Gateway Kolsch
French Broad River Brewing

Gateway KolschGateway Kolsch
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German Kölsch
Ranked #219
Ranked #38,026
3.66 | pDev: 11.2%
French Broad River Brewing
North Carolina, United States
Gateway KolschGateway Kolsch
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Reviews: 58 | Ratings: 183
Photo of Griffin2
3.69/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had a pint at Mellow Mushroom on 7/22/19.
Poured a clear amber color with a slight white head. This is a nice warm weather easy drinking beer. I enjoyed it.

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Photo of chinchill
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz can; purchased very recently but undated and possible over the hill (see below).
Unappealing skunky Euro hop aroma
Much better flavor but there's certainly some similarity to the aroma.
Light but not watery body with medium+ carbonation.

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Photo of OldSwampy
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from can into a glass. Fairly normal light straw color with a decently stiff but not exceptional white head. Nose did not fade as I drank the beer and was nicely floral. Taste was lean and hoppy, but as a kolsch should be rather than an IPA type of hoppiness. I find kolsches in general to taste lean, so this was true to style, not a fault. Mouthfeel clean and unexceptional. My first beer from this brewery, and certainly enough to make me look forward to trying others.

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Photo of gerite
4.02/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a shaker glass from a can.

Appearance is a pale golden color with average head.
This is a light body ale, not overly carbonated. A crisp, easy drinking summertime beer with a clean dry finish. Overall, much better than I expected. A good example of a German-style Kolsch.

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Photo of Gavage
3.93/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: yellow in color with a 1/2" head that lingered around awhile.

Smell: light malt and grass aroma is all I can detect,

Taste: biscuit, grass, a bit of lemon zest, a bit of green grape sweetness, and a very mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel: lighter in body. Very crisp from start to finish. Clean aftertaste.

Overall: a very easy drinking beer, great on a warm day as it is refreshing and crisp.

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Photo of jeranbrews
2.9/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.25

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

A - faint watered down chamomile tea color. Big puffy white cloud of head. Minor continued carbonation. 3

S - sharp astringent but not caustic. Hoppy but without so much of the AAL aluminum smells. Faint crystal malts. 3

T - better than the smells but overall very weak. At times reminding me of a pilsner or Vienna lager but sadly subdued. 3

M - pleasant fizzy malty. 3.5

D - easy simple but very boring. Won't return 2.25

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Photo of Buck89
3.94/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Pilsener glass. Good looking beer with a clear straw yellow color and a 3 finger white head. Nice complex aroma with grass, dough, white bread and some floral tones. On the taste, I noticed white bread and cracker up front, followed by sweet grassy note and a subtle spicy bitter clean finish. The beer had medium carbonation and felt light on the palate. Overall, a great regional brew. Really hits the spot on this hot July day.

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Photo of myelo
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On tap

Poured bright clear pale gold with 1 inch white head and mild lacing. Delicate malt aroma. Taste is mild sweet malt, low clean bitterness. Smooth, light body with medium carbonation.

Very nice, clean refreshing example of the style.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%

One of the overlooked CANtributors to The CANQuest ™ is one of my local beer people, soon (eventually) to be a “Character” in my column – Justin C. He does a good job of looking out for new and different CANs for me in his travels and this is one with which he recently returned.
From the CAN: “French Broad Gateway Kolsch is a German-style ale with moderate hop flavor and a sweet finish.”
I have been watching the AmeriCAN Heroes Channel’s series on World War I and it reminded me of a French Broad that I once knew before visiting Germany as a young sailor.
The Crack! was as loud as a CANnon and the CAN was as full as the trenches in early-1915. The inverted Glug was precise in its deployment and quickly netted me two fingers of foamy, fizzy, bone-white head that began to collapse under the exertion, leaving Belgian lacing in its wake. Color was Straw-Yellow (SRM = 3.9, a preciseness measured by the brewery), as yellow as the cowards who retreated In the face of the enemy, and with NE-plus quality clarity, allowing me to peer into a grim future. Nose was what I tend to think of with regard to the style – slightly honey-like, slightly grassy. If we still rated on Smell, I would characterize this as “Perfect”. Mouthfeel was thin-to-medium. The taste was grassy and honey-like, sort of a Gateway between a light lager and a German Pilsner. I have to disagree with them as to “… a sweet finish” because I would characterize it as “Dry”. The CAN mentions “O.G. 11.5 P and IBU 32.3”, so I think that an argument CAN be made for my point of view. A very nice, light drinking beer on a Summer’s day.

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Photo of patre_tim
3.77/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Golden straw filtered with a light haze, lots of soda like bubbles and some clinging to the side of the glass. One finger of creamy bright white head.

S: White wine, grapes, clean linen, dough, clean and crisp.

T: Very vinous like like white wine, clean linen, dough, dry clean and crisp.

M: Light body, medium carbonation, clean dry finish.

O: Great brew. Well done Kolsch. Got this one in Asheville, drank in Chicago, IL with some deep dish pizza, great combo.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.52/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, straw gold coloring, with a fluffy, tall, clingy, white head. Steady carbonation action throughout the body, too. Nose of toasted grains, subtle floral notes, and hints of berry esthers. Flavors are tangy forward, with buttered toast notes, and a subtle hops bitterness. Smooth and light, with a frothy, effervesced finish. Tangy, grainy aftertaste. Not bad.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pouring a cellar temp can into a snifter. Gift from my cousin Joe in NC. Thanks!

The beer pours a bright gold hue with just the faintest amount of haze on the pour. Bleached white fizzy head of 2.5 cm foams up and fades quickly to a wispy edge layer.
Aroma is some grainy malt and a bit of biscuity note also. I do get a bit of spicy hops and no hint of abv.
First sip reveals a crisp body with light texture and fine fizzy carbonation. Very easy to drink as it should be per style.
Flavor is a bit of grainy malt that flows to some spicy and earthy hop notes, and finishes with some sweet almost fruity note on the finish. The beer really dries out after each sip,making me thirsty for more beer.
A very easy to drink brew that would be enjoyable on a hot day. I am just fine drinking it after a long day to decompress. Good example of the style.

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Photo of Mojo
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 ounce can -> New Belgium globe glass

A - very pale straw color with a very small head, no lacing and no retention.

S - lemon notes dominate with some floral and grass

T - Lemon honey sweetness with a dry finish. Very easy to drink.

M - light with average carbonation

O - does not make the earth shift on its axis, but is easy to drink and satisfying.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.78/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a crystal clear light to medium yellow in color with heavy amounts of active visible carbonation quickly rising from the bottom of the glass and hints of lemon yellow highlights. The beer has a half finger tall dense fizzy white head that reduces to a large patch of medium thick film surrounded by a thin film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of bready malts and grassy hops.

T: Upfront there are slightly heavier than moderate flavors of bready malts with light flavors of grassy hops in the finish. Light amounts of bitterness which lingers slightly.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Hints of dryness in the finish.

O: Very easy to drink, very refreshing, and tasty - I could see myself picking this up a lot more frequently once the weather gets warms (great beer for when I am out on the porch manning the grill).

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Photo of metter98
3.74/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap at Mellow Mushroom, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is crystal clear light yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a thin white head that died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a thin ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light to moderate aromas of grassy hops are present in the nose.
T: The taste has flavors of bready malts along with slight hints of bitterness.
M: It feels light-bodied (but not watery) on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and has some refreshing properties. It makes for a good beer to drink outside on a hot summer day.

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Photo of NODAK
3.22/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Aroma is quite grainy and wheaty. Pretty light stuff. Figured on a bit more.

Taste follows pretty closely. It's fairly honey sweet, full of grain and wheat, and a very small bitterness at the backend. This is a pretty straightforward beer here. A bit surprised at the lack of citrus character. Nothing complicated, but it goes down quite easily. Would probably make a great summer beer.

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Photo of AlexFields
3.02/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light fuzzy banana color, light head.

At first not much on the nose, just a touch of light tart wheaty malt and maybe some banana. Gets sweeter as it warms, touch of honey.

Taste is pretty similar--tart wheatiness again, light honey sweetness, hint if banana and yeast.

Nothing special but a decent kolsch.


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Photo of plaid75
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Barley's, Asheville, NC.

Poured a light brass hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a clean pilsner malt and slight herbal hop.

The taste was well balanced with a clean breadiness with a balancing herbal noble hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a tasty easy drinking kolsch.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.64/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin head that doesnt last long on a near crystal clear bright golden body. The aroma is very light with barely perceptable pale malts, sweet corn and honey. Flavor has a nice amount of honey flavor with barely, wheat and herbal flavors. Nice body for the style with moderate to high carbonation. Certainly drinkable with nice degree of sweetness and flavor for a style that can be fairly bland.

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Photo of pburland23
3.7/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bombe into my Gaffel kolsch stange.

Appearance: Beer pours a clear, brilliant golden yellow. Pour released a little more than two fingers if light, bright white head. Decent head retention and no lacing. Inviting looking pour.

Smell: Sweet and grassy on a nose, a very light and delicate smelling beer. No hops presence but still nice smelling, very clean.

Taste: I found the taste to be the weakest component of the beer. It's just a touch off from where I think a kolsch should be. There is a nice German hops bite but the sweetness and grassy maltiness I expect from the style aren't big enough. There was an almost adjunct like flavor in the middle of the sip.

Mouthfeel: Very refreshing and quite drinkable. Would be a good beer to enjoy after some yard work or poolside.

Overall: I love kolsch but is one isn't as well crafted and flavorful as some of the better examples of the style. Not a bad beer, but kolsch fans can do better.

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Photo of tdm168
3.63/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Biere Garden in Asheville.

A - clear gold with noticeable carbonation bubbles; thin lacing of white head; no retention

S - faint grass, hint of lemon

T - grassy, noble hops, faintly bitter finish

M - smooth, little carbonation, light bodied

This is a very light, easy to drink, refreshing beer. It doesn't have much flavor, but it's to style and ultimately enjoyable.

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Photo of matzah
3.33/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured from a bomber into a pint. Pours clear and a nice yellow color with a hint of orange. 1.5 Finger head quickly turns to a half finger. Highly carbonated.

S: Something like a cross of a hefe and pilsner, but favors pils. Clean grassy notes.

T: Crisp with good, but long, aftertaste that is true to the flavors of the beer. Taste favors pilsner or even saison. Grassy flavors more pronounced than in smell.

M: Light and carbonated. Slight burn from carbonation but not unpleasant.

O: Good light Kolsch. I'm not too familiar with this style, but enjoyable. I found it less sessionable than others though, simply because the aftertaste hung around so long.

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Photo of JayQue
3.91/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one is a winner...a good year-round session type beer. Pours a slightly cloudy light gold color. The frothy white head is HUGE...makes no difference how you pour it. Nicely carbonated. Good patchy lacing and good head retention.

Smell is mild..a little lemon zest, some grassy hops and a little hefe-style flavors banana/cloves. A bit of funk going on as well

Taste is more of the same but more robust. A nice tasty light ale with hints of Saison and Hefeweizen. Mouthfeel is crisp and smooth.

Overall a very good beer from a style that should be fairly mild and bland. This is something you could drink a ton of either by itself or with food.

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Photo of thadbme
3.86/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear yellow color with heavy carbonation. A crazy amount of head that forms on top. Took several pourings and allowing it to sit before it calmed down. This is what I would expect beer to look like if I first started drinking.

S: This is a different smell from what I'm used to drinking. With the heavy foam on top, that leaves a different scent. Honestly to me it smells clean, almost like a beer soap if that makes any sense. Its not really unpleasant but not what I would prefer. You can smell the wheat in it as well but the foam hits me first.

T: Slightly bitter, foamy, carbonated wheat taste. The beer is very smooth to drink, and very drinkable. I can see this would be easy to drink a large beer of.

M: Foamy and light. Carbonation shows up while looking at, but not overpowering.

O: I think the name of this beer might have captured it, its a gateway Kolsch. I think this might be a good one for me to try to get into the style. It is certainly not my favorite beer I've ever had, and I doubt this will be the favorite of this style, but its something you could drink a lot of, and not ask too many questions about it.

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Photo of AlCaponeJunior
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light yellow and clear, lots of bubbles, ok white fizzy head and pretty good lacing.

A little bit of yeast compliments a large amount of lemon rind and no shortage of crisp grape-y aromas. There's an element of pilsner almost, with some grainy and grassy elements too.

Taste is very pleasant. Grape juice, white only mind you, comes to mind. It's slightly chardonnay like in character. Again I find it slightly along the lines of a good crisp pilsner, but with a bit of yeast that reminds you it's a kolsch.

Carbonation is heavy, yet it's light and easily drinkable. White grapes dominate the aftertaste, with just a tinge of yeast.

It's not super complex but it's extremely drinkable and definitely quite tasty. I definitely like this beer. It would make a great fishin' beer, does it come in cans?

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Gateway Kolsch from French Broad River Brewing
Beer rating: 83 out of 100 with 183 ratings