Inglewood, California isn’t exactly a hotbed of the craft beer world. In fact, the city’s first brewery—Three Weavers Brewing Company—opened just five years ago. But even in that short amount of time, Three Weavers’ Alexandra Nowell has helped put the city on the brew map. Coming over from Sierra Nevada, Nowell became the greater LA area’s first female head brewmaster in 2014. She soon gained national buzz for a creation called Mel’s Sparkle Pony, an IPA with edible glitter. In the first year her brewery started canning, one of her core offerings took home a silver at the 2017 Great American Beer Festival: Seafarer, a German-style kölsch that's ideal for the city’s perennially beach-ready temperatures.
Appearance and Aroma
The name Seafarer may invoke images of choppy waters, but nothing about the beer looks oceanic. Instead, it’s squeaky-clean kölsch. The healthy inch-plus foam head resembles a morning tide, but the beer underneath remains light. It’s almost the same faint gold tone of a pinot grigio. The beer does ship quite a bit of aroma, though. The first sniff is powerfully lemony. Between that citrus aspect and the light hops, Seafarer just seems fresh.
Any light beer that doesn’t toss flavor overboard will certainly attract drinkers in droves.”
Some folks might dismiss the kölsch style as too light, opting instead for low-ABV IPAs or pale ales, even if it hits triple-digits outside. But Three Weavers has made a very beer-y light beer with Seafarer. Malt evidently drives this boat, with only a touch of citrus and wheat in tow. This kölsch’s bitter tones show up more prominently as the sips pile up. (I suppose you could say that flavor arrives in waves.) The result is right in the kölsch sweet spot: light enough to refresh, yet flavorful enough to cut through a numbingly 100-degree afternoon.
I like to think of kölsch as a German post-workout drink, so I lean toward cleaner versions (minimal aftertaste, not too tart or bitter). To that end, Seafarer skews a bit more earthy (grass tones, a subtle bitterness) than I normally prefer, but this kölsch demonstrates why the brewery has developed fans quickly: Any light beer that doesn’t toss flavor overboard will certainly attract drinkers in droves.