Grain: Cologne malt, Carafoam, Corn
Fermented with Cologne yeast
Tasting notes: Fresh baked bread, sweet corn, slight spice and fruit
Pair with: Whole Hog Burger, Candied Chicken, Roasted Cobb Salad
The Kölsch style is one of my favorites and also one of the most often misunderstood, due largely to context this style demands. For starters, you really can't call a Kölsch brewed outside of its home city of Cologne, Germany a Kölsch. Like champagne, that name is protected by an appellation. The citizens of Cologne are fiercely proud and protective of this style and rightly so. It's a hybrid style, straddling the line between the fruity complexity of an ale and the clean crispness of a lager. It has earned its own glassware that should only ever have Kölsch in it, special serving trays, and traditions. It is wholly a product of Cologne.
My wife and I visited Cologne a few years back. We had been driving around the southern half of the country for about a week, but took a train into the city. Due to poor scheduling, we arrived late in the afternoon without having eaten anything all day. We headed to the hotel's cafe for a quick meal. I saw Kölsch on the menu so I attempted to order it in German. I must have mispronounced Kölsch because the waitress just could not understand which beer I wanted. All of sudden it clicked and she said "Oh! The city's beer!" I love that level of identity for a beer. Shortly after, we ended up having many more in the shadow of the impossibly tall gothic Kölner Dom.
Solo Silo is not an attempt to copy those beers I had in Cologne. Those beers belong to their city. I do want to recreate something in that vein. I dialed in this recipe over many iterations, including the very inappropriate to Germany but perfect for Iowa ingredient of corn.