Lancaster Kölsch | Lancaster Brewing Company

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Lancaster KölschLancaster Kölsch

Brewed by:
Lancaster Brewing Company
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our German-style Kolsch pays homage to the traditional beer of Cologne. It pours a pale straw color, delivering floral hop notes and a smooth malt character developed from extended cold aging.

Added by DmanGTR on 06-15-2010

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Reviews: 72 | Ratings: 271
Photo of 57md
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a straw color with a finger of head. The body is heavier and the flavor is more malty than the standard for the style. This offering also did not have the light dryness that is such a pleasant part of a kolsch.

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Photo of chuckakhan
2.54/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I'm a fan of Gaffel kolsch, and I like to try other kolsch beers once in a while. Lancaster's kolsch is golden with carbonation visible. I poured this in a mug. To be honest, I did not enjoy this particular kolsch as much as I would have hoped. The smell and taste was not what I expected from a kolsch, and I gave it a few mouthfuls before I moved on. If you're a fan of kolsch beer, give this one a try to decide for yourself. Gaffel continues to be my default choice for kolsch.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.81/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

7/16...served on tap in Philly. Pours clear light medium amber. White foam sits on top. Flavorful malt taste, very fresh and clean. Light bitter and a touch sweet.

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Photo of UPMD_Bill
3.79/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap. Pale golden yellow, not much head but visible carbonation bubbles throughout. Hint of bready malt followed by grassy, with some tiny hints of sour fruit and spice. Light and refreshing but more character than I'd expect for a 4.8% ABV.

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Photo of drtth
3.51/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours out into a Duvel glass a clear yellow straw color with light visible carbonation. The 3/4” ivory foamy head that recedes fairly soon leaving a thin layer on the liquid and a ring of foam around the glass. Sipping leaves small patches and legs of lacing that quickly become liquid and slide back down. By about half way through the beer there's virtually nothing left.

The aromas are bready with faint touch of grassy.

The flavors include some sweet bready malt and some grassiness from the hops. There’s also a light fruit character which reminds of pear.

The mouth feel is on the light side of medium and there is light prickly carbonation. The finish begins with decline of the bready sweetness that becomes dry and lightly bitter.

Overall, for me this is an OK beer, but one I’d pass by in favor of the Stoudts’ Karnival Kolsch or some of the German imports such as Gaffel or Reissdorf when they are on tap.

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Photo of metter98
3.49/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: The beer is clear straw yellow in color and has a light amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high bright white head.
S: Light aromas of bready and grainy malts are present in the nose. As the beer warms up, hints of fruit also become perceptible.
T: The taste has flavors of green grapes and pears intermixed with strong notes of grainy malts. There is a slight amount of bitterness and dryness towards the finish.
M: It feels light-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and could make for a good choice if you are looking for something sessionable during the summer months.

Serving type: can

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Photo of brap
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

Got this on a whim because it was on sale. A lot more complex than the light summer beer I expected, with heavier feel, darker coloration, and some pleasingly bitter notes.

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Photo of Gajo74
3.83/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice golden slightly hazy look with a thumbnail head that dissipates quickly.
Not much of an aroma at first, however, I note hints of lemon and honey towards the end of the drink.
Tastes of lemon and a finish that has a bitter hop flavoring.
Light bodied feel but almost viscous.
Overall a solid, crisp and refreshing kolsch, but not as good as the ones I had in Cologne Germany.

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Photo of The_Kriek_Freak
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%

A very nice and refreshing Kölsch-style brew that ticks all the boxes for this particular style. Very nice color and aroma with a mild sour and smoky aftertaste. Not too carbonated. Overall a very pleasant drink that goes down easily.

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Photo of seedyone
4/5  rDev +9.3%

04/26/14 From a can. Thanks to AJ at Super Buyrite. This is more substantial than Kolschs I've know. Nothing wrong with that as long as it's balanced. Firm head atop a slightly darker beer than the light blondes in my past. Slight aroma doesn't give anything away as to the fullness of the mouth-feel & tastes. At 4.8 ABV it could be called a session beer by some, but I'd reserve that for beers of a lighter body. At the risk of sounding petty I'll say this is a great summer evening or night brew, but starting a session in the afternoon with this candidate may be costly. I will be looking out for it again this summer.

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Photo of Tucquan
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Had this on 2014-08-12 in Columbia, PA

A - Pretty clear gold with a 1.5-finger white head and mild lace.

S - Rising white bread with a touch of grass and lemon.

T - Sourdough, astringent, pine, hop bitterness. Finishes a bit tart and bitter.

M - Light-medium body and carbonation. Prickly and crisp.

O - Not true to style. Reminds me of a session IPA more than a Kolsch. Drinkable for sure but not soaring to the top of the leaderboard for me of Kolsch's I've had.

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Photo of Act25
3.85/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I think this Kolsch is under-rated. I liked it as well as any other. Once you get it right, not much to vary in a Kolsch.

Got this at WFM craft pack, 12 for 12.99 Minus 10% case discount. Canned, and fresh. Fresh tasting. Reviewed again on 9-7-14.

A: 3.75 Into a tulip, this was slightly hazed, great color, great carbonation. Above average lacing & head retention

S: 3.75 Lemon, hay, straw & grassyness - smell the pilsner, a major pear note.

T: 3.6 Bready, lemony hops, pear up front. Lemony hops & astringency with floral hops, pears & a touch of tea like honey. Finishes crisp. Half way through, I added a slice of organic lemon, went great with chicken, basil, potatoes and strawberries dinner.

MF: 3.6 Light bodied, light carbonation & crispness; great balance. Excellent summer beer.

Overall - If you like pear, it's good as Kolsch gets in USA.

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Photo of Zraly
3.96/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, pale gold with a two finger white head -- looks great for style. Faint aroma of grass and flowers.

Slightly sweet and fruity malt and floral hops. A bit of cereal flavor. Hops are grassy and floral, with a touch of citrus. Very clean finish. Light to medium-bodied. Crisp and light, with an ABV of 5.1%, this is very easy to drink. Great warmer weather session ale.

A nice American interpretation of the style. Perfect for noshing on coneys and potato salad.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.57/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

12 oz can into a pint glass.

A: Pours a clear golden color. The head is two fingers high with a white color. It caps the body off with a creamy texture and average retention. A lot of lacing is left on the glass, too.

S: This has a nice noble hop character. Earthy, grassy, and floral - just what I want from the style. Beneath that lie some sweet malts, cereal grains, and a bit of diacetyl. There are no twists or turns, just the exact kind of nose I want a kolsch to provide.

T: Follows the nose well. It opens up decently hoppy with some malty sweetness entering near the midtaste. Touches of grape and cereal grain finish the beer off. Not complex, but it does exactly what the style should accomplish: provide crisp refreshment.

M: Light and crisp, just the way I like it. Just a touch of finishing sweetness balances the back end quite well. Well carbonated.

O: Some have said this is kind of like a macro lager. Well, I drank my share of macro lagers the night before, and let me tell you - this makes every one of those look like a sad joke. For one, it's actually hoppy. I would have no trouble drinking this all day, that's for sure.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
3.23/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Served on tap in a pint glass

Appearance – The beer is served a light golden color with a one finger of pure white head. The head has a decent level of retention, fading over time to leave some foamy lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The smell is very light overall with just some hints of a biscuit nature as well as a little bit of a grassy and citrus smell.

Taste – The taste begins with a biscuit and slightly grainy taste mixed with some lemon citrus flavors. As the taste advances it gains a bit more graininess with the lemon getting a bit stronger as well. Some lighter hop flavors of a grassy and floral nature as well as a decent amount of grapefruit show up mid taste, bittering the flavor a bit A light tangerine sweetness joins the lemon and malty flavor at the end, leaving a slightly grainy and more sour/bitter citrus flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the thinner side in terms of thickness and creaminess with a carbonation level that is on the higher side. Both are quite appropriate for the style and match well the citrus and grainy flavors of the brew, making for a more refreshing drink overall.

Overall – A rather decent kolsh, that is fairly refreshing and crisp, but that is nothing super out of the ordinary.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.53/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12oz can poured into pint

Clear golden straw yellow pour with a frothy cap of bone white head. Fades out into a collar of film with little lacing. Bright grassy hops and a dash of citrus in the nose with some pilsen malts. Hops brush the tongue up front with biscuit malts and lemon peel. Mild backbone, snap of spice, refreshing and crisp on the tongue. Clean finish, lighter body, decent carbonation.

High value, excellent drinkability, refreshing during the warmer summer days. We brought some of these to recent bbqs and beach parties where they really hit the spot. Plus it's $30 for a case, which is ridiculously cheap for a craft beer case in Center City Phila.

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Photo of BWED
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. can poured into a pils glass, wish i had a stange.

A- Clear, apple juice yellow-brown body, with a fizzy white head. Retention isn't great, and no lacing.

S- Straw, pale malt, floral and just a hint of fruitiness.

T- Mild pale malt, a bit of bitter floral hop.

M- Light body, well balanced, and a very crisp finish. Makes you stop and think about its characteristics.

O- Refreshing on a hot day, and it brings a lot of flavor. Something to chug, yet something to savor.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.18/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lancaster's take on the Kolsch style... let's begin with the appearance. It it appropriately carbonated, with a pure white cap of fluff and a torrent of rising bubbles. There's even some lacing left on my Kolsch glass. I take issue with the color - it is about a half shade too dark.

The aroma is the best part - toasted grains, straw, herbal lemon drops, and crisp European hops. This is all great, but there's a bit of an oxidized characteristic here, which should not be, since it is from a can. The taste is too hoppy/bitter for a true Kolsch, and that oxidized quality and some other indistinguishable thing makes it seem like an AAL to me. Not good.

Overall, I would not recommend this. I would rather have a stale Kolsch imported from Koln out of the bottle. Even without my judgement of this vs. German Kolsch beers, it does not stand on it's own as a summer beer or a session ale. There's MUCH better out there in those departments as well.

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

12oz can into a tall glass.

A- Pours a crystal clear golden sunshine color, not dark but slightly darker than I expected. A gentle pour resulted in a big 2-finger pure white head that tapered to a film and left lots of lacing behind.

S- Floral hops, grainy funked up malts, a bit of 'back in the day' lagerness.

T- Floral hops drive this brew, and they drive well. There's a bit of malt sweetness and dry yeastiness.

M- Light and easy going. Well carbonated with a hop bite. The hops finish long and sharp especially as the beer warms.

O- This was the right fit on a beautiful summer day. Easy to drink, flavorful, some bite. And at 4.8% abv , gentle on the bloodstream.

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Photo of Jimmys
2.49/5  rDev -32%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.5

12 oz can. no pkg date.

A: crystal clear bright blond body. head is big and is made up of bright white bubbles. lacing and retention are good.

S: malty and chewy. lacking in the distinctive Kolsch yeast aroma that comes with the style. lots of grain, little bit of wheat perhaps? a little bit of a herbal hop element.

T: if I thought the aroma lacked in distinctive Kolsch character, the body does even less. jeez, this drinks more like an American adjunct lager than a Kolsch. finish is a little bitter, but not harsh.

M: a tad under-carbed in my opinion. light bodied.

D: pretty mediocre/poor example of the style. not sure if this is a freshness issue or just not that good of a beer to start with. regardless, gets a big pass from this guy.

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Photo of jeremy13586
3.43/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clear light cold color. Poured one finger of pillowy white head. Left some pretty decent lacing as the head vanished.

Bready malt that followed with some peppery and floral hops.

Light bitter hops hit the palate first, and then mellow out as the malt backbone supports. Not a whole lot going on, but very unoffensive.

Very smooth and crisp brew. Light in body, but with plenty of substance. Very clean finish.

Nothing incredibly extravagant about this kolsch, but it is an incredibly refreshing beer that I look forward to having every summer.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.42/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tall Kolsch glass...what else? Pillowy and bright white head that takes time settling atop clear brilliant straw-gold liquid. Light bready malty nose with a flowery hop tone tell me this is promising. Light and delicately hoppiness with light malt backing. Finishes crisp and hoppy. A quintessential hot weather session drinker...hits the mark here during the current NJ heatwave. Delicious.

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2.63/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I bought a six pack of this stuff thinking it would be a great lawnmower beer. It was a hot day and I really looked forward to some refreshing beer.
It pours nice and looks good. Had a nice head but the bubbles were big and not creamy. Very little lacing and the head was gone super quick. Settled down to look a lot like a bright yellow pabst. Then I drank it.

1) Way too sweet.
2) Overly carbonated.
3) Strange vegetable taste

Realy bad when the over carbonation factor kicks in and you start burping this stuff up. Whatever flavor that is. It isn't good. I gave the rest of it (I drank 2 cans)to my buddy who drinks anything, and he said it was good.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.38/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz can poured into a DFH snifter.

Pours a clear bright yellow color with a finger of wispy foam. Aroma is heavy on the DMS/cabbage flavor, with some german hop aromas poking through as well.

First sip is... much sweeter than expected. Doesn't have the crisp refreshing finish that I'd expect. Grainy, husky flavor, with flat finish. DMS present but not overboard.

The biggest problem I have with this beer is that I think it has too much residual sweetness. Hops are subdued, and there isn't a lot of complexity with this beer.

Nothing glaringly bad about this, just not overly exciting. Solidly average.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the can into a Gaffel Kolsch stange glass.

Real nice brassy orange and crystal clear colored body, with some moderate speed rising carbonation cola like bubbles. Very good retention on the head, soapy and large pock marked and swiss chessed all over. Good staying power. Looks great, love this orange hue to the beer.

Faint crisp bready malt, faint sour and fruity esters. Kind of a nice spicy hop angle as well, and some good dry flour bread sense. Enjoyable smells quite nice.

This is quite a hoppy Kolsch. Nice bite to this brew with a good lime bitterness of hop. Crisp seems to be subdued with a faint drying finish, and nothing that lingers. Malts sweeten the palate a bit after some repeated sips. Lingering rolling almost astringent hop quality and lime action after some time.

Real refreshing Kolsch, going to be enjoying these, great price for them too. I'd buy this again easily.

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Lancaster Kölsch from Lancaster Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 271 ratings.
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