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: 352
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 uberez8
4.11/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Hay market, a fantastic brew pub in Chicago everyone should visit when given the chance. This beer came out with a thin head and clear gold body but what really grabbed my interest was the smell; very floral and alluring. The taste was amazingly clean and smooth but not wimpy, strong tones of wheat and a zest of lemon followed each swig. Didn't expect much but this is now my go to session beer when found on tap.

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Photo of aasher
1.66/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

I had this one on tap while in Chicago yesterday. I hadn't heard of it before so I thought I'd give it a try. It was a huge disappointment. It arrived a very pale gold in color with a light white head. It was very clear. It smelled of a skunked dortmunder lager and didn't have much "kolsch" to it at all. I was really disappointed. The flavor too, of skunked dortmunder. Bummer! It drank light but I hated it. Luckily the manager came by and asked us how our meal was and brought me a fresh Lagunitas IPA to replace it. Amazing and courteous gesture!

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

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #48 (Jan 2011):

Sizable plume of white head tapers to a clinging lace; pale yellow color has a great clarity to it. Smells of fresh- baked shortbread, hint of lemon zest and subtle wildflowers. Deep-planted crispness presents the lighter body in a lush manner. Dry from start to finish, the lightly toasted cracker maltiness holds more flavor than expected. Lemon herbal hoppiness lends more than enough bitterness to get by. Ghostlike sulfur. Clean grainy finish. Obviously someone got their homework right here--this is more proof that smaller brewers can brew extremely flavorful, pale-colored beers. Kudos to Metro!

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Photo of readbaron
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a crisp, light golden yellow with a hint of haze and about a finger of white foam that quickly thins into a ring with decent lacing.

S - Lemon, grassy, floral funk and a bit of malt. Very nice. Better than I expected.

Taste agrees with the smell - crisp and refreshing - some floral yeast, some lemon, a decent dose of malt, and a smooth finish. An excellent summer beer, but not too shabby in winter time.

Mouthfeel is crisp and not quite light bodied. A tad bit sticky, and well carbonated.

Highly drinkable. I'm impressed by this one.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great bottle received from readbaron. Thanks!

12oz bottle poured into a stange glass. Pours a very cloudy yellow/gold. A small white head caps it off right away, but then dissipates quickly. Lots of sticky lace left behind. The nose is fresh with aromas of grass clippings, lemon-lime, spring, floral tones.

The body is crisp and clean. Carbonation level spritzes it up, without fizzing the mouth up. Lots of lemon tartness, mild hop presence, slight earthy quality. This is a splendid "tame" beer. Perfect for the warmer months, but just fine any other time. Tasty, refreshing beer. Recommend.

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Photo of LacquerHead
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It poured a light hazy golden color with a snowy white head.

S: it reminded me of a Heineken or Grolsch, but without the skunk smell.

T: Clean was the first thing that came to mind. I want to say it had light citrus taste. At times I tasted metal, but it wasn't offensive or distracting. This had refined crisp flavor.

Conclusion: My overall impression was fairly good. It was clean, nothing that was offensive. Mostly I prefer darker more assertive beers, and I don't typically reach for lagers, but this was good. It was a simple professional tasting kolsh.

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Photo of matjack85
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The last of the three Metropolitan brews I got to try. The Dynamo and Flywheel offerings are pretty easy to find on most local store shelves, but no one seemed to carry the Krankshaft Kolsch. Finally found it in 12oz bottle form at Quencher's Saloon in Chicago for $5 a bottle.

The beer poured a pale yellow/gold color that was totally clear. It produced a 2-finger white head that lasted about 2 minutes leaving decent lacing behind.

This has a really heavy fruit smell to it - very grape-y, like wine. Under the fruit there is also a bready malt smell.

The beer is on the sweet side with the beady malt and fruits providing the main flavor, but there is also a small degree of grassy hop presence for balance. Well made.

Despite the sweetness, they managed to keep this light to medium bodied. It's smooth with moderate carbonation.

Very drinkable and enjoyable.

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Photo of mjhorn
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this out of a bottle poured into a pint. Poured a light golden yellow, just a touch darker than you see with a BMC type beer. Thin head that disappeared quickly. Not a lot to the aroma, a bit of grass/hay and a tad of sweetness that I couldn't place. Flavor was nice and refreshing. Malty and bready up front, finishes with a hint of honey. Nice and crisp, good carbonation level and goes down easy. Could definitely put a few of these away pretty quickly. It's the dead of winter right now, but this would be a great beer for a hot summer day at the beach.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle gifted by Thorpe. Thanks. Beer served in a stange glass. Beer is clear with a big white head and some lacing on the glass. Carbonation moderate.

Surprisingly strong aroma. A little vegetal but grainy and sweet also.

Beer is sweet and light in body. There is a strong graininess and an unfortunate aftertaste. It's not the best Kolsch I've had. I doubt i would have it again.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ordered this bottle from West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a pilsner glass.

Pour brings a slightly-dark golden color; it's a bit too dark for the style. White head that lasts for a short while before falling without too much lacing. Very thin collar throughout. Nose is bready and faintly pleasant with a fairly-large amount of fruity notes for the style. The taste is more toward the bready end of the spectrum with a bit of fruit and a very mild bitterness in the finish. Body is light but more toward medium than it should be. Carbonation is a tad bit low. Drinks pretty well overall, but is just good, not great.

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Photo of wmtxbb
2.3/5  rDev -40.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle poured into glass

Appearance: Clear yellow with a very light layer of lacing.

Smell: Crunchy malt, almost hay-like with strong corn scent.

Taste: Corn, wheat and barley malts with a little bitterness and some alcohol flavor.

Drinkability: Having more than one is a struggle I'm actually giving away the rest if I can, if I can't I'm just going to dump the beer and save the bottles for my homebrewing. This is one of the worst local brews I've had. I haven't gotten the chance to try any other metropolitan beers. I hope metropolitan can put out a better product than this.

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Photo of jampics2
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The beer pours a straw color with yellow and gold hints. There is little head but nice retention and lace. It's unfiltered but clear with no active carbonation. This is a good looking Kölsch beer!

The smell is full of sweet pale malt, slightly bready grain and a nice amount of noble hop aroma. The hops are flowery and slightly spicy and the malt is not too grainy with a touch of straw. Also present is a touch of lemon tartness that lightens things up. The smells are pleasant but are not expressive enough to vault this into the upper echelon of Kölsch beers.

A very clean taste epitomizes the pleasant drinking experience this beer offers the drinker. There is a nice amount of sweet malt, accompanied by some mild bread, a touch of toast, some straw and lemon tartness. The best part of the beer is the clean finish with noble hop bitterness. The hops add just enough to the mix. Krankshaft lacks the crackery grains that my favorite Kölsch beers feature, but it does have a hint of tartness and nice hop integration. Certainly one of the better American takes on the style.

The mouthfeel is light bodied with adequate carbonation, which does hide out before exploding along my tongue. There is a watery aftertaste that just falls short of being full-flavored. The drinkability, however, is high due to the pleasant mix of flavors and lack of any noticeable alcohol. I would happily enjoy this beer again. It's not up there with the excellent COAST Kölsch, but it's still quite nice.

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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 lstokes
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this a few times on tap at the U of C pub, and it honestly has yet to wow me.

Very light beer in appearance, but with a nice enough head, and smells like pale malts and a little bit of grass/straw. The taste picks up delicate notes of nutty malts and apple/pear.

It's a very delicate beer, really, as it should be, and the mouthfeel is very prickly and drying, almost too drying. It's a solid effort, I just don't think it's quite as flavorful as your best German Kölsches.

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Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a German stange glass.

Pours an initially hazed straw gold that clears out quite nicely, topped with 2-3 fingers of bright-white head. This settles down into a light ½ finger frothy cap, which leaves back some thick and sticky swathes of lacing. The aroma is fresh and bright; with a straight up pop of lemon zest, along with some leafy and spicy floral notes. Sweet bready grains sit in the back of the nose; mixing with fruit flavors to impart a pleasant smelling tang. This is quite nice, with a flavorful and breezy feel to it.

The taste is well balanced here, with light toasted doughy sweetness enveloping and evening out hoppy notes of earth and bitter citrus rind. That lemon twang runs the whole way through the profile and melds nicely with the character of the malts. This finishes with plenty of lingering bready sweetness and spices. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied, with crispness to the carbonation that snaps the flavors across the tongue, yet this still also stays exceptionally easy and smooth. Just a perfect feel for the profiles that are involved.

Nice. Just a well made Kölsch here. Well balanced, flavorful, and extremely easy drinking, I'm glad that I picked up a full sixer of these when I was last out in Chicago. Metro hasn't let me down yet!

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Photo of RDHerm
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very light orange / yellow color with extremely light (almost clear) yellow highlights. Has a thin white head that dissipates pretty quickly, leaving a ring that holds throughout.

Very faint aroma. There is a certain tartness to it, reminiscent of champagne. Light notes of malts and yeast, with hints of hops and fruit.

Starts off tasting sweet, with notes of malt and fruit, sort of a combination of white grape and pear. There finish has a very slight hoppy bitterness to it, with just the lightest bit of spice.

Light body, with a perfect carbonation level. There's an excellent crispness to it, and it doesn't leave the palate too dry.

Good taste, light body, and an near perfect mouthfeel. You could drink this all night long.

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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 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 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 BeerFMAndy
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a Samuel Adams Summer Ale stange. No date or info.

Thanks to emerge077 for this summer refresher

A - Brilliant clarity shows off Krankshaft's inner workings; strong carbonation turning the brew machine! A tight white head sits above the golden yellow beer with good retention and patchy lace.

S - Smooth pale malts open the aroma with a soft start and move right into a dry straw, husky aroma. Clean and refreshing but somewhat adjunct-y like.

T - Nice and malty with pilsner and pale leading the way into a grainy straw-like adjunct flavor. Crisp and clean, it doesn't hide much.

M - Mild sweetness adds a little bit of body to this light-medium beer. Lots of sharp carbonation finishes out the slightly dry and crisp kölsch.

D - A little less sweetness and this would make for a great summer refreshing beer. Still good regardless, it went down very nicely.

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Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: straw/pale gold, slight chill haze, nice dense white head and lacing.
S: light fruity notes and doughy biscuity pale malts.
T: lightly sweet bready malts are well-balanced by smooth underlying hop bitterness. finishes clean.
M: smooth, light bodied.
D: solid example of the style.

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Photo of bristol2120
3.27/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsener glass. Medium head quickly subsides, leaving a thin layer of foam. Minimal lacing present. Nice aroma featuring grainy notes, and subtle bitterness underneath. Very clean and crisp taste, with graininess and notes of hay in the forefront, which really come out in the aftertaste. A slightly "grapey" sourness lurks in the background. The mouthfeel features a pleasant bite of carbonation, though it does seem a bit thin. I admit I'm not very familiar with this style, but this beer would probably be best enjoyed in the warmer weather.

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Photo of Hophead101
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jake melnicks. 7-13-10
Golden color pours nice and clear.
Off white head, not real big and didn't last long. ok lacing.
Not much smell what was there was slight maltiness.
Great kolsch flavor, really nice for the style. Crisp mouthfeel. Light, malty, a little bit of hops. Super drinkable.

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Photo of popery
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to stace for the bottle.

I can't say that I've had all that many different examples of this style, but this is a good beer, refreshing and summery. It pours a somewhat hazy pale yellow, somewhere between maize and madder yellow. Head is sudsy, relatively small and white. The aroma is pale malt-sweet with a mild vinous character. I'd prefer a bit more grape, but it's a minor complaint. A tiny bit of butterscotch sneaks in as it warms. Flavor is fairly sweet, but there's a nice grassy noble hop bite in the finish. This is a refreshing beer that doesn't try to overwhelm you with flavor. Good for a hot day. Mouthfeel is appropriately light and a touch slick. Good beer though I'm still not entirely won over to the style.

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Krankshaft Kölsch from Metropolitan Brewing
3.84 out of 5 based on 352 ratings.
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