Saturday, April 16, 2011
Stoudt's Brewing Company Karnival Kolsch
Adamstown, Pennsylvania’s Stoudt’s Brewing Company is one of America’s most venerable micro breweries. In business since 1987, Stoudt’s just keeps on making great beer without much hype. Although the brewery is just 40 minutes from my house, I actually bought my bottles of Karnival Kolsch in Toledo, Ohio. No matter - I’d go to Japan, Mars, or Middle Earth to get more if I had to! If you’re craving the perfect spring seasonal, this is IT! Kolsch beer was originally exclusive to Cologne, Germany. Known for its straw color and prominent hoppiness, the style eventually made its way outside of Cologne and into the American craft brewery market. Stoudt’s specialty is German style beers, and the Karnival Kolsch is expectedly outstanding. Although not at all bitter (just 22 IBUs!), it’s distinctively hoppy in the German tradition. The smell and the taste just scream “GERMAN!” A slight fruitiness and a really nice red wheat malt/biscuit like flavor balance out the noble Hallertau hops beautifully. All in all, it’s a clean, crisp, and incredibly refreshing beer that even your Coor’s Light loving pals will enjoy. Yet it’s got enough hop power and complexity of taste to satisfy hardcore beer geeks. The warm weather is coming, and this is the kind of beer you can drink all night as you kick back outdoors with your friends and enjoy the splendor of the season. It’s light in every way (color, taste, alcoholic content), yet in terms of taste it’s SO much more flavorful than your typical macro blonde. This is what a “light” beer is supposed to taste like. It quenches the thirst and goes great with a meal, but it doesn’t taste like corn-flavored water. I’d recommend buying in bulk. Cookouts, pool parties, and weekends at the beach are just a few weeks away. Don’t ruin these fine events with crap beer.