Many newer breweries are launching with a rotating stable of NEIPAs, taking advantage of the huge buzz (and resulting sales) that come with the substyle. I am a huge fan of hoppy beers in general and well-made NEIPAs specifically, so I don’t mind the proliferation of the substyle. That being said, it is frustrating to walk into a brewery and find no other options, and I know that frustration is more acute for people who aren’t fans of hop bombs. I think every new brewery should find 1-2 other styles that they do well, so at the very least they have a little variety available. When Definitive Brewing launched on Industrial Way in Portland last year they featured a number of NEIPAs, but complemented the lineup with a couple different takes on the kolsch style. I was impressed by both the kolsch and the hoppy beers when I visited,, and now Definitive is available in Massachusetts so I can try other beers from their portfolio on a more regular basis. I love light and refreshing beers on hot summer days, so I am planning on drinking more kolsch, starting with Contee, Definitive’s more “traditional” take on the style (they also do dry-hopped versions). Definitive Contee is available year-round on draft and in 16 oz cans.
Definitive Contee pours clear light yellow with a small white head. The aroma is pretty mild, just a bit of floral hops. This is a light and refreshing kolsch, very true to the style. There is some hop character, notes of grass, herbs, and lemon along with a crisp finish. This is balances by some pale malts, hints of biscuits and bread crust. Contee finishes clean, is super easy drinking and sessionable at 4.6% ABV. This is a really nice summer beer, plenty of character but light and goes down easy. I hope to drink plenty of kolsch this summer, and this will be a go-to. Hoppy Boston score: 4.25/5.
Previous Definitive Reviews: