I was fortunate enough to hear Rob, the head brewer at Flat12, talk about his experience creating this brew specifically and some of his general experience with Flat12 at the latest Brew Bracket VIP experience.
It may be hard to believe but this latest release was started just like us homebrewers do it- in a five gallon bucket. Rob was originally a homebrewer so a lot of his creations start out this way. This allows him to experiment with all the funky flavors that they run with on a daily basis. This way if it isn't quite a success they haven’t wasted a ton of time or brew. Rob let it slip that we should start seeing some variations on the Cucumber Kolsch later this summer. He hinted at a pickle spiced version, a mint version and maybe a lemon version. Keep your fingers crossed from some awesome mash-ups.
Just based on my friends, this beer is pretty polarizing. You either love it or you hate it. The Cucumber Kolsch is 5.2% abv and 27.7 IBUs. It pours out a golden yellow color with a solid white fluffy head. It smells like cucumber and nice bready malts. It has a strong cucumber flavor right off the bat. It reminded me of the spa water you get when you are hanging out before your message (yes, I pamper myself on occasion, don’t hate). The flavor is slightly herbal and sweet just like biting into a fresh cuke. The Kolsch style was a great backbone for this beer because it is so light and clean tasting allowing the subtle flavor of the cucumber to come through. Overall the beer is light and refreshing, a perfect summer seasonal that I can’t wait to sit outside and drink.
Now this may not be your favorite beer, but you have to give Rob at Flat12 some credit for having the balls to make it. I give this brew a solid 4.5 for creativity.
The Little Lady: Like the Big Guy mentioned, this beer can be pretty polarizing. I like it, and I like that so many people we've talked to have a pretty strong opinion about it. I'm usually a porter or stout kind of girl, so while this is a bit of a departure, I do like to experiment with lighter beers in the summer. I respect the difference of this beer and the brewer's willingness to take the risks that made it happen. It's light and refreshing, and best served really cold to bring out those aspects of its character and the cucumber flavor. It's a great beer to have while sitting on the back porch enjoying some sunshine and warm weather after mowing the lawn (which if we're being honest I don't do, but I do appreciate and will gladly partake in the post-mowing brew or two). This will be part of the regular rotation this summer at our house. The only question is whether the Big Guy or I can get to it first. Game on, sweetheart.
O-Dawg: The only thing I have to add to this is something that makes me laugh every time I see a bottle of Cucumber Kӧlsch. I picture a friend of mine who works for F12 scrubbing out the tanks cursing as loudly as a sailor. Unearthly mutterings bouncing off the insides of the tank distorted by acoustics and rage. In the end emerging from the tank victorious covered in cucumber parts. The sheer imagery this evokes has me in stitches more than his ravings about F12's beer filter! Hats off to Rob and F12! They have out done themselves again with this entry. I dislike Kӧlsches, but their twist on this classic turned my surly .5 into a hearty 3.5! A must try for the Summer!
Professor Beer: When I first hear about this beer, I wasn't expecting much. However, as I mentioned in the History on Tap post, it ended up being probably my favorite beer of the festival. It's a delightfully refreshing beer with strong notes of cucumber, which I will definitely be drinking this summer (in fact, I've already managed to track down a couple 6-packs). The Cucumber Kolsch is an excellent summer beer.