Green Flash Brewing Co out of San Diego, California celebrate their 10th anniversary in the beer biz in 2012. Married couple Mike and Lisa Hinkley started the company in Vista, CA but soon moved to San Diego. After a couple of years now-world-famous brewmaster Chuck Silva joined their team and the rest is history as they say.
Unlike previous reviews we’ve decided to sample four different brews from the very same brewery, one after another. It so happened that we had four of Green Flash Brewing Company’s beer in the fridge. The line up includes seasonals Rayon Vert, Le Freak and Palate Wrecker as well as their year-round West Coast I.P.A. Equipped with a cooler bag and gang of colorful ice packs we made way to the city’s finest beer tasting grounds.
It was a warm late summer evening as we sat down in Cornelisparken, a tiny little park perched on a rock, lending a spectacular view of Stockholm’s inner boroughs. In the background across the water is Stockholm’s small but legendary amusement park, Gröna Lund.
First off this evening is the brewery’s Belgian Pale Ale. A careful pour yields a cloudy rose-hip hued beverage with a massive foam head. The nose gives way to a funky and yeasty brett (brettanomyces) aroma tailed by dishcloth, sweet apples, green grapes and honeydew. Sipping the beer there’s a taste of dry aniseed paired with an earthy hop flavor. The general flavor following is fruity, mostly green fruits like pears and sweet apples, reminiscent of calvados. Finishing off the flavor is a light and smooth bitterness. It has a light to medium body with a somewhat watery feel to it considering that Rayon Vert clocks in at 7.0 % ABV. All in all it’s a complex and interesting pale ale and Green Flash does fulfill their promise of adding a “modern twists on traditional styles”.
We’re blessed by a beautiful clear August evening serving us the view of the skyline of Gamla Stan and its church towers. Temporarily memerized by the breathtaking sight of the city we now move onto beer number two.
This evening’s only bomber bottle holds Green Flash’s Belgian IPA called Le Freak. It’s a hybrid beer where a Belgian Abbey Trippel meets an American IPA. An ambivalent beer if you will. The aroma is dominated by exotic fruits, mostly passion fruit followed by green apples and rose-hip all resting atop a brettomycones yeast profile. Fantastic nose! The drink itself is full of apples, honeydew, black currant, candy and coconut and abruptly finished off with a bitter bang. Concluding the evening we both found Le Freak being our top pick out of the four beers tonight. Malty goodness, great hops and a distinct yeast profile is hard to resist!
Style American India Pale Ale · ABV 7.3% · 355 ml bottle
Total Score 7/10
The third bottle pulled out the cooler bag is an perennial American India Pale Ale that clocks in at 7.3% ABV. Popping the cap on the 12 oz bottle, pouring its content into a glass I get a pale amber with sticky lace on the glass. The aroma is an outstanding one simply oozing cassis as well as fudge, pine and nuts. Taste wise this one is phenomenal. It’s piney, it’s resious, it’s bitter, it’s West Coast! Brutally bitter and piney as the taste is the bitter storm is backed up by a sound caramel and fudge malt base. The body is a medium with lots but just the right amount of bubbles. Although a great IPA, the dominating bitter does knock off a point in the final rating.
Style American Double / Imperial IPA · ABV 9.5% · 355 ml bottle
Total Score 8/10
Want to sample some of these beers? Will you be in the Stockholm area the next coming two weekends? Make sure to swing by the Stockholm Beer and Whisky Festival and check out Brill & Co’s booth where they’re serving up Green Flash Double Stout, Hop Head Red, Le Freak, Palate Wrecker and West Coast IPA. 99 Bottles will attend the Festival on October the 5th. Hope to see you there!
Brewed by Pang Pang Brewery · Hökarängen · Sweden
Read more www.pangpangbrewery.se
I’ve been excited to try this puppy out, ever since I saw the announcement on PangPang’s own facebook page. They apparently had it on tap for a limited time at Bishop’s Arms, but I didn’t have the chance to try it out then. Luckily for us, we managed to get a special delivery from the brewmaster himself Fredrik Tunedal.
After some Dick Tracy like activities, involving whispering secret passwords, we managed to get hold of a couple of samples of this much anticipated brew from PangPang. Me and my co-host Tobias, sat down a cold February night and shared a bottle.
Pours golden orange, with a slight haze. We were debating whether it was a Hop haze or Chill haze, probably the former, but it’s hard to tell. The head is two fingers thick and bright white, it settles quickly but retains a thin foam carpet covering the beer.
Berries, Berries, and even more Berries! Wow, what a sensational aroma. It literally oozes of different type of berries, Black current, blackberry etc. It also delivers passion fruit, mango, citrus. The aroma is slightly sour, but is balanced really with some more dank and earthy tones.
The flavor continues, where the aroma ends, with a whole bunch of grapefruit, the berries also follow through, as does the wild fruits and citrus. It’s fairly dry, almost like champagne. Although an IPA, it has very comfortable hop flavors. Some IPA’s get carried away with the bitterness, but this one gets it just right IMHO. The flavor and aroma really comes through, good hop extraction!
A good medium body, that feels really smooth. The carbonation is there, but after a while, you long for a bit more fizz to help with the flavors. As described above, it has a really comfortable hop bitterness that lingers on after a sip.
Overall impression 8/10
What can I say? The expectations were set pretty high on this one, and yet PangPang came through and delivered! A great all around IPA, with it’s very aromatic berry-like aroma and balanced malt/hop flavors. We both noted some similarities with PangPang’s previous beer Puttin’ in Hours, but it still has its own distinct character. We also concluded that it’s probably a good introduction IPA for people not used to beers with high IBU’s. Overall a really great IPA, can’t wait to try it again!
So, where can I drink this one? Well, it’s available at the moment in very limited supplies at Marie Laveau, Oliver Twist, and Bishop’s Arms (Folkungagatan). If you happen to find it somewhere else, please share it with the rest of us in the comments. Cheers!
Total Score 42/50
Excellent – Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning.
Brewed by Beer Here · Frederikssund · Denmark
Read more www.beerhere.dk
I don’t know what it is, but beers with interesting/good looking labels on them, makes me want to try them. And the label on this beer, namely Beer Here’s Høst Citra is to say the least, quite special. So without much pondering, into the shopping basket it went.
This beer was part of a batch of autumn beers, released on systembolaget earlier this year. It’s original name appears to be Beer Here Kama Citra, but for some reason it’s been re-branded here in Sweden, as Beer Here Høst Citra. If anyone have more input on, as to way, please add a comment and share it with the rest of us.
Pours almost pitch-black, held up towards the light makes a couple of reddish rays shoot out from the glass. Has a nice bubbly beige-colored two fingered head, which seems to stay intact for a long period of time.
Wow, the hops in this beer is the first thing that hits you, very flowery, citrus and a lot of tropical fruitiness. Some burned, caramel, roasted tones comes through as well.
A pleasurable roasted, caramel, chocolaty flavor, mixed with the bitterness from the hops gives this beer a pretty complex character. The flavor somehow feels very autumn like, rainy days and yellow leafs comes to mind.
Has a light to medium body. Good carbonation. The bitterness in this beer is very lingering and will follow you from your first to your last sip.
Overall impression 8/10
This beer’s intriguing label goes very well with this beer’s equally interesting flavor. It’s like a marriage between a Brown Ale, with its sweetness/maltiness and a India Pale Ale, with its hoppiness/bitterness. Beer Here/Christian Skovdal Andersen always produces interesting and sometimes experimental type beers, and this one is no exception.
Total Score 37/50
Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws
Brewed by Brouwerij Rodenbach · Roeselare · Belgium
Read more www.rodenbach.be
Brouwerij Rodenbach (nowadays a subdivision of Palm Breweries) started out as small family brewery in the year of 1821, specializing mainly in barrel-aged sour beers. Today they have an annual production of some 18 000 000 liters. In addition to their standard line of beers including the Rodenbach Classic and Rodenbach Grand Gru, annually they release a Vintage Oak Aged Ale and Rodenbach Caractère Rouge.
Ruby in hue with bits of brown and yellow. Sitting on top is a tiny but perfectly fine head.
Sweet and sour, just like biting through the skin of a plum only taste the sweet inside.
A favorable encounter between the sweet and sour sides, packed with estery rhubarb, slices of unripe mango and dry-cider-like tones.
Rodenbach body’s is light and emits a slow string of bubbles float around caressing my mouth.
Overall impression 9/10
I like this brew, a lot, from being a happy hop head just months ago I’ve rediscovered the vast kingdom of beers that Belgium holds. Especially the Belgian sour ales. Although this beer stands tall on its own I could easily vouch for it that it goes great with salty food. A place that came to my mind is a tiny tapas bar called Quimet Quimet in the Poble Sec area, Barcelona that serve the best seafood tapas ever. They also have an amazing selection of vines and liqour. If you’re lucky enough to be in Barcelona, head over there right now. Quimet Quimet on Google Maps.
Total Score 43/50
Excellent – Exemplifies style well, requires minor fine-tuning.