Your new go-to summer beer! Our Blackberry Kölsch is light and clean, with traces of fresh blackberries. Kölsch is made by combining top fermenting and bottom fermenting brewing processes to create a hybrid. Read below for a peek into the tumultuous history of this popular beer style!
The story of Kölsch begins in Cologne (Köln), Germany. In the 1400s, brewers had begun to brew bottom-fermented beers, or lagers, which required cool fermentation and could originally only be done in the colder months. Lagerbiers were seen as intrusive in Köln, threatening their brewers, who used top-fermenting processes. In 1603, bottom-fermenting beers were outlawed, citing difficulties brewing due to climate (as lagers had to be brewed in the colder months), and for posing a threat to other brewers in the area.
Despite bottom-fermenting brewing outlawed, brewers in Köln created a hybrid brew, by first using top-fermented yeast and then cold conditioning the beer like bottom-fermented beers. This created a beer which boasts the best characteristics of both beer styles. Eventually, Köln retracted their previous ruling and began to allow bottom-fermenting brewing, seeing as the invention of refrigeration would allow bottom-fermenting beers to be brewed and stored safely year-round.
Up until the 1900s, "Kölsch" merely described something which came from Köln. At this time, there was a very distinctive beer style originating in Köln, but "Kölsch" wasn't the official name until Sünner brewery adopted the term in 1918. The term was soon being used by other breweries in the area to describe this style.
As the Kölsch began to develop an identity and to increase in popularity, World War I began, and breweries in Köln suffered. World War II was even more devastating to the city, and only a handful of breweries remained after. Despite this, the beer style stubbornly persisted, and around 20 of breweries were reestablished in Köln by the 1950s.
In the 80s, after the Kölsch was replicated by several other breweries in Germany, brewers in Köln created the Kölsch Konvention. This outlined the specific processes that had to be followed and which breweries could create this beer style in order for it to be called Kölsch. Following these riles, it technically has to come from specific breweries, all of which are within 50 km of Köln. They must also be brewed within certain stylistic boundaries.
Due to these regulations, the Field & Forge Kölsch does not necessarily follow the Reinheitsgebot, (or "purity order"), nor the Kölsch Konvention regulations,- but we're hoping you'll give it a try anyway.