Kölsch | Brauerei Päffgen

very good
37 Ratings
no score
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Brewed by:
Brauerei Päffgen

Style: Kölsch

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by brewdlyhooked13 on 11-03-2003

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Ratings: 37 |  Reviews: 18
Photo of kojevergas
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

On-draught @ the brewpub, in a .2L stangenglas of course. Price is 1.70 euro per stangen.

A: 5cm of the creamiest frothiest goodness imaginable caps the vibrant gold body. Head is white in colour, leaves even lacing as it recedes, and retains damned impressively - ~10+ minutes.

Excellent look for a kolsch. Can't wait to try it.

Sm: Fresh. Slightly fruity estery yeast, Munich malts, floral Hops. Suggests a light but subtle brew with superb balance. Aromatic intensity is oddly low, however.

T&Mf: Drinks fresh, crisp, and clean, with a light creamy body and a bright malt base. Munich malts, fresh barley, slight graininess. A kiss of butter and honey. Sweetbread. A bit of Noble hop grassiness. Subtle floral hops play in the background. Has a delicate presence on the palate and pretty good depth of flavour. Flavour duration is average. Flavour intensity is mild.

Balanced, though simple. A very refreshing enjoyable Kolsch.

Dr: Ludicrously drinkable, and a magnificent beer fresh and cold on-draught (I.e. from the barrel). I already want more, and would happily down a strange anytime. This is, probably, one of the most drinkable beers I've ever tried - though the attention paid to its serving temperature and freshness probably has a lot to do with that. A must-try when in Koln, though I do think there's room for still more subtlety and nuance. As solid a Kolsch as this is, I can imagine it even better.

B (3.58) / GOOD

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Photo of smcolw
3.71/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Golden color and crystal clear. Typical two-finger head which leaves some streaks of lace.

Plae malt start to the nose. A bit of refrigeration as well. Some latent milky lactose notes.

Round taste of pale malt with very little hop, even in the finish but more in the aftertaste. Leans full with an average carbonation level. Easy drinking and refreshing.

 360 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
2.63/5  rDev -31.2%

Tap at Max Stark in Cologne. Clear golden pour, big fluffy white head. Aroma of straw, light hops, and a bit dirty as is always the case for me with the style. Flavor is as expected: straw, light sweetness like honey, tinge of hop notes, and a lingering dirty finish. Light bodied and medium carbonation, goes down easy of course. Let’s all just be real here and admit that pretty much any Kolsch just tastes like any standard Miller Lite/Bud Light with a little extra sweetness. Can’t get into this beer. Glad to have gone for it in Cologne, just not very good.

 566 characters

Photo of stcules
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Gravity from oak barrels @ Päffgen, Köln.
Intense golden apperance, very bright and clean. White foam, two fingers.
Fresh smell, with hints of green hop. Dry, pleasant and fresh.
Light in taste, with light malt, and a good hop and bitterness.
Dry, fresh, pleasant.
A great drinkability.
It left the mouth very clean, with some hop in the background.
It says: let's drink another one!

 385 characters

Photo of TurdFurgison
2.79/5  rDev -27%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I had a 0.2 liter glass of this at the brewpub, while hopping from place to place in Cologne to try as many Kolsches as possible. Based on this unique somewhat side-by-side tasting, I hoped to develop a ranking of which ones are best.

Paffgen looked proper, pale golden color and clear, with a few fingers of white foam. But everything else about Paffgen disappointed me. Looking at the previous reviews it seems I'm in the minority on this one.

The aroma and flavor were muted but bitter. I love the presence of hops in most beers, but here it presented only with bitterness, no positive contributions to the taste. I was glad to finish my glass and move on, this was last place among the 7 Kolsches I tried that night.

Paffgen is my least favorite Kolsch, at least based on this visit. I understand that there might be some variation from batch to batch, so who knows, maybe I'll like it better if I try it again. But all in all I prefer others of the style, including those that are distributed to the USA (Sunner, Reissdorf, Gaffel).

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Photo of AgentMunky
3.2/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a 20cL stange glass in the brewpub.

A: Thick frothy head with unexpected retention for a kölsch. Like a clear piece of amber; a strong colour uncharacteristic of the style.

S: Smells fruity and sweet, almost like a shandy/radler.

T: Faintly disappointing. A pretty substantial body is betrayed by a thin and watery flavour. Some sweet flavour is to be found at the end of the taste and pleasantly rounds out the taste. Bigger sips improve the beer. Aftertaste is fairly neutral, edging towards bitter.

M: A full body feel is deceptive. Thin and lightly carbonated. Pleasant enough I guess, but not that good.

D: I know kölsch are supposed to be light and easily quaffable, but by my second glass, I was bored and done. Confirms my opinion that kölsch should only be drunk with food.

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Photo of samEBC
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of tom10101
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of vermilcj
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of Paccamacca
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of IRONRakkasan
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%

Photo of carrollmel7
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%

Photo of PaBeerLover
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of dasenebler
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the brewpub in Cologne. From notes, 1.29.11.

Clear and shiny light gold with a nice, frothy head. Sheets of lacing left on my .2L glass.

Aroma has a bit more flowery noble hops than most Kölsch, but is still pretty faint. Clean.

The flavor is soft, light and ever so slightly tangy from the light hopping. A touch of buttered biscuit, though not as much as Pfaffen. In the end, there is not much to say about this stuff other than it's very clean and lacks the occasionally off flavors of the mass-produced versions of the style. Mouthfeel is very soft.

I drank two or three glasses of this and then moved on. It's incredibly drinkable and immaculate, but pretty boring.

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Photo of therica
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As noted below, this kolsch is a favorite among local Cologne-residents. We were taken to dinner by a group of them (a business dinner with an affluent client, I might add), and this is where they chose to take us. It was their location in Alte-Koln (the old part of town next to the river), not the hofbrauhaus. The decor of the brauhaus is quite entertaining-- lots of statues and bronze figures hanging about, a tribute painted on the wall to "the god of beer" and other interesting things to view, while waiting for your first kolsch. Don't worry, it's brought within moments.

We were fortunate enough to be there the evening before the traditional 11/11 Cologne Beer Festival, and the server proudly announced that at Päffgen Obergärige Hausbrauerei, they start the night before! So, we were entertained by the ritual procession through the bierhall, complete with a "modern" German band playing traditional German drinking-songs and US-rock songs on keyboards and guitars. Everyone seemed to be participating, and the house was full.

The food was outstanding, I must say! It was a bit on the pricey side, I'm glad I wasn't paying... I had a kebob triple-combination, and we talked so much that I was holding everyone up at the end, having done more than barely sampling my dinner meats. I drooled.... but I gave in, and asked the server if I could take it along. He spoke little English but replied, "doggy-bag?" and nodded. He returned several times, the main host at our table paid the bill and we were out the door before I realized that he'd never brought the leftovers as promised! Grrrr....

A few nights later, we went to the Paffgen HofbrauHaus, which is a good walk west of the main part of Cologne. Not even quite realizing that the two locations were even connected by the same beer, we remarked that the kolsch was similar to "the place we ate the other night, with the clients." The HofbrauHaus is loads of fun, as well-- a bit earthy and moderately rowdy, the clientelle more mainstream than upper-class, and the food again was great. It wasn't until later, when trying to sort out all of the kolsch's we'd tried, and where we had eaten, that our confusion (added to by the similar-named Pfaffen which is owned by a brother) came to light!

Oh-- the BEER?!?!? Yes... Overall, a good experience at both locations. It's not on the top of my list (see Sünner Kölsch). The taste was a bit dry but nice, and went well with the German meal, quickly clearing any fatty-food feeling from my mouth. The head seemed nice but it also dissipated faster than several other kölsch in the area. I probably had 4 glasses (hint- put the coaster over top of the glass or they'll just keep bringing a new one without asking) the first visit, and our hosts also had various wines flowing from bottles throughout the meal, with no conflict with the kölsch, in my experience . I did have a bit of a headache at the base of my skull that night, soon after dinner, however, but I'm not sure whether to blame the kölsch or the wine. The second visit, to the HofbrauHaus, ended with 7 marks on my coaster, plus finishing my wife's (which was our 8th coaster-mark). Obviously, it was very drinkable kolsch, in my experiences!

This is one kölsch that I want to try again, just to see if I've missed anything by not paying close enough attention. At present, however, my response was similar to my beer-sampling but not beer-advocate wife's-- "it's just beer."

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Photo of KimenTshom
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of herrburgess
5/5  rDev +30.9%

Photo of rale
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of seanyfo
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

0.2l gravity serving at the brewpub En D'r Salzgass

A- Darker gold than most kolsch, creamy 2 finger head with a creamy sustained retention

S- Vanilla, mild malts.

T- Faint malts with a lovely creamy finish.

M- Very creamy, low carbonation.

D- Excellent, with a lovely malty flavour with the creamy balance makes this a quaffing kolsch.

 341 characters

Photo of rvdoorn
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

at the brewpub in koln. Served in a typical 0.2 ml glass. Clear straw yellow color with a thick fluffy white head which was quite stable. Smell is like most kolsch beers, only this one seemed to have some more flowery hops in it. Taste is light bitter. Not too special. Mouthfeel is thin but this beer is extremely easy to drink. Pairs best with traditional german food

 369 characters

Photo of Sturmthis
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

Photo of tjd25
4.12/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large and lasting forever velvety head, nice and creamy. The smell was a bit different from other Kolschs, reminding me first of a farm atmosphere. Fresh, juicy with straw and maybe light hints of ginger. Taste was malty with a dry caramel aspect. Drily grainy. It seems somehow higher in abv. Slightly sweet. Mouthfeel presented a deep and unusual lasting hoppiness. This one may have more character, it is more distinctive, but not my personal favorite. Slightly grassy but quite drinkable.

 492 characters

Photo of JBogan
2.84/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at the Päffgen pub in Cologne. A bright gold color with a strong white head which left minimal lacing.

Smell was a bit weak, somewhat grainy with a bit of malt present.

Tasted slightly better, some grassy accents with a bit of malt. Not much alcohol present.

Mouthfeel was a bit watery and flat.

Maybe this just isn't my type of beer. I wasn't very impressed, but it still was better than another Kolsch I had tried about 30 minutes earlier. All in all, I won't be in a hurry to have this one again.

 520 characters

Photo of allboutbierge
4.95/5  rDev +29.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To read a brief explanation behind the confusion of 'Päffgen' and 'Pfaffen' Kölsch and establishments check out my review for Pfaffen Kölsch.

This is the ultimate Kölsch. Cologne, as the center and birth place of Kölsch, takes its Kölsch beer very serious. When one mentions the name Päffgen Kölsch to a Kölner they will surely say that Päffgen is by far and wide the best Kölsch there is.

Color is a copper hued bright gold with a fluffy vanilla white head served up on top. Aroma and flavor has an extremely strong hop profile for a Kölsch beer and does much to liven up the style which has been sort of blanded out by offerings from Gaffel and the likes. Malts are sweet but take a behind the screen stance to the hops. Floral notes fill the nose. I have heard that Päffgen also dry hops, which would explain the extra presence of hops in the aroma. Mouthfeel is solid--very fluid and smooth with a dry finish.

Also, this is one of the two Kölsch beers that are served from a wood cask through gravity. Search it out and find it.

 1,056 characters

Photo of windowside
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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Kölsch from Brauerei Päffgen
3.82 out of 5 based on 37 ratings.
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