Eventide Kölsch | ABV 5.3%
BJCP Style: Kölsch
CraftBeer.com Style: German Style Kölsch
CraftBeer.com Sensory Style: Crisp & Clean
Hops: Typically German Noble
Brewery: Eventide Brewing
City: Atlanta, 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: Pale yellow, slightly hazy. Frothy white head with very good retention. Medium rising bubbles.
Aroma: Hops: floral and minty/herbal. Malts: cracker/grainy.
Flavor & Aftertaste: Delicate floral, spicy/minty flavors with short mild bitterness. Medium sweetness.
Palate: Medium bodied. Moderate length finish with a mild, lingering bitterness.
As I write this blog post, it is 82 degrees F with mostly sunny skies in North Georgia. It’s like a switch goes off in my head the minute the temperature hits 80 plus. I start considering lighter, crisp and refreshing beers. Kölsch style beers fit that description very well. Locally, there are a number of breweries around that make a solid Kölsch style beer, but not that many make one available year around as a core offering. Eventide Brewing in Atlanta is one that has had a Kölsch plugged into their lineup from the get go and amazingly I have never tried it. Today offered a grand opportunity.
Right out of the gate, this Kölsch is a straw gold color with a slightly hazy appearance; not surprising as it is not filtered. It forms a frothy white head with good retention after a nice proper pour. This style has subtle, delicate aromas and flavors, but they should be obvious. Initial aroma is floral with a whiff of sulfur (which is not a flaw in the style) as it gives way to more floral, spicy/minty and bready notes. You may also get a little graininess or maybe some mild fruit. Flavor confirms aromas, with cracker-like malt dominant and spicy flavor. It starts a bit sweet, but a moderate bitterness checks in pretty quickly for balance and hangs around through the finish. As Randy Mosher points out in his excellent book Tasting Beer, bitterness can sometimes sneak up on you, as it can take a few minutes to build. This beer is a good example of that, as you really don’t notice the bitterness at first, but it becomes more noticeable as you get further into a glass. However, it is never palate numbing like a West Coast IPA. Mouth-feel is medium bodied with light carbonation. Finish is short and clean with a trailing bitterness.
Overall this is a good representation of Kölsch style. If I were judging it in a competition, I’d have to deduct points for a slightly out of spec ABV, as 5.3 % is high for the style. That being said, it is still a nice option for a crisp, refreshing Kölsch style beer for the warmer months. It’s also pretty readily available around the Atlanta metro area, as I was able to pick mine up at my local grocery store.
About Eventide Brewing: The brewery opened in 2015 and is located in the Grant Park/Peoplestown neighborhood. It is co-founded by Matthew Sweezey, Nathan Cowan, and Haley Cowan. This brewery epitomizes the keep it simple principle, right down to their slogan “Great Doesn’t Have to be Complicated“. Their core beers consist of the Kölsch, American Pale Ale, Hefeweizen, IPA, Scotch Ale and Baltic Porter. You’ll also find a rotating series of Berliner Weisse, IPA’s, and barrel aged beers on tap in the tasting room. Be sure to add them to your list of breweries to visit when you are in the Atlanta area.
Thanks for reading, until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!