I mowed today. We don’t have a riding mower. We don’t even have a typical gas powered mower. No, our mower is an old model push mower.
I don’t know about you but there are certain beers that are perfect for days like I had today. It isn’t an official style, kind of like the session beers we talked about last month. But lawnmower beers have an important place in our beer repertoire.
These are the beers we turn to after a hot day mowing our lawns. They are light and refreshing. Some can have a higher alcohol content but for the most part they tend to stay around 4 or 5% alcohol.
Our beer style this month is the Kolsch. For me the perfect representative of the lawnmower beer. The kolsch style falls under category 6 (light hybrid beer) subsection c, on the BJCP style guidelines. Other beers in this group include American wheat and rye, blonde ale, and cream ale. The main thing these beers have in common is their light and refreshing qualities. Each in their own way would make great lawnmower beers.
The name Kolsch is an appellation protected by the Kolsch Kovention. Only a brewery from Cologne (Koln) Germany can legally use the designation. Beers outside of this region are said to be brewed in the kolsch style.
Typically this beer is similar to a pilsner. The biggest difference between the two is the method used in fermenting the beer. For a kolsch style beer it is fermented at the lower end of ale yeast temperature (55-65 degrees) for primary fermentation, usually a couple weeks. Then it is lagered for a few weeks to a month at temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees.
This method of fermentation gives the beer some of the fruit notes of an ale, while making it crisp and clean like a lager. You could say it has the best of both worlds.
While you can find Kolsch beers that are aggressively hopped like German and Czech pilsners, in the US most Kolsch style beers tend to have a less aggressive hoping schedule.
Time for a pint…