The Best Kölsch-Style Beers For Summer ’19, According To Brewers


It’s only early June, but we’re already deeeeep in the summer mood. Honestly, why do we have to wait until June 21st to make it official? We should start a petition to make Summer begin on June 1st. Or mid-May, even. The weather already feels like summer and hot days are just around the corner. Who needs “late spring” anyway?

On humid, heat-filled days, most of us reach for lower alcohol content, lighter, more refreshing beers. No one wants a heavy, dark, rich beer that’s going to slosh in your belly like maple syrup when the weather demands a subtly sweet, drinkable beer like a kölsch. This low ABV, German-style ale is perfectly suited for drinking on sweat-stained, sun-soaked summer days.

Originating in Cologne, Germany, kölsch-style beers are sessionable, crushable, light, and subtly sweet. It’s the kind of beer you want to reach for to ruin your diet after a long-distance run on a hot day — thirst-quenching to the max. The Gatorade of the beer world. Brewers enjoy this style just as much as we do, so we asked some of our favorite brewers to tell us their go-to kölsch beers for summer drinking.

Terrapin Golden Ale

Jason Santamaria, co-founder and brewmaster at Second Self Brewing Co.

What’s my favorite Kolsch/Blonde ale I don’t make myself and why? Terrapin’s Golden was one of the beers that first got me into craft beer. It’s light, crisp, clean and refreshing.

pFriem Kolsch

Rhett Dougherty, head brewer at Veza Sur Brewing Co.

My favorite thing about Kolsch is its inherent sessionability. We are following suit in Miami with our Lagers being served in the traditional Brazilian form of Chopp. For Kolsch, pFriem Family Brewers Kölsch is setting the highest bar in my opinion. Extremely clean and sessionable, this beer redefines summer beer refreshment.