Gaffel Frei – A non-alcoholic version of a famous Kolsch beer
Gaffel is one of the traditional Kolsch beer brands. Only beers from Cologne are allowed to carry the name “Kölsch”.
Gaffel is one of the famous Kolsch beer brands from the city of Cologne in North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition to its Gaffel Kölsch, the Privatbrauerei Gaffel Becker & Co. OHG brewery (more German breweries here) has increased its product range to comply with the demands of the modern beer market in Germany. Many Germans aren’t that fond of alcoholic beverages anymore and are looking for beers and beer-mixes with less or with no alcohol at all. Like other Kolsch breweries Gaffel started the production of a non-alcoholic Kolsch style beer, called Gaffel Frei. The German word “frei” may translate to “free”, but please keep in mind that Gaffel Frei still contains a small degree of alcohol, but less than 0.5 %. So it is not utterly “free” of alcohol. At such an ABV, Gaffel Frei has far less calories than its counterpart Gaffel Kölsch. 18 kcal per 100 ml is indeed a very low value – even considering Gaffel Frei’s classification as a non-alcoholic beer. So the question to be answered now is: Does this affect the taste? And, is Gaffel Frei a worthy substitute for Gaffel Kölsch?
Gaffel Frei – The Data
- Alcohol content: < 0.5 % ABV
- Calories: 18 kcal / 100 ml
- Ingredients: Water, Barley Malt, Hops Extract
Gaffel Frei - Our Review
We bought ourselves a 0.5l bottle of Gaffel Frei in a small "Kiosk" store around the corner. These tiny "Büdchen" stores are typical for Cologne, and they usually have a sound range of beers in refrigerators. So, our bottle of Gaffel frei was already cooled down to the right drinking temperature of about 9 °C / 48 °F. We already had reviewed Gaffel Kölsch, before testing the breweries non-alcoholic interpretation of its top-selling beer, and fancied it quite much in comparison to other Kölsch beers. All in all, we had high expectations regarding Gaffel Frei. The color of Gaffel Frei is typical for the Kolsch style while it has a little more carbon dioxide than a "normal" Kolsch beer, yet little beer froth. We didn't taste much malt, but this did not matter at all, since Gaffel Frei is rather bitter and provides a long, intense aftertaste. In conclusion, not the non-alcoholic Kolsch style beer to start with as a beer rookie, but we can recommend it to those of you, who fancy a good Kolsch. All in all, a good substitute for Gaffel Kölsch with less than 0.5 % ABV and low in calories. Prost!
*We tasted this beer with 2 persons and the rating reflects only our personal impression, which we discussed after tasting the beer. The beer was cooled to the recommended temperature for the relevant beer type prior to testing. You may have a different taste and come to other results.