Beer Man: Gaffel Kolsch is Oh, So True to the Reinheitsgebot

Written by Todd Haefer for The (Appleton, Wis.) Post-Crescent. Image courtesy

Gaffel Kolsch is another of a number of fantastic European beers that receive short shrift from many liquor stores and taverns, which instead offer inferior mass-produced ones that are not much better than their American counterparts.

A dirty secret of Germany and the neighboring countries that follow its lead is that, despite current laws based on the traditional Reinheitsgebot that state only water, barley, hops and yeast can be used in a beer (some exceptions, such as for wheat), it usually only applies to beer sold in the country it’s made in.

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Beer Profile: Magic Hat Demo IPA on Tour

Profiled by Ken Carman for

Whoa? “IPA?” “Black IPA?” More like nut brown color wise. SRM 20 or higher. Much higher. Foam pillow head with slight rock. A lot of cling. Long lasting. Clarity with dark ruby highlights.

A lot of caramel, carmelized malt, sense to the nose. Again: “Black IPA?” Where the hell are hops in nose? More like a brown ale.

Taste really is nut brown-ish. Did they bottle the wrong damn beer in here? Caramelized malt and a bit sour. Is this an old bottle? Mouthfeel: malt, a bit roasted. Hops? Huh?

Mouthfeel is pure malt, about right for a Northern Brown, though not quite as bitter. Shouldn’t it be… more… bitter than a N. Brown? Medium body. “Sour,” yes, but could be aged. Yet hops should not have gone completely bye bye. They pretty much did.

If you find a stray bottle and you hunger for a very slightly soured nut brown, by all means. Otherwise look for a real IPA. “Black IPA?” Eh, more nut brown.