25 September 2008

Gold and brown

Yes, we're coming to the end of my pieces from the European Beer Festival, and I think it's time for some colour-themed posts. We'll start up at the lighter end of the scale with the golden and brown ales.

There was a fair bit of buzz surrounding the guys who had come from Kosovo to exhibit their lager, Peja. Knut dismissed it as "one for the tickers" so I was immediately off in search of it. It's actually not half bad: a decent low-strength pils, unremarkable except for its place of origin. From rather closer to the festival grounds was Langfartsøl by Carlsberg subsidiary Kongens Bryghus. This is a cooling, refreshing blonde ale, and likely to be an excellent summer refresher. Bitches BrewThe name means "Longboat beer", in case you're wondering. Finally for the golden ales, DaCAPO's tripel, Trio, failed to impress, having too much by way of sharp yeasty flavours and not enough warmth from its 9% ABV. Some nice fruity appley notes to it, though. Wintercoat's Bitches Brew (named after a Miles Davis record, apparently) was rather better: easy drinking yet intensely fruity and bitter, like a super-smooth tripel.

Back to lager, and Herslev Oktober Bock was the sort of autumnal bock I can get behind: sweet in a caramelly way with hints of dark fruit and smoke. Similarly seasonal was Mørk Festival (no. 71 in Fuglebjerggaard's Kølster series, if that means anything to you). It's a cloudy brown ale with a tasty sharp gunpowder spice to it. A much rounder sweeter autumn experience came from Ølfabrikken Harvest Ale, a beer brimming in warming toffee and caramel notes, quite a contrast to the surprisingly bitter Randers Brown Ale.

Getting browner still, we have Juletrolden 2008, a preview of this year's Christmas brew from Troldhede. It's quite light and very drinkable, despite some major chocolate notes in the flavour. Yet even they pale when put next to Svaneke's Sweet Mary, a dobbelbock loaded with cherry-liqueur-like boozy sweetness.

Time to dim the lights next. Have you noticed just how many Danish microbreweries there are, by the way? By my count it's loads and loads and loads.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, we've got Peja in our local Turkish shop. Haven't got round to trying it yet.