Trillium Brewing Company

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German Kölsch
Ranked #1
Ranked #1,402
4.27 | pDev: 7.49%
Trillium Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States
Notes: Originally brewed as our hoppy welcome to Spring after the long, dark months of winter, this low ABV, kölsch inspired ale is cool fermented and dosed with Nelson Sauvin. Lower fermentation temperature slows the yeast's metabolism and provides balance by gently subduing super-fruity esters and spicy phenols. Sprang is refreshingly light bodied with aromatics of earthy evergreen, passion fruit, and faint doughy malt. Flavors of concord grape, mango, and herbaceous white wine interweave with cracker-crisp, pilsner malt character and minimal bitterness. The finish is dry with a lasting touch of grain.

MALT: Pilsner, Valley Danko Rye, Dextrine

HOPS: Nelson Sauvin, Citra, Sterling
Reviews: 41 | Ratings: 234 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Jason
2.37/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Clearly not a Kolsch, I've had this one several times to see if it would be cleaned up. Is it a decent brew? Sure. Is it something I'd order again? No. Beers like this spread more misinformation and confusion for classic styles, really not sure about the brewers intention was other than coming up with a completely different version of a classic beer that is just wrong in so many ways.

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Photo of boston_beer_2017
3.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Interesting beer, for what it was, it was delicious. But I'm rating this lower because this is not what a Kölsch is. A Kölsch isn't hazy like this, and I wouldn't describe it as that style.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

16 oz. can purchased at Trillium. Poured into Belgian ale glass.

L: 2F foamy white head with OK retention. Spotty lacing. Leaves a cap and ring. Beer is a hazy pale gold.

S: Very malty and yeasty. Bready. Little bit of floral hop stuff.

T: Bready and yeasty with a little bit of citrus, tropical, and floral character. Very neutral finish.

F: Light-bodied, very drinkable. Probably could use a tad more carbonation. Construction and balance are fine.

O: Highly approve of a trip outside of the fruitbombs.

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Photo of digboy
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16 oz can dated 4/07/17 (6 weeks)

Pours a stunning bright and soft yellow gold color, very cloudy with a 2 finger fluffy head that settles down to a 1 finger bed of tiny soap bubbles. It sounds very seltzery on the pour, almost hissing at you.

Aroma is moderately strong with grapefruit and grass tones. Delightfully fresh smelling.

The taste has a tartness up front full of citrus, cut grass and spruce gum that transforms into a wine and malt blend at the end. Someone below described it as "lemon verbena" -- nailed it, as I have the stuff growing on the edge of my yard and I smell its fragrance when mowing. Moderate bitterness that gets masked by the tartness. This is a very appealing and interesting flavor profile.

Feel i crisp, effervescent and light with maybe some chalkiness at the end.

If we take the term Kolsch off the table I can appreciate the complexity of this "impression" of the style. This is such a refreshing beer that deserves great praise IMO.

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Photo of agreenman19
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

L - what is this, a New England Kolsch? Never seen one this hazy. Soft, radiating yellow with a darker core, like a peach.

S - wheaty and lemony. Initial aroma is kolschy: grass, grain, yeast, coriander. Then the signature acidic Trillium lemon comes through. Citrus rind of all varieties.

T - zesty and bright. Lemon pith. Some pineapple, but it's subtle. Bready and wheaty. Fresh-squeezed clementine juice. A slightly tart, thick, musty flavor that must be the white grapes. Hints of pimento olives as well. Finishes crisp, clean, and summery with a touch of bitterness and yeast.

F - chewy and deceptively thick for its ABV. As it sits in the mouth, the bubbles come out and it thins up a bit for the swallow. Best of both worlds. Refreshing.

O - gotta be honest, this is one of the best Kolschs I've had. Normally a boring style for me, this is zesty and tangy in all the right places, injecting this new age New England bullshit into an ancient style. It's flavorful, drinkable, and fukkin' crisp.

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Photo of thatche2
4.6/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16oz can into a tulip glass 1 month after canning. Appearance is much more like a NE IPA than a Kolsch with a nice yellow/lightbrown hazy color. Head is one finger thick with fairly low retention. Smell presents beautiful grassy hop flavors (I am assuming from the Nelson), pineapple, bread/cracker crumbs, and light citrus. Taste follows the nose with less flavor but still has the excellent grassy hop and pineapple flavors. Mouthfeel is medium body with a good amount of carbonation on the finish making it feel lighter (extremely crushable).

Overall, this is a very interesting beer that lean more towards a New England Style Pale Ale than a Kolsch, but the two sytles blend together beautifully. There are tons of hop flavor without it being too hoppy. This ale is extremely clean with goody body, yet crushable. I am enjoying this beer as much as if not more than many of Trillium's IPAs, which are obviously excellent as well. It is worth seeking out.

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Photo of Sabtos
3.85/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Right off the bat, even if I'm pretending to be totally ignorant of the overwhelming commentary in the review section, this is obviously not a Kolsch, so it's a good thing they put "Inspired" on the can. The body is almost fully opaque corn milk yellow with a light, bubbly, airy active white head that looks almost like polymers building up in a microscope.

Smell is super bold and potent, pretty in line with other Trillium Pale Ales, with a crackery toasted malt that is accompanied by hops galore--and I ain't mad as it's one of my favorite ones! It's almost dank, with verbena, and all over the map with fruits and spices, from citrus to tropical, pepper to pink peppercorn, white grape and white wine vinegar (an aspect I've noted in many of their beers, which isn't necessarily a turn off to me).

This is quite tangy and almost tart on the tongue, but with a bitter bite. Flavors of orange, lemon, mango, white wine and evergreen are hit with black pepper and a bready finish. It has a nice and crisp fizzy froth finishing semi-dry.

I'm torn between rating to style and rating to my enjoyment of the actual beer. Good thing I'm not a judge on duty!

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Photo of Angerhaus
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Best Kolsch (or Kolsch inspired ale) I've had. Like so many other Trillium offerings, the nose and mouthfeel really shine here. This would make a great refreshing outdoor sipper

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.9/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed 4/30/17

A: Golden straw to yellow with some orange highlights - hazy and opaque - pours with a medium size, white head, fades to a wispy cap, small collar

S: Bright and lightly fruity - some distinct Nelson, with some white grapes, white wine, citrus, and some lightly tropical notes - additional citrus, with some orange and light grapefruit - definitely not a Kölsch, but some interesting yeasty aromas - light spice, some fruity esters, pears - grassy - some pale and pilsner malts

T: Hoppy, as is just about every Trillium beer, with some orange and grapefruit zest - crisp white grape and white wine - touches of cantaloupe and passionfruit - pine needles - some earth - touch of spice, apples, pears - herbal notes - pale malts, dough, crackers - lacking the light biscuit flavor I would expect in a Kölsch, but it does have a somewhat clean, crisp finish

M: On the light side of medium, medium carbonation, smooth with a crisp finish

O: Spring Sprang Sprung

Last spring I drank a Big Sprang. So I guess it's about time I drank the original. It's not a Kölsch, but it's clean and refreshing. It's worth trying, even if it may be 2019 until Trillium makes it again.

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Photo of hudsonvalleyslim
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kölsch? Well, I'll give 'em a pass 'cause they did say 'Kolsch inspired ale' and they're Trillium. A growler poured into a Devil's Purse pint, fresh today from the Canton brewery. A very flavorful sessionable brew at 4.9%, a cloudy, fruity, juicy brew that tastes like .... Trillium! It is delicious.

Glad that Trillium brews some 'midweek beer'. This is a nice addition to Launch for me, as I've got to keep my wits about me during the week!

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Photo of bylerteck
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This is delicious.

Kolsch? Not a bloody chance. But it's juicy as all hell and the ABV is very nice for drinking quite a few. Lot's of grass and orange on the nose with more orange in the mouth with all sorts of fruit peel and pith. Nice stuff, but ze Germans might take issue with your idea of Kolsch inspired.

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Photo of brewandbbq
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16oz undated can.

Pours cloudy light gold with a short head and moderate retention. Aromatics are laced with peach, pineapple, and grapefruit pith. A bit dank. Medium bodied with a soft, smooth mouthfeel. Tropical fruit starts the palate with some crackery dryness following through. Grapefruit, hard peaches, a mild pineapple. Zero bitterness. Finishes crisp and crushable with lingering citrus.

Great beer but certainly quite hoppy for a Kolsch!

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap. Pours cloudy, caution light yellow in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is melon, lemon, grapefruit rind and light cracker. Has a sweetish start with a bitter finish, light bodied, and moderate carbonation. Bitter by Trillium standards, loads of flavor for the abv. Tastes more like a session IPA than a kolsch. Really tasty beer. Could have several even though I would put this in the middle of the pack of what I have had from Trillium.

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Photo of CHickman
4.42/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned 04/07/17, it pours hazy gold color with a 1 finger foamy white head that faded slowly and left minimal spotty lacing. It pretty much looks like all the Trillium IPA's which I've drank.

Smells very hoppy up front with grapefruit, orange peel, lemon, melon, citrus hops, piney hops, pepper and floral notes, pineapple, hay or dried grass and light biscuit. So far Kölsch inspired to Trillium means session IPA aroma to me and I really like this nose. Perfect for a nice spring day.

Taste follows suit with Kölsch inspired tasting like a great session IPA and a mix of grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, orange peel, pineapple, citrus hops and tropical fruit, zesty piney hops, biscuit, toasted grains, faint caramel, pepper, coriander and other floral notes, dry grass, tea leaf and trailing white wine. Enough malt to add depth and complexities, this is definitely not close to a traditional Kölsch since it's so hopped up, but it's a damn tasty session beer.

Mouthfeel had mild carbonation, a light to medium body, a slight hop bitterness and a dry finish that trails off with citrus notes and a kiss of sweetness. I would drink this all summer long if it was readily available by me, it's so easy to drink.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

hazed golden straw - similar to their IPAs. minimal lacing. aromas of lemon/lime, dankness, plastic spicy hops, grapefruit, doughy malts, fresh herbal note. on palate is earthy grape note, lemon, grapefruit peel, doughy malts. smooth feel.

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Photo of ManapuaMan
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Light, bright, super-hopped. No surprise that Trillium's take on this German beer is hugely-hopped. Pours from the growler a muddled/hazy yellowish orangish - classic Trillium, no matter the style. Aroma is pineapple, orange, tangerine and grape must. I'm trying to fool myself that I can pick up a crackery or doughy malt...but it's all hops. Taste is white grapes, pineapple, lemon, pink grapefruit laid over a soft, subtle malt base. Fruit-forward with tropical fruit acidity nipping my palate. Easy drinking but far from resembling anything to do with a kolsch. My palate can't get past the fruit flavors.

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Photo of mothman
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at canton. Hazy orange juice color.

Light bodied easy drinking kolsch that packs a lot of flavor. Grassy and earthy. Crisp and clean. Hoppy with a little citrus.

Smooth, crisp, and clean.

This is an awesome kolsch. Very enjoyable and easy drinking.

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Photo of Boccu
4.17/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours merky golden yellow. Nice white head that fades quickly. Nice lacing. Aroma of grapes and citrus. grapes, guava, mango, peach, pineapple, lemon and grapefruit. Very nice.

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Photo of BHDLCC
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really nice clean tasting beer. Comes across a bit as a "lite" IPA. Really enjoyable beer to drink...would be very nice on a warm day on the beach or lake. I would get it again without hesitation.

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Photo of StoutElk_92
4.71/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

16 oz. can dated Apr 07, 2017

Pours cloudy opaque dark golden yellow with a frothy white foam head. Smells like huge grapes, passionfruit, guava, mango, peach, lychee, pineapple, lemon, lime, orange citrus, grapefruit, bready crackery caramelized malt, spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Tastes like huge grapes, passionfruit, guava, mango, peach, lychee, pineapple, lemon, lime, orange citrus, grapefruit, bready crackery caramelized malts, spice, with floral earthy herbal grassy pine. Feels medium-light bodied, creamy and smooth with moderate low carbonation. Overall a real nice and hoppy kölsch inspired ale.

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Photo of irrevjim
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from a bottle to a beer tulip
look; cloudy bright golden yellow, tiny bubbles, 1" head, moderate retention and curtain lacing
smell; apricot citrus fruity hops, a little barnyard, sweet fresh mowed grass, passion fruit
taste; grassy passion fruit, a little barnyard, sweet clean malt, honeybun and tart finish
feel; bubbly, full bodiied but crisp
overall; mmm, big sprang indeed, aptly named hoppy fruity clean malty bomb.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy gold coloring, with a foamy white head. Nose of grassy hops forward, with herbal highlights and a toasted backbone. Flavors are crisp and grassy forward, with a floral hops and honey blend, and a subtle sour tang. Crisp body, with an effervesced feel. The aftertaste is grassy and fresh, on a frothy, light end feel. Good beer!

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Photo of thampel09
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Trilliums take on a kölsch? Sure I'll taste it!this beer is packed with a lot of juicy aromas and taste full of citrus fruit from pineapple to grapefruit. Body was lighter coming from the kölsch malts but the hops filled in all the voids.

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Photo of PHBoiler
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I didn't know what to expect and was shocked by how hoppy this kolsch inspired beer was. This was pure grapefruit. Rounded bitterness. Very crisp body. Quenching. Really interesting and enjoyable. A hit with Radler fans in my house as well.

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Photo of ScaryEd
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25.4 oz bottle purchased from the brewery.

Ok, this beer is gorgeous. It pours a slightly hazy, golden straw color with the most beautiful soapy white head I've ever seen in my life. It looks like Gandalf the White's beard after his monthly bath. The retention is very good and when the head finally decides to leave, there's plenty of spotted lacing around the glass. Just a beautiful looking beer.

The Nelson hops are very present on the nose, but are followed by notes of citrus and pine. Not as much of a malt character as I would expect but it is present.

The sweet, bready malt character shines through on the flavor however, and is accompanied by a lot of tropical fruits. I get notes of pineapple and mango, as well as a hint of white grapes. Very crisp.

The mouth is light bodied with moderate carbonation. Incredibly creamy and smooth, albeit very dry on the back end.

Overall, a surprising and impressive change of pace from the typical Trillium brew. I expected this to be a juicy hop bomb but the hops, while ever present, were not overpowering and all the flavors came together very well. This is such an easy drinking beer and one I wish could be available in smaller bottles and/or cans.

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Sprang from Trillium Brewing Company
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 234 ratings