Here we are again folks! I made a trip out to 42 North and found a cooler full of four packs waiting to be taken home. Unfortunately I found myself leaving with only one, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be going back for more! Westphalia Kolsch is what accompanied me home that day and here we our ready to enjoy one. I hope you like what you read and if you don’t that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the beer yourself. Feel free to leave a comment as well, I love feedback. As always thanks for drinking independent craft beer!
So what is Westphalia? 42 North gives a very nice description on their website and it goes as follow:
‘This crisp and refreshing ale, ideally served in a traditional Stange glass, is a new take on an age-old style. We bring the freshness of the Nelson Sauvin hop to this classic beer while balancing notes of white wine grapiness and traditional bitterness.’
Kim and I have tried Westphalia already and I can’t wait to see what an in-depth look produces tonight.
The Beer: Westphalia Kolsch By 42 North Brewing Company
ANV: 4.9% IBU: 28
Hops: Nelson Sauvin
I’m not one to place full investment in first impressions, but Westphalia was quite noteworthy in that realm. Westphalia pours a crisp golden straw color that is crystal clear and topped with a magnificent head. The aromas follow in suit. I’m getting a huge hit from the Nelson Sauvin hops with a white wine grapiness as well as a slight hint of fruit. Also the malts provide an excellent accent that gives Westphalia the slightest malt backbone. It’s almost like a sprinkle of malt you could say.
Following such a first impression may be difficult at times, but not at all for Westphalia. 42 North sure knew what they were doing with this guy!
It’s very easy to sum this beer up in two words–Smooth and Crisp. But I am not stopping there. Why would I?
At the beginning of each sip there are strong notes of the Nelson Sauvin hops. Mostly presented as the white wine grapiness, very similar to the aromas. This flavor continues on through the entire sip as well as the after taste. The white wine grapiness teams up with some nice cracker notes presumably from the Pilsner malt more towards mid to end of sip. The crack flavor provides excellent support, seeming to give a minor malt back bone, again similar to the aroma. It sits there in plain sight but doesn’t take the main stage. Once I start to swallow I’m noticing the cracker flavor does become slightly stronger but still sits in the shadow of the white wine grapiness. The after taste remains very similar to the rest of the sip but with a stronger white wine grapiness flavor. I’m not even sure if I am getting the cracker flavor still as this point. If it’s there it’s very transient and doesn’t seem to seek too much attention.
The bitterness and mouthfeel gives this beer the perfect appeal for hot summer days or, soon to be upon us, fall days. Either way this beer is delicious. Westphalia has a very smooth mouthfeel but still has some malty tones body wise. I’m getting a slight Kolsch type mouthfeel, known to come from Pilsner malt, but by no means does this have a wheaty mouthfeel to it. Very light and smooth. The IBU rating of 28 is quite accurate if you ask me. The bitterness is a quick hitter and dissipates almost as soon as you notice it. It’s difficult to even describe it as bitterness. Westphalia would be an easy beer for a lengthy drinking session.
Westphalia is a smooth and crisp Kolsch, German-styled ale. The Nelson Sauvin hops team up perfectly with the Pilsner and Pale malts complimenting each other perfectly. Though the Nelson Sauvin hops have a more dominant role in this case they’re not overly aggressive. Westphalia is by no means a complex beer and could easily be drank in a quick manner. Be sure to take your time, really enjoy the skilled brewing that produced this crisp German ale. 42 North did an excellent job, I’m hoping to get back and buy some more!