From the HBD Archive
From: polstra!norm@uunet.UU.NET (Norm Hardy)
Subject: Kolsch vs Alt
Date: 1992-02-26 01:28:50 GMT

Reading the literature of the beer styles will show the differences
between the two styles, but from hands-on experience this is what I know:
Both are top-fermented and both are cold-lagered after the primary ferment
is done, down to 32f in most cases.
The Alt (popular in Duesseldorf and Munster and a few other places) is dark,
malty, and bitter with an almost citric taste in the bitterness.
The Kolsch (only allowed to be brewed around Cologne) is very pale, moderately
bitter, and moderately malty. Some of the locals praise it for its "softness"
and claim it to be good for uneasy stomachs. It is also said to reduce
gastronomical flatuance.

Personally, I found the Kolsch to be boring. The Alt was more robust. While
in Koln I ordered an occasional Kolsch but usually stuck to the always e
excellent Pilsners.

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