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overall
38
53
style
Brewed by Cölner Hofbräu P. Josef Früh
Style: Kölsch
Cologne, Germany

bottled
common

on tap
common

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 585   WEIGHTED AVG: 2.95   EST. CALORIES: 144   ABV: 4.8%
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COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
From the recipe by Peter Josef Früh of the family brewery, this top-fermented specialty beer features the best ingredients and is brewed according to the German Purity Law. A favorite beer of Cologne, which became one of the city’s original.


5
   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
TheBeerLover (1025) - DC Metro Area, USA - JAN 28, 2006
Like altbier in Dusseldorf, kolsch is a special style of beer unique to Cologne, and different than most German beers in the fact that it is an ale, not a lager, though it is cold conditioned like a lager. Kolsch is a very delicate, golden ale, with light aromas and flavors of hops, crisp pale malt, and "jammy" fruit. It is a style that has been copied here in the United States by a number of brewpub/breweries, but one that is rarely done right. Precious few drops of real kolsch make it to the US market, as this beer is so delicate, and does not travel well. The most available exported version of kolsch to be found in the US is Reissdorf Kolsch, and I have also seen and enjoyed Gaffel Kolsch. Gaffel is a better example of the two available, but to really understand what kolsch is all about, a trip to Cologne is in order. Again, like in Dusseldorf, the beer drinking traditions and culture of Cologne is alive and well. Cologne also have Kobes or waiters who will continue to pour you 0.25L glass after glass of kolsch poured by gravity vom fass. As you might already know from my reviews of altbier, that means it is coming from a freshly tapped wooden or metal barrel. The Kobes here wear white or blue jackets and aprons, and they are as impressive as the blue clad waiters of Dusseldorf. There is in fact a great rivalry that exists between these two cities when it comes to their local specialty beers. I’m happy to enjoy both, and kolsch is a beer you will want to try. The glasses they pour kolsh in are interesting, they are long tube shaped glasses, that the Kobes serve from a tray that has cylinders like that of a revolver. It really is a site to see these guy serving up fresh, delicious kolsch, and it will amaze you how many glasses you will go through in a blink of an eye. Like in Dusseldorf, the Kobes will continue to tick off the number of beers you drink with a pencil on your coaster, and you might get a little shock when the bill comes. You will find literally dozens of places serving up kolsch, and Fruh is a bench mark example of the style. This beer has a wonderful balance of hop aroma, paired with nice pale malt and fruit character, and a nice dry finish. Fruh Kolsch pours to a beautiful, bright, pale golden color with a tall white head, and a moderate amount of carbonation. The nose on this beer is wonderful with pleasing aromas of light peppery and herbal hop aromas. This leads into a delicate malt palate with good pale malt flavor paired with light flavors of pear. Fruh Kolsch finishes with a slight herbal hop bitterness that rounds this beer out to perfection. Many beer geeks just don’t get kolsch as a style. They find it too light and too delicate. The simplicity and delicate nature of this beer really is its soul. It is so fresh tasting and so, so drinkable, you literally inhale this beer, and you will be happy to have the Kobes fill your never ending glass of beer.

4.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
EarlS (2) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - MAY 21, 2014 does not count
UPDATED: JUN 1, 2014 500 ml bottle served in a tulip glass. Slightly cloudy golden color with a white head that dissipates quickly. Very delicate floral nose, presumably from the noble hops used by the Cologne brewing convention; the tulip glass brings up the delicate nose nicely, Prominent characteristic beer flavor from the pale barley malt, with a mild sweetness said to be from the special ale yeast used by the Cologne brewing convention. Noble hop bitterness was noticeable but very mild. Light body, medium carbonation, smooth round mouth feel; just what you look for in a kölsch. Reminds me of the sips of beer my German grandfather gave me when I was little. For me a kölsch from Cologne is a definitive light German ale and there is none better than Früh.

4.5
   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
Pitschi (3) - GERMANY - SEP 15, 2007 does not count
Früh is the most popular. It’s not as good as Gaffel, in my opinion. Seems to be a bit more "soft" than the others.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
MrRain00 (37) - Columbus, Indiana, USA - DEC 23, 2001
Me, a friend, two pretty German girls and fresh Fruh Kolsh...sitting in Koln. It doesn’t get much better. This is a great beer fresh, I’ve never had it any other way.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
KaiserKolsch (38) - USA - AUG 11, 2007
Drank on an airplane at 8 in the morning. It’s name means early, and with no head and a light aroma, it was the perfect start to a long day of travel.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
MrRain (472) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JAN 21, 2008
Me, a friend, two pretty German girls and fresh Fruh Kolsh...sitting in Koln. It doesn’t get much better. This is a great beer fresh, I’ve never had it any other way.

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Braudog (5741) - Hampton, Virginia, USA - JUL 26, 2013
Bottle. Ah ... my old friend from when I lived in the Eifel. This was my "fridge beer," my weekly crate pickup. I’m glad to find it Stateside, unbelievingly realizing I’ve never entered notes on it. The prototype koelsch IMHO, this is bright golden, sunny and inviting, with a thin top. I can guzzle this tasty, light brew, brimming with Germanic smoothness and a fun disposition laden with peach, light bread and and pure malt finish. (#5177, 7/26/2013)

4.4
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
JeanDuteau (18) - Alberta, CANADA - MAY 28, 2014
Hard to find Kolsch in Edmonton, but I found two bottles of Fruh and tried them out. A pale yellow colour with a lot of bubbles. There was a nice bit of foam but it dissipated quickly, leaving some lacing behind. A floral smell with a perfect crisp taste. The taste was mostly in the center of the mouth so it didn’t overwhelm but I thought it could have been more well-rounded.

4.4
   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
Brewfoolery (18) - California, USA - AUG 6, 2014
Poured at the brewery on a glorious August afternoon. Crystall clear appearance with white foamy head. Clean Pilsner palate with very mild Mittelfrüh hop bitterness. Perfect clean aftertaste with hints of citrus at the finish. Well worth the journey

4.3
   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
DanielBrown (3806) - Birmingham (via Leicester), West Midlands, ENGLAND - NOV 28, 2003
UPDATED: APR 5, 2004 This was the best Kolsch I tried during my recent visit to Cologne, and is also good from the bottle. It has a smooth, almost greasy texture, that slips down the throat beautifully, coating the tongue. The flavour is light, yet tasty, and extremely moreish, especially when served in the small brauhaus glasses!


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