About Kolsch

About Kolsch
Kölsch is pale straw to pale gold in color and ranges in alcohol from 4.5-5.5%. These beers are light-to-medium bodied and have a clean, crisp finish as a result of cooler fermentation temperatures. Subtle fruitiness and a dry, herbal hop-accented finish define these easy drinking ales. Originating in Cologne, Germany, the word kölsch is legally limited to the beers brewed in the city of Cologne. This naming convention is closely followed in European markets, but outside of Europe kölsch style beers may be labeled as simply kölsch. Most examples one will encounter in the US are brewpub draft interpretations produced during the summer months, though some commercial brewers produce a summer ale in the kölsch style. Noteworthy examples of this style include: Goose Island Summertime, Metropolitan Krankshaft Kölsch and Sünner Kölsch.

Top Picks for Kolsch

Brown Van Brewing Co. Kolsch
92 points
Brilliant light gold color. Fruity, tropical, toasty aromas and flavors of peach and cream cheese danish, praline, pot muffin, and cinnamon roll with a satiny, lively, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a silky, subtle, very long finish displaying notes of peppered citrus and herb muffin finish. Deliciously vibrant, well-hopped Kolsch that begs another sip.
Awards: 2017 Best Kolsch
Carolina Brewery Sky Blue Kolsch
90 points
Clear light gold color. Aromas and flavors of toasty cheese roll, plantain, floral honeycomb, and coriander with a bright, finely carbonated, dryish medium-to-full body and a polished, medium-length finish with elements of tortilla, arugula and starfruit, and roasted nut finish. A clean and tasty kolsch that refreshes and delights.
Rogue Ales Honey Kolsch
90 points
Minutely hazy light gold color. Aromas of corn pudding with honey, pineapple yogurt, and schmaltz with a supple, spritzy, dryish medium body and an engaging, medium-long salt buttered sourdough toast, snap peas, radish and onion sprouts, and honeycomb finish. A very savory and rustic Kölsch for the table.
Früh Kölsch
88 points
Clear yellow straw color. Grainy aromas and flavors of honey roasted corn, corn fritters, dried pear, and leaves and straw with a silky, bright, finely carbonated, dryish light-to-medium body and a polished, breezy finish that presents notes of cinnamon roll, watercress, and jicama finish. A delicious inviting kolsch that will be extremely versatile.
RavenBeer Dark Usher: Dark Kölsch
87 points
Opaque brown black color. Roasted aromas and flavors of smoked nuts, dark pumpernickel toast, fig paste, and turkey jerky with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, dry medium body and a tingling, interesting, medium-long finish evoking overtones of cocoa, roasted corn, peppered arugula, and mandarin orange finish. An interesting Kölsch porter hybrid that is quite refreshing and food friendly.
Delafield Brewhaus Pier 347 Dockside Ale Kolsch
87 points
Minutely hazy yellow straw light color. Attractive, toasty aromas and flavors of apple strudel, buttery praline, grassy flower patch earth, and corn flakes with a supple, vibrant, finely carbonated, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a silky, appealing, medium-length finish imparting accents of kiwi, watercress, and radish sprouts finish. A well-crafted round and easy, lightly fruity Kolsch that is sure to please.
Tribes Beer Daylight Kölsch-Style Ale
86 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas of celery leaf, toasted baguette, and honeyed apple with a satiny, bright, spritzy, dry light body and a silky, quick nut skins finish. An easy-drinking Kolsch with a nice bitter finish.
Dos Desperados Brewery Blonde Kölsch
84 points
Golden yellow color. Aromas of freshly baked bread and tangerine peel with a satiny, crisp, dryish light body and a graceful, quick crispy toast points and water chestnuts finish. A light, citrusy kolsch that refreshes.
Alltech’s Lexington Brewing Co. Kentucky Kolsch
83 points
Brilliant light gold yellow color. Aromas and flavors of vegetable frittata, orange corn muffin, and toasted nuts in parchment with a soft, crisp, effervescent, dryish light body and a tingling, brisk finish with notes of canned fruits and bamboo shoots, talc, and pepper finish. A earthy, tingling Kolsch for the table.
Aviator Brewing Company 3Bones Kolsch
83 points
Bright light gold color. Aromas and flavors of white asparagus with balsamic, hush puppies, pear skin, and fried clams with a supple, bright, finely carbonated, dryish medium body and a smooth, refreshing, relaxed finish evoking notes of banana nut muffin, watercress, and hint of pepper and radish finish. A table tuned Kolsch.