The Commuter

commuterBY Steve Lonsway

Octoberfest brews are on the shelves.

Yet, I refuse to let distributers take away my crisp and refreshing summer beer. You can pry my pilsners and Kolsch from my sweaty dead hands.

Commuter Kolsch from One Barrel Brewing Company in Madison has the hype of one of those excellent summer brews. Very rarely does my beer guy get this excited about a six pack. He was almost proud to be able to offer me this beer. People in Madison speak highly about it and they have many delicious choices nearby. So it’s time to check the hype. Before we pour one out, let’s take a look at what One Barrel says about this brew.

“This is very true to the style that originated in Koln (Cologne), Germany. Our Kolsch is unfiltered and cold-conditioned. The result is a beer that is clean and refreshing, with a crisp finish. It is agreeable without being boring; the beer lover’s session ale.”

Commuter pours like a dream with minimal head. It’s bright in color like golden straw and after one sip it matches the brewery’s description almost spot on. Immediately I want to fire up the grill, or be in the stands at a baseball game.

The fermentation process of the yeast in this beer makes for an initial sweet blast of flavor. It comes on fast and hits the taste buds right away.

It’s not an overly strong beer with only 4.8 % A.B.V. and that initial sweetness hides the hops, but with only an IBU of 22 this isn’t a beer meant to wreck your palate. Commuter almost enhances your palate.

I never crave a hotdog, and with good reason, brats are always better. But with each sip a hotdog keeps sounding more and more appetizing. (Load it up with some mustard and relish and some grilled onions… mmmmmm)

After a few sips from my pint, the sweetness could be misconstrued for being almost slightly tart. But regardless, this is a well-rounded Kolsch-style beer.

Some beers go for gimmicks while some beers are just solid. Commuter is simply rock solid.

If you aren’t a German style beer person, this would be the beer I’d recommend to introduce you to the genre. It’s hard to not get along with the taste of Commuter.

Staying true to session style beer, I could see myself having a few of these consequently. It goes down plenty easy, but at the same time, it’s almost too good to not sip on. This isn’t a life changing beer for me, but this is still an excellent brew, and I don’t think I can stress that enough.

I can’t ever recall wanting to savor a Kolsch-style beer, but those folks at One Barrel Brewing down in Madison can sure brew some mean and tasty beer.

So when you start to notice more Octoberfest’s popping up on the shelves, instead you might want to hark back to summer for as long as possible with Commuter.

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