26 days of beer

K is for kolsch

Kolsch is one of those beer styles that I just don’t care for very much.

I think it’s because, compared to other flavoursome styles like pale ales, IPAs, stouts and the awesome hefeweizen, the kolsch is a bit ordinary, a bit bland as far as my tongue is concerned.


According to the OCB, kolsch was designed by brewers in Cologne in the late 1880s because they were sick of this interloper called pilsner from Bohemia. Somehow this rather unenticing beer managed to fight off the pilsner and thus kolsch was born.

Curiously it seems the word ‘‘kolsch’’ is meant to be much like ‘‘champagne’’ or ‘‘burgundy’’ in that it’s only meant to be used if the product is actually made in that geographical area. At least that’s what the Cologne brewers decided in 1986 and got backing for in 1998 by the European Union.

Fat lot of good that did – you can buy beers called kolsch all over the place. None of which were actually made in Cologne.

What’s the go here?: For those who have just stumbled across this post, I’m going through the Oxford Companion to Beer (OCB) and posting an entry for every letter. Why? Because I have a copy at home but hadn’t really gone through it page by page and I figured this would be an exercise that would force me to do that.

Categories: 26 days of beer, book, kolsch, news

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