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.


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