The Dom | ABV 4.8%
BJCP Style: Kölsch
CraftBeer.com Style: German Style Kölsch
CraftBeer.com Sensory Style: Crisp & Clean
Malts: Pilsner, Vienna
Brewery: Akademia Brewing Company
City: Athens, GA
(A quick note on Sensory Style: A recent, very thought provoking article from CraftBeer.com (It’s Time to Rethink How We Talk About Craft Beer Basics) by Mirella Amato introduced the idea that separating beers into Ale or Lager categories really doesn’t help newer craft beer consumers determine what beers they may or may not like to try. Sensory Style is actually more informative. I tend to agree with this, so I have introduced CraftBeer.com’s Sensory Style categories, in addition to beer style, to help someone reading my reviews get quicker understanding of the overall experience they should expect from the beer. Sensory Style is divided into six broad categories: Sour/Tart/Funky, Crisp/Clean, Dark/Roasty, Malty/Sweet, Hoppy/Bitter and Fruity/Spicy. If you would like to explore these more on your on, you’ll find them here: CraftBeer.com Beer Styles. Go ahead and explore, you’ll find they work quite well.)
Appearance: Clear, brilliant gold. Thin white head with moderate retention.
Aroma: Herbal/spicy hops, a tad floral. Grainy malt.
Flavor & Aftertaste: Grainy malt mixed with spiciness. Low malt sweetness. Restrained bitterness
Palate: Light to medium bodied. Medium carbonation. Finish is short, dry and crisp. Nice tingle from the cabonation.
Of all the beer styles available today I am most partial to German styles. The precision and drinkability of German beer is so impressive and make them a joy to drink. I am constantly seeking out the best versions of German styles made by craft breweries around me. As I have written before, I am very fortunate to be living in Atlanta at a time when craft beer is booming and coming into its own. Even better, I live about an hour and a half from Athens, GA where one of the best known breweries out of Georgia, Creature Comforts Brewing Company, is located. In that same town, there is another fantastic brewery (brewpub actually), Akademia Brewing Company, that is probably lesser know and highly underappreciated. In my searching for the best German style beers, I found their Helles to be one of the top versions in Georgia. They recently released their Kölsch style beer The Dom in 16 oz. cans to distribution and let me tell you this one is a gem. If you like Kölsch , you love The Dom.
Honestly, I am very excited about The Dom. With all due respect to all the breweries that make Imperial Stouts and Double IPAs out there, and I’ve had some really good ones, it’s just not that often I find a brewery not only willing to make traditional German lagers; but that does them very well. Head Brewer Morgan Wireman has called The Dom his “baby” and I can see why. You can tell he spent a whole lot of time and effort developing this beer. The Dom pours a gorgeous brilliantly clear gold color. It develops a thin white head with moderate retention (which is not considered a flaw in this style). The nose is exactly what I love in many German beers – a distinct graininess from the malts and herbal/spiciness from the hops. There is also a touch of floral hops in there too, if you pay close attention. The flavor is similarly exquisite. A balance of delicate grainy malt and spicy hops notes. The malt backbone is mostly dry and bitterness from hops quite restrained. The mouth-feel is light to medium bodied, not too thin at all. You don’t feel like you are drinking a watery domestic beer. Then there is the finish. This beer culminates in a short, dry crisp finish with a barely perceptible bitterness. You will also note a bright, almost champagne-like effervescence start to finish.
Of note, The Dom is one of Akademia’s award winning beers. Wireman entered it in the 2019 U.S. Open Beer Championship and proceeded to win a Gold Medal with it.
The Dom comes in a four pack of 16 oz. cans. It appears to be popular with craft beer enthusiasts familiar with Akademia right out of the gate. After I bought my first four pack for my review, I went back to the same retail store, Max’s Bottle Shop in Johns Creek, GA, the next week to buy more. No dice, they had sold out. This left me scratching my head, as I looked around at all the IPAs and Sours on the selves and stared longingly at the empty space where the precious The Dom once resided. If German style beers are so unpopular, who the heck bought all this Kölsch? I guess that’s story for another day.
A side note on the name of the beer and label design. The Dom is named for a Cathedral in Cologne, German Kolner Dom. I thought that was nice tip of the cap to the area famous for the Kölsch style. The label design is pretty typical of Akademia’s beer labels with exception, it features an image of the bearded Morgan Wireman himself enjoying The Dom. I have found the majority of Brew Masters in the craft beer industry to be very friendly and accommodating of non-professional bloggers like myself. In previous interactions, he has been gracious and perfectly willing to share his thoughts and stories. I can’t begin to thank him and folks like him for being like that. I have a voracious appetite for beer knowledge; but I don’t want to pester breweries too much because I know these are busy folks. I always appreciate the ones that are willing to take the time to answer my questions. Frankly, I have found very few that aren’t.
Shout out and kudos to Wireman on this fantastic beer! If you enjoy fresh, local representations of classic German styles, you will love The Dom. If you live in Atlanta or Athens, get out there and grab some. Just wait until I’ve had a chance to replenish my stock! Lol!
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!