Brewery: Cölner Hofbräu Früh
When I began looking at beers to have in a German tasting, I knew I had to have a kölsch in the mix somewhere. I have a good friend that hails from Cologne so I had heard a lot but tried very little of this geographically protected status beer. Kölsch is interesting as it is warm fermented with ale yeast yet left to condition like a lager. This gives it very similar characteristics to lager but with a hint more fruitiness. There wasn’t the largest selection of kölsch to buy here in Sweden, with the list totalling just one brand. As I had heard of Früh though I knew that it would be a good choice and a great way to start the tasting.
Like most beers in the genre, it poured with a very pale golden colour. It had a noticeably high carbonation to it, which gave a buoyant and frothy head that lingered well. The aroma was light yet full, with a nice grassy kick combining with hints of peach and pastry. The taste drew heavily on sweet white bread and a maltiness that departed quite rapidly. The small bubbles fizzed heavily on the tongue and made it reminiscent of champagne in a way. It felt quite thin on the palate but definitely quenched the thirst well.
I think it would rather hard to distinguish this from a standard European lager unless you were really looking for those fruit notes. It was a light and easy to drink ale that would be a lovely barbecue beer. It didn’t set my world on fire but I did enjoy it and could easily be enjoyed again.