We have a winner: best British Koelsch Klone

A few months ago, we spotted that Young’s bottled Kew Brew (now “Kew Gold”) is a dead ringer for a decent draught Koelsch. We tested that theory again this week and are now prepared to say, outright, that it’s the best substitute for draught Koelsch you can get in the UK.

Filtered, pasteurised bottles of Frueh just don’t compare. It’s even better than Meantime’s slightly bland effort.

12 thoughts on “We have a winner: best British Koelsch Klone”

  1. I’ll have to try this again with that in mind. Tried it previously, and thought it was ok but for some reason I was expecting a hoppy blonde ale – all the green packaging (and my feeble brain) probably.

  2. I’ve often thought Koelsch a difficult beer to pin down; draught Kuppers at the White Horse had hedgerow strawberries on the nose with something similar on its bright clean palate; would have have great with ice cream I thought at the time. Much prefer the Alt at Uerige or Fueshcen, if we are talking Rhineland beers (rather than ales).

  3. I don’t “get” Kew Gold at all. It’s a beer that everyone else seems to like, but to me just tastes a bit bland -pale, spritzy, faintly spicy hops It was Roger Protz’s beer of the month in June last year, fercrissakes!

    I don’t get the Kolsch comparison either – I can’t find that delicate fruitiness in it, although I’ve never drunk Kolsch in Koln.

    Oddly, I’ve probably drunk a lot more Kew Gold than I normally would have over the last year because of people recommending it – I keep buying it thinking “What am I missing here?”, but I’ve yet to find it. It’s not an anti-Young’s thing either – I think almost all of their other beers are pretty good.

    Oh well.

  4. I’m sorry, but I tend to find Kölsch balnd rather than subtle, but it’s many years sice I had in on tap in cologne and Bonn. But I am quite mild about mild, too.

  5. Kew Gold is too hoppy to be a Kolsch. It has a solid whack of dry hopping with what I think are first gold hops.

    Kupper’s Kolsch is pretty easy to find in London. The Bridge House on the grand Union Canal near Little Venice and The Goldhawk on Goldhawk Road both have it as a regular.

  6. I don’t necessarily think Kew Gold is a great beer (although it’s a nice one) but it is a dead ringer for Koelsch. It’s hoppier than, say, Sion and Dom, but we thought tasted very similar to some of the more characterful examples.

    Koelsch might not, on the whole, be one of the most exciting types of beer. A big part of its appeal is around the accompanying customs and culture (the little glasses, the nutty waiters, the beer halls) and how closely it is tied to its city of origin.

  7. I once lingered too long over a glass of Koelsch in the Fruh am Dom…about ten minutes. A waiter snatched it away: “Is now too old. You must have a fresh one!” – and slammed another 0.2 litre glass of fresh ambrosia in front of me. I love the whole thing of drinking Koelsch!

  8. Go and try Clockwork Gosch up in Glasgow and then tell me that pathetic swill Youngs (sorry, Charlie Wells!) make matches up to it.

    It doesn’t, I’ll save you the time… but Clockwork still makes some cracking beers, including the UK’s most gingery fluid, and if you’ve not been is well worth a visit.

  9. I liked the bottled Kew Gold, precisely because of its slightly germanic style, but the version on tap seems more bitter. Is that possible ?

    Saltaire is much better.

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