ICH BIN EIN SUMMER BRAUS
The 2018 World Cup may have bid farewell to Germany, shocking the soccer world. While their team may no longer be on the road to this year’s final, some great beer with origins in Germany will certainly be enjoyed leading up to and during the July 16th penultimate championship match. When it comes to enjoying beer in the summer, German brewers have beer doing it right for centuries. With a varied number of light and refreshing styles to choose from, I will be focusing on two of them, both ales. The Kölsch and Berliner Weiss both make a strong argument to be your next lawnmower beer or fill up your next beach-bound cooler. With our back patio open and our Spring/Summer menu full of great fresh and light options, our taps are begging for these light and refreshing German styles.
In the Western town of Cologne since the early 20th century, they have been brewing a top-fermented beer that is then cold conditioned by lagering to produce a slightly sweet, straw colored clear brew. It could be considered a hybrid, combining the clean and crispness of a Pilsner and the touch of fruit esters one gets from ale yeast. While the name Kölsch is a protected geographical indication, like Champagne or Cognac, many US breweries have been producing some wonderful Kölsch inspired beers. With an abv coming in at around 5%, this is a style you can enjoy a few. Traditionally served in short narrow cylindrical glass called a stange, the 200cl(6.5 ounce) glasses which allow the clarity and head retention of the beer to be showcased. These small glasses are often served in groups on a round tray called a “Kranz”. Some popular NY state versions include: Captain Lawrence Clearwater, Barrier Icculus, Suarez Fine Line, & Ithaca Mo’ Kölsch. This style pairs great with some of our newest menu items. Try a pint with the Towanda Cobb Salad, Ham on It sandwich, or the Sausage Party Flatbread!
This style has origins in Northern Germany dating back to the 16th century. It was dubbed by the French, including Napoleon, “The Champange of the North”. A traditional Berliner Weiss is brewed with malt that is kilned at very low temperatures in order to minimize color formation, hence it is very light straw colored with a haze from the addition of wheat. Its dry and tart profile come from a mix of yeast and lactic acid bacteria. With an abv in the 2.8-3.8% range this beer offers a full flavored experience that without the calories! Traditionally served with flavored syrups(raspberry-red or woodruff-green), many American versions are brewed with fruit added. Some examples include Dogfish Head Festina Peche, Off Color Fierce, and Dieu de Ciel Solstice D’ete aux Framboise a beer spotlighted in the last blog and at our sour beer & cheese pairing event last month. Next time you have a opportunity to try one at The Ruck pair it our Reverse Cowgirl salad, Crispy Tofu Bites, or our Deal with the Devil bread pudding.
In other news, Happy 4th Anniversary to Rare Form Brewery, Happy 2nd Anniversary to Suarez Family Brewery, Congratulations to Singlecut’s move up to the Capital District, and a sincere thank you to Good Nature, Ommegang, and Saranac for welcoming us out for a busy week of collaboration brews. The summer is just getting underway and it’s looking so bright we all might need to wear shades.