No love for Kolsch?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by BourbonJersey, Jul 11, 2015.

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  1. misternebbie

    misternebbie Initiate (0) Aug 24, 2014 Pennsylvania

    Best style of beer in my very limited and less than humble opinion
     
  2. MuFugga

    MuFugga Initiate (0) Apr 3, 2015 Wisconsin

    A Kolsch to me is just pretty bland and if it's bland, it better have some kick behind it. Give me an imperial Kolsch with 10% abv and I'll try it.
     
  3. scbeerman

    scbeerman Initiate (0) Feb 16, 2015 South Carolina

    This is why we can't have nice things.
     
  4. lester619

    lester619 Initiate (0) Apr 17, 2009 Wisconsin

    I'm not sure what it has to do with anything but if you're a Clash fan you're ok in my book. Best album cover in music history.
     
    #324 lester619, Aug 27, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  5. MonkeyBread

    MonkeyBread Defender (632) Apr 26, 2014 Nevada
    Trader

    Kihei Kolsch from Maui was an interesting take. Added some tropical hope for a unique finish. Had a couple in Koln that were unsurprisingly fantastic. A style I wish more American breweries would try.
     
  6. Pantalones

    Pantalones Devotee (464) Nov 14, 2014 Virginia

    Oh hey, didn't know any brewery that close to me made a Kolsch. I know I've seen a few of Blue Mountain's beers on the shelves here and there (tried and liked one of them so far.) Apparently it's a summer seasonal though, so I wonder if it'd even still be around now that all the pumpkin beers and Oktoberfests are showing up. Will have to look for it when the summer beers start showing up next year.
     
  7. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,693) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
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    I visited Köln with my brother some number of years ago, and it was interesting to taste the subtle differences between all those pale, quenching, 4.7% abv kölsches. Gaffel and Kuppers seemed to be the most neutral. Sion seemed fruitier. Früh and Sünner were gently herbal. My brother thought that Reissdorf had an almost hefeweizen-ish yeast note to it. I don't remember anything about Dom or Gilden. We went to Päffgen but didn't get to try it because the place was packed and we couldn't get a table. Mühlen was my favorite, bright and light, yet creamy, with a wonderful malty finish.

    It isn't my favorite style, but yeah, every now and them I get a serious craving for a bright, fresh kölsch.
     
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  8. 1ale_man

    1ale_man Initiate (0) Apr 25, 2015 Texas

    I love Kolsch beer. I've not a German Kolsch, but love the one's from St. Arnold, Shiner, Sierra Nevada, and Alaskan.
     
  9. Tonyjenlasc

    Tonyjenlasc Initiate (0) Jul 6, 2015 New Jersey

    Just recently had Clown Shoe's Mango......GOOD STUFF!!!!!
     
  10. HeislerGold

    HeislerGold Initiate (131) Oct 19, 2013 Michigan

    Public Service Announcement:

    10 more days until Founders releases Spectra Trifecta Kolsch as their 2015 ArtPrize beer.
     
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  11. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,615) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    Unfortunately it will have limited bottle distribution:

    “Spectra Trifecta will be sold in 12 oz. bottles in Michigan, Wisconsin, greater New York City and greater Chicago with a suggested retail price of $9.99 per 6-pack. Draft will be sent throughout Founders’ distribution footprint.”

    Also:

    “Brewed in the traditional Kolsch style, which requires fermenting ale yeast at a colder temperature and gives the beer a clean finish without fruity yeast esters. This bright, golden beer is brewed with a trifecta of natural ingredients: earthy, floral and slightly sweet chamomile; a touch of citrusy lemongrass; and a hint of spicy fresh ginger. At 5.9% ABV and 20 IBUs, it’s delightfully refreshing.”

    I have never tasted a Kolsch brewed with spices before. Needless to say but the ‘traditionalists’ would not be approving of this beer.

    Cheers!

    http://www.brewbound.com/news/founders-introduces-new-spectra-trifecta-kolsch-style-ale
     
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  12. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,801) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
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    In general I've found that the German regional beers (alt, helles, koelsch, kellerbier, etc.) tend to mostly be very solid beers. The fun is picking out the sometimes very subtle differences in them and picking a favorite.
    In the case of Koelsch, that probably comes down to how much, if any, character the yeast adds and how malty or bready the beer is. I like Kuppers and Reissdorf personally...but it's not like there's anything overtly wrong with any of the others.
    Alt is somewhat similar, although it seems like the larger commercial ones like Schloesser and Diebels lack the dry hoppy bite of Fuechschen, Uerige, etc.
     
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  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,615) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Chris,

    I tend to agree that the differences in German brewed Kolsch beers are subtle. Which specific yeast strain is used will have subtle effects but another variable is malt selection. There is a malt called Kolsch Malt that I have purchased from Northern Brewer and it adds a quality that I describe as hay-like to my homebrewed beers.

    “4.5° L. From a maltster co-op based in Osthofen, near Köln, this malt is used by some of the brewpubs in that city to make their trademark ale. Kölsch malt has a light, sweet and extremely German flavor and aroma with a little bit of biscuit character. We've had good results using a multi-temp step mash with Kölsch malt, but a single infusion — although not traditional — works as well.”

    A few months ago a local beer bar had a Kolsch weekend. They were able to find fresh draft Kolsch beers: Gaffel, Fruh, Reisdorff, Sunner and Sunner Unfiltered (labeled as Kellerbier in Germany). Below is something I posted about this event previously:

    “Earlier this evening I was at a local beer bar where they had an ‘event’ of a Kolsch weekend. They had five different draft beers from Cologne that were all served in 0.2 liter Stange glasses. I ordered all five of those German brewed beer and a re-order of my favorite: Sunner Unfiltered Kolsch beer (‘labeled’ as Sunner Kellerbier in Germany).”

    Did you get a chance to drink any unfiltered Kolsch beers during your visit to Koln?

    Cheers!

    Jack
     
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  14. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,072) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Sierra nevada was my favorite kolsch by far. Tried to find a replacement and had Clown Shoes, ballast point, schlafly and leinenkugels, but they all tasted weird. had a super odd sweetness to them. Like a sweet pretzel dough, didnt sit well for me. Clown shoes kolsch was really good just think it would be better if it wasnt dry hopped. Sierra nevada should make kolsch a year round
     
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  15. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,801) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
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    Nah, we actually only went to Duesseldorf this time. My Koelsch beers were bottled, although the bottles were only a couple weeks old. While I only have a single reference for the name (The Brewmaster's Table), apparently they call the unfiltered variety of Koesch a "Wiess." I've never had a real one before.
     
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,615) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    It is also spelled Wieß.

    Sunner does provide their unfiltered Kolsch (Kellerbier) in bottles.

    Cheers!


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    Sünner Kellerbier

    By the standards of the Kölsch Könvention, only filtered, bright beer can be called "Kölsch". However, when it's taken directly from the fermenter, unfiltered and with a soft, natural carbonation, it can be spectacular!

    We offer the Sünner Kellerbier only occasionally, so jump at it when you see it. You'll find it slightly yeasty, more bitter and even drier than the everyday Kölsch.

    Limited Availability.

    5.3% ABV
    Available in 16.9oz bottle; 30L keg.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. vurt

    vurt Poo-Bah (1,693) Apr 11, 2004 Oregon
    Society

    Do you know if this Sünner Kellerbier is imported to the States? I would love to try it.
     
  18. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,615) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
    Society

    Yes, all of the unfiltered Sunner Kolsch beers that I have consumed (on multiple occasions) were in the US. I have only had it on draft.

    The importer is Artisanal Imports:

    http://www.artisanalimports.com/brewerydetails.asp?id=12

    Cheers
     
    vurt likes this.
  19. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (2,072) Jul 2, 2014 Pennsylvania
    Society Trader

    Yes. You can do that.

    Id say not all brewers do this some are traditional to the extent of just reinheitsgebot ingredients but they claim wether or not it is brewed in the "traditional style" region excluded or just a kolsch "style" beer. Understandably it is not going to be a kolsch to all as you said its part of regional culture, but not everybody can experience that in germany for themself so that means they miss out on it completely? Some can see it as disrespectful, some can see it as flattery because a good thing will have imitators
     
  20. algebeeric_topology

    algebeeric_topology Zealot (554) Dec 30, 2014 Florida
    Trader

    There is a lot of misguided terroirness going on here! I think the point on Kölsch not being like Champagne because of all the missing aspects of terroir is a great one.

    Maybe a better comparison is to say that a beer brewed as a Kölsch is like grapes made into methode champenoise wine in that it references a production process made famous from a particular region. There is a lot of wine sold as methode champenoise from all over the world that certainly can't be called Champagne specifically, but can be described as using the process that Champagne makers use.
     
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  21. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,801) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
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    I wouldn't care if brewers called legit representations Kölsch. My only gripe is that most aren't. They're usually blonde ales that were given a cool name so they don't sound like a 1990's microbrew throwback.
    Blonde and amber ale have nearly become insulting in the craft beer world, so it's much cooler to call them a Kölsch or a Red IPA.
     
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  22. ecpho

    ecpho Aspirant (252) Mar 28, 2011 New York

    Thatwould be amazing, I would buy it constantly.
     
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  23. ejl4

    ejl4 Initiate (0) Nov 27, 2010 Vermont

    My favorite non-German example I've had came from Dieu Du Ciel in Montreal. Tried to convince them to send some kegs to bars in New England. I remember talking to the brewer and him saying it took 5 trips to Cologne to get it right.
     
  24. HeislerGold

    HeislerGold Initiate (131) Oct 19, 2013 Michigan

    Yeah, it's a bummer that the beer is only a regional release (not my problem though:grinning:) and traditionalists would definitely thumb their nose at this particular release due to the chamomile, lemongrass and ginger but I've had plenty of standard issue Kolschs this summer and have no problem getting a little artsy with this one. :wink:
     
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  25. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,615) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    If I see it on draft I will definitely order a pint (or two).

    Cheers!
     
  26. dagmer

    dagmer Initiate (78) Feb 27, 2012 Illinois

    I signed into say the same thing. I was up in Montreal last summer and thought that Dieu du ciel's take on kolsch was the best i've had outside of koln.
     
  27. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,778) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    Cross post from a certain drinking thread just to illustrate a love for Kölsch.

    [​IMG]
     
  28. Hesscabob

    Hesscabob Initiate (0) Mar 16, 2014 Illinois

    I just brewed my first Kolsch and will do so again because its so delicious. Gotta love an easy drinking beer with tradition and flavor to enjoy during the summer/ any time really.

    A top 10 favorite beer of mine was Montepulciano Kolsch from Bear Republic, sadly I may never be able to have it again since it was a draft only type of deal.
     
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  29. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,778) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    I respect your work and do not consider myself a "homebrew twat." I also do not disagree with your positions on Kölsch and ale/lager. Consider this a prod for opinion rather than a challenge. The Reissdorf neck label in the US has this info:

    [​IMG]

    Would you give zero weight to Reissdorf having "Ale" on the bottle? I'd be curious if the labels in Germany are different in this regard - I'd imagine they are. Would they include this because someone thinks it makes a difference to the US consumer?

    Regarding the Kölsch Convention, it seems like you have more reverence for it compared to the Reinheitsgebot. Any reason why?
     
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  30. Crim122

    Crim122 Initiate (0) Aug 4, 2014 North Carolina

    I've actually never tried this style, but I would be interested. Open to all new beer.
     
  31. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,572) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois
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    My first guess is that they have this on the label for the old laws in Texas that required beer over a certain ABV to be labeled as "Ale." The law was changed a couple years ago and no longer requires beers to carry the designation, so if Reißdorf is still using this label it's probably because they printed a surplus.

    I saw this year's HB and maybe Weihenstephan Oktoberfests still carrying the "Ale" designation on their labels, probably for the same surplus reason.
     
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  32. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,778) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    That's a good theory. My HB Oktoberfest is labeled an "ale" but my Weihenstephan is labeled a "lager." HB is over 6% and Reissdorf is 4.8%. I've seen the Texas law cutoff as both 4% and 5%.
     
  33. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (600) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    That's obviously just for the American market. Just checked the German neck label and it just says "Reissdorf Kölsch":

    [​IMG]

    I see the Reinheitsgebot as totally different. It's telling you how to brew your beer. Whereas the Kölsch Convention is just an agreement between local brewers on how the town's style should be brewed. It doesn't stop them brewing other beers. There have been unfiltered versions which couldn't be called Kölsch. The brewers could make them, just not call them Kölsch.
     
  34. Domingo

    Domingo Poo-Bah (2,801) Apr 23, 2005 Colorado
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    The "Ale" thing is almost certainly just for Texas. I've seen that on everything from H-P gold to Negra Modelo.
     
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  35. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,615) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    The Texas law was that any beer greater than 4% ABW (5% ABV) needed to be labeled as being something other than beer (e.g., Ale).

    This law was rescinded in 2012.

    Since Reissdorf is only 4.8% ABV there was/is no need to label this beverage as an ale per the old Texas law.

    Cheers!

    http://www.texastribune.org/2012/08/09/tabc-changes-what-it-means-to-be-a-beer/
     
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  36. Dil_thebeerdrinking_do

    Dil_thebeerdrinking_do Initiate (0) Jan 21, 2014 Georgia

  37. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,778) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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    Isn't that just a difference of degrees? What's a "beer" vs what's a "Kölsch?" Brewers that are not in line with Reinheitsgebot can't label the beverage a "beer." There are probably market and legal ramifications with the logistics of selling a beer that isn't a "beer." What would a German brewer call their beer if it's brewed as a Kölsch but not within the designated location? Perhaps they don't bother to try? Curious.
     
  38. bafranksbro

    bafranksbro Initiate (0) Jun 28, 2015 New Hampshire

    I haven't had a lot of kolsch but I like a lot in this thread had the Clown Shoes Mango Kolsch and was seriously impressed with it, one of the better beers I've had recently.
     
  39. patto1ro

    patto1ro Defender (600) Apr 26, 2004 Netherlands

    I see a big difference between placing limits on one style of beer compared to on all beer.

    There are Kölsch-like beers. Bönnsch, for example.
     
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  40. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (5,615) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania
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    According to Wikipedia:

    “About ten other breweries in Germany produce beer in Kölsch style, but do not call it Kölsch because they are not members of the convention.”

    So apparently German breweries do make Kolsch-like beers.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kölsch_(beer)

    Cheers!
     
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