B.C. Beer Reviews is back to take a look at the first Kolsch entered into the series. The Wunderbar Kolsch from Bridge Brewing of North Vancouver, British Columbia. This is a traditional German-style beer, and one of the most palatable styles for new beer drinkers.
B.C. Beer Reviews with Nic Hendrickson: Bridge Brewing – Wunderbar Kolsch
Despite the fact that we are currently in the heart of dark beer season, the Wunderbar Kolsch is a good entry here. It sticks to the style, even without being entirely German ingredients. As stated above, this is a good style for new beer drinkers, so let’s take a look at how this one plays out.
A deep golden yellow, almost the colour of hay. The colour of this beer is slightly paler when poured, but a light hay colour in the glass. The Pilsner malts impart a bit of colour, and the Munich malts used certainly help keep it similar to the Kolsch style.
The first thing you get in the nose/aroma is the sweetness of the German malts. This is countered by the nice spicy and slightly earthy characteristics of the noble hops used in this beer.
The nose/aroma is predominantly sweet, which is certainly what you would expect from this style. Overall this is a very nice nose/aroma and spot on with what you would want from a Kolsch.
Both the Munich and Pilsner malts battle a bit, but certainly in a good way. They are very obviously the predominant taste in this beer, which is a good thing. There is the common sweetness imparted by malts that you would expect in a Kolsch.
The noble hops used in this one impart the same tasting notes as they do smells in the nose/aroma: spicy and subtle earthy characteristics. The spicy kick generally given by noble hops adds a nice level of crispness to the finish of this beer.
This is a great tasting Kolsch that offers no surprises between the first smell to the last drink. What you smell/taste is what you good, but sometimes the simple way is the best way.
The can is simplistic, yet inviting. Sometimes keeping branding rather simple is the best way to go, and that is the case here. This follows suit with the rest of the beers that Bridge Brewing puts out. On top of that, the yellow colour of the can is reminiscent of what you would expect from the Kolsch style.
The American Ale yeast used in this beer means it isn’t entirely German, but it still works out well. The ale yeast makes it much easier to get the appropriate fermentation temperatures for this one, as they do better in much warmer conditions than a typical lager yeast would.
Overall there is a very clean fermentation profile, and almost zero yeast characteristics are imparted on the beer that you would not expect. The yeast, it seems, worked out well for this one.
A rather lightly carbonated beer, this one has a nice subtly crispness to the finish. On top of the spicy kick that you get from the noble hops, the light carbonation helps to make that crisp and clean finish all the much better.
The nose/aroma is exactly what you would expect from the style. There is a rather significant hop presence there, which not all Kolsch’s have. This isn’t a bad thing, and it actually adds a nice, simple layer of complexity to it.
The tasting notes are what you would come to expect from a run-of-the-mill Kolsch. The nice sweet characteristics of the German malts are balanced well by the spicy and somewhat earthy notes of the noble hops.
The crisp finish and light carbonation make for a very clean finish on your palate. This makes this a much more sessionable beer for those of you out there looking to have more than one.
The yeast/fermentation profile is also very nice.
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Main photo by Nic Hendrickson, Lastword Inc., all rights reserved