Category Archives: Kolsch

Garage Project Rose Kolsch


“Crisp Kölsch style ale, brewed using only the finest German malts and Tettnanger and Hallertau Blanc hops, then infused with Pinot Noir grape skins and a restrained touch of rose water to create a clean sparkling beer with delicate floral aroma and an endearing blush of pink.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Slightly hazy straw golden pour with two fingers of fluffy pink-hued off white head. Reasonably good retention with sudsy lace clinging to the glass.

Aroma: Crisp, clean and refreshing. The combination of Tettnanger and Hallertau Blanc hops give the aroma a true old world quality bringing spicy, floral, soft herbals/mildew, subtle citrus and an almost funky gooseberry note. We must admit the Pinot Noir grape skins are almost MIA if not for the suuuuper delicate tannins and forest floor accents. Pretty damn good but…it all comes together nicely.

Flavour: Very conventional Kolsch base with the grape skins providing an extremely subtle touch of earthy red fruit. The malt bill is so clean and crisp and those old world hops accentuate with their spicy, herbaceous/grassy and light florals. Picking up restrained hints of rosewater and pear before it punctuates with a nice clean finish.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, snappy and light on. Mild-moderate body and fine carbonation. The 5.5% ABV is a nice touch.

Overall: GP can do no wrong! Dead set these guys could brew their shittest beer and it would still be better than what a lot of other breweries can do on their best day. They’re just a cut above the rest.

Mitchell’s Brewing Co Kolsch


“Kolsch Style Session Ale Brewed Using Noble Hops & Premium Pilsner Malt.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Straw golden complexion with full transparency. It forms a wispy overlay which maintains fairly well. Healthy lace work as it subsides.

Aroma: Crisp and reasonably tidy. Subtle Noble hop characters; earthy, herbaceous and grassy. Tied together with a flaky and grainy malt profile. Some spicy-ness starting to open up as it settles. Every now and then we pick up a hint of fruity yeast esters and creamed corn/vegetal notes (DMS) although we don’t mind a bit of it in Pilsners and Lagers. Pretty conventional and we’re diggin it.

Flavour: It displays a finely balanced and well structured marriage of earthy and grassy hops, semi sweet cracker malts, honey and grains. Like the aroma we’re tasting a hint of fruity yeast esters and corny DMS. Kind of an earthy, grainy and yeasty finish which holds up reasonably well.

Mouthfeel: Thin and crispy. Soft rounded texture. Nicely carbed. The 4.6% ABV is about standard for the style.

Overall: Not bad for a brewery we hadn’t even heard of until we saw it on the shelf. The “session ale” side of it is a bit confusing though, we would have thought 4.6% is technically full strength? Well, maybe not in the craft beer world it isn’t so maybe they’re on the money! 😂

Red Hill Brewery Kolsch


“Do you know what a Kölsch is? Our Golden Ale is one! A style famous in Cologne, Germany for its brightness, clarity and easy drinking style. Fermented with ale yeast, then finished with cool lagering. The result is the best of both worlds: A light easy drinking pale that finishes crisp and clean. This new name for our fave brew will provide enlightenment for the craft beer lover about the style they are enjoying.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Pale straw golden body with a thumb of finely beaded foam resting atop. The head reduces slightly but manages a decent lace as we go.

Aroma: Bright, crisp, light citrus and spice coming off initially. Some herbaceous notes there in the background along with soft florals and straw/hay. Further grainy-ness opening up as it settles in. Very subtle yeasty tones showing up late as well. Very pleasant and matching this unusually warm winters arvo.

Flavour: Spot on for the style – lots of fruity and spicy hops, herbals and grainy straw/hay. Yet so beautifully crisp and clean. Semi sweet/ light honey malts fill it out. Smooth transition in to the light fruity and grainy finish.

Mouthfeel: Approachable is the name of the game here…crisp, clean and perfectly balanced. Co2 is spot on, offering just that right amount of spritz. 5% ABV is right on the money too.

Overall: We knew this would be a good drop. Red Hill are one of the best in the business when it comes to traditional European styles and this fits the bill perfectly. Solid offering.

Basement Brewhouse Kolsch

65133785_1118499611667516_2020060502427697152_n“This German-style ale is a light gold in colour with a smooth, crisp mouthfeel. The addition of Noble and American hop varieties post-fermentation lends to subtle citrus aromas, which makes this brew a perfect session beer.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Bright gold with 100% clarity. Really healthy co2 streams up to the surface but it fails to retain any head. Wet streaky lace clings to the glass as it subsides.

Aroma: Clean yet discreet scents of floral hops, peppery spice, some wet cardboard and light estery notes like freshly cut pear and green apple. Subtle Noble hop characteristics and crisp and somewhat crackery malt also coming through. Don’t know why but we keep getting this hint of synthetic material…kind of like nappies or polystyrene. Weird. Very weird.

Flavour: Ultra muted…we’re struggling to get any flavour out of it to be honest. What little malt that does come through hints at mild sweetness with an undertone of grain and crackers. Hardly a hop quality in cooee…there’s an inkling of bitterness but it’s gone in seconds while the finish is a little sweet but again falling way too short.

Mouthfeel: Soft, inoffensive and a little watery. Mild co2. Like the rest of the beer…MIA!

Overall: We really hate panning beers but this is just sub-standard. The aroma at least had something to tangle with but the rest seems watered down and lacked any stand out flavours, character and texture. Very disappointing.

Zierholz Premium Brewery ‘German Ale’ Kolsch

50745399_1021485688035576_5090117543813709824_n“Cologne style Ale. Crisp, delicate, easy drinking & very moreish, the original Zierholz Beer. This beer combines a delicate fruitiness derived from fresh European style hops grown in Nelson, New Zealand and a pure German Ale yeast strain from a brewpub in Cologne with an appetizing malt character created using premium malts from Bamberg in Bavaria. The German Ale is an excellent choice for having with lighter dishes such as seafoods and salads but also goes nicely with spicier dishes such as curries providing welcomed refreshment and palate cleansing properties.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Slightly pale gold with a thumb of white foam settling to a collar. Works a fine lace as we hook in.

Aroma: Classic European nose…herbal spicy hops, light florals, ginger beer and mild yeast esters underlined by a semi sweet honey malt. Loving that ultra subtle woodyness as well. Incredibly well balanced. One of the better Aussie Kolsch aromas that’s for sure.

Flavour: It’s interesting because at first there doesn’t seem to be much going on but once we scrape the surface we find it’s actually quite complex….in a delicate kind of way. Subtle yeasty notes upfront move in to a soft Noble hop bitterness midway. Grassy/spicy finish which goes the distance on the back palate.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, light and well rounded. Very crushable considering its unexpected complexity. 5.1% AbV.

Overall: A very satisfying Kolsch. This is our first crack at this Canberran brewery and we’ll certainly be seeking out more from them. Impressive.

Bear Republic Brewing Co. Rare BA Sangiovese Kolsch

33622899_861232870727526_1648111236467916800_n“Dry Creek Sangiovese juice from Orsi Family Home Vineyards blended w/ light Kolsch and refermented in oak barrels. Fruity grape notes, oaky mouthfeel, and a crisp Kolsch finish.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: We’re seeing a pink-ish red hue with a short head that vanishes instantly. And no head = no lace!

Aroma: Tart citrus overtones with red berries and soft oak tannins in support. It gives off a super refreshing effervescence, kind of how a lemon, lime and bitters would. Definitely getting a hint of the vinous red wine coming through with that surprisingly pleasant lacto funk cutting in. Lovely.

Flavour: It comes on a bit stronger than anticipated. Tart citrus and sharp lacto/pedio funk cutting through those oak tannins and soft vanilla notes upfront. More of that red wine and berries through the mid leading in to a mildly tart and drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Quite light on actually – must be due to the lager/kölsch body. Big and bitey 8.7% ABV to counteract it though. 15 IBU with a vibrant co2.

Overall: A thoroughly pleasant beer. It would be the perfect substitution for a rosé or a sparkling red which would pair beautifully with either spiced duck, pork and cheddar based cheese. Hits the spot!

Brouwerij De Ranke ‘Simplex’ Kolsch

27867692_812641305586683_9025628438558642103_n“For the first time since 2013 Brewery De Ranke launches a new, permanently available beer, Simplex. A fresh, light beer that resembles the bitter, hoppy pilsners from the sixties, although it is in fact an ale. “This is a beer we developed out of nostalgia for the old-styled pilsner”, say brewers Guido Devos and Nino Bacelle.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Hazy straw gold with a fair bit of suspended sediment. It forms a thumb of finely beaded foam which holds together well. Tonnes of webbed lacing clinging to the glass as we go.

Aroma: Quite complex for a kölsch. Getting subtle hints of Belgian yeast esters, straw, white pepper, earthy farmyard, orange zest and coriander. It has that touch of biscuit malt but it’s mostly grainy and crackery. Lively little saison-like fusion through it.

Flavour: She’s acting a bit more like a kölsch on the palate – grainy/husky malts on entry moving to straw, spice and earthy hops in the middle. The finish is dry with bitter grassy hop, straw and mild spice.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, dry and light on. Sturdy bitterness (50 IBU) developing late and persisting. Only 4.5% ABV which is remarkable considering the amount of body to it.

Overall: Not your typical kölsch. Loving the Belgian esters on the nose with a big flavour profile to back it up. Plenty of character crammed in to this unconventional offering.

Badlands Brewery ‘Brewbacca’ Kolsch

26805304_802420279942119_5627428553504935138_n“This ale is based on a Cologne style Kölsch. A subtle, warm and cuddly beast, Light biscuity character from the German Pilsener malt marries with soft and understated aroma and citrus flavours from Hallertau hops, the King of German noble hops.”

Glassware: Tumbler.

Appearance: Straw gold with excellent clarity. It constructs a frothy two finger crown that holds its shape well. Healthy lace seen as we go.

Aroma: Uber grainy and earthy with a nice floral bouquet in support. More of a biscuity malt opposed to the usual rice crackers and hay. Kind of dry, kind of musty with a very subtle hint of wet paper. Undertones of rockmelon/paw paw, mild yeasty funk and spice filling it out. Good nose, full of character.

Flavour: It comes on quite strong for a kölsch. Tonnes of grainy malt, citrusy hops, straw and light florals on entry. Really good carry in to the mid where a subtle earthy note picks up a bit of cheeky spice. Slight musty-ness before it rounds out on a mild finish which shows straw and grainy malts in the tail.

Mouth feel: Light on, slightly drying and slightly lean. Moderate bitterness (25 IBU) and good co2. Super sessional.

Overall: A very well brewed kölsch. Cool strip too – love the natural timber looking background with the spin off of chewbacca from Star Wars….very eye catching.

Frenchie’s Brewery Kolsch

25550192_788431741340973_8853537171462504594_n“Kölsch is a refreshing classic beer from the German city of Cologne, where our head brewer Vince used to study. This one is largely inspired from his favourite, the Mühlen Kölsch at Heumarkt, Cologne. It is brewed with the finest noble hops, blending there flavours with gentle malt notes and a delicate fruitiness from fermentation, it finishes clean and dry.”

Served in a footed flute. Crystal clear and light straw golden in appearance. It constructs a short bubbly head which collapsed and struggled to produce much lace as we go.
The nose is dry, grainy, bready and a little spicy with a delicate citrus zing cutting through. Picking up an interesting herbal undertone that is reminiscent of green tea and vines. Some very subtle hints of DMS/corn but ultimately it’s a nice, clean and summery aroma.
The flavour profile doesn’t steer too far off course. The front palate is grainy and a touch spicy with bread crusts and delicate herbal notes. A mild dryness opens up around the mid with a semi sweet malt character developing late. It finishes clean, crisp and spicy with floral pot pourri notes on the rear.
Super light and crush-able in the mouth. It holds a nice moderate weight with a mild bitterness (25 IBU) around the edges. Good co2.
We love a well brewed kölsch and this one hits the spot. It’s got those lovely spicy noble hop features with a light bready/grainy malt structure. She’s light on, approachable and full flavoured as well. Kudos Frenchies that’s a decent drop.

Yulli’s Brews ‘Gretchen’ Organic Honey Kolsch

18034227_680290318821783_6860557138886070889_n“Gretchen is our take on a classic German style Kolsch, where a cold fermentation promotes a clean, lager-like finish to this early drinker. We sourced all organic ingredients for this one too. The beer finishes super clean and easy, with a lovely honey flavour on the back palate.”

Served in a dimpled mug. The light straw golden pour generates a two finger crest that holds together well. Steady reduction, working a patchy lace trail down the glass.
We certainly get a nose full of the pilsner malts initially; rice crackers and grains mainly. The honey aspect lends itself delicately with a somewhat nutty/woody note which leads us to think that either iron bark or yellow box honey was used. A soft citrus accent also makes up the aroma, balancing out the honey and grains. Not bad.
Very light, smooth and effortless in the mouth. Spritzy Co2 with a mild hop bitterness throughout (17 IBU). Mild body. Very accommodating.
It’s all very tame and inoffensive in flavour. Upfront its soft and subtle with hints of grain, straw and a mild honey sweetness. Hints of zesty orange blossom work in as it finishes on a kind of herbal honey note that pulls up a bit short on the back palate.
Just a tad too reserved for us. The honey element was a nice touch, although quite subtle. It’s one of those beers that would be perfect for an entry level craft beer drinker or even for an all afternoon summer shindig. Other than that it wouldn’t stand up in many other situations, in our opinion.

Bacchus Brewing Co Nitro Kolsch

16602678_645801032270712_1088714627449222349_n“We’ve taken the finest, palest, premium German malt and gently spiced with German noble hops and fermented with a true German kolsch yeast to create this beautiful session ale, with its soft, rounded palate and delicate flavour.”

Served in a Stein glass. She offers a pale straw golden appearance with a quickly reducing head. It eventually settles to a ring with scarce lace work on the glass.
Smells nice and spicy with somewhat sweet and somewhat grainy malts at the forefront. Really getting those lovely Noble hop-like characters coming through. Hints of light florals, hay, white grapes and orange blossom hit a soft sweet note in its delivery. Light, crisp and approachable…exactly what we’re after in a Kolsch.
The texture of the beer is again light on, crisp in texture and super smooth in the swallow. Mild-medium body and finely carbonated. Mild bitterness (25 IBU).
Earthy/spicy hops and slightly sweet malts leave their impression on the front palate. The middle shows quite a direct floral tone as it leads in to the gentle finish that provides subtle sweet and spicy notes on a length.
We were really interested to see how these guys fared when the beer was stripped back to the bone without tonnes of sweeteners and other delicious additives that Bacchus has become so synonymous with. How did they go? Just as we thought….very well indeed. There is some serious skill involved with brewing lagers and this one hits its mark and drinks super easy with the delicate, sessional and well balanced character. Kudos Bacchus.

Green Beacon Brewing Co. ‘Cross Knot’ Kolsch

14908206_593389587511857_7412357306410525600_n“Cross Knot Kolsch is a German style golden ale with clean, crisp flavours, restrained bitterness and a dry finish. An extended conditioning period and cool ferment yields a beer of refreshing subtlety.”

Served in a shaker glass. Cross Knot pours a somewhat pale golden hue with a thin wispy head laying over the top. As we imbibe it reduces to a fine film with scarce lace following it down. The nose is fresh, bright, citrusy and slightly grainy. One thing is for sure there is an excellent balance of lifted citrus notes against the grainy/cereal malt backing. Some grassy hops begin to come through in as we really dig our noses in. Really crisp and snappy, we like it. The mouth feel has a kind of mineral sparkle to it – a nod to the precise amount of Co2. It’s also light on, mild in body and extremely sessional. An approachable 4.7% ABV adds to its high drink-ability. Upfront the taste presents a malt forward profile with grainy cereal malts leading the subtle citrus notes through the mid. What we could only describe as a very mild bitterness (24 IBU) is picked up as the beer punctuates with crisp grassy hop characters and subtle cereal/biscuit malts. We’ve been impressed with this brewery ever since we visited it last year on a Brisbane brewery tour. Unfortunately this Kölsch wasn’t tapped when we were there so we’ve been wanting to try it ever since. And we must say it’s a superb interpretation of the style – light, crisp, fruity and grainy with that super sessional mouth feel. Solid drop.

Colonial Brewing Co. Draught Kolsch Ale

13619949_545152445668905_5348809651003718798_n“Pale gold in colour, Colonial Draught shows hints of lemon sorbet and is complimented by a subtle background of passionfruit and green herb. The nose flows to the palate which is tight, spotlessly clean, fresh, zesty and focussed, delivering a very approachable beer.”

Served in a beer tulip. The pale golden pour produces a fizzy two finger head that holds up reasonably well. It eventually shrinks down to a fine overlay with scarce lace trails clinging to the glass. The nose is quite dry and dusty with elements of hay and grainy malts at the forefront. Lashes of tangy citrus and grapes give it an almost champagne-like character at times. Maybe a hint of herbal/floral hop notes coming through too. Pretty good, smells fresh and super clean. In the mouth it’s light and airy with a crisp texture. Carbonation is vibrant and the body sits around the mild-medium mark. So sessional. The taste follows on from the aroma nicely. Upfront we get dry straw-like accents over a subtle citrus tang. The grainy/bready malts pop up early in the mid as a gentle hop dryness carries it through. A fresh herbal note then leads in to the slightly dry and snappy finish that offers light fruity notes on the back palate. This is one of those times when you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. The very plain and uninspiring label is the opposite of what’s happening inside the can. Which is a summery, light, crisp and uber sessional ale. This was our first crack at this WA breweries range and going off first experiences we’ll be back for a second. Solid Kolsch.

Big Shed Brewing Concern ‘Kol Schisel’ Kolsch

13394074_528867880630695_7850640917237877320_n“This ale masquerading as a lager is a cracking beer for those unsure that they are into ‘craft’ beers. Subtle bready, malt flavours backed up with a hop spiciness that makes you want to come back for another. Its not too boozy so you can enjoy a couple after work, at the Sunday arvo BBQ or when you’ve just come off the beach.”

Served in a shaker glass. The characteristic hazy straw golden body is capped off by two fingers of snow white foam that retains quite well. It does gradually recede and settles to a fine overlay with some sporadic lace trailing it down. As far as Kölsch aromas go this one seems quite traditional. We get that starchy potato scent leading out along with doughy notes of white bread and crayons. It is lifted by a vibrant citrus accent that is underlined by a subtle crackery malt backing. Some light herbal undertones poke through as do hints of freshly cracked grain husks and straw. Not half bad. The mouth feel is über-light and maybe just a little too lean. Co2 is moderate and the body is mild. Just a tad too watery for our liking. Even though the texture was a bit thin it doesn’t affect the flavor in any way. The front palate offers up cereal malts and rice crackers but it’s this extremely subtle heat that has us intrigued. It’s similar to a red pepper but sharper like there were a few cheeky chili’s thrown in the fermenter. It’s an interesting touch. Once it passes through the mid there isn’t a great deal happening other than your standard sweet malts, grains and delicate citrus notes. A bold bitterness rounds it out but the finish is short and a little pedestrian. Look, it’s definitely got its pro’s and con’s but ultimately the beer as a whole is a little lackluster. The citrus and the grains just aren’t cutting through and unfortunately it’s a tad one dimensional. Other than the initial heat and being a great summer session beer there’s nothing really memorable about it.

Sierra Nevada Kolsch

12821639_489610587889758_7255523672698113985_n“From Cologne to California, Kölsch-style beers are a favorite around the world. These light-bodied beers share the expressive character of an ale with the crisp, clean finish commonly found in lager beers. For our stamp on the style, Kölsch has a blast of floral and citrusy American and European whole-cone hops. This beer contains wheat malt to maintain the legendary drinkability of a classic Kölsch but adds a nod to our American brewing heritage and our love of hop flavour.”

Served in a footed flute glass. The body offers a pale straw-golden hue with a compacted one finger head forming on top. It’s not retained all that well as it settles to a ring with scarce lace trailing it down. The aroma is immaculate, crisp and refreshing. Vibrant herbal hops at the forefront with a soft citrus note over a light crackery malt base. Mild fruity undertones of pear and grapes also work well into this subtle and sweet yeasty hay character. Lovely aroma. Light, summery and well balanced. The texture of this Kolsch in the mouth is super clean and effervescent with a discernible bitterness developing toward the back palate. Geez you’d have no dramas pounding a six pack of these! The taste buds enjoy a harmonious fusion of herbal hops, grainy malts and subtle crackers upfront as they flow effortlessly across the mid and pick up hints of sweet citrus and a pinch of spice. The finish is light, dry and uber clean with a contained grassy bitterness enduring nicely between sips. Now we kind of wish we had a six pack of these! Such a simple beer but it’s been executed perfectly. As our 2016 summer draws to an end this Kolsch will be one of the standouts in terms of pure session ability and flavour. Thank goodness we can type quickly because at the pace this beer was consumed we would have needed a six pack! Solid drop.

Josef Fruh Kolsch

12705755_479718935545590_855351043302286901_n“The popular beer of Cologne, with its delicious palatable taste the specialty Kölsch – and an original. The Cologne understands just to enjoy life and always finds a reason with a breakfast Kölsch abut. Even today it is brewed according to the original recipe by Peter Josef breakfast – the best ingredients and according to the German purity law. 1969 led the popular early Kölsch in the bottle a. So you could enjoy at home, too. That has not changed until today.”

Served in a shaker glass. The crystal clear golden pour whips up a meagre fingers worth of snow white foam before collapsing to a halo with scarce lace trailing behind it. As far as Kolsch aromas go you can’t get much more classic than this. Some bright floral hops work into a slightly estery pear/apple note initially. A somewhat grainy, hay-like malt also vies for attention as a hint of that dreaded wet cardboard aroma creeps through. Starchy undertones of crackers, white bread and raw potato round out a quintessential profile for a German Kolsch. In the mouth it’s incredibly light with a thin-ish texture. Co2 is vibrant though, really lending a boost of life to the mild body. Ultimately it’s crisp and super sessional. The flavour practically mirrors the aroma with a light floral hop note on the front palate. Certainly a hint of sweet malt here as a grainy/crackery malt carries through the mid. A subtle note of pear/apple leads to a crisp and dry finish with reasonable length to the back palate. At the end of the day it’s really one of those beers that’s just good without being great. Brewed for mass consumption so it would be perfect for Oktoberfest or even a long session on a hot Aussie afternoon. Tasty and very palatable but it’s nothing to write home about.

Shark Island Brewing co. ‘El Mono Bolas’ Kolsch

12091409_442772119240272_2945307323000039397_oWe had the good fortune of meeting Dion (head brewer) when we popped in to their temporary HQ in Kirrawee and sampled a few of their beers a couple of weeks ago. This Kölsch was one of them and we were intrigued by the artistic label. The main influence is a tribute to 2 venues in Cronulla (beach side suburb in Southern Sydney) – Brass Monkey, which is an alternative little live music bar, and El Sol, a Mexican themed bar/restaurant. It uses the taboo 3 monkeys dressed as bandits to say “c’mon cerveza drinkers, here’s a refreshing crafty ale for you that won’t shock the taste buds.” We do love a good label. OK on with the review.

Served in a shaker glass. It pours an attractive, rich amber hue with decent clarity. A tightly compacted finger and a half of white foam hangs about for a couple of minutes before settling to a thin overlay. Laced minimally. One of the features we really like about this Kölsch is the use of traditional Kölsch yeast. We are getting a clean, grainy sweetness with a touch of orange blossom, hay, spicy hops, dried leaves and a light floral undertone on the nose. The texture of the beer in the mouth is super smooth and quite light on. A lively Co2 level adds a little tickle to the tongue as it breezes down with ease. Although the body is light there is a subtle yet commendable succession of flavours that opens with a sweet, biscuity malt. A dash of tangy orange cuts through the malt and flows on through a grainy mid palate. Finishes slightly dry and super clean. Length is pretty good too. We’d have to say that this is a fine way to kick off proceedings with this local brewery. Clean, sessional and flavoursome. Perfect summer session beer.

Stone Brewing ‘Spröcket Bier’ Black Rye Kölsch

image“Rick and Robbie’s Spröcketbier is the first ever winner of the Stone Spotlight Series brewing competition. A black rye Kölsch-style ale, it arose victorious over 18 other impressive entries ranging from barrel-aged stouts to fruit-laced sour beers and nearly everything in-between. A uniquely dark spin on this traditionally light-bodied German beer style, Spröcketbier delivers mild roast, effervescence and floral yeast presence in tremendously balanced form with the high level of drinkability that is the Kölsch style’s hallmark. Look for it on draft and in bottles in select markets throughout the country, along with the duo that created it, Quality Production Assurance Lead Rick Blankemeier and Production Warehouse Lead Robbie Chandler”.

Served in a snifter glass. We’re met with a mat black hue with a subtle edge of deep crimson that’s covered by a modest finger and a half of tightly packed tanned foam. The head gradually reduces and settles to a halo with reasonable lacing to show for it. The nose is nicely dominated by roasted chocolate malts, cocoa, licorice and a mild hint of coffee. Like Stone always do, a good hop presence is here, offering a suggestion of grassy/herbal notes along with a lick of tropical fruits. As it warms a complex Jaffa/Cointreau-like liqueur aroma creeps in. Unfortunately no rye is coming forward which is a shame because that extra touch of rye spiciness really would of rounded out this aroma. Still nice though. In the mouth it’s really light on with a dryness that develops late. Texture is quite thin with a low carbonation level. Light-moderate body with a well hidden ABV (5.4%). So smooth, really drinkable for a dark beer. Upfront we get roasted grainy malts and chocolate with a mild hop bitterness that forms early on the mid palate. This surprisingly sessional brew concludes with a light roasted bitterness and a touch of hop dryness on the tongue. We could easily imbibe this brew on a warm day despite the dark colour. No surprises though, this American brewery is one of the best in the world for a reason.

Sunner Braurei Kolsch

imageBrewed in the long Sunner-brewing tradition, after the Reinheitsgrebot of 1516. Spicy, aromatic, traditionally hopped, full bodied and tangy. A real product Kolscher life.”

As far as Kolsch beer goes, we’ve been told, you can’t get any more original than this. Sunner was the first German brewery to brew the style that is now known today as Kolsch (it wasn’t until 1918 that the name of this style of beer was changed from ‘Wiess’ or ‘White’ to Kolsch). OK that’s our history for the day, let’s crack on with the review. Served in a shaker glass. It pours with a pale straw-golden hue and magnificent clarity. Only a modest fingers worth of foam is generated but it’s well retained and draws some streaky lace trails as we imbibe. Really clean and crisp on the nose, it reminds us of smashing down stein’s of German Pils at the snow. We are getting lifted cereal malts, bubblegum, hay, soft citrus notes, grains and a kind of dried tea leaf spiciness. The brewers have done well to pack in a good bouquet but still keep it light and summery. Theres a lovely freshness to the feel in the mouth. The texture is soft and crisp with a vibrant Co2 level, lending the palate a real liveliness. ABV sits at 4.8% and expectedly makes no appearance. The flavour profile is inititated with a delicate blend of grainy/cereal malts and lemon which develop a mild leafy hop bitterness through the mid. A subtle Noble hop spiciness is formed as a hint of underripe pear delivers a clean and super smooth finish. We don’t claim to be Kolsch experts but from the six or seven that we’ve reviewed, this one definitely takes the cake. Well, when you’ve had 185 years to perfect your recipe then we guess it should. Classy drop.We really liked it.