4 Pines – Kolsch

Australian beer fans would have noticed an influx of American beers on the market recently. America has been the leader of this craft beer revolution, and it’s exciting to see the likes of Sierra Nevada and Moylans on local shelves. In honour (honor) of this, I have been considering doing a bit of an American tribute week to highlight some of these gems (and give me an excuse to drink a bunch), but in the wake of Foster’s finally selling their business to huge foreign interests, I feel like it would be rude of me to not run through a few locals first. So I grabbed some 4 Pines Kolsch. It’s not a style I’m too familiar with, but it’s a favourite of homebrewers and small breweries. It also has a pretty neat story so head over to Wikipedia and check it out first.

The Basics

As mentioned, this is a Kolsch beer, coming out of Manly, Sydney, courtesy of 4 Pines Brewing Company. I’ve only tried another of their beers, in the form of the ‘Space Beer’, which is a pretty neat thing.

This one is a Kolsch, and while the bottle doesn’t give too much away, their website has some great info for homebrewers or beer nerds out there (even if they did spell ‘B Saaz’ wrong). This is a super nice touch and I’m always appreciative when a brewer makes this kind of information available. Keep it up 4 Pines!

For you non beer nerds or brewers, this is a 4.6% beer.

I got it at Swords in the Queen Vic Market and it cost $3.50 a bottle.

How does it look?

The bottle looks fine. It’s solidly branded, with the 4 Pines logo prominent. The light tan and grey look polished and professional. It actually looks very German. Efficient and clean. Makes sense I guess.

It’s a straw coloured and lively looking beer. The head pours bubbly bright white and stays around as it’s drunk. There is also a rapid procession of bubbles flying up through the glass. It looks very carbonated.

How does it smell/taste?

It has a slightly sweet citrus smell and a little bit of malt. Nothing too dramatic and not much more to say.

It feels very lively and fizzy, but smooth, in the mouth. Almost like drinking creaming soda.  It has a very light taste. There is citrus in there, and a little bit of malt; before it dries up very quickly. It is quite soda/soft drink-esque in feel and taste. Leaving you with a little bit of a bitter aftertaste, that reminds me of drinking soda water. It’s not overly unpleasant, but neither is it what I want from a beer.

When should I drink it?

Without a doubt, this is a sessionable hot summers day beer. Share it with some friends at a barbeque, or keep one on hand as a lawnmower beer. There isn’t really enough taste to take it further than that however.

The Verdict

Inoffensive mostly. The soda feel and aftertaste turn me off, but it’s fine enough to drink. It  just left me a little uninspired. It would be a good one to share with people used to drinking ‘macro’ brewed beers, but there isn’t anything interesting enough to encourage them to join the craft revolution.

It should be noted that Lady Ale really enjoyed it, saying the crisp clean flavour and feel was a highlight. She thinks some of her friends will really like it as well. So if you enjoy a beer of this nature, then you should definitely give it a whirl. It isn’t for me though.

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2 Responses

  1. I have to agree with you. I found it underwhelming as well. Nothing wrong with it, but didn’t knock my socks off either. Might give it another try on a very hot summers day and see if my opinion changes.

  2. I have to agree with you. I found it underwhelming as well. Nothing wrong with it, but didn’t knock my socks off either. Might give it another try on a very hot summers day and see if my opinion changes.

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