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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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