Stoudt’s Karnival Kölsch
Where Spotted: Whole Foods, 1440 P St. NW
This Means Warm: Kölsch beers are ales conditioned at colder temperatures. This gives them the full bouquet of ale aroma you often get with lagers, but with a more tamped-down flavor profile because chilly yeast critters give off fewer fruity esters. The result is ideal for a summer day: a crisp beer with just the semblance of a full-bodied blonde ale.
Stoop Ale: Some breweries take the idea of a light kölsch as license to bottle fizzy yellow water. But Stoudt’s is a classicist Pennsylvania brewery, putting out a number of nuanced German-style beers that eschew more extreme American flavors. Stoudt’s kölsch, like its even-handed gold lager and slightly hoppier pilsner, sneaks up on you with a mild but fully-developed flavor. That’s why it’s best consumed in peace, on a hot, still, sunny porch