Beer: Captain’s Kölsch
Brewery: Captain Lawrence
Serving Style: Bottle
Drinking Establishment: Chez Wood
Primary Consumer: Kerensa
Sight: Bright, clear golden body with a small white head that, in typical Kölsch-style, quickly simmers down to a few bubbles.
Smell: If ever a beer smelled like the innards of a German bierhaus, well, this would be among the German beers that smell like the innards of a German bierhaus. Dominant aromas are lemon, a funky yeast, biscuits, and fresh white bread.
Flavor: Not quite as strong as its smell, the taste is a combination of copper, lemon floor cleaner, pretzels, and a crisp bitterness from the addition of American hops.
Feel: It has a thinnish body with high carbonation.
Concluding Remark: I can’t in my right mind give a non-German Kölsch a 5, right? Captain Lawrence’s Captain’s Kölsch isn’t in the Kölsch Konvention, after all. HOWEVER, if I wasn’t such a stickler for the beer rules (which are in no way affiliated with the BJCP guidelines or anyone else’s rules or ideas or beliefs or religions), the Captain would be well on its way to earning the top award that every beer seeks: theyearinbeer’s 5 pint glass rating. Alas, this is my house, and my rule is that I can’t give a “Kölsch-style” beer a perfect score.
So, 4.5 it is for Captain Lawrence of New York. Nevertheless, the Captain is exactly what you would expect of a German-American Kölsch-style ale. It’s hella refreshing, with a seemingly impossible lightness that is balanced by a surprising amount of flavor for the style. And good looks to Captain Lawrence for not dousing their Kölsch with hops; no, they mitigated what was probably an uncontrollable desire to dump in gallons of hops and instead included just a smattering of Crystal hops.
My final words are, this beer would please anyone. Simply put, excellent job, Captain Lawrence. But, if you’re looking for that 5 pint rating, I suggest you pack your bags and head off to Cologne and get your ass into the Kölsch Konvetion.