Posts Tagged ‘Küppers Kölsch’

Drei kölsche Biere

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Früh KölschTonight I will taste three beers brewed in Köln (that’s Cologne to the uninitiated). Beer from Köln is called kölsch, and it is a strong, pale lager with a particular fresh taste. Köln and Düsseldorf are two cities on the river Rhine with a long history of competition, particularly on the beer front. This is my first in a series of posts that will attempt to answer the age-old question: which beer is better, kölsch or alt?

The first examples in the kölsch category come from three breweries I have otherwise never heard of. First up, an offering from Cölner Hofbräu Früh, the Früh Kölsch. After that I will try the beer made by Dom-Brauerei, Domkölsch. Finally I will have the one from Küppers Brauerei, Küppers Kölsch.

The Früh Kölsch pours a brilliantly clear, lightly gold-tinted pale yellow. The head was bone white and a bit spongey, but now it’s all gone. The nose is malty sweet, with hints of white wine fruitiness and a trace of corn.

DomkölschThe flavor is immediately rich with an herbal hop flavor. Some bitterness is present but is overtaken by a cloying sweetness. There is some malt flavor that comes through as bread, but mostly just the corny sweetness. The flavor lingers far too long, and the carbonation is not nearly active enough.

The Domkölsch is named after the infamous Köln Cathedral, the other important attraction in the city of nearly a million. This is made perfectly clear in the label’s text, which reads, “Dom und Kölsch sind für Kölner, was Romeo für Juliet war: eine echte Herzensangelegenheit.” Loosely, “The Cathedral and kölsch are for the people of Köln what Romeo was for Juliet, a true passion.”

The Domkölsch is also a brilliantly clear yellow, perhaps a little darker than the Früh. The head is likewise bone-white, but has a more structure and lasts a bit longer. The nose is cleaner, with only a light malt aroma and a bit of fruit.

Küppers KölschThe flavor is also cleaner: it is almost tasteless. Some pure pilsner malt comes out, and a hint of sweetness. Just a bit of herbal hops peek through. The body is certainly thick and full, but unlike the Früh, not at all cloying.

The Küppers Kölsch pours a brilliant yellow, paler still than the Früh. The head is white, but like the Früh, disappears very quickly. The aroma is almost nonexistent. A little corn is all I can get.

The flavor is a bit hollow. It would be perfectly fresh if not for the persistent corn flavor. A bit of malty sweetness tries to compensate but doesn’t quite make it. The palate is full and lively, making for a very drinkable beer.


3.6 (3-7-7-4-15)

+/-Küppers Kölsch

3.1 (2-7-6-4-12)

+/-Früh Kölsch

2.9 (2-7-6-2-12)