German Style Kolsch Beer

Kolsch is a popular style of beer, which first originated in Cologne, Germany. It is made from a unique combination of yeast, including ale yeast during the fermentation process and lager yeast during the bottling process, both of which create a delicate yet crisp taste. As a result, it was one of Germany’s most popular beers.

Technically, to be considered true ‘Kolsch’, the beer had to be made within the city of cologne and brewed in accordance with the ‘Kolsch Convention’.The Kolsch Convention typically refers to the brewing process which is warm fermented before being conditioned at cold temperatures. In fact, the brewing process is comparable to that used to create lager.

German-Style Kolsch is characterized by the following factors:

  • Pale (Straw-Yellow in color)
  • Top-fermented
  • Sparkling with fast-rising bubbles
  • Slightly fruity (hints of pear or apple are common)
  • Soft/delicate taste
  • Refreshing taste
  • Crisp
  • Soft-bodied

Enjoying a German-style Kolsch Beer

As with many beers, sipping on a German-style Kolsch is the perfect way to relax on a warm day. Picture this: The sun is shining, the birds are singing and you are sitting back comfortably, listening to your favorite song and enjoying an ice-cold glass of Kolsch. What more could you want from your afternoon/evening?

Best served chilled, at temperatures of around 40-45 °F, the drink is a great way to quench your thirst but is also a great accompaniment to your evening meal. You may wish to serve your Kolsch alongside:

  • Sauerkraut
  • Bratwurst or Currywurst
  • Potato Salad
  • Nutty cheeses (i.e Elemental)
  • Steak
  • Spicy Foods

The Origin Story of German-style Kolsch Beer

Kolsch Beer was clearly a product of its time and was produced to compete with the bottom-fermented beer that was hugely popular during the early seventeenth century in Germany. In an attempt to block the sale of the aforementioned beer style, the city of Cologne attempted several times to put into place a law that stipulated drinks should be created with top-yeast. However, their demands were often ignored. Eventually, in order to compete with the market, they created the hybrid process (top fermentation followed by being cooled in cellars like bottom-fermented beers). This drink later became known as Kolsch beer.

Once the process of brewing was clearly defined, Kolsch beer began to grow swiftly in popularity around the world and was brought into North America as a result of mass immigration. Although you can buy imported Kolsch directly from Cologne, many American breweries have since produced their own variation of the traditional German beer.

Why you should try German-Style Kolsch Beer

If you are a fan of traditional beers, you will be a fan of Kolsch. With a distinctive taste and rich history, every sip is different yet delicious. Furthermore, if you are looking for a drink that will help you relax and unwind, Kolsch is always a great option, due to its refreshing, crisp taste – which manages to be both distinctive and tasty without overwhelming your senses in the way in which some crafts beers do.