The Kӧlsch

By: Steve

April 28, 2016


We certainly associate the spring and summer time with lighter, thirst-quenching beers. Dark and malty warms the stomach in the winter, so we tend to look for light and refreshing when the temperatures rise. The Kӧlsch style originates from Germany in a city called Cologne (pronounced koln) going back to the year 874 A.D. By 1250 you could find records of the brewing office of Cologne rigorously controlling the production of Kӧlsch. By the late 1800s Bohemia started importing its pale lagers into Cologne and the brewers decided they should have their own signature beer. That’s when Kӧlsch style really hit its stride. Using warm-fermenting ale yeasts, they wanted a beer that was golden and hopp-ish, yet delicate and bright. Pilsners were all but stopped at the gates, and the modern Kӧlsch was born. It wasn’t until 1986 that they officially defined the style, and demanded through tradition (and in some cases litigation) that the city of Cologne was the only place to brew the modern day Kӧlsch in Europe.

Traditionally it would be served in a tall straight “Stangen” glass which holds about 6oz. In most bars in Cologne these racks of Kӧlsch will be brought out to the tables and if your glass is empty they simply replace it. When you are ready to stop the flow, put a coaster over your glass and the serving stops then.


In America, craft brewers tend to see it as a bridge from bland industrial lagers to more flavorful traditional beers. Evenly balanced, with a soft bitterish finish, it should be crisp but not sharp. The effervescence of the style brings fruity aromas to the nose with a light body to the tongue.  Clean and fresh, this is best enjoyed during the warm weather, something we Las Vegans have plenty of.

A wide range of lighter food pairs up wonderfully with our Kӧlsch. It offers simple pleasures that compliment flavors not found in the beer itself. A Ceasers salad with its salty base bounces well off Kӧlsch. It won’t overwhelm the leafy greens and if you are going with a Cobb salad it plays along with the hard boiled egg well. Dressings like a sharp vinaigrette won’t become tainted either. Delicate fish like Halibut grilled with lemon garnish compliment one another. Mild Indian dishes get to play in the party too.

Soft buttery cheeses like a chevre or the Italian burrata dance on the tongue with the spritzy carbonation. You wouldn’t want to mix it up with harder cheeses like those in the Blue family, just too overpowering! Gather that information together and beer for breakfast gets real interesting. A goat cheese omelette with a touch of dill and sauteed spinach will set the day off right.

On tap now our Kӧlsch for you, you’ll miss it later.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin


Steve officially joined our team recently but he has been a part of Tenaya Creek for many years. After growing up in Alaska, Steve found his way to the desert and the doors of Tenaya Creek Brewery. He soon put his skills on the mic to use and started the Wednesday night pub quiz, which has been a weekly staple here at the brewery. With a passion for beer and entertaining, Steve is in charge of communicating all things Tenaya through social media, so tweet at him with your big ideas for how we can keep the beer culture growing here in the desert. We are excited to see what the future brings and we know Steve will help make it exciting.