Cowbell Brewing Company is very new to the craft brewing scene: their website shows a 2017 copyright date and advertises the brewery’s grand opening this summer. Cowbell Brewing Co. calls the small town of Blyth, founded in 1877, home. I mention Blyth’s founding because Cowbell’s Absent Landlord Country Kolsch’s name pays homage to Blyth’s founder Henry Blyth, Esq. As cans of Absent Landlord note, Mr. Blyth, a landowner from Berkshire, England, never once visited the town he founded in Canada, hence the brew’s name.
For those not familiar with the term “kolsch,” check out my review of Kilannan Brewing Company’s take on this German favourite. But now, let’s get rural …
Cowbell Brewing Co.: Absent Landlord Country Kolsch – First Sip
Since I had so much success with my Han Solo stange last time, I decided to keep the Star Wars kolsch-drinking tradition alive by pouring this brew into a Princess-Leia-themed stange (check out this tribute to Carrie Fisher if you’re also feeling sentimental). Absent Landlord pours a transparent golden colour with about a half-inch of head that quickly diffuses into a thin layer at the top of my Leia stange.
I pick up a subtle whiff of grains as I take my first sip. Its grainy aroma complements its sweet, grainy flavour, finishing with a hint of bitterness. With very active bubbles, Absent Landlord has a fizzy mouthfeel, similar to soda water.
Cowbell Brewing Co.: Absent Landlord Country Kolsch – Last Sip
This brew, as the description on Cowbell’s website states, will pair very well with soft cheeses. Its fizzy mouthfeel and unique flavour, almost doughnut-y at times, also make this a great beer to enjoy with, you guessed it, doughnuts or any other sweet pastry. Based on its clear colour and smooth-drinking quality, I’m surprised that this brew weighs in at 5.3% ABV. So, I suggest you make sure you’ve finished milking the cows and slopping the hogs before you sit down with a couple of these kolsches.