Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ölbeat 341: Suomenlinnan Kealakekua IPA

Brewery: Suomenlinnan Panimo
Country: Finland
Style: India Pale Ale
Abv: 
@RateBeer
What about the beer?
Colour is hazy golden orange with a small white head. Aroma has pineapple, orange and grapefruit. Taste starts with piny grapefruit bite. Bitter grapefruit and spicy pine take over with sweeter fruity tones. Towards the end piny-fruity bitterness and sweet citrus get on top. Aftertaste has bittersweet grapefruit-orange juice and sour spicy dryness.

Fruity and piny New England -style India Pale Ale. Very nice bittersweet citrus bomb. But. The freshness factor could be clearer. Not excellent nor mind-blowing but still very tasty.

This beer was part of Alko's Finnish artisanal beer selection in spring 2018.

Ölbeat

Kealakekua Bay on the west coast of Kona Island in Hawaii is known for being the place, where Captain James Cook was stabbed to death by a native chief. Of course, that was after Cook and his crew had already achieved tension with the natives and tried to kidnap a Hawaiian chief to his ship. Things didn't really go the way they do in The Beach Boys songs, did they?

The Beach Boys: Hawaii (YouTube)

From the 1963 album Surfer Girl, the song was written by Brian Wilson.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Ölbeat 340: Founders PC Pils

Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
Country: United States
Style: India Style Lager
Abv: 5,5 %
@RateBeer
What about the beer?
Colour is golden yellow with a vanishing two-finger-thick white head. Aroma has grapefruit, lemon and malts. Taste begins with fresh bittersour citrus bite. Bitter grapefruit takes over with sweetish malty side tones. Towards the end salty bitter malts, sour lemon and tartish peel get on top. Aftertaste has dryish malts and lasting fresh bittersour grapefruit.

Very fresh and drinkable hopped Pils. Certainly elements of fruity IPA are clearly more present than malty Pilsner qualities. But there are malts sticking out from the background. I could drink this as my castaway beer. Excellent stuff.

Ölbeat

Summer. Sunshine. Lying relaxed on my hammock. With a beer. Put some reggae on.

Bob Marley & The Wailers: Jamming (YouTube)

From the 1977 album Exodus, the song was written by Bob Marley.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Ölbeat 339: Austmann / De Molen Mannus & Blodøks

Brewery: Austmann Bryggeri (Brouwerij De Molen)
Country: Norway (Netherlands)
Style: Imperial Stout 
Abv: 8,8 %
@RateBeer
What about the beer?
Colour is black with a thin beige crown. Aroma has sweet coffee, vanilla, chocolate and alcohol. Taste starts with bittersweet roast with a boozy bite. Smoothly bitter dark chocolate and sweet roasted malts take over with vanilla, black coffee and boozy breath. Towards the end dark chocolate, bitter roast and sweet vanilla melt together beautifully, with layers of coffee and espresso lingering in the background. Aftertaste has bitter dark chocolate, strong espresso and lasting dry roast.

Strong and honest Imperial Stout. Heavy flavours of chocolate, coffee, vanilla, roast and warming alcohol roll over me. I lean back, relax and enjoy the battle between the great German ancestor and the mythical Norwegian king. I'll call this a tie and move over by the fireplace to finish my glass. Simply excellent collab brew from the strong Norwegians helped by the world famous Dutch.

Ölbeat

Mannus was, according to Roman Tacitus' writings, a son of the god Tuisto and the father of German human tribes. In the 1800's, his myth was adopted to Aryan beliefs, and later to - what else than - Nazi occult. Oh, that would've made Tacitus happy. Eirik Blodøks, on the other hand, was the king of Norway in the 10th century. The epithet, "Bloodaxe", comes from the later sagas about Eirik slaying his half-brothers to rule Norway and about him being a ruthless Viking raider. And that actually would have made the Norse gods happy, but some others probably not.

Metallica: The God That Failed (YouTube)

From the 1991 album Metallica, the song was written by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Ölbeat 338: To Øl Mochaccino Messiah

Brewery: To Øl
Country: Denmark (brewed in Belgium)
Style: Brown Ale
Abv: 7 %
@RateBeer
What about the beer?
Colour is dark coffee brown with a big fluffy tan head. Aroma has roasted malts, coffee and dark chocolate. Taste starts with gently bitter malty roast. Roasted malts take over with cocoa-coffee bitterness. Towards the end dark chocolate and cappuccino get on top with hints of sweetness. Aftertaste has bitter dark-roasted coffee and spicy malty dryness.

Spiced and roasted Brown Ale. Malts and roast play the first fiddle, but different flavours of coffee and chocolate fit nicely in. Surely experimental and far from both too weird and too boring. Slow, tasty and complex brew. Pretty good, I think.

Ölbeat

This was easy, there's already a song for this one. You need a machine to make a mochaccino, right? Right!

Sepultura: Machine Messiah (YouTube)

From the 2017 album Machine Messiah, the song was written by Andreas Kisser, Eloy Casagrande and Derrick Green.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Finnish Beer Blog Sessio #4: The Wrap-Up

This is the wrap-up post of my assignment for Finnish beer bloggers' Sessio posts - and especially its execution by the colleague bloggers. So, here are the shortened abstracts of my own and other Sessio participants' posts. Without any more gobbledygook, let's get directly to the business.

As you already checked from the link above, the topic was Finnish vs. foreign beer. What got written about that?
Pick the true Finn from this pack...
Arde arvioi, the good ol' machinegunner of Finnish beer blog troops, started his post by wondering which bad things he could tell about Finland and beer - with a reference to an awful Finn-schlager anthem of being Finnish. Saving us all from already-heard floccinaucinihilipilification (i.e. underestimates), he decides to guide us through to the best parts of beer culture in Finland: the beer bar scene and especially the real ale taps in Finland, the rise and the quality of microbreweries in the 2010's, the quality and demand of Finnish barley, the quality and possibilities of Finnish water and the diversity of beer aficianados. No praise for modern, non-traditional sahti or forest berry beers - I bet no one was surprised. Excellent music choices, when we understand that the first one is meant to be there for contrast.

Helppoa Juotavaa, the honest, direct and untouchable beer rater, started his trek of the decade from the beginning of his beer enthusiasm, when almost everything interesting came outside of Finnish borders. In the middle, during years 2012-2014, Finnish breweries started to pop up here and there, but the quality was a big issue. In the present day, there are still quality issues with Finnish breweries but there are good and trusted breweries available. But even today, the traditional European breweries produce the best standard quality beers. In the end, there's some unnecessary praise for sahti, but some pity points don't save Finland from 0-3 loss in this 3-set match.

Loppasuut, the treacherous part-time wine-sippin' couple, took Estonia as the representative of the world in the beer bout between Finland and the world. First, there was the "Humulus Lupus" set: Finnish Hiisi Humulus Lupus Double IPA against Estonian Saku Antvärk Humulus Lupus IPA - ended as a season-depending tie. Then it's time for the biggest difference between beer in Finland and Estonia: the price, which is remarkably lower in Estonia, especially with bulk lagers. There are more microbreweries per capita and more bottle shops in Estonia than in Finland, so for now the game seems to be turned at Estonia's direction. But the match continues.  
 
Olutkoira, the all-smellin' story-catchin' beer hound, seems frustrated about the lack of knowledge about Finnish beer. There's not so much documented history on Finnish beer brewing in the 1800's. The quality of beers made by Finnish microbreweries seems not to be the thing blocking them from international success of Danish Mikkeller and Swedish Omnipollo - it's rather a question of marketing and image planning. There's not too much analytic writing about Finnish brewing scene and its trends compared to international journalism and blogs, even though there's a lot of people writing and reviewing beers and breweries. Possibly the difference can be explained with the fact that there are only a few people making a living out of writing about beer. Personally, Olutkoira often prefers foreign beers because many of Finnish beers are not of the style he likes to drink - and many of the styles he prefers are well-available classics from foreign breweries. In the end, he thinks that the situation of Finnish beer has gotten a lot better in recent years, thanks to professionals and aficianados in the field.

Tuopillinen, the unprejudiced father of Sessio posts and several other great beery ideas, starts his post with deep thoughts about the definition of "Finnish beer" and the connection of Finnish and nationalism. Buddy, that was your association, not mine. He crushes the idea of sahti as the obvious beer of Finland, because there are similar kind of traditional local brews all over northern Europe and because as a "fresh product" it could never make it internationally. There's no national beer phenomenom - it wasn't born when it could have - and there are no traditional nor modern classic beers made in Finland. There's a similar craft trend going on around the world and the beer styles are similar everywhere. Especially good/bad brewing is not just a Finnish thing, because there are great/shitty breweries (shitteries?) everywhere - the beer importers just work as filters. In the end, the blogger doesn't care where the beer comes from as long as it's good - and that's usually foreign.

Ölmönger, that's me, the disgusting limping yucky taint of beer blog heaven, wrote about the importance of comparing Finnish beer to foreign beer. Why? Because losing the original idea for the post. Really, why? Well, the importance of comparing starts from the longer international tradition in brewing. (Sahti was mentioned.) Especially the Finnish breweries benefit from aiming to the level (= quality = experience = taste) of the world-known great breweries. And basically, there it was.

"On to the next one!" Well, February 2018 is Arde's month. Hopefully the topic has nothing to do with the upcoming Alko artisanal beer period.

Ölbeat

The question between national and international is with beer as with any other subject an unnecessary one. Since language is in most cases separating cultures, I picked one great classic instrumental for this one. Peace.

Santana: Samba Pa Ti (YouTube)

From the 1970 album Abraxas, the song was written by Carlos Santana.