Since I discovered that a neighbour runs a home brewery, my approach to buying beer has changed somewhat. I've promised to supply my empties for reuse, which has led to a preference for beers sold in bottles suitable for this purpose. So it has to be brown glass, it should be as large as possible and the jackpot is a swing-top cap. Not that there's any fear of me buying nothing but Fischer from now on: it's a good beer, but I don't swing that way. Instead, the effect has been to quicken my decision of which of a number of new beers I'll take home.
My last trip to Redmond's was rather truncated as a result. I only paced the floor a couple of times before coming away with Kapsreiter Stadtbräu. (Brown, 500ml, swing top, since you ask.) At first I was disappointed: I had no idea before pouring what style this was, and for no reason was expecting something dark and caramelly. What I got was a cloudy lager, with very little up-front flavour. It took a couple of swigs before I really got it, however. This beer shares ancestry with Munich lager, but hasn't had so many of its edges knocked off: there's a malty roughness that puts the brakes on the underlying sweetness. At a mere 4.9%, you could easily drink another one straight away if it wasn't for some fairly serious gassiness.
Oh, and it's organic as well. Perhaps the answer to the problem of organic blandness is to lower the hops quotient. Central European lager A-OK, but English ale, fuhgeddaboutit.
Westmalle Dubbel - *Origin: Belgium | Date: 2008 | ABV: 7% | On The Beer Nut: October 2007* It's a longtime favourite today. Westmalle Dubbel goes back to the very beginnings...
2 weeks ago