I've reviewed a couple of American versions of the German light ale style from Koln called kolsch recently, and now here's one from a new Minneapolis brewery with a home brewing theme. It's also the second Minneapolis brewery working on a collective model. I still haven't been to this brewery which took over the space that 56 Brewing was in, haven't visited the taproom, but I do have samples from the brewery, and now I'll share the notes on the second bottle I opened.
Broken Clock Coffee Kolsch. AKA 2 : Brew. 5% ABV. 28 IBU. Bottled on 5/31.
Clear, lightish amber coloring, small white head.
In the nose: Hey, there's coffee in there. And some fruity esters beneath.
In the mouth: Coffee tastes dominate the flavor profile here. Gritty, earthy, yet smooth. Little touch of hops. Light-bodied, long malty finish. None of the qualities of a kolsch really show themselves, outside of light body and high drinkability.
Here's the thing. There are some styles I think shouldn't be messed, tinkered, and toyed around with. Make it pure, don't screw it up. Kolsch is one of those for me, also hefe weizens and pilsners. But now we this trend of adding coffee flavors to lighter bodied beer style, like lagers, golden ales, lagers and the like. I'm a little torn by this, but I'd really want to know how they'd make a true kolsch, that's what I'd like to judge them against. I can't say I'm against the coffee-ing of a kolsch if I like it being done to others styles, but when you say "kolsch", I don't want different flavors, I want the light, delicate subtle fruit and hops.
That said, not a bad beer in the slightest. Got two more in the sample selection, stayed tuned Bitter Ones.