Kerri and Sachin sip their first  Kolsch of the day
at the Gaffel pub near Köln's central Dom.

Brewtopia Events LLC

Classic Beer Places:
Köln (Cologne), Germany

Photos and text by Owen Ogletree

December 2008



Webpage/Photos by Owen Ogletree - Posted February 2009

In late December of 2008, Owen Ogletree took The Beer Wench, Sachin Patel and Dean Graves on a short beer tour of Europe. Köln is a beautiful old town that offers many classic locations in which to enjoy a classic beer style called Kolsch (Kölsch). Kölsch is a light bodied, golden ale made with delicious German malts, hops and special, top fermenting yeast. Very similar in body and taste to many Continental pilsners, Kölsch sets itself apart by displaying hints of fruity complexity from ale yeast fermentation esters. People in Köln are extremely loyal to Kölsch and enjoy getting out to their classic pubs in the old town (Altstadt) to socialize and enjoy the refreshing beer.

Contact Owen (link at bottom) with any comments or additions.

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Köln Photo Album...

Fruh am Dom
Am Hof 12-14, Altstadt-Nord

This is a large, cavernous pub near the Dom cathedral. Head down to the gorgeous cellar for a big plate of pork and several glasses of their light, fruity Kolsch.

Alter Markt 20-22, Altstadt-Nord

Gaffel produces one of the best known examples of Kolsch. This beer has a very nice hop flavor and bitterness in the finish.

Brauerei Zur MalzMuhle
Heumarkt 6, Koln-Nord/Altstadt

A bit of walk from the central Altstadt, "malt mule" offers a complex Kolsch that is a bit more estery than other versions. The old tavern is filled with furniture and items that appear to be 100 years old or more.

64-66 Friesenstrasse, Altstadt-Nord

A main dining, drinking area up front leads to a pleasant courtyard/bier garden out back. Check out the lovely bar and stained glass as you sip your golden Kolsch.

Peters Brauhaus
Muhlengasse 1, Altstadt-Nord

This ornate, high-end Kolsch house produces tasty, traditional regional food. Their Kolsch is now brewed at the Kolner plant just outside of central Köln. As Sachin and I sniffed our Kolsch, an amused waiter walked by and commented, "It's only beer."

Peters Brauhaus
Muhlengasse 1, Altstadt-Nord

Like Dusseldorf's Altbiers, Kolsch is served in small, attractive, cylindrical glasses.

Heumarkt 62, Kohn-Innenstadt

The inside of this beautiful tavern boasts detailed woodwork and windows. Kolsch flows from old wooden barrels.

Reissdorf Brauhaus
Kleiner Griechenmarkt 40, Altstadt-Sud

Locals pack into this outlet for the famous Reissdorf Kolsch and puff away on their cigarettes in the left side of the pub. There is a non-smoking (sort of) room to the right and a bowling alley in the basement.

Unter Taschenmacher 5, Altstadt-Nord

Pictured above is a bartender at the Sion tavern using a keg elevator to bring up a fresh barrel of Kolsch. Sion, an extremely light version of Kolsch, is quite popular with locals and visitors.

Sunner im Walfisch
Salzgasse 13, Altstadt-Nord

This was a small brewery in the late 1800s and now serves at the Sunner taphouse. The name refers to "whale."

Bier Museum
Buttermarkt 39, Altstadt-Nord

Not a Kolsch house, but a Köln beer bar for beer geeks. Stocks a decent range of international brews.

Weissbrau zu Köln
Am Weidenbach 24, Altstadt-Sud

Pleasant little brewpub on the southside of town with a selection of 5-7 house beers ranging from Kolsch to wheat beers to a dark lager.

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