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 Change.org 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.
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Our Tasting Room menu is freshened up for Spring! Also, be sure to check out our latest blog post for a beer cheese recipe by pFriem Chef, Justin Congdon – link in bio. 👆 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #pfriembeer #pfriemfood #springseasonal #hoodriver #PNW #springmenu #hoodriverfood #eatlocal
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.
Mike Stoneburg, brewmaster at Blue Point Brewing Company
My go-to Kolsch to drink in the summer? Prost’s Kolsch out of Denver, Colorado. Prost brews some awesome traditional German beers like their Kolsch. Light, refreshing, and hits the spot.
Future Primitive Moment Blond
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Have you tried our new 12 Week Pilsner? – 5.5% german pils This beer (bier?) has tradition written all over it. First, we start with 100% German malt and hops imported from Bavaria, Bamberg, and Baden-Wurttemberg. We then employ an extensive four-step mash program to develop and maintain those bright, layered, flavours and textures. Next it spends 3 weeks in the fermenter before aging a full 9 weeks in specially made lagering tanks for further flavour development and natural clarification. Go ahead and schwack-it-back, we took our time on this one so you don’t have to. ABV: 5.5% IBU: irrelevant Schwackability: 23
Josh Waldman, brewmaster at Elysian Brewing Company
What’s my favorite Kolsch to drink in the summer? Future Primitive – Moment Blond. So good. Delicate, floral, low phenols, perfect bitterness. The blond I want to brew.
Elevation 8 Second Kolsch
Cody Reif, research & development brewer at New Belgium Brewing
What’s my kolsch/blonde ale I don’t make? Elevation’s 8 Second Kolsch, I’m not sure how they made this beer both super complex and also incredibly clean. You can bury your nose in the glass and pick out all the aromas or you can session it for an entire evening. I like to do both.
Scott Ungermann, brewmaster at Anchor Brewing
My go-to Kolsch for summer is Reissdorf Kölsch. It’s a classic from Köln which I was lucky enough to have there many years ago – another that stands the test of time.
Von Trapp Kolsch
Chris Rockwood, head brewer at Magic Hat Brewing Company
Von Trapp Kolsch: The team over at Von Trapp Brewing put their focus on brewing lagers and the results are always splendid. Their Kolsch may only be offered in the summer season, but it is a fantastic representation of such a delicate style.
Ska True Blonde
Tim Matthews, head of brewing operations at Oskar Blues Brewing
I love it when malt shines through in a blonde. Ska’s True Blonde has a beautiful breadiness that reminds me of chewing fresh malt at the malt house.
Firestone Walker 805
Joe Connolly, director of Springdale Beer
Firestone 805 because If I’m drinking it, I’m probably in California. What good New Englander doesn’t dream of 60-degree weather, all the time?