Früh Kölsch

Total Score: 6/10 GreenApple1 Barley1 WhiteWine1 PokalStange1

Kölsch, a style I have touched on before with Australian renditions but have never had a traditional one from Köln (where it originated), is an interesting style. It is top-fermented (i.e. an Ale) with Lager characteristics. If done well it makes an excellent summer Ale for long hot days, however if it is done badly it can become quite drain-pour worthy. As Früh Kölsch is my first real German Kölsch it will henceforth be my benchmark of this style. I hope they set that bar high.

Poured from a 500ml can into a Stange (or “test tube glass” the traditional glass for a Kölsch).

A: Presents a clear pale straw body with a cappuccino foam white head that soon reduces to a light lace on top. Spot on colour for a true Kölsch. 8/10.

S: Fresh cider apples in the aroma provide dry and vinous characters, there is hints of a grain base and slight metallic note from the can, overall a pretty decent and Lagery aroma. 7/10.

T: Crisp, dry and cidery… in fact it tastes light a glass of dry apple cider more than a beer. Then the grain flavours kick in… then you have a burp because of the dramatic carbonation, with a finish and aftertaste that is mildly bitter, very crisp and oh so dry. Another sip reveals white wine characters with some light honey sweetness. 6/10.

M: Waaay over-carbonated, it’s been a while since I’ve let off this many belches, with a mid to light body. 3/10.

D: It can be said that a good Kölsch is a perfect pairing for a hot summers day and Früh is a good enough Kölsch, though my scores do tend to show a bias against Lagers in general (I’m an Ale-man, and a Hophead, this is true) – I still believe my scoring of this beer is relative to how good it actually is. That said, with flavours like a typical cheap German Lager, there is little reason to seek this beer out and fork over the $5.50/500mls I paid for it – this is a sub $3/500mls can at best. 6/10.

Food match: A Köln specialty Himmel un Ääd (or Heaven and Earth) roasted apple and semi-mashed potatoes, with fried onion topping, served with the classic blood sausage is a definite great pairing for this brew.


2 thoughts on “Früh Kölsch

  1. Rob says:

    Think I might stick to the Sail and anchor this summer. I did ponder an Aussie effort by the name of Deeds however the reviews weren’t good.

    I’m in the Edinburgh pub in Sydney typing this with a pint of white rabbit dark ale. It’s ok imo.
    Here on tap is also yak, Lord Nelson pale and Endeavor ‘vintage’ pale. The Nelson being the best of the lot if your into the citrus teabag thing😀


    • Yeah I didn’t mind the S&A Kolsch, best of a bad lot if you ask me, also Aussie brewers seem to interpret Kolsch as another word for Lager so I’ve yet to find one that beats Wig & Pen’s Kanberra Kolsch I had years back – which actually tasted like a light/summery/fruity Ale (as a Kolsch is meant to be).
      You’re right about Nelson being the best out of that selection (and I do enjoy a classic English Pale with tea leaf in the finish).


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