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What is a Kolschbier (Kolsch)?

December 31, 2007



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Kolschbier is a popular “warm weather beer” and German classic.  The name Kolsch (pronounced “kelsch”) is derived from its location… Koln, Germany (or Cologne for us Yanks).  The name indicates that the beer was brewed in the traditional style of that particular city.

In order to officially called a Kolsh, the beer must be brewed by a member of the Koln Brewers Union.  Much like the name “champagne” in the snobbier world of wine, the name Kolschbier is protected and controlled by the Union and may not be used by anyone else.

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What is a Steam Beer (or California Common)?

October 15, 2007


Steam Beer – History

The steam beer, or California Common, is an American original and was first produced in California during the gold rush (late 19th Century).  The style of beer is very much tied to the west coast and in particular San Francisco.

At its height, this style of beer was brewed by as many as 27 different breweries in California.  Today, “steam beer” is a trademarked term, and can only be brewed under that name by Anchor Steam Brewing Co. in San Francisco, CA.  Other brewers now use the name “California Common” for this style.

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What is a Porter?

September 17, 2007

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History of Porter Beer

The porter has a very interesting history and a fair amount of disagreement on what it is and should be, leaving the question of exactly what is a porter beer?.  Originally, a “porter” or porter beer was not a single beer at all but a combination of beers mixed together based on customer requests.  The British have a custom of mixing cheaper and lighter beers with heavier more expensive aged beers (i.e. a black and tan). The combining of these beers would create what was called an “entire beer”.

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What is meant by beer styles or beer types?

September 4, 2007


Understanding beer begins with understanding the idea of “style” (beer style or beer types).  As we shall explore, it is not always as simple and straightforward as one might think.  Some people have compared the wine drinker’s use of grape styles to that of the beer drinker’s use of classifying beer styles.  While this may be a convenient device for the discussion of wine, it is wholly inadequate when discussing beer. 

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What is the difference between an ale and a lager?

September 4, 2007


In the most basic classification scheme, there are two main types of beer.  No, its not “tastes great” / ”less filling”-  they are ales and lagers.  Ales, the oldest beers in the world, have been around thousands of years longer than lagers.  Looking at the history of beer, civilizations as far back as the Sumerians and Egyptians have been brewing and drinking what would be considered ales.  Lagers, on the other hand, may have only been around since the mid-nineteenth century.  However, many have speculated that “lagering” may have been “discovered” as far back as the Dark Ages, when some European brewers may have stored their beer in ice caves for later consumption. What they found Amazon Imagewas that the beer that was stored and fermented cold had a much clearer and cleaner beer “free from turbidity”.

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