We spent yesterday in Köln. After climbing 509 steps to the top of the Dom, we had to cool off with a few Kölsch beers.
We headed to Brauerei Pfaffen, passing dozens of restaurants and bars advertising Gaffel and other big name brewers. The Pfaffen brewery was really nice, full of wood paneling and stained glass. A blue jumpsuited waiter came by with a tray of .2 liter glasses of beer. The Kölsch style was a reaction to lager beers in the south like Czech Pilseners. It’s top fermented with ale yeast and conditioned at a colder lager temperature. It tastes sort of like a pale lager, but a bit fuller. The Pfaffen tasted like a liquid cracker with a subtle bitterness and dry finish.
I didn’t appreciate the subtle deliciousness of the Pfaffen until we went to a late lunch at the Istanbul kebab shop. There we had some Früh, one of the big four brewers. The Früh tasted like the Bud Light of Kölsch. It has a similar lightly bitter flavor and a terrible soapy aftertaste, like diet Coke. It left a film on my tongue. Glad we skipped straight to the good stuff.