Schell's Zommerfest | August Schell Brewing Company

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Schell's ZommerfestSchell's Zommerfest

Brewed by:
August Schell Brewing Company
Minnesota, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Also known as 89.3 The Current

Introduced on Memorial Weekend, 1998, and only available in the summer, Zommerfest is brewed in a 'Kölsch' style, which originates from Cologne, Germany. Its characteristics are fairly light—in color and in flavor. It is a pale gold color, low in hop flavor and aroma, with a light body and a somewhat dry finish. This is a pleasant, light-flavored beverage that goes well with any summer activity.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 06-22-2002

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Reviews: 123 | Ratings: 201
Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brilliant golden crowned by a creamy pillowy white cap. Rich and malty with some herby hops on the back – well done but has a bit more going for it than many traditional Kolsch.

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Photo of Chaz
3.3/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a brilliant gold in color, topped with a white head. Carbonation seems light... except for when I cracked the can. BOOM! It was a gusher.

Nose is very mild, and neutral. There's a bit lightly-grainy malt, a little tall grass (hops?), but altogether it's just plain subtle.

Mildly-sweet and a bit tangy, a bit of bitterness at the end. It's a bit on the lower end of the scale in terms of ABV -at least as far as a lot of today's Craft Beers go- and I can appreciate that. Dry is the lingering impression, along with some biscuit-like malt character.

Nice mouthfeel. Lighter than I remember, and it coats the palate very evenly enough without pummeling it, and the carbonation seems to be just about perfect.

Not bad altogether, and I know that the recipe has changed in recent years (no more honey in the grain bill!), so it's always worth a try to revisit a brand after a recipe change. Last time around I remember it as having more punch, and as being a bit sweeter and more full-bodied.

Notes: This is the "89.3 - The Current" can -- see:
BBD: 100214

This is apparently *not* the same recipe as Schell's Zommerfest, although it is similar to that beer in many ways.

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Photo of MNAle
3.6/5  rDev +0.3%

Sweet, slightly hoppy aroma. Clear golden color with a white head that takes awhile to dissipate. Carbonation is evident. Taste is as expected from the aroma, nicely balanced. Initial bitterness that hangs around for the aftertaste. This is a very nice beer. Not as light as I expected, but probably more true to style.

PS: Some people reviewed this beer under the Schell Zommerfest, although it is apparently a slightly different beer, since this beer has a lower ABV than the Zommerfest.

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Photo of jwc215
3.72/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Freshness date of 09/21/14 on neck:

The smell is mild - some grain, a hint of dry yeast.

The taste is of honey-like sweetness - grainy - slightly nutty - with just enough balancing dryness in the soft, refreshing finish.

Crisp, clean, smooth and refreshing. The body is what is expected for the style.

It could use a bit more of a floral hop touch in the finish, but that is just my opinion. I'm far from complaining, however, because it's a solid example of the style and fits wonderfully as a refreshing summer brew!

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Round two of my birthday gift sampler pack.

Zommerfest is a Kolsch, which I have never tasted or even heard of before tonight.

Appearance - n/a, in a 12 oz glass bottle.

Smell - smells lemony, like the leinenkugel's summer shandy. Slightly metallic. Pilsner-esque. A hint of honey. Floral. Pleasant to smell.

Taste - there's a lot going on here. First thought was "wow". A coppery lemon wheatiness with a soft syrupy bitterness on the finish. Stays pleasantly bitter on the palate for a few seconds afterwards.

Mouthfeel - excellent balance of carbonation and smoothness. Not much I would improve here.

Overall - I'm impressed with the beer. New to the style so I can't compare to others in its class, but it's pleasant and drinkable.

Final note : Zommerfest is Best if drank by itself and not with food - not a good combination I've found.

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Photo of Phocion
3.46/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Special edition 89.3 The Current labeled 16 oz. tallboy. Pours into a weizen glass with a thick, rocky, white head over a clear golden body. Excellent retention on the head and leaves big, thick, three-dimensional chunks of lacing everywhere.

Aroma is pilsner malt and wheat. Very bready. A bit of honey, but just a general overall pale malt sweetness. Slightly grassy and floral hoppiness.

Flavor is a very bready malt sweetness and slightly roasted. Dry, earthy and roasted finish.

Thin, highly carbonated mouthfeel. Crisp, but very thin.

Overall, this is a fairly bland beer and a poor example of a Kölsch-style. Way too bready and malt forward. Where are the fruity yeasty esters? Where's the clean finish? Another "meh" beer from Schell's.

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Photo of vette2006c5r
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Zommerfest pours a golden color with not much of a head. The aroma was non existent and not present. The taste was rather light and not very noticeable, some crisp flavors, but not really present. Light body, light flavors. Overall its not a "bad"beer and its not a very flavorful beer.

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Photo of BrianF
3.71/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

First try on this one. Being from Minnesota, I try to make sure to try as many of the locals as I can.

I got this one on a hot, humid day after work. Im in construction so Im outside a lot, so I wanted something smooth, light and crisp. This purchase did not disappoint. I didn't hurt that my liqueur store had them on sale so the choice was fairly easy.

The first toast is just as I stated but finishes with a hint of grapefruitiness. I paired it with some home made Mexican food with a medium-hot homemade salsa. The combination of the salsa and Zommerfest left a great lingering taste.

Well pleased.

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Photo of liesea
3.52/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I don't know why I can't find anything about this beer. Not even on Schell's website. I finally found an article about it online. As the name implies this beer it the result of a partnership between Schell's and the Minnesota public radio's station 'The Current." There is a playlist dedicated to this beer on the current's website, which has some good local music.

Poured from a can into a pint glass.

The beer pours extremely clear with a thick white head that sticks around.

The aroma is quite sweet and very malty along with a nice amount of citrus.

The flavor is similar to the aroma with a very slightly bitter hop finish. Overall the taste is well balanced, but a little boring for me. Its not flavorful enough to be a sipping beer, but its to heavy to be a hot summer day at the lake kind of beer.

Overall I think this beer is great for what it is. I enjoyed 2 of these out on my patio on a beautiful Minnesota evening while listening to the current's playlist. I think the setting is what really made this beer for me, but overall it's not bad and a good beer to drink while winding down after a long day.

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Photo of MattyG85
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz. can into a large pint glass. 2014 version named after the radio station 89.3 The Current.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. Solid two fingers of white head which slowly fade into a thin creamy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: A crisp and bready malt forward aroma with hints of grains and cracker. Pale malt with upfront hints of grains, straw, cracker, wheat, biscuit, and lager yeast. Light hints of earthy noble style hops. Slight hints of lemon and orange fruit. A pretty decent German style lager aroma.

Taste: Like the smell, a crisp, bready, and somewhat sweet malt driven taste with notes of grains and cracker. Upfont bready pale malt with notes of grains, cracker, straw, wheat, biscuit, and lager yeast. Good kick of earthy hop bitterness with some Euro noble notes. Subtle fruit notes of lemon and orange. A solid light lager taste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation. Crisp, smooth, and fairly drying on the finish.

Overall: A pretty solid take on the German Kolsch style. Nice crisp and clean light lager taste that is a good summer option.

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Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.51/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I bought it under it's labeling as Schell's The Current hoping it would be something new and different and that I'd be the first to post it. Alas, none of these panned out. This doesn't mean, however, that I didn't like it.

The pour is light gold with a big, rocky head that quickly dissipates to a ring around the edge. Good carbonation, very clear. Not much aroma, a very light, hoppy, malty scent, not unpleasant. The taste is rich, but not overwhelming. It's nice, sweet, mixed with bitter and lightly hoppy. Hard to get a fix on it, but not unpleasant. Light to moderate on the tongue with a little buzz from the carbonation with a clean finish. Overall, it's pleasant without being a palate wrecker, perfect for summer evenings on the porch with grilled shrimp and a Caesar salad. The taste isn't so strong that it will overpower delicate flavors like fish and shellfish, nor will the alcohol knock you on your tush, either. It does have flavor, though, which puts it head and shoulders above run-of-the-mill adjuncts. It's very good, but not great.

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Photo of jimmah120
3.64/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was tricked into buying this so I might as well review it, 16oz 89.3 The Current tall boy can

Big bubbly head, clear corn syrup look. Smell is spicy hop, earth, booze. Creamy feel with the perfect amount of carbonation (when poured). It tastes fruity and hoppy, like a muted SNPA. Harsh grain and alcohol show up when they shouldn't.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.39/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Seeking out various local summery brews, and this is an obvious one I haven't had. Tasted 29 July 2013, reviewed from notes.

Pours medium-pale golden yellow, glass-clear. One finger of almost-white head, plenty of visible carbonation. Okay retention, little lacing.

Smell is very grainy, like mid-summer wheat and corn, but pleasantly crisp. A toasty/buttery aroma near the end is a little odd, not fitting in with the other elements.

Taste is just kinda meh. Bland, with just a touch of hop zing. Grainy again, just not much going on. Not flavorless, but not flavorful either.

Feel is okay. Medium-bodied, more buoyant than I want it to be, and with rather low carbonation. Could be better.

One of those beers that I can drink, but that I don't feel any need or real desire to. Refreshing enough, though the toasty/buttery character and the mouthfeel bring it down a notch.

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Photo of hardy008
4.12/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear gold with a two finger bright white head with good retention and lacing. The aroma is sweet and reminds me a little bit of Wrigley's Juicy Fruit gum. It has grapes, bread, light caramel, and lemon.

The taste is much like the aroma. It is sweet, but not as much as I thought it would be based on the aroma. There are grapes, bread, lemon, a little bit of caramel, and light hop bitterness.

Light bodied and smooth with medium carbonation. A nice refreshing beer for summer which I could drink again and again.

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Photo of Humulus85
3.85/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first of a summer seasonal review session. From a 12oz bottle into my Darkness snifter for effect.

Pours a crystal clear, light-gold. A firm pour produced a one-finger, white head. Decent retention leaves behind some sticky lacing.

Grassy hops upfront, pale grains behind it. Well balanced and clean, but far from complex.

Moderately assertive grassy, slightly florally hops upfront. Balanced by cereal grain malt. Some mineral flavors in the finish that aren't offensive. Finishes surprisingly bitter.

Light to medium in the mouth. Good amounts of carbonation. Balanced, but on the dryer side.

Overall this is a quality Kolsch and a nice, clean, drinkable summer ale. Nothing mind-blowing, but that is not what this intends; just a good, clean, refreshing brew for a hot summer day. Cheers!

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Photo of homebrew311
3.63/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass. Appearance is a pale yellow with dense white head, decent amount of lacing left behind. The aroma has a heavy dry wheat character along with lemon zest and yeast. The taste starts off with a mild malt character, very bready, fruit comes in next, primarily lemon. The finish is dry and slightly yeasty. The mouthfeel is light and refreshing. Overall, this is a refreshing Kolsch and stick to the style well.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.18/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Clear golden straw color, single finger of white foam for a head that lasts for about half a minute, minimal lacing left behind on the glass. Smells of light florals and citric peel, tastes of the same but has a flourish of pale malt flavor as well. Watery lighter body and decent carbonation. A very basic and refreshing kolsch. Nothing fancy, but it doesn't really need to be.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.8/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Part Three of my six-part intro to the brewery. It pours a clear pale straw topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises light lemon zest, light orange zest, very light wheat, and a tiny peck-on-the-cheek of sweet flowers. Yeah, it's all pretty weak, but it works here. The taste follows pretty closely, though the power missing from the aroma has shown up here in spades. The emphasis is on the lemon, with some cardamom tossed in for good measure. The body is a hefty light, with a moderate carbonation and a rather fluid feel. Overall, this was a surprisingly enjoyable kolsch. It's nothing overtly spectacular, but more than tasty enough for one of those hot summer days we all try to remember in these cold times (well, I mean, I kinda enjoy the colder months, but you get where I'm coming from here, right?).

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Photo of mikesgroove
2.94/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

crystal clear light golden amber, more of a yellow pale then anything. A very nice two inch white head formed on the top. This faded pretty quickly leaving behind only a half inch or so of lace

pretty hard to pick up anything at all of of this right out of the gate. As I let it settle I started to pick up some light tones of grain and maybe even corn off the top. But again very light and hard to detect. A slight yeasty presence . There was some ;ight hoppiness to it and maybe a touch of grape or fruit of some kind but very light. I could almost see this as a replenish drink after a long hot day. It just came off as that light in body

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Photo of pweis909
4.41/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm really starting to gain an appreciation for the simplicity of balanced German beer styles, in no small thanks to Schell's offerings. Recently loved their pils, and now their Kolsch-style beer.

It's pale yellow hue and perfect clarity are the stuff summers are for (even though I find myself reviewing this beer in mid-autumn).

The aroma presents malt and slightly spicy hops, initially, with the malt dominating as my time with the beer elapses. The taste is also a delicate balance. The malt has slight sweetness, but the beer finishes bitter and dry.

This is the kind of beer meant to be consumed leisurely throughout the day, which is what I find myself doing now.

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Photo of tvv375ia
3/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

poured from 12oz bottle into pilsner glass

A-buff yellow with a 1/2" head that faded quickly leaving no lacing

S-grainy bread type smell with some light malts

T- a little old malt with not much hops but a little grain taste

M-light body pretty thin

O-maybe it was a little past its prime but it would be a good everyday drimk that you don't need to think about

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Photo of PokerGod
2.5/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass

Appearance- golden, straw color. Not much for head, or lacing. Transparent, dull.

Smell- aroma of herbs and malts, maybe a slight hop presence. Corn.

Taste- dull, flat. Drinkable, but not special. Boring. Unimpressive. Chemical aftertaste. Bland.

Overall. Flat and unimpressive. Nothing worth rebuying here.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.55/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Acquired via trade from cpolking so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a short white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains grain, light caramelized malts and some hops.

T: The taste starts out with mildly bready flavors of grain and a hearty but not too heavy malt character. The hops presence is mild but complementary and there’s also a touch of malt sweetness in the background. The after-taste is slightly bready.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, this is a decent lighter beer worth drinking for a long time.

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Photo of FreshmanPour77
4/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 8-6-11
Reviewed cold from a bottle to a glass

A – Poured a finger of foam, clear dark lemonish color. Good amount of carbonation present

S – Malty with slight hop aroma

T/M – Lighter bodied brew with slight malt and hop flavor. Decent hop piney back bone. Easy smooth flavor

D – Good brew from Schell’s. Light bodied brew with a fair amount of hops and malt. Easy drinker that you could have more of. A good grilling brew. Nice for the warm weather

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Photo of lwillitz
3.53/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle into weizen glass

A - a finger and a half of thick white head over a transparent golden body; loaded with carbonation; nice lace

S - pleasant citrus; grassy hops with a touch of spice; grains

T - light bready malt up front; citrus; grassy hops with a moderate bite; lots of citrus in the finish; well-balanced and refreshing

M - light/medium body, high carbonation; oily and smooth

O - not my favorite style, but a decent brew nonetheless

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Schell's Zommerfest from August Schell Brewing Company
3.59 out of 5 based on 201 ratings.
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