Craft brewers, like pilsner brewers, experiment with the style. As a beer drinker, I’ve had kiwi and raspberry kolsch, but I’ve never seen a true Kölsch-style beer in the US. Possibly, some American brewers avoid using the name Kölsch because they regard it as a regional appellation, making it difficult to distinguish them.
Do you know of any other great summertime brews? Coriander and salt are common additions to Gose, an east German wheat beer. Tart, lively, spicy and mildly saline are just some of the characteristics of an excellent gose. I used to see a lot of them a few years ago, but they’re not as common now. However, when I do, I’m all over it.
Even in Germany, Gose remains a mystery. Leipzig’s Bayerischer Bahnhof has been instrumental in reviving the aesthetic. Love the mildly tart and refreshing flavour of this one. All of Westbrook’s gose-style beers from Mount Pleasant, SC, are excellent.
Summer brews aren’t really my thing, but I’m willing to admit it. When it comes to beer, I’m not a huge fan of the flavours of hefeweizen—the Bavarian wheat beer—which can taste like cloves and bubble gum. I’m not a fan of “summer ales,” either, a vague term that sometimes refers to American Kölsch-style brews as well as wheat beers and flavour beers.
The I.P.A.s, which I know have a devoted following, also don’t appeal to me.
India Pale Ale, a strong, bitter English style that influenced the American versions but was not nearly as florid, existed long before it became a beloved American beer style emphasising resiny, citrusy American hops.
Every deli and bodega now sells I.P.As and double I.P.As, but the English style is still hard to come by these days. In fact, unless I happen to come across a Samuel Smith India Ale, which is mild and refreshing enough to open on a hot summer day, I avoid I.P.As.