16. Früh Kölsch

Our second visit to Germany sees us breaking new ground. This is my first ever experience of the style of beer known as Kölsch.

Kölsch is native to Köln, Nordrhein-Westfalen and in fact use of the name is protected by law, and restricted to a handful of breweries in Köln and a couple of surrounding cities.

For all of that. I suspect this is going to be a pretty ordinary lager. Let’s pour ourselves a glass and find out.


Früh Kölsch looks a lot like a lager, but in fact is warm fermented, so I suspect that to use that term would be technically inaccurate. Even so, it’s the palest and fizziest beer we’ve come across so far. At a mere 4.8% it’s also the weakest.

Predictably enough, it also tastes like a lager, but a rather thin, mildly-flavoured one, quite in contrast to the Brooklyn Lager that opened my eyes recently.

It’s light and refreshing, and there’s a pleasant dryness to the finish, but apart from that, there really isn’t much to write home about here. The beer is clearly designed to be rapidly sunk several Steins at a time in the local Bierkeller without too much trouble, but it’s pretty forgettable stuff.

Facts and Figures

Brewery: Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh KG, Köln, Germany
Style: Kölsch
ABV: 4.8%
Found at: Waitrose Food Court at John Lewis, Oxford Street, London W1
Dispense: 500ml Bottle

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