Die Kölsch!

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If you see similar, know you are in the right place…

If you happen to spend a day in Cologne and are into beer, please do not miss the “Kölsch” cultural experience. There is a pleasure I get just because it comes in a 0.2 Lt. glass, also the waiter “Köbes”  runs around with a tray full of fresh beer and replaces your empty glass instantaneously, he stops when you place the coaster on top of your glass which means “enough”. So I order once and it keeps coming…

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Enough…Retiring glass.

The Kölsch is only considered so if it’s brewed within a 50 km circle around Cologne, it’s protected and distinct and the brewers have a convention in terms of specifications and quality of production.  Breweries not conforming to this convention are not even considered even if located in the heart of the city.

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Refilling at Gilden’s

My personal favorite is “Früh”, it’s got a sentimental value as it was the first “brauhaus” I’ve ever been to, I had breakfast there coupling my beer with an awesome Blutwurst.  Other personal favourites are Gaffel, Sion and bitburger, there are other great names like Mühlen Kölsch, Reissdorf and Peter’s.  Breweries also serve great food – try the 1200 gm pork knuckle or the infamous himmel und aad, yes that’s just a fried blutwurst – and are located centrally around the old market area and main train station.

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The Früh

The “brauhaüse” in the city centre are no longer brewing or making beer, they are just serving and helping customers to pad their stomaches with layers of fats to keep going all night. Yet the buildings are old and beautiful specially from the inside, Früh for example has medieval decorations and tainted glass with paintings. Their atmosphere reflects the city culture, that is something you don’t learn by reading, rather experience.

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In the medieval cellar of Pfaffen bauhaus…

Other then drinking beer, photography and writing, I am also a collector so I’ve been collecting coasters and bottle caps…Each coaster tells you a story, and the amount is infinite. For example the tale of a famous actor or singer, drawings of the old brewing process and  they used the Rhein in shipping the product…

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Gaffel coaster…

There are brewery tours that you can book ahead online, usually lasts between 2 and 3 hours touring the city centre breweries, it also includes some storytelling then the guide would leave you at the last brewery to enjoy your meal in your last tasting round.

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