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Style American Pale Lager · ABV 4.9% · 330 ml can
Brewed by Brutal Brewing · Vårby · Sweden
Read more www.brutalbrewing.com

I have a love-hate relationship with macro breweries trying to put together craft beers in “work shops”, especially when they do it under a different name, just like Spendrups’ Brutal Brewing. At the same time I will always welcome the approach to try to brew something else than bland pale lager. Spendrups’ done a great job in this regard over at Gotlands Bryggeri, putting numerous respectable products out on the market. So what has their Brutal Brewing-department come up with this time around?

Appearance 1/3

Entering my glass is a straw yellow brew with a frothy snow-white one finger head. The foam dissipates almost instantly, leaving some random blotchy lace. On the bottom of the glass is a layer of bubbles, rocketing their way one by one towards the surface.

Aroma 7/12

Plenty of malts and generously hopped for being a big company pale lager. A light citric and resinous smell. The citric nose settles somewhere between lime and lemon. Some faint elements of straw, herbs and flowers.

Flavor 11/20

A very sweet maltiness, a hefty pinch of aroma hops leaning towards the citric part of the spectrum. I’m picking up a straw, grapefruit, pine, bread and baking powder profile on this one.

Half way through the taste sort of fizzes and goes really dry on me. But this only remains for a second only to then flutter away for good.

Mouthfeel 3/5

Kustom Lager’s a fresh and crisp feel, coarse carbonation which fades instantly. The liquid’s wet and fleeing.

Overall impression 7/10

If you a lager-lover ready for some hop action then this is your choice and not a bad one at that. I’d even dare label it a stepping stone on the way to American pale ales and IPAs. I mean they’ve used Amarillo and Cascade for Christ sake!

The hoppy taste comes and goes in a flash though, giving it the characteristics of hops but also a classic watered-down massproduction brew. The brutal truth about this lager is that’s not the best of lagers, nor the worst. It’s an organic (KRAV-certified) product, so just for that reason alone it’s worth supporting.

Like my pal Pai said, and I fully comply, this is a summer brewski with a twist, fit for country houses and beaches on lakes.

Total Score 29/50

Good – Misses the mark on style and/or minor flaws

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