Alaskan Brewing Co.

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German Kölsch
Ranked #303
Ranked #41,773
3.6 | pDev: 11.67%
Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaska, United States
Notes: Formerly Alaskan Summer Ale

Alaskan Summer Ale balances a softly malted palate with the clean freshness of hops. In the tradition of the style, neither overpowers the other. Both hops and malt come together to refresh and renew the palate. The straw-gold color and easy drinkability are an enjoyable way to celebrate summer.
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Reviews: 318 | Ratings: 856
Reviews by sprucetip:
Photo of sprucetip
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of StonedTrippin
3.74/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

not sure how i havent reviewed this one before. its a classic obviously, and a cool take on the style thats a little bit different from a lot of them. it is definitely fuller bodied and hoppier than most kolsch styles, and i think the slightly heavier beer is cool in an alaska context, but also more my speed than the sometimes watery and one dimensional imports and american copycats. comes out a little short of clear from the tap, straw colored, with a short white head on it. the malt is the first thing that jumps out at me, its european and traditional tasting, there just seems to be a bit more of it than is common in the style, its grainier than most kolsch, and i like it because that doesnt also mean its sweeter, not here, this is quite snappy in the finish. the hops are grassy and sort of simple tasting, but they add more than balancing bitterness, with an almost green tea quality, and they go great with the grain. not summer ale because its light and you can drink 15 of them (although thats kind of true), but summer ale because its harvest-esque, fresh, and a neat expression of the season. alaskan seasonal beers are all excellent, theres not a dud in the lot.

 1,182 characters

Photo of Todd
4.06/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz stubby bottle w/ twist-off cap.

Pours a pale/straw color with a touch of haze and a thin, bubbly, white lacing. Aroma is clean, fresh, lightly malty.

Firm body, slightly chewy, but still on the light side. Crisp carbonation pulls through with some prickliness and a creamy feel. Sweet-ish, malty, toasty, and bready in the finish. Splash of fruitiness. Mild hops offer a leafy herbal flavor, grass, and faint notes lemon rind. Things dry-up in the end with some residual crackery malts and weak tea.

Nothing overly exciting, and I wish the beer was brighter, but overall a tasty take on a Kölsch and a very worthy session brew.

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Photo of Lone_Freighter
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stange, the appearance was a crisp pale yellow color with a sly transparency about it. Moderate carbonation could be seen rising at a moderate pace to fill a finger's worth of white foamy head trying to sustain itself but does end up moderately falling off. Not much lace, somewhat stringy and sliding.
The aroma had a whiff of grassy to earthy hops up front mildly blending with a keen crisp sweet biscuit/German bready/yeastiness.
The flavor was mainly sweet presenting this German bready/yeastiness to the hops to create a slick sweet aftertaste.
The mouthfeel was light bodied with a nice fairly low carbonation running about it. ABV felt fine. Fairly smooth along my tongue.
Overall, pretty nice Kolsch by Alaskan. Nice to see a favorable German styled one brewed by an American brewer. Would be nice with some grilled swordfish!

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Photo of Flyer
2.51/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Take this review with two grains of salt. First, I had it in a plastic cup on an airplane, which takes "improper glassware" to a new low. Second, I was feeling irritated because the flight attendant had said they carried Alaskan Amber, but when I asked for it I got this instead. (Can you do a place review for an airplane? Can you use a negative number to rate the knowledge of the waitstaff?)

The appearance and aroma were disturbingly reminiscent of a macro, with a vaguely corn-like quality and a macro-brand of light hoppiness (think Coors Light). The flavor was clean, with a minimum of malt and hop flavors -- I struggled to identify any ale-like qualities. Since I normally don't drink Kolsches or Summer Ales or whatever you want to call this, I want to be fair, but this beer was all about refreshment and little more, and it wasn't particularly refreshing. (A good tripel can be very refreshing, and so much more.) I can appreciate that craft brewers may have to expand into more drinkable styles to survivie, but this just goes too far for me. Not recommended.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.2/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12 fl oz brown glass bottle with standard pressure cap served into a conical Guinness pint glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are average.

Served refrigerator cold. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Paired with a fruit tart.

A: Pours a four finger beige colour head of fair cream and thickness, and good retention. Colour is a clear pale copper. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Fresh floral hops, orange rind, clean malts, and lemon peel. An average strength aroma.

T: Orange rind, clean malts, floral hops, some lemon, and wheat-esque grain. A pleasant crisp taste, but it lacks complexity and subtlety. Nicely balanced. I like it.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Too light and thin, weakening the impact of the bright flavours. Adequate carbonation.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but far from Alaskan's best beer. I like it more out of the bottle than on-draught. There are better Kolschen available.


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Photo of pgurule1969
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of BretSikkink
3.4/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Filtered golden lager with an 'ok' soapy head, less than a centimeter in height. Aroma is a clean, sweet grain based one, with mild hopping.

Flavor is similarly clean, a little weak in the grain and hop department. Could use some buffering in the mouth and overall body. Easy to drink, sessionable summer ale, but not one I'll go out of my way for again.

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Photo of WBMiller
3/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of Needmorebeer312
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of wspscott
3.72/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle in pint glass

I picked this up expecting a pale ale (didn't look close enough at the label)

A: crystal clear golden color, no head/lace
S: slightly sweet malts with hint of hops
T&M: very crisp/clean, highly carbed, slight hops bitterness (type of hops not obvious), highly attenuated
D: highly drinkable, great summer beer, true to style but a bit of a disappointment since kolsch is not a favorite (see above). Good camping beer, I didn't feel guilty drinking a couple straight from the bottle :)

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Photo of MattyG85
3.77/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Straw golden yellow with a moderate amount of bubbles. About one finger of white head fades into a patchy layer with a little bit of lacing.

Smell: Sweet aroma of pale malts, citrus, grapes, lemon, and grains with a hint of grassy hops. Everything smells fairly light.

Taste: Tastes like it smells with a sweet mix of pale malts and grains with lemon, grapes, and other citrus. Has a light hint of honey and hop bitterness in the finish. Everything is fairly subdued.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with a moderate carbonation. Very crisp.

Overall: A good version of a Kolsch. Nothing outstanding, but a pretty good summer brew.

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Photo of forestkcary
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of diamondc
4/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$1.99 for a 12 oz bottle. Best by 07/31/12

A: Clear, golden hue. Not much head, but whats there lingers for a while. Some patchy lacing, too.

S: Apples, brown sugar, caramel, fresh bread aromas. A nice surprise.

T: Lite lemon, grass, wheat bread, a tinge of sweet corn, with a mild spicy bitterness.

M: Well carbonated, very quaffable. No big flavors, but not boring at all.

O: A great summer beer. Tasty & refreshing. Will probably pick up a six pack next time at store.

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Photo of Michaeldmanley
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Bigtwin
3.25/5  rDev -9.7%

Photo of -Andrew-
3.5/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of depechemode1983
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Clear, dark gold in color. A stream of bubble can be seen coming up from the center of the glass. The head is white and disappeared a little to quickly. The beauty is in the color.

S - Excellent nose. Its sweet with lots of fruit and a soft floral notes. I'm getting apricots, green apple, white grapes and a nice wheat backbone. The aroma is very assertive and all the characters stand out nicely.

T - The taste is of dry wheat and fruit. Again green apple comes in to play, along soft lemon zest. The finish is slightly bitter and lingering.

M - The mouth feel is excellent. Medium bodied, crisp, clean, and with refreshing carbonation. Perfect for a hot day. Alaskan Summer is the perfect name.

O - Just a straight out enjoyable beer. Looks good. Smells amazing. Taste great, and feels wonderful. I recommend this one if you see it.

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Photo of beergoot
3.67/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A fine medium gold body with a thick, chunky white head. Light grain scent; cereal; somewhat woody. Warm biscuit flavor with a soft hop bitterness. Light bodied; soft and dry.

A nice little malt-forward ale, perfect for a summer afternoon when you're in the mood for a lighter ale. Nothing mind-blowing, just easy drinking and tasty...

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.1/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of tpd975
3.85/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Light amberish hue with a wimpy head even on draft. The head dies quickly but manages a bit of lacing.

S: Lot bready malts with hints of sweet summer fruits and sugar.

T: I liked it enough to order two. Very light and fruity. Tons of apple and grape mingle with the malt. A very nice light Kolsch.

M: Smooth, Light and Crisp. What more can you want from a Kolsch

D: Great beer to finish the day after walking the streets and glaciers of Juneau.

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Photo of yankees27
4/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of EBeckett3
3.75/5  rDev +4.2%

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Kölsch from Alaskan Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 856 ratings