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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 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 oline73
3.73/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a can into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a clear golden with a mild orange hut. There is a two finger white head that leaves a layer and some good lacing.

Smell: Very light and crisp malt with some german yeast in there as well.

Taste: Light and easy to drink. Mild german yeast and a little crisp and sweet malt. Bitter finish overwhelms other flavors a bit. Still good.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fluffy carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: A nice, easy drinking Kolsch. Would have another if I'm in the mood.

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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 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 russpowell
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this one from woodychandler, review based on notes

Poured into my Koln Christmarkt Kolsch Glass, renders an effervescent honey color with 2 fingers of ivory colored head. Above average lacing & average head retention

S: Straw & grassyness faint breadyness, all faded over time

T: Bready notes, lemony hops, slight apricot & pear flavors up front. Lemony hops & grainyness, plus slight astringency as this warms, some floral hops, pears & a touch of honey. Finishes crisp & slightly grainy

MF: Light/medium bodied, light carbonation & nice overall crispness; great balance

An easy drinker. Good take on the style

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Photo of billab914
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz can into my Sam Adams pint glass. Poured a clear, pale golden color with a half inch bright white head covering the beer. The head faded to a thin covering but left some nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a sweet graininess to it with a moderate grassy, earthy, noble hop presence. A little bit of a fruity apple or pear flavor comes through. It has a nice lager crispness to it as well.

The taste has the sweet graininess and the moderate noble hop presence that was found in the nose. A little zesty citrus comes through as well. Pretty nicely balanced, not overly bitter or sweet. Crisp and pretty clean lager flavor.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side overall, but feels a little heavier then others in the style. Carbonation is above average. Drinkability is pretty good, it went down pretty easy on this hot day. it had some nice clean and crisp flavors and was pretty easy drinking overall.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.15/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice surprise to see a Lancaster beer in the almighty can. This one pours a brilliant golden straw color with a big frothing bright eggshell white head. Fine speckled lacing coats the sides of my Hennepin chalice. Aroma has citrus lemon grass noted earthy fresh cut grass amongst a nice pale bready/cracker malt backbone. A nice balanced malty/hop mix going on, lays on some semi sweet biscuit malt presence with a lemon rind grassy earthy finish that really makes the beer crisper than most American brewed Kolsch. Great dryness in the finish, flavorful session beer this is great stuff the kind of light beer that you can sink you teeth into. Carbonation is on from the can sometimes I've seen carbonation issues that's not the case here good stuff. I'm glad I bought a case at just over 20 bucks in the Burgh to bring in the fourth this weekend.

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Photo of woodychandler
3.92/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The CANQuest has finally come to my hometown! CAN you believe it?!?

Brewer Bill Moore had SO wanted to be able to show these CANs off during Philly Beer Week, but it just did not come off on a timely basis. For traders: Let me know if you are interested. I have plenty.

From the CAN: "Crisp, clean & refreshing. Lancaster Summer Seasonal. Our German style Kolsch pays homage to the traditional beer of Cologne. It pours a pale straw color and delivers floral hop notes and smooth malt character from extended cold aging. Crisp, flavorful and refreshing, our German style Kolsch is the perfect summer craft brew."

My pour produced just over a finger's worth of rocky bone-white head that fell like the raindrops outside my window on this hot, humid summer afternoon. Color was a hazy golden-yellow, darker than the straw mentioned on the CAN. I definitely smelled grassy hops on the nose, almost peppery in their intensity. Mouthfeel was medium with a dry, lager-like crispness on the tongue. The finish had the same hoppiness but accompanied by a light honey-like flavor. I am impressed by their first CANned offering and look forward to other of their beers in a CAN in the future. This would certainly go into my cooler and if others need help in getting some, just drop me a Beer Mail.

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

Thanks to pmsawyer for gifting me with this can. Poured into a standard pint glass, this brew appears a lightly hazed straw yellow color with a tinge of gold or maybe copper coloration about it. A finger of white head appears and quickly dissolves to just a thin layering across the top supported by a constant stream of large bubbles that collect on the surface and migrate to the outer edge.

The aroma of this brew includes a floral note of hops, with a touch of sweet cereal-like grainy malts to back. More smells reveal some grassy hop notes mixed with a touch of sulfur. As the brew warms, the malt comes forward with a scent that is more like hay and a touch of herbal aspect from the hops.

The taste is mildly fruity sweet and floral tasting with a slight indication of pear before turning to an herbal bitterness. The hops present themselves with a grassy bitterness as it warms up mixed with plenty of sulfuric notes. The malt inclusion provides a decent base of cereal grain sweetness that is somewhat like the previously mentioned hay or straw from the aroma. The finish is fairly crisp with a lingering herbal bitterness and slight pear notes.

This is a medium bodied brew with a modest level of carbonation. Overall it is a fairly well done example of the style that makes for an easy drinking brew on a warm day. This isn't a style of beer I get thirsty for frequently but today it hit the spot. Thanks for sharing Pete.

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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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Photo of tempest
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a can for $4 at Tap and Table in Emmaus. It was a slightly hazy golden beer with a short head. This wasn't a perfect kolsch, but it was plenty tasty and went nicely with the Fromager d'Affinois. There's a crisp herbal citrus hop bite followed by a smooth berry fruit character. It's a good summer beer, check it out.

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Photo of Gavage
4.01/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: crystal clear golden yellow in color with a 2" head that fell to a thick surface foam.

Smell: light malt sweetness, grass, and a hint of lemon rise from the glass.

Taste: nicely balanced beer as the malt level and mild bitterness are just right. Biscuit, lemon zest, and some grass tones round out the flavor profile.

Mouthfeel: light in body. Crisp throughout with a hint a dryness late. Clean aftertaste. Refreshing.

Drinkability: super sessionable beer. This is a great beer for a hot and humid summer day in the northeast.

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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 BARFLYB
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A can in a Flying Fish pint glass at the grey lodge on the late late.

A- A semi hazy orange yellow body with gold trimmings, much hazier than the victory kolsch I had earlier. Small sqiggles of lines going down.

S- Is a bit more maltier than alot of kolschs' i've had this summer. Smells more malted than fruits with small bubblegum and orange, with earthy hops and hay.

T- Im getting a sweetness that I was not expecting. Going in I thought this would be a dry overly earthy kolsch but by the sweet factor, I can see this is more malty in taste and body. Small grapefruit, no pine, marmalade, sweet sugar. Earthy towards the end.

M- It's a light bodied beer but it feels a bit more than that with the build, A mild carb on the tounge that's not stingy in hind sight, goes down easy smooth and sweet. It says crisp on the can but Im not going for that.

D- I liked it, I would drink a sixer in no time and with the luck I've been having lately I may up that to a 24 pack in one of those funny hats that you sip from a straw out of two beer cans parched on the hat, homer simpson style.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.72/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lancaster Kolsch

Pours a semi hazy bronze color with and inch of soapy white head. Aroma is somewhere between bready and yeasty with some straw and barnyard elements. In the taste, malty, with some spicy hops and yeast. HopS are mild, herbal and tea like. There is a light and crisp malt body. Overall, a nice, clean example of a kolsch. Easy drinking and good flavor.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank directly from the can so the only description of appearance is that the beer presented as a slightly hazy medium straw hue.

The smell featured a potent noble hop spice with a soft grainy malt.

The taste offered vibrant hop spice and a clean grainy malt.

The mouthfeel was toward the fuller side of the style with a vigorous carbonation.

Overall an easily quaffable kolsch. Excellent summer style.

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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 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 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 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 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 Florida9
3.88/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Hazy yellow straw in color. Forms a big two fingers of fluffy white head. Decent lacing.

S: Not a whole lot going on here. Rather muted. Light lemon citrus and a bit of bread.

T: Light bit of toast or cracker. Lightly sweet. Green apple tartness with some citrus hops.

M: Lighter bodied with heavier carbonation.

D: A good example of a kolsch, which is not a style that I particularly care for. But this beer is representative of the style and is done well. Light and easy drinking.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.97/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pouring a cold can into a pint glass. The beer pours a slightly hazy golden hue with a bleached white frothy head of 3 cm foaming up even with a fairly gentle pour. Head fades to a surface layer during sampling and leaves some tight lattice as it fades downward after each sip.
Aroma is some grainy malt and a bit of spicy and earthy hops, but overall the nose is mild.
First sip reveals a fairly light bodied brew with fine yet tingly carbonation.
Flavor is a bit of sweet malt and some spicy hops rolling through on the finish. Not a robust flavor profile, which is accurate for the style. Maybe a little white grape or other mild fruit mixes in after a few more sips, but the beer does finish with a little bit of drying on the palate.
A very crisp enjoyable beer for these hot July days. A pretty good example of the style, not an exemplar but good enough to know if you enjoy and appreciate the style for what it is.

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