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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 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 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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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 youradhere
2.7/5  rDev -26.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got this from obrienej in a trade.

Pours clear with ample white pillowy head; head lasts a while and has a medium creamy texture. Body is medium gold, almost bronze. Smell is of spicy rust, mild grain aroma. Taste is hop bitter forward carried by light malt, I want to say they used Northern Brewer for bittering, light, very light grain however overshadowed by the hops. Some mild spicy hop flavor on the backside, light and fluffy mouthfeel, hop bitter lingering in the after taste mixed with some "can" flavor. If this didn't have the slippery and creamy mouthfeel, any more hop bitterness or it didn't have the subdued carbonation it does, I don't think this brew would do it for me.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
2.98/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Lancaster kolsch as a golden body with a ton of fast moving carbonation bubbles that seem like they will never stop. The solid-looking white head has great retention, and i expected it would leave some great lace, but it did not.

The aroma is slightly fruity with lots of pale malts.

The pale malts star in this one, providing a cracker-like flavor along with some sweetness that is a little darker tasting than I would expect. There is a little bit of crisp hoppiness in the background and a fair amount of yeasty fruit. Just a hint of a buttery flavor lurks in there.

Mouthfeel has the right amount of heft and carbonation.

Overall this beer is thrown off by the buttey flavor. It seems to have some potential, but it isn't quite there yet.

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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 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 magine
3.27/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a stange mug.

Pours a slight hazy straw yellow. Has a fluffy white carbonated head head. Head settles to a spidery lace head. No lace remains. Mediocre looks.

Brew smells of grains, slight malts and some light floral hops. Average smelling brew.

Brew is sweet; malty grains, slight floral hops. Some slight hop bitters. A crisp clean refreshing brew. Nothing fancy here just a good tasting sessionable brew. Brew is carbonated nicely and is well balanced. Finishes slightly dry. Pretty good.

I am not the biggest fan of this style. But this is a good representation, easy drinking and sessionable. No head retention whatsoever hurts this brew. Overall, pretty good.

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Photo of DarkerTheBetter
3.28/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Looks gold with some dirty orange and a touch of haze accompanied by a field of bubbles. The head is an irregular film with a thick collar.

Smells of dry, sweet wheat with a sour citrus bite that falls into a woody dryness. This is accompanied by a few floral notes.

Tastes quite fruity with a clean, dry orange and a musky wheat. This quickly picks up a thick and slightly chalky, dry yeast. Finishes with what I would imagine a piece of fresh pine with a mushroom growing on it would taste like.

Feels pretty big and dense which works against the fruity notes of this one. The carbonation feels trapped and suspended which adds quite a bit to the texture.

A Kolsch? I'm not so sure I would have guessed this one by style had I tried it blind. Maybe an American Wheat Ale.

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

12 oz can into a German stange glass.

Pours a clear gold, with 2-3 fingers of thick and rich bright-white head. This retains with a thin creamy layer of foam that rings the sides of the glass with lacing. The aroma is floral and spicy smelling with a green and earthy tinge to it. Fruit and malt team up to give this an underlying sweet twang in the nose. The spice REALLY comes out strongly as this warms up.

That spiciness carries over to the taste, with peppery notes helping bring out the gritty bitterness of the hops. Fruity citric character is present but is coming off as a little more green than sweet, as a crisp malt backing provides most of the balancing sweetness here. This finishes earthy with that lingering spice really hanging around for a good while. The mouthfeel is lighter-medium bodied, with a sharp creaminess to it but this also seems to carry a touch of syrupy heft underneath as well which is holding the drinkibility of this back some.

This was rather middle of pack for me as far as the Kölsch styles go. Just a lot of spice here and that syrupy mix of sweetness and fruit could have maybe have used even more balancing bitterness than what was there. Not horrible by any means but there are some others out there that I would go to first. I do like the canning of this by Lancaster though. We need more cans in Central PA!

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Photo of mactrail
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Golden yellow in the glass. Good appearance but nothing special. Some head but mouthfeel is rather odd. Woody and astringent. Citrus and sourish with orange pith kind of taste. Hops are hard to figure but the bitter aftertaste lingers.

Not very refreshing. Strong flavors without much complexity. I find it had to see the Kolsch pedigree, but it's not as hoppy as a pale ale. Next!

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Photo of DIM
3.35/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This was a slightly hazy golden color. I had this can at a restaurant and I couldn't coax much of a head out of this despite a vigorous pour. I didn't ding the score though since I'm guessing it was an issue with the glass, not the beer.

s: Light, semi-sweet grains and some grassy, sightly herbal hops. There was also a mild mineral element here.

t: This was a little sweet overall with a nice grassy bite up front. The finish was a rough grain flavor that tasted a bit off.

m: Light bodied and crisply carbonated, very refreshing.

d: I was really excited to try this, so I feel a bit let down. I haven't tried many kolsches, but I remember liking other examples a more. Still, the price is right and these aren't bad. I wouldn't rule out a case purchase in the future.

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

On tap at the Philly Opening Tap. Review from notes on 6/4/10.

A - poured a clear straw yellow with a decent white rocky head. Retention was pretty good, no lacing though. Bubbles rising continuously from the glass. 4.0

S - light and biscuity with a big floral, grassy, and slightly lemony bouquet. Altogether pretty light though, almost muted. 3.5

T - Like the aroma, I felt that it was pretty muted. The flavors are all there though, nicely balanced. Nice biscuit in the forefront with the floral, earthy, grassy, and spicy hops following. 3.0

M - Light, airy, crisp. Nicely carbonated. 4.0

D - Pretty good. Not sure if I would buy this at a bar though. 3.5

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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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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 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 Slatetank
3.48/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I picked this can up at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown - poured chilled into a stange.

A - A very attractive pale golden with rocky off-white cap. the head retention is very good and lace sticks pretty well. The bead is tiny and the carbonation is visible in the ale.

S - The smell that greets my nostrils is slightly metallic with a complimentary ester of hops which have noble character, both spice and mild herbal odors are fragrant with a malt and yeast aroma that is mild

M - The feel is highly spiced w/ high carbonation. the bitterness is high for the style and it is a crisp texture leaving dry bitter taste more akin to a pils w/ very mild sweetness and moderately high spice. The body is light overall

T - The tast has a hop dominant quality w/ noble character which is mildy pepper with bitter herbal notes, moderate level of bitterness overall in flavor, but the hops seem a little high for the kolsch style. I won't knock the flavor simply since it is hoppier than average, and the hop flavors are appropriately German. The flavor of the hops are good and they have a fresh essence while the malt sneaks in as the beer warms slightly. There are more floral notes from the hops which shadow the spice quality and bitter taste w/ a slightly grassy tinge.

D -A tasty Ale which is masquerading as a kolsch, but really tastes like a German Pils with the malt very low in the flavor and yeast hidden. I think it is a tasty beer, just misses the mark for Kolsch slighly.

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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 tone77
3.5/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz, can. Has a golden color with a 1/2 inch head. Smells of malts, a bit on the sweet side. Taste is crisp, a touch sweet, good malt and hops balance, finishing a tad bitter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and has good drinkability. Overall this is a good quality beer.

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Photo of Salt-n-Beer
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 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 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 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 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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Lancaster Kölsch from Lancaster Brewing Company
3.66 out of 5 based on 271 ratings.
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