We move east for this post, to the German-speaking end of Switzerland.
Monsteiner has been brewing organic beer near Davos since 2000. I picked up two of them in a Geneva supermarket with no idea what to expect. First up was Mungga, a 3.5% ABV blonde. Lots of grassy lagery hops in the aroma here. It's quite hazy, with big wholesome floaty bits to show you it hasn't been refined or otherwise adulterated in any way. And the sensation of an organic health tonic continues on drinking: lots of rich sweet malt up front, with a touch of brioche or breakfast cereal about it. Before it becomes too heavy, the hops jump in and rescue it.
It's a simple, old-fashioned, rough, ready and rustic. It would be done better justice by coming in a bigger bottle.
SteinBock, at 6.5% ABV, restores normality to the average strength of the range and features a goat wearing a rather unflattering sleeveless number on the label. It's rather clearer than the Mungga, though a darker amber colour. The off-white head dissipates very soon after pouring and the carbonation is present but unobtrusive.
And despite its Swissness it's a German bock to the core: a powerful grainy sweetness with notes of caramel and cheap chocolate. None of this is a good thing and I struggled to get to the end of the glass. In fairness I can't write it off as a flawed product, it's just not the sort of beer I like to drink and I really should have known this before opening it.
While browsing the shelves I was rather taken with the sparse nationalistic styling of Eidgenoss, an unfiltered amber lager from Falken, a large brewing concern in Schaffhausen. The flavour, however, is as straight-laced as the label. The Lucozade colouring leads on to a Lucozade flavour: sweet and with artificial fruit overtones. There's a bit of biscuit from the malt but that's your lot. Ask not what your nationalist beer can do for you, I guess.
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