Kölsch

Glassware: Stange
  • Germany
  • Ale
  • ABV = 4.4 – 5.2% (Normal)^
  • IBU = 18-30
  • SRM = 3.5-5
A light gold German ale with very subtle and delicately-balanced malt, yeast, and hop flavours.

Appearance:

  • Colour^ = Straw to light gold
  • Clarity = Brilliant

Key Aromas & Flavours:

Aroma
  • Malt = Low; grainy-sweet
  • Yeast = None to low; apple, cherry or pear, if present
  • Hops = None to low; floral, spicy or herbal, if present
Flavour
  • Malt = Low; grainy-sweet, possibly with a very light bready or honey quality
  • Yeast = Very low; fruity
  • Hops = Low to moderate; floral, spicy or herbal
  • Perceived Bitterness^ = Moderate
  • Balance = Even
Aftertaste/Finish

Dry, slightly crisp finish

Mouthfeel:

  • Body = Medium-light; smooth
  • Carbonation = Medium

Characteristic Ingredients/Processes:

  • Malt = Pilsner malt
  • Yeast = German ale yeast
  • Hops = German hop varietals
  • Process = Fermented warm, cold-conditioned (ie. lagered) for a short period of time and served young

Historical Development:

Cologne, Germany (Köln) has an ale-brewing tradition dating back to the Middle Ages, but developed the beer now known as Kölsch in the late 1800s to combat the popularity of pale Pilsner-style lagers.

Kölsch is an appellation protected by the Kölsch Konvention (1986) and is restricted to the 20 or so breweries in and around Cologne. Traditionally served in a tall, narrow 200ml glass called a Stange.


Commercial Examples:

Früh Kölsch, Gaffel Kölsch, Sünner Kölsch


^Sourced from the Cicerone Certification Program’s International Certified Beer Server Syllabus.
All other information is sourced from the BJCP 2015 Style Guidelines.


Discovering Beer is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Cicerone® Certification Program.


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