A German Beer Trail: Searching for Local Brews – Travel – New York Times
But drinking a KÃ¶lsch is more than just drinking a beer: it’s like drinking an entire culture. By German law, only beers brewed in Cologne may be called KÃ¶lsch, and they must be served in the tall, cylindrical glasses called stange. The KÃ¶lsch waiter, known as a KÃ¶bes, is almost always clad in blue and is universally known for a sharp tongue. (Request a glass of water instead of beer and your KÃ¶bes will probably ask if he should bring soap and a towel, too.)
I managed to get my first KÃ¶lsch without much hassle, handed over by a burly KÃ¶bes swinging the traditional round tray called a kranz, or wreath. The beer was not unlike a Pilsener in color, but the taste was much less bitter, with a nice grassy note in the mouth and a delicate fruitiness to the finish. I had more trouble getting the second, and when it came, I noticed the KÃ¶bes brusquely called me â€œdu,â€ the informal word for â€œyouâ€ that an adult might use to address a child.
In KÃ¶ln we often laps into the informal “Du”. Not like addressing a child, but addressing a friend. If you want formal German you are in the wrong place – go to another city. And yes, KÃ¶lsch is the best beer in the world. Here is a pic from the NYT slideshow.