Leinenkugel Canoe Paddle Kolsch

Tonight’s beer is another selection from the Leinenkugel’s mixed pack. I don’t usually see their beer on shelves by me, except for the Summer. Then, I see their regular shandy and shandy mixed pack everywhere.

ABV: 5%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Leinenkugel’s® Canoe Paddle Kölsch® is a slightly spicy and smooth addition to Leinenkugel’s seasonal portfolio. This Kölsch-style beer is brewed with a touch of rye for a slightly spicy flavor and clean, dry finish. It’s our take on a German classic that’s perfect for winding down and relaxing. Pair Canoe Paddle Kölsch with Weisswurst, porcini mushroom ravioli with white wine sauce, delicate white fish with capers and arugula salads.”

Random: The beer comes in at 11 IBUs.

The beer poured wit a very loose, three finger, white head. It dissipated quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The body was slightly cloudy and was the color of lemon juice. The nose was very much like a lager instead of a kolsch. I picked up some corn and grain and not much else. The taste had some lemon juice and the same corn note that I got in the nose. There was no rye to speak of, but it would have really helped the beer if it was there. The body was light and had high carbonation. It had a quick finish with lemon juice and corn. I wasn’t into this beer at all. It didn’t have any of the features that a Kolsch should. I would avoid this one.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Bottle Logic Cantrip Kolsch

While we were out in Anaheim (months ago), we managed to catch a Ducks game. I really enjoyed the arena and I always liked the team, having grown up with the Disney movie. Let’s discuss a beer that hails from Anaheim.

ABV: 4%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to wikipedia.com, “Anaheim is a city in Orange County, California, part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 336,265, making it the most populous city in Orange County and the 10th-most populous city in California. Anaheim is the second-largest city in Orange County in terms of land area, and is known for being the home of the Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim Convention Center, and two major sports teams: the Anaheim Ducks ice hockey club and the Los Angeles Angels baseball team. Anaheim was founded by fifty German families in 1857 and incorporated as the second city in Los Angeles County on March 18, 1876; Orange County was split off from Los Angeles County in 1889. Anaheim remained largely an agricultural community until Disneyland opened in 1955. This led to the construction of several hotels and motels around the area, and residential districts in Anaheim soon followed. The city also developed into an industrial center, producing electronics, aircraft parts and canned fruit. Anaheim is a charter city.”

Random: I liked Anaheim a lot more than I thought I was going to. I went to Disneyland as a kid and don’t remember liking it as much as I did as an adult.

Since this was another beer that I had poolside, I have no comments about the appearance or the head. But, I did get a pleasant odor of grains and some mineral water. The taste was had some cracker to it, along with some floral notes. There was a touch of grass as well. The body was light with a decent amount of carbonation. The finish was quick with flowers and cracker. This beer went down easily, but not the best of the style I’ve had.

Untappd Rating: 3.5/5.0

Definitive Contee

Happy Leap Day! Tonight’s selection is a beer that we brought home from Maine.

ABV: 4.6%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Definitive Brewing was formed in 2017 when we came across lightning in a (beer) bottle. After months of planning, we were introduced to our now Director of Brewing Operations, and found an ideal location, all in a single week. Our investment group is made up of friends and family all with ties to Lake Cobbosseecontee in Manchester, ME. After 6 months of tireless efforts to transform an old scaffolding company into a production brewery and tasting room, we opened May 19, 2018 on the legendary Industrial Way. At Definitive Brewing we strive to provide a memorable tasting room experience for all of our customers. This is culminated by our wide variety of beers, including our Kolsch (Contee), Session Ales, IPAs, Stouts and Sours! Thank you for your continued support, and we hope to see you soon!”

Random: The only information about this beer on the website is that it is a Kolsch.

The beer poured with a half a finger of pure white head. It dissipated quickly, but left some lacing on the glass. The body was a clear straw-yellow color with lots of carbonation visible. The nose started with some cracker malt and had a touch of grass and some green grapes. The taste was crisp. It had the same cracker malt that was apparent in the nose with a decent amount of grass. I didn’t pick up the green grape note. The body was light with lots of carbonation. It had a quick finish with malt. The beer was alright, but not a standout for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0

Mikkeller Shuckmaster Kolsch

Last year, I figured out that I really like oysters. So, Val found a place in NYC (Crave Fishbar) that has a ridiculous oyster happy hour. They even have an exclusive beer from Mikkeller to pair with the oysters. How could I resist?

ABV: 4.3%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to untappd.com, “15 lbs of oyster shells later and here we have Shuckmaster Kolsch a 4.3% Oyster Kolsch. Oyster shells provide a touch of briny character to a classic warm-weather German-style ale. The salty addition is paired perfectly with the mild sweetness from the bready malts and mildly herbal hopping.”

Random: For Christmas Eve, Val and I bought a few dozen oysters, shucked them, made a compound butter and broiled them. They were amazing. We used some bee pollen in the compound butter, which gave it a hint of sweetness.

The beer poured with a quarter finger of pure white head that dissipated almost instantly and left no lacing on the glass. The body was a straw-yellow color and was completely clear with a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had the expected mineral water along with a touch of herbal hops. There was some bready grain as well. I didn’t pick up anything I could specifically note as brine in the nose. The taste started with bready grain and river rocks. There was a small amount of brine and it quickly went into some light herbal notes. The body was on the lighter side with a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick, but clean and crisp with brine. I thought this was a really good beer and it paired really well with oysters. I would definitely have this again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

River Horse Wuddermelon Kolsch

Val read on Facebook awhile back that this was released on draft at the brewery. We decided to take a trip out so I could give it a shot. It’s been a few years since the brewery moved to my town and the space is awesome. They do a lot of cool events, especially the craft fairs, that we find ourselves going to for a few hours. Even when nothing is going on, the tasting room is usually quiet and comfortable.

ABV: 4.1%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: This beer is to benefit the Philadelphia Zoo, which I’ve never been to before.

Random: One of my biggest pet peeves is when people intentionally misspell words to be cheeky. Not my thing.

The beer poured with a half a finger of off white head. It dissipated slowly and still managed to leave some lacing on my fancy plastic cup. The body was cloudy and bright orange. There was a lot of carbonation visible. The nose had notes of watermelon Italian ice and wheat. The taste was much of the same. It was all of the good parts of a watermelon ice with some wheat as well. The yeast came through next with a touch of mineral water. The body was thin and had a lot of carbonation. The finish was quick with watermelon. The cup cost me $3 at the brewery, which broke down to $.25 per ounce. I don’t know if it’s because I had this while it was hot out, but it just hit the spot for me and I really enjoyed it. This could easily be a Summer go to for me.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Harpoon Captain Kolsch

Val and I are back from our honeymoon and took the day after we landed off to relax. I’m busy doing laundry and updating the blog while Val naps.

ABV: 4.8%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “We were pumped when our friends at Trader Joe’s asked us if we’d like to brew a beer with them; like us, they’re always up for having fun. As we threw around different styles, the idea of a twist on the traditional Kolsch style had everyone jazzed. The name itself is not only a nod to the super beer inside the bottle, it’s also a nod to both the Trader Joe’s Captains who welcome customers to their stores each day and the Harpoon Beer Captains who welcome beer lovers to our breweries every day. A superhero among beers, Captain Kolsch packs a subtly sweet, slightly hopped aroma and a light body. But before you can say “to the Kolschmobile!” Captain Kolsch swoops in with a crisp hop bitterness and balanced finish. Crimson-hued, refreshing, and moving even faster than a Trader Joe’s Captain, this is not your typical Kolsch. It’s a beer! It’s balanced! It’s….Captain Kolsch!”

Random: This was first brewed in 2017.

The beer poured with a finger and a half of off-white head. It went away quickly and left limited lacing on the glass. The body was an unexpected reddish-brown and clear. It had some carbonation visible. The nose started with a lot of toasted malt and brown bread. It had a nuttiness to it as well with some floral hops. The taste was nothing like I expected for a kolsch. If anything, it reminded me a lot more of an Amber. It had a lot of malt and nuttiness, specifically hazelnuts and almonds. The brown bread note that came out in the nose was present in the taste as well. The floral hops came through as well with some bready yeast. The body was on the heavier side, especially for a kolsch. It had a decent amount of carbonation. The finish was quick and nutty. I think I picked this one up at Trader Joe’s, but I don’t remember how much it was. Either way, this beer was a miss for me. If you’re looking for a kolsch, this isn’t what you want.

Untappd Rating: 2.5/5.0

Manor Hill Katherine’s Kolsch

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a kolsch, especially one that I can’t get in Jersey. Let’s get to it.

ABV: 5.1%

Style: Kolsch

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “Like most roads on the journey of life, this adventure has been full of twists and turns. Mary and Randy Marriner, with their two daughters, Rachael and Tori, own Victoria Restaurant Group. They opened Victoria Gastro Pub in November 2007. It would remain the only restaurant operated by the Victoria Restaurant Group until 2017. Manor Hill Tavern in Old Ellicott City would become their second restaurant in February 2017 and will be followed by the third concept, Food Plenty, later in 2017. The journey toward brewing beer started in earnest in late 2011 when the Marriners sold their home in western Howard County and purchased, a 54 acre working farm in Ellicott City. At the time, there was no home on the new site, just an old block barn and a single wide trailer that housed the farm hand. The farm was half field crops and half beef cattle. After taking possession, Mary began designing the house and fixing the barn: evicting the raccoon tenants, replacing the leaky roof, putting a new skin of stone and stucco to the grey block building, pouring concrete floors where there had been just dirt, adding wooden garage doors, and re-grading the surrounding land with berms and retaining walls. Construction of their house began shortly thereafter. The Marriners were seemingly content to maintain the farm and operate Victoria Gastro Pub as they had been, until Mary read an article in Food Arts magazine. The article featured Oskar Blues Brewery in Denver, CO and its owner, Dale Katechis. They learned that he also has a 50 acre farm, half in field crops and half in beef cattle. And his farm is located in between two restaurants. As Mary read on, she kept saying, ‘This is us, this is us’. Randy responded, ‘What? We have one restaurant, a 50 acre farm, but no brewery!’ Soon after that conversation, Randy discovered that the 2012 Maryland General Assembly recently passed legislation that established ‘Farm Breweries’ who by definition would feature home-grown barley, hops, and/or fruits in their beer. So, in September of 2012, Randy filed for a Farm Brewery license. Following nearly 18 months of legislative hurdles and permitting obstacles, Manor Hill Brewing became official, making it Howard County’s first farm brewery on February 1, 2014. Brewing began in small test batches in early 2015, with full-scale production launched in May, 2015. In addition to the beef cattle and fields of planted feed corn, wheat, and soy, Mary has a garden that produces tomatoes, herbs, squash and squash blossoms, zucchini, asparagus, blackberries, blueberries, and much more. The crops from Mary’s garden are used at Victoria Gastro Pub, Manor Hill Tavern, as well as ingredients for Manor Hill beers.”

Random: This beer is listed in the “Special Release, Limited and Retired” section, so I’m not sure if they are still making it.

The beer poured with a huge, four finger white head and it took forever to dissipate. Lots of lacing was left behind on the glass. The body was hazy and bright yellow with light carbonation visible. The nose was filled with lemon zest and lemon balm. It had a powdered lemonade note to it as well. I’m not used to a kolsch having this much lemon. The taste had just as much lemon and was bordering on tart. It had grass and leaves and finished with some yeast. The body was heavy for style with light carbonation. It had a lengthy finish with yeast. This was another beer that I bought in DC and I forgot how much it was, but this beer was a complete miss for me.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0