I experienced my first Saturday in Cologne by myself yesterday. So I got up and went to the great Christmas Markets, a sight to see to be sure, but thats not the reason that you are reading this. During my jaunts from market to market I got a little thirsty so I decided to stop by a couple of Kolsch Brewery's for a beer. While I am here, I will try to do most of my tastings from the brewery since that is a great way to experience Kolsch. I will always try to have the beer out of the tap since that is when it is at its freshest. Now on to the tastings:
Pfaffen: I came to the brewery the other day with a bunch of friends so I wanted to go back by self for a tasting as I think this may be my favorite Koslch. I had my beer standing up against the tables outside as the weather was beautiful. The beer poured a light amber, much darker than the traditional golden pilsner color of most Kolsch's. The head was about 1.5 inches and pillowy floating atop the beer with ample lacing throughtout. There was an underlying spiciness on the nose along with the familiar malty sweetness. The mouth was more of the same, with that same spiciness that I can't quite put my finger on, not from hops from something else, it almost reminds me of a winter warmer...almost. Such a great beer.
Fruh: This is one of the most popular breweries in Cologne, and I can see why. FIrst of all its HUGE....multiple stories, rooms off of rooms, when I had some friends meet me there a couple of days back they got lost....the atsmosphere is truly kolsch, with the waiters slinging their carriers around (these round contrapations that carry about 8-16 glassses) I am suprised that no on loses a glass. So I sat down ordered a Halven Hahn (nope note half a hen) which is a Kolsch snakc of cheddar and good German Bread, goes great with the beer. The beer isn't bad either. The beer is the traditional color, with a nice foamy head, but limited lacing. The taste was more traditional as well, with nice malt at the top and slight hoppy bitterness on the aftertaste. Very smooth, very crispy. While nothing special, this is agreat example of a fine Kolsch.
More as I walk around the town.