Cape Ann Brewing Co.
Another Mass brew, this time from GLAW-stah (under contract from Olde Saranac), it’s labeled as a “Kölsch-style ale” so it will get a kolsch-style glass. Though Kolsch is a clear, golden, German (Kölsch=Köln=Cologne) beer that is stored (lagered), it is top-fermented and technically an ale, not a lager (sorry for all the parenthetical phrases).
The color is bright gold, with a tinge of orange. A rocky white head is slow to form and quick to settle, though large globular carbonation launches erratically to the top.
The nose is sweeter than you might expect. There is a starchiness to the aroma and it reminds most of warm French fries – certainly appealing.
The mouthfeel is full and the large bubbles help expand the flavor. A faint sweetness rises quickly, but doesn’t cloy. Rather, it gives way to a clean, metallic taste of Euro or Noble hops.
With more body than a pilsner and less bite than a Dortmunder, Kolsch is always a nice quaff. This particular brew is an excellent sample of the style and would be great if you’re looking for something with a bit more depth than most standard pilsners.
St. Arnold Brewing Co.
The beer pours to a crystal-clear golden color, with a good mix of fine effervescence up the side of the glass, and larger orbs flying up the middle like amped up jellyfish. Looking down the glass is like traveling through a tawny hyperspace. The head is sudsy and white, but dissipates rapidly, due in part to my very slow pour into a kolsch glass.
Like a Souped-Up Deere, That's a Fancy Lawnmower
The nose is also sweet, like honey, with aromas of breadcrumb, fresh-cut grass, and a touch of lemon zest.
The mouthfeel is as good as you’d expect from St. A’s – full and slightly creamier than you might think. The first sip is wonderfully light but full, with mild sweetness that sets you up for what’s to come. Some metallic grassiness imparts a nice segue to the finish, but not before some chewy malt arrives. The hops tie everything up into a neat package. The Hallertau hops used here are a Noble variety and one of the oldest in history and impart a particular bite that is not too peppery, but still nice and spicy.
St. Arnold, I think I love you. Keep it up. Also, that label is on straight, it’s just my photography that’s askew.