Bars, wine, beer, cocktails, drunken escapades
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Postby jjoyce » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:13 pm

In the past couple years, I've found myself gravitating toward the German-style beers and away from the ales. Something a little more subtle, please, and less consumed with packing as much flavor into each sip. A really nice pilsner is sort of what I'm looking for most often, especially in summer.

When I was in Berlin a few years back, a friend pointed out that a lot of the bars and restaurants near the Reichstag were devoted to regional food and drink from around Germany, frequented by legislators and staffers looking for tastes from home. We sought out a Kolsch bar right on the spree and loved the whole approach with the cylindrical glasses and the tallies on the coasters. Plus, on a hot summer day, the crisp beer meant to be served and consumed very fresh and cold was amazing. Certainly a lot better than the forgettable Berliner pils we were drinking everywhere else.

So at the Old Fashioned last week, I asked the bartender if they had any Kolsch on tap and, as it turns out, they have three. Is this a trend? It seems like I've found a few more pilsners than normal lately and now three Kolsch beers from state micros?

Two were unfiltered, so therefore not "German-style," but they were good. I liked the filtered one best: Kitzinger Kolsch from St. Francis.

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Re: Kolsch

Postby fisticuffs » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:17 pm

Are we already post-pale ale? I just got on board. if it is a trend it's probably due to the brewers, who just like you are sick of making and drinking ales. I say the more variety the better. At least with a Kolsch there'll be less animal instinct to just out do one ingredient like has happened in the hop wars. Where's the innovation in a Koslch though? Seems a little more restrictive a style.

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Re: Kolsch

Postby wallrock » Mon Jul 02, 2012 5:27 pm

The first few years out of college my buddy and I were Mug Club members at JT Whitney's, joining up before the later decline. One of the brewmaster's specialties were kolsch beers and though we drank them in our large mugs as opposed to the traditional Stange I always enjoyed them. These days during the warmer months I tend to gravitate to the kolsch beers along with pale lagers and pilseners. Big Bay's Wavehopper, House of Brews Prairie Rye and Hale's Kolsch are my top US versions. The Reissburg and Zunft kolsch beers from Germany are of course top notch, though I prefer these on tap as opposed to bottled to get that fresher flavor.

I doubt that the pendulum of craft beer tastes is going to make a big swing back toward the German lager styles given the enthusiastic amount of hopheads out there but I am happy to see an increased focus on the lighter end of the spectrum. I can appreciate a good IIPA but I don't always want to have a beer that's going to wreck me on a hot afternoon.

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Re: Kolsch

Postby kimm » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:09 pm

Ditto to what Wallrock said about Whitneys. They were my first introduction to Kolsch and I've always found a few around at bars and liquor stores with decent beer lists. So I doubt it's a "trend," but rather just a style rotation most micros will run through at some point. You got lucky they had three! I agree-a great summer beer style.

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Re: Kolsch

Postby kweetech » Sat Jul 21, 2012 5:03 pm

Still haven't found a better Kolsch than what comes out of my buddies homebrew kegerator....so clean and refreshing..

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