A few worth getting down the neck from Danish gypsy brewers To Øl and Mikkeller
Two danish gypsy brewers famous for extreme, unusual and unique beers. Both of which are relatively easy to find these days. Gypsy brewers, meaning brewers who don’t own a brewery and instead contract their brewing out to others, are able to make experimental and small batch beers without the risk or the overheads. BeerAdvocate list 716 different beers for Mikkeller and 186 for To øl, which is crazy seeing as the average brewery is lucky to produce more than 5 beers all of which would probably bore the arse off you anyway.
Mikkeller – 1000IBU 9.6%
A one thousand IBU beer (theoretically). IBU is a measure of the bitterness of beer, a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale sits at 37 IBU’s, a Lagunitas IPA at 65 IBU’s so this is proper crazy carry on.
Supposedly 1000 IBU isn’t actually possible but I don’t understand/I’m not arsed about the science. It’s murky and dirty and smells bitter without any normal hoppy aromas. Surprisingly the initial taste is really sweet, a malty grainy sweetness, I guess in an attempt to balance the bitterness, after that it’s long lasting, mouth drying bitterness. Not much flavour, mostly just bitterness. Not as insane as 1000 IBU would have you believe but still not a relaxing easy drinker. It’s also very warming, much more than you’d expect for 9.6% (piece of piss mate).
Really, it’s a novelty beer, one to try just to give a go which I’m all for. As extreme as it is, I’m sure i’ll try it again at some stage. If you’re a fan of mad beers get it right in, one to try for the craic at least.
To øl – Black Malts and Body Salts 9.9%
Described as a black IPA brewed with french press coffee but It’s not as straight forward a beer as it sounds. It’s got a lot of coffee in both aroma and taste but it’s still remains decently hoppy. Coffee in beer tends to drown everything else out but this has a decent bang of citrus and pine. There’s a thick mouthfeel that combined with the roast malt almost wanders into stout territory and it has a lingering bitterness and even some dark chocolate malt in the finish.
It’s a big tasting, flavoursome beer that’s more interesting than the average coffee whatever beer and one I’ll pick up regularly.
To øl – Garden of Eden IPA 6.4%
An IPA brewed with guava, apricot, papaya, passionfruit and mango. Fuck me this is fruity. Not just the average citrus and tropical fruit you get from hops. The bitterness and subtle malt backbone of an IPA is there but it’s got a huge upfront fruity taste that lasts. It’s hard to nail down any one dominant flavour but on top of all the fruit there’s a decent sweetness that you wouldn’t find in the average IPA
This has also done a great job of not falling into some of the problems of other fruit beers. Not overly sweet, not sticky, not cloudy and no floaters or bits. It’s the most memorable fruit infused IPA i’ve ever tried, the only issue is with so much going on I don’t know If i’d be able to drink a few back to back. Ah I defo could actually.
Mikkeller – Sort Kaffe 9.2%
Another black IPA brewed with coffee. Although this is a very different drink to black malts and body salts. While the to øl offering was a big coffee IPA, this is more of an IPA with coffee added. I realise that sounds very flimsy.
This Is definitely a black IPA upfront, with piney and slightly grassy hops. It even tastes a bit earthy, there’s very little in the way of fruity or zesty hops. Personally I think that suits a black IPA better, and with the added coffee, earthy works better than fruity. The coffee is present throughout but it’s taste is more similar to a light filter coffee than a strong astringent espresso and it’s well balanced, It doesn’t do an awful lot to change the beer. It’s a really enjoyable black IPA with some coffee snuck in. And also has a seriously sneaky abv as well, at 9.2% it tastes like it could easily be 5 or 6.
All of these were grabbed on the drinkstore website but I’ve also seen most of, if not all of them in store in Stoney batter as well. Put the feet up with a few some evening.
Right g’wan talk te ye