Damn right we went to a Scandinavian Beer Tasting at Chester Beer and Wine yesterday – it’s beer from my neck of the woods and I think any beer geek would happily admit that currently the most interesting beers are hailing from there.
Here’s what we drank:
Dugges: Lager No. 1 – 4.7%
I’ll lay my chips down immediately: I am not overly keen on lagers. This is probably because the mass-produced, terrible lagers have ruined the whole style for me but I will admit: this was rather palatable. American and German hops give it a nice, brisk bitterness against a backdrop of something that’s a tad on the sweet side. I’d have this again – can you believe it! I may have been turned!
Mikkeller: Help Pale Ale – 4.6%
HELP is a Mikkeller pale ale with a social conscience – profits from the sale of HELP will fund safe spaces for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, in a collaborative project between Mikkeller and the Danish Refugee Council. Now even if the beer was absolute rubbish I’d still drink it by the gallon but lucky for me it’s actually a rather decent pale ale. Bitter and twisted with citrus and pine. If only it didn’t wash away so quickly.
To Øl: Let Mælk – 4%
There’s a party in my mouth and this beer is the main guest. There’s beautiful notes of coffee, pepper and creamy milk and it has just enough of everything. Not too much, not too little, just the perfect balance of everything it needs to be a serious contender for the top spot of my favourite beers of all time.
Nogne: Saison – 6.5%
Wheat and lager malts, East Kent Goldings and Crystal hops, Belgian ale yeast, and local Grimstad water. It sounds so simple but it really isn’t. This little gem has such a complex palate it left me sitting and staring to the ether pondering about the facts of life. I’m a fan of saisons anyway but this confirmed my love affair with them. It’s light and delicate but packs a punch at the same time.
Poppels: American Pale Ale – 5.4%
Never heard of these guys before but totally going to keep my eye out for them from now on. Their American Pale Ale was the underdog of the day but it delivered with such precision it’s scary. Cascade and Citra hops, pine and citrus, all balanced nicely. It’s not a beer that jumps at you but it’s a solid performer.
Brewski: Passion Fruit Feber – 7%
Can I just say I love these bottles? They look like the old medicine bottles. Looks like a lot of Scandinavian breweries are using them now and I say keep at it bros and so’s. Having said that, the contents of this super special bottle aren’t all that. I love me some passion fruit beer but the balance isn’t quite right here. It’s a bit too sweet and a bit too little hopped. Which is a shame because it’s got all the elements to be a superb beer but it just misses the spot.
Omnipollo: Zodiak IPA – 6.2%
Zodiak is the new house IPA for these lot and it sports a blend of grains, untouched post fermentation and is heavy-handedly hopped with Simcoe, Citra and Centennial. It’s got a bit of a powdery finish and it washes away fairly fast but the while it’s on your palate it’s a perfectly respectable IPA.
7 Fjell Bryggeri: Kniksen India Red – 6.8%
What a complex little darling this beer is! 7 hops, 4 malts, grapefruit, peach and spruce with notes of caramel and bread tones from malted. It’s balanced and it’s intriguing and it beckons you to have more… so good thing this stuff is so easy drinking it’s kinda scary. I can foresee this beer doing terrible things to my hangovers.
Let Mælk was definitely my beer of the night, closely followed by the Saison by Tom. I think we’ve sufficiently evidenced Scandinavia kicks butt at the beer industry right now.