|Look at that lovely head|
The companion piece is a similar strength but couldn't be more different. Shmoake is a grätzer created at regular Brown Paper Bag haunt Hofbrouwerijke. I'd say that this smoky wheat beer is a difficult style to get right: the iodine intensity of the one Jopen brewed a few years back, which I'm sure was totally authentic, was just a bit too much for me, and it's probably very easy to go the other way and lose the whole point of the style: a refreshing summer quencher given an extra dimension by the assertive smoke. This one is lightly textured for easy drinking, and pleasantly dry, with the smoke flavours right at the centre where they should be, striking the palate immediately and lingering all the way through. But... there's something else. Something I've never encountered in my admittedly limited grätzer experience. It's a sweet fruit juiciness, like honeydew melon, utterly out of place but absolutely beautiful. Sadly, it almost disappears when the beer's lees are added to the glass, but on a clean first pour it adds a wonderful refreshing new dimension to the flavour.
An American twist on real světlý ležák and a hop-driven grätzer: that sounds like what the 'Project would be up to all right.