I came across kolsch as a bartender in San Diego. It’s the beer that I recommend to patrons who want a light beer, but don’t necessarily want piss water like Bud Light or Coors Light. They prefer their beer to have a little more flavoring.
“What kind of beer is the kolsch?” a guest asked me one day.
“It’s a kolsch,” I stated while pouring a beer for someone else.
“But is it a pale ale, an IPA, what kind is it?” the guest prodded.
The other bartender and I looked at each other and in unison said to the guest, “A kolsch is a kolsch.”
What is Kolsch?
Ok, so I’ll admit that I’m not a big beer fan, but I always indulge in local traditions and when I found out that Cologne, Germany was known for their kolsch, it was a must-visit for me. I’ll set aside my weak stomach issues in favor of tasting the traditional beer of Cologne.
Cologne is the 3rd largest city in Germany and the birthplace of the kolsch. When you visit Cologne, you’ll find that kolsch is pretty much the only beer that’s served and there are several different brauhaus’ which specialize in kolsch.
Kolsch is a specially brewed style of beer that uses a mixture of two methods. It is fermented using ale yeast, yet is finished in cold temperatures the way that a lager is. The result is a light, crisp beer perfect for when you need something refreshing like after wandering around the city, or heck, right when you wake up (No? Just me?)