FRENCH BEER BRANDS AND STYLES WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

“French people! … drink French beers.” says a 1928 propaganda in a country left in ruin after World War 1.

This page is one I really wanted to write, perhaps because of my French background, but also because France is truly an unsuspected interesting beer producer. The country has been increasingly producing quality and exciting beer for the past 20 years. It is finally reclaiming its title of worthy beer producer, after having been dominated mainly by a limited number of large internationally owned brewing companies (Carlsberg, Heineken, AB-Inbev) since the end of World War 2.

Focusing on the two main regions, Nord-Pas-de-Calais and Alsace, I am listing in this article the French beer brands, both independent and brands owned by large brewing groups that may have some distribution in the USA.

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IS KÖLSCH AN ALE OR A LAGER – WHY IS THIS STYLE UNIQUE?

As the craft beer world is increasingly dominated by hoppy monsters and crazy fruit fermented styles, I find it refreshing to just enjoy a pure, subtle, perfectly balanced brew. I have to admit I have a soft spot for Kölsch. By the way, Kölsch is pronounced [“culsh”/ kœːɫʃ], not [“colsh”], because of its umlaut, you know the funny “¨” on the o that changes the sound.  This beer is outstanding for several reasons. Is Kölsch an Ale or a Lager?

To the beer drinker, Kölsch has more characteristics in common with a Lager: low level of hoppiness, clean, refreshing profile, smooth body, low ABV, noticeable even if subdued sweetness from the malt, in two words – highly drinkable.

To the brewer, Kölsch is an Ale, the softest, palest, cleanest kind there is, fermented at low temperature for an extended period of time, then lagered at an even lower temperature. Technically you may say it’s a hybrid.

In this article we will also look at the facts and background that make Ko truly a great, unique beer style.

Is Kolsh an Ale or a Lager, the City of Cologne
The City of Cologne, Germany

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