Cologne, Germany, is home to more breweries than any other city in the world, with the local staple style Kölsch being an intrinsic part of life. Having been brewed in the area since before 1300, it’s a unique hybrid style involving warm fermentation (at 59F or a bit above) with ale yeast, followed by cold conditioning (at roughly 10F) like a lager traditionally undergoes. The resulting beer is generally meant to yield relatively low alcohol with a cleanly drinkable profile.
Over pilsners or helles lagers? Give Kolsch a try. Bloomberg made a couple suggestions:
- Reissdorf Kölsch: “as pristine-tasting as beer gets”
- Gaffel Kölsch: “a delicate and easy-drinking experience is finished by a pleasantly grassy hoppiness”
- Früh Kölsch: “impossibly ephemeral, with innocent floral notes of grass and hay never overstaying their welcome”
- Freigeist Ottekolong: “nicely bready, fruity, and somewhat tea-like”
- Sierra Nevada Kölsch: “gently bitter, beautifully crisp, and lightly sweet”
- Surly Heat Slayer: “lemony, minty, with a hint of straw”