(Perhaps it's more than coincidence that no less than Michael Jackson has made a comparison between Portland and Cologne. From an interview I did with him in 1998:
I was asked on radio this morning, 'How important is Portland in all of this, and is Portland the beer capital of the United States?' To which my answer always is that it's a private squabble between Portland and Seattle, really, and nobody else comes close. Portland has, within its zip codes, between a dozen and 20 breweries, which is actually slightly more than Cologne has--and it's the most breweried city in Germany. So, you could make an argument for Portland being the beer capital of the world. I'd like to see more evidence of this when the city promotes itself. When I come into the airport, I'd like to see a sign that says, 'Welcome to the Beer Capital.'")Tasting notes
Alaskan Summer Ale is a rather rich hue of gold--substantially darker than the pilsners to which Kölsh is often compared. The head dissipated quickly, but the beer roiled with a vigorous fine bead. I don’t doubt that there’s an aroma to Summer Ale, but next to none from the bottle I poured (maybe the slightest note of yeasty tartness).
Kölsches, despite the paucity of ingredients, can pack a complex punch--the good ones, anyway. Alaskan's is a nice example. The first note is subtly sweet and tart, but it finishes with a dry note. Alaskan underhops their version, but it's not a mistake; the more subdued flavors come to the fore. The brewery uses its regular yeast, which is a drier version more akin to the yeasts of Germany (and atypical for West-coast beers)--a great fit for Summer Ale. All in all, a beer fit for Cologne.
On a hot summer day, you might have a bottle or two and not regret it. A cooler summer eve? Even better.
Malts: Pale, Munich, Vienna and wheat
Alcohol By Volume: 5.3%
Original Gravity: 1.048 OG
[Note: posting has been edited slightly to remove gross errors of grammar and syntax.]