Showing posts in category: Vårby

Style American Pale Lager · ABV 4.5% · 330 ml can
Brewed by Brutal Brewing · Vårby · Sweden
Read more www.brutalbrewing.se

Ding Dong! A cardboard tube filled with beers has once again made it to our door step. I must say that the people over att Brutal Brewing have kept themselves busy these past six months. Just since Christmas they’ve put out no less than three new different beers including Pistonhead Chimney Sweeper, Hale to Nothing and Sir Taste-A-Lot. Also knocking on our door is summertime which generally brings on a preference for paler and lighter beers. Brutal has paid heed to this fact, delivering a lighter lager flavored with hops varieties Magnum, Cascade and Galaxy. Enough talk, I’mma pry open this can and see what’s hidden behind that colorful hippie typeface.

Appearance 2/3

Pours a wild and fizzy straw yellow into my Mac & Jack’s shaker glass. The is completely see-through. Resting on top of the brew is a finger of super bright white head that slouches into a foam lid within minutes. Racing through the beer are strings of bubbles. I got to give it to Brutal on their label design which is a fresh breath of air in comparison to most others labels seen today.

Aroma 7/12

I get surprisingly high amounts of herbal and floral notes up front, laced by a not totally convincing splash of lemon. There’s also the smell of grass and straw, all which go well with the lighter and bready maltiness of the beer. In there somewhere is a sweet fructose which develops into a dominating mango aroma as the beverage warms up. Finally lurking in the back is a light pilsner-esque bitterness.

Flavor 14/20

An extremely light malt base with foremost grassy but also some bready characteristics. The maltiness pairs fairly well with the fruity and herbal flavors of beer, resulting in a balanced but not very complex taste. Just like the aroma, the taste develops a exotic fruit/mango flavor with time and temperature. A light, chalky bitterness building up in the end.

Mouthfeel 2/5

The carbonation makes itself known by bombarding the tongue with needle sharp little bubbles. This is not OK. The fizz disappear instantly and washing over me is a light bodied beer. The liquid’s hard and chalky. The aftertaste is a dry and light bitterness leaves me gasping for a bit of air.

Overall impression 5/10

I’m of course easily reminded of Brutal’s Sir Taste-A-Lot low-point beer drinking this one. Although there are obviously some differences in aroma and taste, the style is still the same. And I must say that I’ve come to appreciate the idea of blending a lighter bodied beer just like the lager with punchier and more flavor-packed hops. Brutal might not have come all the way in perfecting the hybrid style, but they’re doing a good job trying. On the minus side there’s an off-flavor surrounding the bitterness and citric flavor that my mind can’t let go of. To summarize it all, this beer is not targeted for the avid beer geek, but for the big crowd of people who enjoy easy, drinkable and somewhat hop spiced beer.

Beervana Summer Edition is part of the summer selection of beers available at Systembolaget starting tomorrow, Friday June 1st, at pretty much every location around Sweden. It’s a very affordable beer, priced at a mere SEK 10.90 a pop. If you’re inclined, check for availability.

Total Score 30/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws.

Style American Pale Lager · ABV 3.5% · 500 ml can
Brewed by Brutal Brewing · Vårby · Sweden
Read more www.brutalbrewing.se

Beer mail again! This time from the guys at Brutal Brewing, Spendrups’ department of innovation. Cutting open the styrofoam box I see two cans of beer logged between the protective walls. The last beer I had from Brutal Brewing was their X-mas offering the Chimney Sweeper. A beer that didn’t really sweep me off my feet but left me with a more positive attitude towards Brutal and their brew.

This time around they’re back with Sir Taste-A-Lot, a hoppy low-strength (aka folköl/low-point beer) pale lager, in my opinion this is a sign of Spendrups’ willingness to progress in the beer game. Seasoned with Magnum for bitterness and Perle/Amarillo for aroma let’s see what this dubbed beer does for me.

Appearance 2/3

Dunking half the can into my Anchor pint glass I get a fizzy dusky golden yellow beer with a three finger high head in a “discolored teeth” type of hue. The bubbles are small and tightly packed lending the head a creamy appearance. The head settles to half a finger leaving dry and sticky lacing. Promising…

Aroma 7/12

Characteristic lager aromas of bread and yeast, a rather soft bready nose though. Then some light Amarillo hops come through with a clementine/lemon profile. Also newly cut grass and sweet corn appear in the nose.

Flavor 15/20

Just like the nose the flavor kicks off in a classic lager maner; malty, bready with a tongue coating bittering hop presence. Accentuating the lager base is the aroma hops giving it a citrus and jasmine flower flavor. The dry bittering hops impart a faint cyprus wood taste too.

Mouthfeel 3/5

Big and malty liquid with a thin but bolder body than your average 3.5er. Whatever filling sensation there initially was fades quickly though. Small and tickling bubbles. The aftertaste is a lager style bitterness reaching down the throat.

Overall impression 7/10

Considering the company we’re in (widely available 3.5% pale lagers that is) this is damn good stuff. Although a bit wishy-washy it’s graced with a more than decent citrusy flavor palette. Plus a hop dryness which appeals to my taste. Yes people, this is the multi-dimensional beer from a major brewery that we have been waiting to embrace and enjoy. I hope it’s generally received this way because that would mean there’s hope for hoppier and tastier industrial beers in the future.

Sir Taste-A-Lot is a low-buzz beer and therefore available in many supermarkets across Sweden.

Total Score 34/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws

Style German Pilsener · ABV 4.8% · 330 ml bottle
Brewed by Spendrups Bryggeri · Vårby · Sweden
Read more www.spendrups.se

Alright, this is the first beer review I’m conducting in our new apartment that we recently moved into. It’s a massive 100 m2 place, divided into two bedrooms and one living room. Just like in our old apartment I’m stationed out in the kitchen while reviewing beer.

This particular beer was sent to us by the people over at Spendrups Byggeri out in Vårby, just south of Stockholm. With the beer comes the story of how Spendrup’s brewer Richard Bengtsson got the idea and name for the beer from the now defunct mid-twentieth century Melleruds Bryggeri, who served the small town of Mellerud with pilsner between 1904 and 1959.

Now back to the brew, Melleruds Vårpilsner is a pilsner brewed using pilsner and münchener malts, spiced with Czech hops. What specific Czech hops were used, the info doesn’t reveal but I’m pretty sure some Saaz is in there somewhere. Enough of the babbling, what does this beer actually taste like then?

Appearance 2/3

Just looking at the bottle and label design I got to give it an A+. An elegant old school brick brewery building sitting on an off-white background with the beer name it black serif lettering underneath it. Very simple and clean design indeed.

Emptying the bottle’s content I get a cristal clear light golden yellow beer with a finger of chalk white head. The foam settles in a minute or so, remaining are pretty lace curtains clinging to the glass. Carbonation wise there’s a bubble here and there slowly making it to the top of the beer.

Aroma 7/12

A nose of light malts and sweetness. Then some bready notes making my mind drift off, thinking of newly baked wheat bread. I also get light summer and grass aromas. A rather soft and bready nose for a pilsner I’d say.

Flavor 11/20

Flavor wise I get a light touch of malts and sugar up front, then a pronounced light to medium bitterness coming in, only to disappear rather rapidly. There’s a faint metallic and medicinal quality to the bitterness. Other flavors include a vague lemony and fruity sweetness. The flavors are distinct but not strong and fade instantly. Although a low ABV, it does carry the flavors elegantly enough.

Mouthfeel 3/5

A thin body with a semi-harsh carbonation full of small and prickling bubbles. The liquid’s light and sweet and smooth on the lips. A light and steady bitterness is presented in the aftertaste. There’s a bit of a metallic and soapy feel to the bitterness. All in all quite refreshing a pils.

Overall impression 5/10

This is a middle-of-the-road pilsner with a good malt backbone and a nice little bitterness too it that will sit comfortably many people’s hands as spring makes an entrance .

On the weak side is the flavor, which in my book could’ve been richer and longer lasting. With all the fantastic bottle conditioned beer I have I can’t but help wonder what a pilsner like this would taste like if left unfiltered?

Melleruds Vårpilsner is part of the spring assortment at Systembolaget and available March 1 through May 31.

Total Score 27/50

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

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Style American Brown Ale · ABV 5.8% · 330 ml can
Brewed by Spendrups Bryggeri · Vårby · Sweden
Read more www.spendrups.se

By now your chimney’s probably already been swept clean and Santa’s also long gone, back at the North Pole taking a well deserved 300-day long rest before things start picking up again for the 2012 season. Still there’s a bottle of Xmas ale in my cupboard that needs reviewing.

I’m begining to take somewhat of a liking to Spendrup’s craft beer department Brutal Brewing and their beers, commonly marketed and sold under the name Piston Head. It’s perhaps not the most complex or best of beers but they do a pretty good job creating drinkable, in the middle of the road, craft beer available to the majority of people and that’s got to count for something I believe. Let’s see what’s hiding underneath the cap on this one…

Appearance 2/3

I let a dark but clean and clear burgundy splash into my Anchor Steam-decorated pint glass. The pour produces a fluffy and creamy faded Post-it®-yellow three finger foam collar, leaving behind some random sticky lacing on the glass.

Aroma 7/12

Caramalts with light American hops, the Tomahawk/Columbus and Cascade coming through. The malt base is faintly sweet Coke and fudgy scented as well as slightly roasted.

Flavor 15/20

Maillard flavored, with predominantly roasted and caramalized malts. The funky “C”-hops are present, making a graceful leap from the nose to flavor. Nothing is coming on too strong though, not even the bitterness of the Magnum. As the beer warms I get orange peel and dark bread plus some fresh fruitiness.

Mouthfeel 4/5

First off the body is a light medium. Refreshing and maybe a bit watery for being an ale. The carbonation is packed with lots of small bubbles, washing the flavors of the beer over the palate. Finishing it off is a long medium bitterness.

Overall impression 7/10

Damn, I like this, although it’s nothing too exciting it is a robust enough beer fit for food or casual drinking. I like the fact that it’s not as heavily spiced like many other Xmas beers. What really caught my attention was the carbonation and mouthfeel, it’s light and refreshing yet it brings out the full flavor of the beer too.

Chimney Sweeper is part of Systembolaget’s Xmas release, check for availability.

Total Score 35/50

Very Good – Generally within style parameters, some minor flaws

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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