Cologne is about beer. Kölsch, to be more precise. You can get the lager-style beer everywhere, from the train station to small Italian restaurants. Not truly a heritage beer (Cologne breweries all brewed different types of beer before World War 2), Kölsch was created after 1945 to market one local beer better. And it’s been going down well ever since – it was even given ‘protected geographical indication’ status in 1997, meaning it can only be produced in Cologne.
To underscore its heritage, Kölsch comes complete with its own serving traditions.
It must always be served in small, 0.2 liter glasses. When drinkers have had their fill, they must put a coaster on top of the empty glass, otherwise waiters will keep the beer flowing without asking. And there is no better place to experience that ritual than in the dark beer halls of the small Päffgen brewery near Friesenplatz
Since 1884 they have been selling their delicious version of Kölsch from the same premises. Their beer is also not bottled, and the only way to drink it at home is by purchasing a keg here. But then you can also just sit down, order one of the hearty dishes like a 3/4 m sausage, pork knuckle or roast chicken, and have the waiter (or Köbess) bring Kölsch after Kölsch after Kölsch to your table.