Summer has finally arrived and with the warmer weather comes good beer...no, I digress. Summertime brings great beer. Beer so good it makes your toes curl and the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up. Sunshine brings bright Blondes, crisp Pilsners, juicy Ciders and of course one of my very favorite styles is the lesser known, clean and classic Kölsch.
Crisp, delicate and oh-so-drinkable, the original Kölsch is a beer hybrid, meaning that its production comes from both ale and lager yeasts. These light and refreshing ale-lager hybrids are perfect for warm summer days and have become a favored style by American craft brewers and beer lovers alike. In addition to their thirst quenching ability, they also are a fun beer to enjoy with food, including traditional German sausages and kraut.
The German-style Kölsch is light in color and malt character. This style’s fermentation process yields a light, vinous character which is accompanied by a slightly dry, crisp finish. Ale yeast is used for fermentation, though lager yeast is sometimes used in the bottle or final cold-conditioning process.
Kölsch Beer in America
Kölsch beer stems from Cologne (Koln), Germany, but has found its way onto America’s craft beer scene like many other German beers. Technically, for beer to be called a Kölsch, it has to come from the city of Cologne, but that hasn’t stopped American craft brewers from embracing the Kölsch style of beers. This beer style pairs best with bratwurst, nutty cheeses, and even lighter desserts like apricot cake. (craftbeer.com)