|Cologne (Köln) Breweries|
|Kölsch and other beers|
a short list of the breweries in and around Cologne and the beers which
Cologne is not a city not usually associated with beer. Incorrectly, as it turns out, because not only does it have its own style of beer, but is also the only city in Germany to have a sort of 'apellation controlée'. The style is called "Kölsch", local dialect for "of Cologne".
Until a depessingly familiar sudden rationalisatin in the 1980's and 1990's, Cologne had more breweries than any other German city. Of the 24, mostly small, Köisch producers, that signed the 'Kölsch Convention', only a handful remain.
The loss has been offset a little by a clutch of new brewpubs. In a welcome deviation from the indentikit beers turned out by such establishments elsewhere in Germany, all brew examples of the local beer style.
What is Kölsch?In 1985 (25.06.1985 to be precise) the German government and 24 breweries from the Cologne region published the 'Kölsch Convention'. It was inspired by the attempts - fiercely resisted in Cologne - of outside brewers to cash in on the popularity of Kölsch.
According to the convention, a beer may only be called Kölsch if it meets the following criteria:
How does Kölsch taste?A relative of the Altbier brewed in other parts of the rhineland, Kölsch is a survivor from the pre-lager brewing tradition of North Germany, belonging to the family of Rheinländische Bitterbier. This century, under pressure from newer, bottom-fermenting beers, it has undergone a good deal of change. Most notable of these, is the lightening of the colour to pale yellow, giving it the appearance of a pils. You could call it 'the ale that wants to be a lager' and I'm sure that would many, in a blind tasting, would classify it as the latter.
There is little ale character to be found, apart from a little fruitiness. It has a very soft, rounded character and can be quite sweet. Bavarian helles and Dortmunder export are closer relatives in flavour than Düsseldorf altbier. Not beers likely to acquire the devoted and obsessive following that lambiek, trappist ale or a particularly flavoursome bitter might, but of interest as an odd, hybrid style.
Around 50% of Kölsch is sold on draught, about double the average for all beer. In a traditional "Brauhaus" (even those that no longer brew) it's often served direct from a wooden barrel. Even small neighbourhood bars often have a little plastic cask of Kölsch on the bar.
Sales of Kölsch (see below) have fallen in recent years, but at a slightly lower rate than sales of all beer.
The Cologne brewers' organistaion and upholders of the Kölsch-Konvention.
On their site, you can discover more about the history of brewing in Cologne and Kölsch (in German, I'm afraid). Both are very extensive and well-researched - amongst the best sites on beer history I've found on the web.
|Largest Kölsch brewers - Kölsch production (in hl)|
|3||Cölner Hofbräu Josef Früh||443,000||420,000||419,000||396,000|
|Total top 5||2,383,000||2,368,000||2,297,000|
Years 2001 and 2002: Brauwelt 43/2003 (p.1300)
Years 2004 and 2005: Brauwelt 22-23/2003 (p.646)
|Cologne (Köln) Breweries|
50825 Köln (Ehrenfeld)
Hofbräu P. Josef Früh
Am Hof 12,
Annual production: 420,000 (2002)
Joh. Cramer & Cie.
Annual production: 13,000 hl (2001)
Alteburger Straße 145 - 155,
Tel.: 02 21 / 3 76 08-0
Fax: 02 21 / 3 76 08-11
Founded: 1894 *** CLOSED 2006 ***
Annual production: 300,000 hl (2002)
In 1974 the Cologne brewery on Tacitusstr. became 100% top-fermenting. In 1983 brewed over 500,000 hl Kölsch. In 1994 bought Brauerei Robert Metzmacher and their Rats Kölsch. In 1998 bought 80% of Giesler, whose brewery was shut in 2001. In 2001 moved from Tacitusstr. to the old Küppers plant on the Alteburgerstr. Now brewing 300,000 hl, 60% draught.
The former Küppers brewery - when the Küppers moved out it was bought by Dom, who closed their original brewery. Confused? After closure in 2006 production was transfered to the Erzquell-Brauerei.
Bielstein Haas & Co. KG
Telefon: 02262 / 82-0
Telefax: 02262 / 82-106
Annual production: 130,000 hl (2003)
Gaffel Becker & Co.
Tel. 0221 - 16 00 60
Fax 0221 - 16 00 61 96
Annual production: 360,000 hl (70% draught).
Telefon 0221 - 211320
The former Richmodis-Bräu brewery which since 1998 has been owned 100% by Gaffel.
Richmodis moved to a new brewery in Köln Porz in 1993.
|Ganser Brauerei GmbH & Co. KG
Tel.: 0214/ 388 - 0
Fax.: 0214/ 388 - 81
Annual production: 200,000 hl
The brewery is still independent, but Ganser Kölsch is currently being brewed by Dom.
|Brauhaus Zur Garde
Tel.: 02133 50861
Fax: 02133 50870
Closed. Owned by Gaffel, but the beers are brewed at the former Richmodis brewery in Köln-Porz.
Brewery bought by Dom in 1999 and closed in 2001.
Tel 0221 - 24 25 45
Fax 0221 - 23 92 00
Tel Brauhaus 0221 - 240 18 81
Annual production: 1,000 hl (2001)
Hintermeier (Huechelner Urstoff Brauhaus)
Tel.: 02234 52248
Fax: 02234 52248
Annual production: 10,000 hl (2001)
|Kölner Verbund Brauereien GmbH
Bergisch Gladbacher Str. 116 - 134
Telefon (0221) 96 299-0
Annual production: 691,000 (2002)
Owned by Brau & Brunnen. The brewery is the former Bergische Löwen-Brauerei.
Owns Gilden, Sester, Sion, Küppers, Kurfürsten.
Annual production: 50,000 hl (2001)
Friesenstraße 64 - 66
Tel: 0221 / 135461
Fax : 0221 / 1392005
Annual production: 6,000 hl (2001)
Brauerei Max Päffgen
Tel. 02205 - 8 53 96
Fax 02205 - 89 97 88
A family argument caused Max Päffgen, the grandson of the founder of Brauerei Päffgen, to set up his own brewery just outside Cologne. The beer is available at Brauereiausschanks zum Pfaffen - Max Päffgen, formerly Altstadt-Päffgen)
& Bambeck Privatbrauerei GmbH & Co. KG
Tel: 02173 - 95550
Founded: *** CLOSED ***
Annual production: 30,000 hl (2005)
Independent brewery. The beers are now brewed by Kölner Verbund.
Heinrich Reissdorf GmbH & Co.
Annual production: 541,000 hl (2002)
|Brauerei Peter Schoppen GmbH
Markets Severins Kölsch (brewed by Sünner)
Sünner Gmbh & Co. KG
Kalker Hauptstr. 260,
Independent brewery. It's been owned by members of the Sünner family since 1830. It was Sünner that brewed the first beer in the modern Kölsch style (though it wasn't called that then) around 1900.
Am Weidenbach 24/Pantaleonswall,
50676 Köln (Innenstadt).
Tel.: (0221) 231 823
Fax: (0221) 247 993
Annual production: 1,800 hl (2001)
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