Yeah… I disagree. Trillium Big Sprang is listed here as a Kolsch, and yet it doesn’t read Kolsch at all. Here’s our internal description of the style:
Golden, top-fermented style native to Köln, Germany. The style has a very narrow profile and many beers that consider themselves to be Kölsch-beers are not. Generally they have a moderate bitterness, but fairly prominent hop flavour (typically Spalt, Tettnang, or Hallertau). They have high effervescence, medium esters, but a rounded, stylish character derived from lagering. Many Kölsch-beers are brewed using additional wheat-malt to create a smoother sweeter taste.
Should we reclassify?
I only had the “Sprang” version. Absolutely nothing in common with a true Kölsch from Cologne. Great beer anyhow. But it is marketed as a Kölsch by Trillium so I guess thats why they listed as Kölsch in the database, which brings us back to the discussion if we should follow brewers intention or style guidelines.
Infinite arguments back and forth here.
I’d be all for putting brewer’s intention first and just let the rating vs marketing algorhythm justice go to work on the problem -, if it weren’t for the fact that nearly all TOP50s are already cluttered with APAs and IPAs that dare not call their own name and have slipped into other categories (saison, bière de garde, amber ale, IPL, Kellerbier…). The TOP50s have become all but useless if you prefer to adhere to somewhat reasonable style guidelines.
Kölsch-inspired I suppose doesn’t mean actually a Kölsch, the part throwing me off are the Nelson hops. Almost should always use noble hops in any German style for it to be authentic. The biggest problem is that there isn’t a catchall style for German beers. And being an Ale, it can’t be classified a Premium Lager. That’s a tricky one.