Everything you need to know about Nico - Köln Style Lager (Kölsch)


Nico 4.8% Köln Lager

Orbit’s award-winning Nico Köln Lager is typical of a Cologne Kölsch. The beer is named after musician Christa Päffgen under her singing alias Nico, who hailed from Cologne (the city of Kölsch) and from the famous brewing family Päffgen.

Nico offers a delicate balance of malt and hops that is synonymous with the Kölsch style, and a soft bitterness with a crisp, thirst-quenching, dry finish. Look for green apple and pear drop notes from the distinctive Kölsch yeast.


What is Kölsch and why should you be drinking it?

Unlike other lager styles, Kölsch is often considered a hybrid between a lager and an ale. This is because it is cold-conditioned, as a lager would be, but it is actually fermented using ale yeast. In Cologne, a Kölsch it is considered a lager (a top-fermented lager), whereas in Anglo/American terminology, it is often referred to as an ale. As we have a huge respect for different beer cultures at Orbit, we chose to side with the country where the style was born and describe Nico as a lager as well. 


There are over 20 breweries in Cologne (Köln) producing Kölsch, and to protect their brewing heritage, there is a law in place that states your beer cannot be called a ‘Kölsch’ unless it’s brewed within the Cologne metropolitan area.

That’s why Orbit’s flagship beer Nico is called a Köln Lager rather than a Kölsch (despite being brewed with a Kölsch yeast) to respect the Cologne law and their brewing traditions.



Our award-winning Köln Lager Nico is lightly carbonated and pours pale golden. Fragrant, herbal hop aroma with lemon citrus and green apple notes. Light on the palate, a touch of bready maltiness, with an assertive hop character. The crisp bitterness makes it eminently drinkable. 


Is Nico Gluten-free?

 Our award-winning Nico Köln Lager is now classified as gluten-free. Whilst it's still made with malted barley, we use an enzyme called Brewer’s Clarex, which reduces the gluten content to below 20ppm which is the legal requirement to list a product as ‘gluten-free’ in the UK.

To ensure that it’s compliant with current laws and regulations, we regularly have Nico tested by an independent UKAS-accredited lab, to ensure that our parts per million (ppm) sits below the legal requirement of 20 ppm (parts per million).

This enzyme doesn’t affect the taste but means it is safe to drink for many people who are sensitive to gluten. We demonstrate this on the bottle labels using a simple GF icon, whilst still listing barley malt in the ingredients list as an allergen, along with Brewer’s Clarex.


Nico Nights: A Cologne Drinking Experience in London

At Orbit, we love European beer culture. This is why we champion these beer styles and host Nico nights at our taproom, to recreate a Cologne drinking experience in South London. If you want to come along to the next one, follow us on social or sign up for our email newsletter to find out more.


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