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

Bright yellow in color with a light haze. A thin white head after the pour that leaves a nice white cap and wet lacings on the glass. Light, fresh floral aroma with hints of lemon and biscuit. Light bodied with lower than average carbonation. Light malt biscuit flavors in the beginning, followed by citrus lemon and orange hop flavor and very crisp finish with a bitter aftertaste.

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

From the 12oz can, this Kölsch pours a lightly hazy gold with a tight little head and above average lacing.

The aroma is lightly grainy with a bit of butter and earthy hops.

Light, but interesting. There is a solid pale malt profile with grainy, bready notes, plus a bit of caramel and butter from the ale fermentation. The hop character is more pronounced than most German beers of this style, with a pleasing amount of zippy lemon and earthy goodness. A bit too bitter in the aftertaste, but reasonably clean and refreshing. Well-carbonated, smooth and light. A very satisfying session beer.

I enjoyed this offering. It's got a bit more going on than a traditional German Kölsch, but I appreciated the nuanced flavor in a light beer. The finish needs some work, though.

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Photo of sage717
4.6/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pour - nice light color with a perfect white foam. Some nice lacing as well

Aroma - slight citrus notes.

Taste - clean & crisp very refreshing beer straight from the first sip. Some slight lemon noted can be tasted as well.

Overall - I can honestly say that this is the perfect beer for a hot day. Its crisp and refreshing with a nice bite and very clean finish.

great job on your first canned beer Lancaster - I did it right!

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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 allboutbierge
4/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good Kölsch, but not quite up to par with some of the top offerings I've had in Köln. However, it is better than some of the weaker offerings from Köln numerous breweries, specifically Gaffel and Dom.

Color is a bit darker than I would expect it to be, but still a light gold, completely clear and with mild carbonation. Head is also a bit smaller and lacing is again a bit lacking. Aroma is clean, subtle and a bit floral. Some very delicate grassiness comes through in the finish. Body is moderate and appropriately so.

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Photo of jwhancher
3.75/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a case of cans. Poured 'em into a pint glass for better reviewing.

A: After I first bought the case and the cans were still somewhat warm, the color looked bright clear. However, after stocking the fridge with the rest the color seemed to develop some sort of a chill haze. Not really sure what's going on with that. Either way, the color is a milky golden hue with a small white head that quickly dissipates into nothingness.

S: Little bit of graininess but mostly floral hops. Smells like how most German-styled beers should. Wish it had a tad more hop profile, though.

T: Tastes very nice. I think it starts dry and finishes a little sweet with a bit of a lemon-citrus zest. Good light German malt profile.

M: Very smooth & mostly even in terms of dry/sweetness, but again a tad on the sweet side. Okay carbonation...not an issue.

D: A very drinkable beer in the summertime. I actually bought this especially because I was getting overloaded on too many pale ale and IPAs with the heat & high humidity. This beer really does the trick, compliments food well, and doesn't get you overly hammered at one sitting. A great beer to enjoy with some full flavor.

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Photo of Stigs
3.65/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, served in a standard pint glass

A - pours with a couple fingers of fuzzy white foam...the beer is crystal clear, bright gold in color.

S - very grainy, corn and some cooked veggies...very bright grassy hops and some zesty lemon peel.

T - begins with clean grains, lightly sweet...slightly bitter and bright grassy hops along with some citrus zest.

M - light body, lacking some carbonation which dulls everything down a bit and kills the refreshing qualities of the beer. finishes dry, as it should.

D - somewhat easy to drink, really wish it had an extra spark or two of carbonation.- all around solid nonetheless.

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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 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 kiddynamite920
3.95/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A nice golden straw color with a head of larger bubbles. Looks like what the can advertises..."Crisp, Clean and Refreshing"

S: Pale malts with some grass and citrus as well. The citrus is a very refreshing aroma of sweet orange and a bit of lemon. Has a bready aroma, a bit of the yeast comes through. The sweetness and citrus pair very well.

T: Sweet malts countered with some bitterness of citrus zest and grassy hops. This beer really screams summer. Good lingering flavors and bitter/sweet ratio. Almost similar to a light white wine. Very nice.

M: Carbonation is right on point. Bitterness is just assertive enough and the sweetness makes this very palatable. Leaves a drying feeling on the teeth.

D: Perfect beer for the summer, Lancaster has definitely created a beauty here. And it comes in a can! Crisp, clean and refreshing like the can claims. That's really all that needs to be said.

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Photo of indiapaleale
4.1/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pour - pours a golden, straw color that is a bit hazy and topped with a decent-sized froth of bright white foam. Some nice lacing is left as the foam slinks away.

Aroma - a little grainy with some slight citrus notes. Not a whole lot to be said about the nose on this, the style doesn't have a very pronounced aroma.

Taste - crisp, sharp and clean. That is a refreshing beer straight from the first sip. Some grainy sweetness is followed by a lip smacking, tongue snapping bite of bitterness followed by a lingering tangy flavor. Some slight lemon noted can be tasted as well.

Overall - I can honestly say that this is as an outstanding beer for a hot day. Its crisp and refreshing with a nice bite and very clean finish. Its like biting into the perfect apple, except that apple is in a glass and its beer and its awesome!

Would I buy more of it? - absolutely. I could throw a 12-pack of this on ice and be set for a weekend. This may be the only beer these guys put in cans but they sure as hell did a great job with this one.

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

12oz can poured into pilsner glass.
Nice suprise seeing a new seasonal from LBC. And in cans!! At $22 a case, I couldn't resist. Can says Wilkes Barre, PA so I'm guessing this is another contract brew from The Lion. Poured a hazy straw color with 2 fingers head. A bit of lace sticks on the glass as the head recedes. The smell reminds me of a barn full of hay. Palate is nicely balanced with cracker malts and grassy german hops. Also notice a hint of lemon zest in there. Mouthfeel is crisp and refreshing with a nice body that coats the mouth and lingers a bit. Great brew for the summer months and a great example of the style.

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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 bigfnjoe
4.35/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Took awhile for this to get on tap due to some distro issues. Finally had it a couple of weeks after I was initially told about'd it measure up?

Served on tap into my huge mug club mug of death.

A- pours a cloudy, honey colored shade of gold with a one finger white head. Laces nicely.

S- getting a lot of lemonish hops. Unique for something by Lancaster...a pretty strong scent! I likey.

T- you get a huge bite of bitterness from the lemons and first, and then some sweetness. Tastes like...summer.

M- feel is good. Nothing outstanding.

D- oh hells yes this is drinkable! Low ABV, nice tasting, plus, its sold in cans so you can bring it on the beach with you. Total summer beer, and one of the better ones I've had. Kudos to LBC for churning this one out...much better than the Rare Rooster I'm used to from them in the summer.

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Photo of DocBrewroo
4.92/5  rDev +34.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The cans where a huge hit! Enjoyed with friends on the water off Annapolis.

Slightly darker gold than expected, this brew poured with a white frothy head that lingered leaving behind subtle lacing. I picked up nice malts and citrus on the nose; on the palate those same malts show with a slightly more assertive hop character than I expected(but totally enjoyed.) All in all an excellent release from LBC, great for these ridiculously hot summer days.

It's about time Lancaster started moving in the right direction with new management and better beer quality. I can't wait to see what Bill Moore & Company have up their sleeves for the fall !

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Photo of BeerIsland
3.98/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had been looking forward to reviewing this beer while watching the USA/Ghana match somewhere else than home alone. LBC was rather quiet when I showed up, as was the American team during the first half. All of a sudden, 50 bus riding Home Brewers from Lehigh Valley poured in plus a large wedding party and the joint was jumping. The staff really hopped to and all the sample glasses were used up in about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, I could sit back and enjoy the game (up until the end!) and converse with the patrons. A very pleaseant afternoon.

This beer appeared golden in the glass with a bit of lemon green tint (looking at beers through the mug club mug can accentuate the color!). The frothy head dissapated in a bit, leaving some lacing behind. The nose was subtle, mostly malts. This beer hits the tongue very nicely, crisp hops throughout and a hefty (for a Kolsch) malt base through the middle. I think the addition of Vanguard is an interesting choice and provides some of those citrusy notes reviewed elsewhere (too subtle for this old tongue!) The malt flavors tend toward the toasty biscuity. It's incredibly easy going down and the conditioning is just right.

In general, this verion is much more flavorful than most Kolsches I've tried but far from too heavy for the warmest of days. I'm very interested in trying it in the can and took a 12pack home. All in all an extremely good beer. I really enjoyed this one.

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