles... get it fresh! Looks like there are plenty of reviews that have no concept of what a Kölsch is, kind of sad really.

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Photo of mckajd03
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Translucent straw color with a foamy white head that sticks around for a good while. Brilliant clarity. Lacing down the glass adds a nice visual touch.
S - Light corn, a bit of apple, and a touch of noble hops on the nose. Very pleasent and true to style.
T - The dry finish makes it immensely refreshing. Just enough hop character to make it interesting.
M - Light and well carbonated.
O - This is a highly drinkable beer- one that I would offer to any Bud/Miller/Coors drinker without hesitation. A great offering by one of the newer and better local breweries in the Chicago area.

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Photo of sweethome
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Saw a single bottle at local Binny's and jumped on it.

Pour is tradition - hazy golden color, very light, fine lacing of perfect white. Head dissipated a little too quickly. Overall, the look is of traditional Cologne Kolsch.

Nose is sweet malt, refined, noble hops. Pretty significant aroma hops - not overpowering - again - refined.

Soft entry on the palate, spreads out on the tongue. Gentle sweet maltiness with hint of lemongrass, yeast and just a touch of noble hop flavor.

Smooth and easy drinking, yet flavorful and satisfying. This is well done.

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Photo of GrumpyGas
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I took a whiff and said "wow"
12oz bottle poured into a pint glass shows a straw colored nodyflosting an aggressive soapy-bubble head.
Aroma is a clean fresh orange citrus almost apple hint.
Flavors include a bread-like touch to the fruit.
Feel is medium and falling heavy, but the fruit keeps it clean and a wet finish.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Fluffy 2 finger white head, clear pale off lemon color, very unique. Great lacing.

Grassy, malty, fresh nose, very light smelling, pale malts in perfect harmony, fruitiness abounds. Peaches, apples, i love the nose for a kolsch.

Flavor has the freshness from the nose, the malt hits, then fruity apple, peach esthers, then a dry finish, very nice.

It's highly fizzed, maybe a bit too much carbonation. Heavier than expected. A great drinker and a sessionable beer. This is my second six pack and one to keep around year round if you live in Chicagoland, yeah!

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Photo of trbergman
4.34/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a shaker pint.

A - Clear, bright pale straw with ample carbonation and one finger of dense, sticky head. Plenty of gorgeous lacing all the way down the glass.

S - Subdued aroma of saltines or water crackers, very little hop aroma -- maybe a bit grassy.

T - Spot on. Very nice cereal flavor without being sweet. Assertive hop bitterness with a hint of lemon zest and a little leafy. Finishes quite dry.

M - Light and soft body with a subtle zip of fine-bubbled carbonation.

D - I wouldn't call this beer complex. But if you're going to make a simple beer, you can't make any mistakes, and Krankshaft doesn't have any major flaws. Enjoyable from start to finish, and probably through several more bottles. I can't recommend this beer highly enough.

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Photo of AleWatcher
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes--
Served in pint glass.

This a really nice light color-- looks a bit like a Berlinner Wiesse a bit-- a light golden color with a little bit of haze, possibly chill haze? Definitely translucent, almost transparent, certainly not murky at all! Fine micro-bubbles form a 3 finger white head that glistens and sparkles as it cascades down the side in sheets of lace that don't hang out for very long, but leave some spots behind.

The smell has a little light malts, like cereal grains- very little noble hops, and then a nice fruity and yeasty note that comes across with apricots pulling a lot of weight.

A light toast-like malt holds a little sweetness before a slightly spicy hop note hits. The fruity taste reminds me of pears and apple juice and apricots. Nice light body is almost effervescent with plenty of carbonation. The drinkability is insanely high-- it is so delicious, so light, and so easy to drink that I am floored.

This was my first beer from Metropolitan, and I must say that I am impressed!

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Photo of Redrover
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz brown longneck with a neat label and some brewer's notes.

poured into a glass, the beer is a very light straw color with a nice & tight white head. Nice lacing adds to the look.

I got a whiff of this beer as soon as I poured it. Fresh grains, sun ripened plums and bit of perfumy hops.

The taste is great. Its delicate in the best sense. Pears, fresh grains, a bit of straw and some apples in the aftertaste. Fresh made breakfast biscuits and more pear. This is great.

The mouth has very active carbonation which would help this beer stand-up to food.

So extremely drinkable. Another winner from Metropolitan.

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Photo of russpowell
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours golden with a thumb of ivory colored head. Average head retention & lacing

S: Floral & perfumy

T: Grainy, lemony, golden delicious apple, some crackery dry notes up front. Lemons & pears mix as this warmms with some mineral hoppyness. Finishes crisp & crackery with nice lemony notes with pear nuances

MF: Light, crisp, very nice balance indeed

Drinks so easy, a very well done & refreshing Kolsch

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked up a sixer in Chicago, $9.99. I wasn't sure which Metropolitan beer to go with for this purchase, but over the years I've become a fan of Kolsch and so here we are. The beer is pale yellow color with a thin 1-finger wet-looking foam that diminishes to the thinnest of films. The aroma is faint, understated clean malts and bread, really good for the style. I don't get any of the light non-tart funk I get from some of my favorites (Reissdorf, Gaffel), more smooth like Fruh. The taste is a little grainy up front, but has a nice yeasty and bready aftertaste that lingers.

Light carbonation, light and somewhat creamy body. Very drinkable, I could go through a lot of these quickly. A new favorite for me in Chicago. I foresee many of these in my belly in the future.

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Photo of bluemoonswoon
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Heard many a good thing about this beer on this very sight and had to seek it out for myself. 12oz bottle poured into a Maui Brewing Co. pint glass.

A: The color certainly is right, just about the palest pale yellow I can see, if you didn't smell it or ignore the fact that this beer at least leaves some semblance of a head after the beer is poured, it might be possible to mistake this for a MGD or a Bud. Thankfully though this is not the case.

S: If you were led astray by the color the aroma is what reels you back in, fresh baked biscuit and bread crusts, a light floral Noble hop presence. Does not give a sense for what really lays in store in the taste department.

T/MF: Decidedly fruity upfront but quickly moves into the doughy/bready aspects that were hinted at in the first few whiffs of this beer. Body is a bit thinner than the Dynamo, which I suppose it to be expected, but it's as crisp as a cracker if you are judging by how chewy the mouthfeel is and is something that I am really digging right about now. Finish is incredibly toasty, not like a burnt or roasted kind of flavor, but more along the lines of fresh rye or sourdough bread with a bit of apricot preserves on the side.

D: I'd say this beer lives up to the ratings here. Goes down incredibly smooth while still offering up a lot of complexity to ruminate on, if ruminating is your thing. This beer is not just one things, that is, one main aroma, one main flavor, etc. each sip you can pick up something you may have missed before. A superb effort from another great local brewery.

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Photo of Brenden
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was very generously included by JimboHD2005 when he graciously sent me some GL Lake Erie Monster after I missed the release and it had sold out. Many thanks again and cheers to him. Notes are a few nights old.

The color is the very pale yellow-gold appropriate for the style. There's good activity, and a white head forms at just about one finger, maintains its form well, and leaves a bit of patchy lacing behind.
The aroma is soft but it isn't subdued. Clean, dry malts bring up a bit of toast or crackers, grains linger in the back, a light sweetness and tartness as if from green grapes, and a soft hops presence are all evident.
Crisp, clean dry malts make the backbone with more of the green grape evident in the flavor. A light hops presence makes itself known underneath the grains as well.
Along with the tart grape-like notes in the aroma and flavor, this one really seems like champagne given the light body and ample, bubbly carbonation. There's a bit of a tingle in the mouth and a crisp bite on first sip, yet it also remains smooth.
I have to say I, like most, am a fan of bigger, bolder styles, flavors, etc. However, I haven't lost my love for softer, more subtle styles and their intricacies. That said, I've had a few Kolsches before, but I also have some experience with what's intended of the style and what it should be. I've seen how homebrewers are supposed to make it, style guidelines, that sort of thing. I think that this brewery I'd never heard of before this beer came in my box may have made the best Kolsch to style that I've witnessed.

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Photo of beertooth
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

This beer pours a clear pale straw yellow. It had a finger of white head that fades to a collar and leaves some nice lacing.

The nose is very clean. Bready pale malt, slight fruity esters, some hop spice. Very spot on for the style.

The taste follows the nose. Lot's of fresh bread crust upfront with a hint of grassy noble hops, lemon zest, and crackers in the finish.

Mouthfeel is is medium to low bodied with a good level of prickly carbonation.

A great example of an American made kölsch. I usually like this style in the summer, but it's still hitting the spot on this cold night. I'll have no problem finishing the other four bottles.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams sensory glass, with a big thanks to Jeff for coming through with a local example of one of my favorite styles, period.

Pours a very pale straw color, hazy, with a white, fluffy one-finger head. Settles into a dense half-inch cap with excellent retention and some nice delicate lacing.

Nose is quite delicate, but very nice - floral hops and a nice bit of cereal grain sweetness, and just a hint of sulfur on the finish. Probably a 4.2.

Taste is nice too. A delicate grainy pilsner malt sweetness is the primary aspect, with just a bit of hops that are floral and just a bit soapy. crisp finish strikes a perfect balance. Very well executed, I'd say a solid 4.3 that I'm rounding up.

Mouthfeel is light in body, with a flavor that's big enough to bely that, and a nice, moderately aggressive carbonation.

Nicely drinkable. Overall, this is a very good example of the style, though I'd like to see it just a wee bit drier. Falls just short of the best German examples, which is fairly high praise.

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a single from Famous Liquors in Lombard, IL.

A: Pours a super pale straw yellow color with a finger of white head that settles down to just a little froth, but laces the glass on the way down.

S: Smells like straw, wheat, kinda fruity, lemon, grassy, floral and earthy

T: Similar to the smell; straw, wheat, slight fruity notes such as lemon citrus, grassy, earthy, floral

M: Mouthfeel is outstanding on this beer, super full bodied, lots of carbonation and bite

D: The beer has really good but subtle flavor and is light and smooth as it goes down the hatch. A great session beer! Strongly recommended for anyone that likes the style and something I'd try even if not a fan of this type of beer.

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Photo of Barnoloid
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is a really well done Kolsch from Metropolitan. Pours a light yellow/straw color with a light crackly head that falls off quick. Honey sweetness on the aroma through to the first sip. Light bodied with medium carbonation. A refreshing summer sipper!

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Photo of OttoBomb
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz (355m l) bottle into a Sam Adam's Perfect Pint glass (January 26, 2012). The best before date of "APR 20 2012" is printed on the bottom of the sixpack.

Apparently this is brewed with a small addition of wheat to the mash, which should help reduce bitterness and smooth out the flavor.

Eyes: Pours a super clear golden straw color. A clean near-white head. Near perfect for the style.

Nose: Appetizing hints of grain, bread, while undertones of lemon/citrus.

Tongue: Follows the nose with mild malt and a lemon zest finish. A bit lighter than I might like, but very solid all around.

Mouth: Lively and spritzy, but not enough to overwhelm the palate.

Libation: Very easy drinking and flavorful.

The only small issue I have is that I would prefer a bit more heat on the flavor profile, but not enough to seriously detract from this great brew. The addition of the wheat does a great job increasing smoothness. Easy drinking, smooth, this is a great example of the style.

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Photo of Bubba83
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In my possession thanks to Kegatron. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tumbler at about 45 degrees. Chill haze light straw yellow with a lot of effervescent bubbles rising into a bright white thin ring of head with excellent retention and lacing for the style. Looks impressive.

Smells like hay, straw, plain crackers, earthy lager yeast, and some grassy german hops. Pleasant and about what I have come to expect from the style.

Some crackery, bready malts up front. Freshly cut grass, ripe pears, and hay follow. This style is really quite simple, and I find it hard to find differences in flavor profiles between good Kolsches. This is a good Kolsch. I generally can only pick out differences if there is something wrong. There are no flaws here... I have tasted more subtleties before though in some of the best examples. Maybe I'm looking for a bit more floral character for a higher taste rating.

I think they hit the nail on the head with the mouthfeel. The consistency is medium-thin but not watery, and the carbonation level is high and vibrant which is where a Kolsch should be. Finishes super dry. The whole experience is bright and refreshing, and takes me back to drinking on the patios of little brew pubs along the Rhine... If I only had a stange...

Overall another well made german beer from Metropolitan. Super refreshing and delicious. This brewery and I are getting along well.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first time trying this style. First beer from Metropolitan as well. Poured into stange glass which I rarely use. Clean, crisp and refreshing! Color is a light apple, pear-ish color with faint, tart fruit in the finish. Nice beer.

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Krankshaft Kölsch from Metropolitan Brewing
3.84 out of 5 based on 353 ratings.
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