Sunday, April 24, 2016

Ölbeat 037: Buxton Rain Shadow

Brewery: Buxton Brewery
Country: England
Style: Imperial Stout
Abv: 11,8 %
No dry desert, but incredible dessert

What about the beer?
Colour is pitch black with small brown head. Aroma has heavy roast sweet black coffee and dark chocolate on the side - I drown myself in the scent. Taste begins with heavily hopped and roasted first bite. Salty-sweet malts and A-class dark-roasted coffee take control. Palate adds strong sweet hoppy and alcoholic bitterness. Aftertaste is awesome: unbelievably delicious bitter dark chocolate with an espresso note.

Extremely powerful beer. All flavours are strong and intense but still it's a perfectly delicious experience. From the first sip and the rush of hops, roast and coffee I knew that the taste at least keeps the promise that the aroma gave. One of the best imperial stouts I've tasted, and since imps are among my favourite beer styles, this goes to the top of the list.


Since the brew really got me, I could only match this rock classic with it:

The Kinks: You Really Got Me (YouTube)

Song from the 1964 album Kinks, written by Dave Davies. 

...and because Rain Shadow really got me, here's the great cover, if you prefer it:

Van Halen: You Really Got Me (YouTube)

Song from the 1978 album Van Halen.

Blogger's note:
As you can see, I've decided to cut off the brewery or beer descriptions and the song description, since anyone can find some facts about the brewery/beer and the song. From now on, it's just the beer and the song with less unnecessary crap. 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Ölmönger Special: Why should you avoid beer festivals? Part 1: Things

Tallinn Craft Beer Weekend (TCBW) 2016 in Estonia took place on 1-2 April. It was soon followed by Helsinki Beer Festival (HBF) 2016 in Finland on 15-16 April. In Finland during summer 2016 there will be four Suuret Oluet, Pienet Panimot a.k.a SOPP-happenings, OlutSatama in Jyväskylä in June, Craft Beer Helsinki in the turn of June & July and Pub Winston Craft Brewery Fest in Pori in August, to name a few. And of course, OlutExpo (the site is still in 2015 mode) will surely take place in the end of October in Helsinki.

From the title of the post you can deduct, that I attended neither TCBW nor HBF this spring. There just were other plans. At first I was like: "Bummer!". Then I thought about it a little and understood that it would have been a bummer to have the chance to go to either of these beer festivals. Because I would probably have taken the chance, made the trip and fallen to the idiocy trap.
"Going to BeerFest? Put your head here..."
"What do you mean?" I hear a suspicious voice asking.

* * *

Let's begin with money. TCBW tickets cost 60 € per day or 100 € per two days and included entrance and as much beer as you could drink. HBF tickets cost 12 € per day or 20 € per two days and included only entrance: in addition you would've needed to pay for
  • some tokens for the beer (4 € per token for ca. 2 l = 7 oz. of beer)
  • the beer glass (4 € deposit, 2 € returned) and
  • the cloakroom service (3 €).
So it's fair to say that each event would have cost 60-80 € per day or 100-120 € per two days. In addition in my case, we have to add the travel from Pori to Tallinn/Helsinki, the lodging for at least one night and the meals to the bill. The final cost would have been like 200 € for the lowest budget for one day and 250-300 € for normal traveling per day. If I had attended both events for one day, that would've been at least 400 € spent in the end.

Holy f*ck: you could buy a shitload of excellent beer with that price. And you don't have to enjoy all that in a hurry during one or two evenings. Even for the people in Tallinn or Helsinki 60-80 € can be spent for more and better fun.

* * *
If hard values don't make you convinced, we'll have to check out the product you're paying for: the beer. The amount of beer you get with the money is relatively small: with the complete 200-250 € spent it's clearly impossible to get a decent amount of beer drunk during the festival hours. At least you would be very, very drunk, which itself isn't always a bad thing.

The variety of the beer in festival is another thing. A rough categorization of the beer selection in festivals by their common availability is:
  1. The beers that are already easily available when the event takes place.
  2. The beers that become easily available after the event.
  3. The beers that are hard to find both before and after the event.
  4. The beers that are basically available only in the event
Category 1 beers' problem is, that why in the hell would you drink them in the festival if you have already found them from the nearest pub, shop, monopoly store or online shop. To enjoy beer in a messy habitat? To compare quality of tap cleanliness? To estimate the effect of noise to the beer taste? No, there's no sensible reason. We'll forget category 1 beers, then.

Category 2 is a bit different, since clairvoyants are rather rare or even non-existent among people of Earth: you can't really tell before the event, which of the unavailable beers become available afterwards, can you? Logically, they could be the beers that the crowd drinks most or that get most hyped, since the festival attendees might be used as a test group for the product's demand and success. So probably if there's a good beer in the event you'll have the chance to get it later. If the beer is just overhyped, you hurry to taste it and look like an incarnated WTF for the next couple of days. By the way, that state of mind is called the Yellow Belly Syndrome, as you probably know. So, we'll throw away the category 2 beers.
a.k.a. "The Emperor's New Clothes"

Categories 3 and 4 differ only in that measure, that the beers in the previous are hard to get and the beers in the latter "impossible". Clever, eh? Category 3 beers make me wonder that are rare or difficultly findable beers so much better than easily reachable, and aren't there so many beers rather easily available that you can forget the hard ones. And how does rareness taste in the beer? I mean something else than the non-beery yucky main taste of a novice homebrewer's creations or of a brewing experiment gone 'orribly wrong. I would say that the difference between "hard-to-get" and "(almost-)everywhere" beers is negligible.

Category 4 beers are only for those beer-drinkers who think that having more once-in-a-lifetime experiences is having better experiences, so called "experience collectors" (see the story in next chapter). By the way, what other than sh*t can the "available only in here" beers taste like? Could you buy the explanation: "Well, it's so good and people like it so much, that we decided to sell it only here today"? Sounds like crap to me.

So, there are no beers even in categories 3 or 4 worth making the visit. The beer isn't be the reason, then.

* * *       

"Hey! You forget the experience!" someone yells. Clearly a festival guest.

Uh, the experience. It's all about the experience. You didn't live if there were no experiences. Well, I'd prefer not to use the word 'experience' about spending an evening and a night in an old industry hall being drunk and standing in the waiting line most of the time.

Hey, honestly, that's about it. Both TCBW and HBF were organized in uncosy surroundings, weren't they? Of course, there was always the plan to drink with moderation, but how many times has the reality followed it? In the end, you have to wait for the best beers with at least dozen of other people or settle for the nasty experimental stuff no one is even remotely interested about. Which wouldn't be a big deal, since after sipping 20 different brews during the evening your taste buds don't spot the difference between chocolate and fertilizer. After you get your tenth of the pint, you've lost your seat, one of all 37 in the area. But that doesn't matter, since next day you don't have the faintest idea what happened after the first three hours of the event.

We don't have to mention anything about the unsavoury food, the live = dead music or the literally shitty restrooms at the event, do we?

The word 'experience' cries for a story:

An occasional acquaintance, the Frequent Traveller, walks to me and brags:
- Man, the Taj Mahal was great!
- Yeah, but it's nothing compared to Machu Picchu, I answer with a deceitful glow in my eye.

We see an incredulous but desperate face and the Traveller quickly leave. We hear that he sold his car and his motorcycle to get the tickets to Peru. After a couple of months we meet again:
- Man, the view from Machu Picchu was incredible, I hear him show off.
- Yeah, but you ought to see the Himalayas, I lie and crush his dreamtale, watch the envy-greenish face and then the Traveller goes again.

Question: whose experiences are better? His for running after his obsession and practically ruining his life to have experiences, or mine for abusing him and making a joke of his obsession. I think neither, but the latter leaves me with more time and probably more money to have real and unique experiences. Life is cruel.

* * *

So, that's the end of lesson one. We'll continue with the actual, more important reason to avoid beer festivals in the only sequel that will be published next week. Until then enjoy this Special Ölbeat.

Special Ölbeat

If you end up in a beer festival, that's how you know. No excuses or explanations:

Nico & Vinz (feat. Bebe Rexha & Kid Ink): That's How You Know (Youtube)

From the 2015 EP Cornerstone, the song was written by the Nico, Vinz, Julia Michaels and Brian Collins. The song kinda explains itself, so the babbling's off.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Ölbeat 036: Flying Dog Raging Bitch

Brewery: Flying Dog Brewery
Country: United States
Style: India Pale Ale
Abv: 8,3 %
The name: an aggressive female dog. Ok?

Flying Dog Brewery, founded in 1990 in Aspen, Colorado, is a craft brewery located in Frederick, Maryland, United States. Named after an idea concieved from a painting in a hotel bar in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, after climbing to K2, the 2nd highest mountain in the world, the brewery produced around 100 000 barrels in 2014. The brewery has been noted - in addition to the quality of its beer - for the artwork in the bottle labels, which are illustrations of Ralph Steadman. The brewery is also an avid supporter of the local bands in Frederick. Raging Bitch caught my attention in OlutExpo 2015 as the best beer of the day, so I decided to have another sip.

What about the beer?
Colour is clear copper orange with small natural white head. Aroma has mild citrus, grass and yeast.
Taste has strong dry hoppy and high-carbonated first bite. Lemon juice and wheat malts soon step in the picture and are supported by stiff malty backbone. Palate brings yeasty flavour and adds some more dry hops. Aftertaste has dry pitterness and yeasty pine.

That's what I would call pretty heavy sh*t: strong hops and citrus of a superb IPA joined with flavours from Belgian ale yeast and wheat malt. Complex and different but still very balanced experience.


First, we forget Baha Men and the like: the dog theme will not be present in the song. Second, we forget any kind of reference to or association with the beer's name. Then we get to the business and select the song like this:

Faith No More: Midlife Crisis (YouTube)

From the 1992 album Angel Dust, the song was written by the band members Bordin, Bottum, Gould and Patton. The music has been categorized alternative metal or funk metal, incorporated with progressive rock and hip hop elements. Well, I'd call it Faith No More -style techno-enhanced angst metal. The lyrics written by vocalist Mike Patton seem to consist of incoherent thoughts of an insecure person, having very little if anything to do with the song's actual title. Patton has said that the song is about creating false emotion, being emotional, dwelling on your emotions and inventing them. The track's working title for the album happened to be "Madonna", since the vocalist was in a way fed up with the artist's public figure. However, Raging Bitch was matched with the song, because both have elements of angst, anger and power.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Ölbeat 035: Sori Out of Office Session IPA

Brewery: Sori Brewing
Country: Estonia 
Style: Session IPA
Abv: 4,5 %
After work it's time to chill
Sori Brewing, founded in 2014, is a microbrewery in Tallinn, Estonia. The people behind the brewery are two Finns, Pyry Hurula and Heikki Uotila, who decided to start a brewery without compromises. In Finland it would have been hard, if not even impossible. The brewery is owned by 225 investors, who have crowdfunded the brewery's growth with two batches of share emissions. Out of Office was one of the first brews from the brewery - tasted it for a couple of times and now bringing it out to the blog.

What about the beer?
Colour is cloudy golden yellow with huge white slowly suffocated head. Aroma has mild scents of orange, pear and pineapple.Taste gives fresh hops and lemon in the start: the absolute first bite is dry and very bitter. Lemon and grapefruit soon spread all over the mouth, some sweet fruit like pear or pineapple is sensed in the background. Palate adds some bitterness. Aftertaste is dry and piny.

This is a solid performance despite the low abv. The experience bites with a hop load and sour citrus fruits but is overall very balanced. I could imagine to start my weekend - or even better: an evening of any day of the week - with this beer.


Ok. Even though this is an afterwork beer and not a beer for lightening one's teenage trauma, who can honestly say to have never thought of this song on Monday morning? Right, I explained this one:

Beastie Boys: (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party) (YouTube)

From the 1986 album Licesed to Ill, the song was written by Adam Yauch and Tom Cushman. The song was intended to be a parody of party and attitude themed songs like Mötley Crüe's Smoking in the Boys' Room and Twisted Sister's I Wanna Rock. (Un)fortunately, the parody has been lost with most of the audience and the song has became a legendary partystarter. Stylewise the song is a mixture of rap and rock, and the lyrics tell a story of a youngster who is anxious about living at home with "strict" parents. Out of Office fits the song perfectly: it surely can start the weekend, and the reason behind the brewery's "nationality" not being Finnish could be a parody. Unfortunately, it's not.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Ölbeat 034: Boulevard Brewing Tank 7

Brewery: Boulevard Brewing Company
Country: United States
Style: Saison/Farmhouse Ale
Abv: 8,5 %
Lucky Tank Number Seven?
Boulevard Brewing Company, founded in 1989, is a regional brewery in Kansas City, Missouri. The brewery has expanded several times. The major expansions have taken place in 2006, when the yearly production was increased by 60 000 barrels. In 2011 the capacity rose with 35 000 barrels per year, and in 2014 the brewery produced 188 500 barrels of beer. In 2013 Belgian Duvel Moortgat acquired the brewery. Tank 7 is a member of the brewery's Smokestack Series: the beer was named after the whimsical fermenter number seven, which despite its behaviour was found to be the best one for this beer.

What about the beer?
Colour is light cloudy orange with medium to large white head. Aroma is dominated by sour lemon, with some vanilla scent on the side. Taste starts with sour-hoppy bitterness until sour lemon juice fills the mouth. Grapefruit, orange and wheat malts come along later in the palate. Aftertaste has dry grapefruit and bitter hops.

Hops and citrus meet in sour-bitter chain reaction in this one. The surly fruit is on top at the start, but slowly the lead is given to more bitter flavours. Complex and delicate brew 'til the end.


Sour and bitter flavours can be associated - in addition to saison ales - to bluesy sounds. When talking about blues you can' t pass this one:

B.B. King: The Thrill is Gone (YouTube)

From the 1969 album, Completely Well, the song was written by Roy Hawkins and Rick Darnell in 1951. As the original by Hawkins is a bluesy jazz song with saxophone-piano lead, B.B. King's version is clean-cut guitar blues with strings on the background. The lyrics tell about failed love and feeling of freedom from the first-person view. The vocals of "The King of Blues" bring beautifully out both the hurt and the happiness of the story and the guitar gently follows. Even though Tank 7 hasn't lost its thrill, bitter-sour taste is nicely combined with feeling of joy and pleasure in the brew.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ölbeat 033: Wild Beer Madness IPA

Brewery: Wild Beer
Country: England
Style: India Pale Ale
Abv: 6,8 %
Crazy brew for the savages?

The Wild Beer Co., founded in 2012, is a craft brewery in Somerset, England. The brewery's headquarters lie next to the Westcombe Fairy in the middle of English countryside. The idea behind brewing is to do something different: the brewery is known for harvesting native yeasts, using uncommon ingredients and spices and other kind of experimenting with beer. The brewers have said that they always start with the flavour, and then think backwards how the flavour can be made. Since I'm a beginner in beer tasting and far from a true brew experimenter/expert, I started with the easier end and their IPA. 

What about the beer?
Colour is cloudy light orange with medium white head. Aroma has sweet fruits: mango, pineapple and mandarin. Taste begins with fresh dry lemony bite. Bitter grapefruit intervenes in the middle. Palate adds dry hops and some more bitter grapefruit. Aftertaste is dry, piny and filled with grapefruit.

So, here we had enough citrus with hops slightly in the background. On the whole, the taste was pure, unique and great: it's harder to compete in the race of overly hoppy and bitter IPAs. If the brewer gets deeper into the grapefruit, there are less good race horses there.


One reason for picking the bottle was the name, so madness has to show up in the song somehow. The taste demanded some kind of freshness and colourfulness, something with an attitude and something that can make one moving. So we stepped to the field of dancepop:

Bebe Rexha: I'm Gonna Show You Crazy (YouTube)

From the 2015 EP I Don't Wanna Grow Up, the song was written by Rexha and songwriters Jon Levine and Lauren Christy. The music of the song is simple pop-disco with a sharp electric drum beat and stiff bass line but not so "fully bagged up" like basic dance music the world famous DJ's often make. Of course, musically the song relies stongly on Rexha's vocals. (Yes, Vocoder has been used probably over some people's moderation.) The lyrics are a description about the society's pressures of being normal and the individuals difficulties and even resistance in doing so: "And I don't need your quick fix / I don't want your prescriptions / Just 'cause you say I'm crazy / So what if I'm fucking crazy?" In the case of Madness IPA you really can say: so good, so crazy, so what?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Ölbeat 032: Brouwerij Kees Export Porter 1750

Brewery: Brouwerij Kees
Country: the Netherlands
Style: Imperial Porter
Abv: 10,5 %
The name: Porter made with a 1750 RIS recipe
Brouwerij Kees, founded in 2014, is a microbrewery in Middelburg, the Netherlands. The brewery is owned by former Emelisse master brewer Kees Bubberman. The young brewery has already been awarded Ratebeer's best new brewery in the Netherlands and in Europe and #4 in the world in 2015. Achievements will probably keep Bubberman satisfied for a relatively short time, since his aim is to produce the finest beer in the Netherlands. Export Porter 1750 is one of the top-rated beers from the brewery and of the style, so the expectations are high. 

What about the beer?
Colour is dark-roast coffee black with thin quickly vanishing beige head. Aroma has roasted malts, coffee and vanilla. Taste starts with sweet roasted malts and a snap of hops. Fresh black coffee takes over in an instant. Dark chocolate and hints of vanilla show up in palate. Aftertaste has coffee, bitterness and caramel malts.

Rich, complex and exciting porter - excellent brew. The combination of strong coffee flavor, deeply roasted caramel malts and bitter finish just can't go wrong. The brewery made a difference and turned out be worth more exploration.


As darkness and sweetness were combined in the brew, so should they be in the matching song, too. The heavy metal genre offered this beauty with the beast:

Amaranthe: Amaranthine (YouTube)

From the 2011 album Amaranthe, the song was written by guitarist-keyboardist Olof Mörck and vocalists Jake E. Lundberg and Andreas Solveström. The Swedish band is known for having three vocalists: singing female (Elize Ryd), singing male (Lundberg) and growling male (until 2013 Solveström, from 2013 Henrik Englund Wilhelmsson). The song's music is a mix of metal ballad and melodic metal with synthesizer elements. The lyrics form a love poem, where the poet sees love overcome darkness and ongoing battle. The poem is addressed to the one, who is the poet's "amaranthine", Greek word meaning immortal or everlasting. Both combining the different genres and writing positive-mooded lyrics for metal songs are distinctive features of the band's music, that divides the listeners to lovers and haters. Sometimes you have to break boundaries to make a difference - that's what connects the song and Export Porter 1750.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Ölbeat 031: Hiisi Humulus Lupus DIPA

Brewery: Panimo Hiisi
Country: Finland
Style: Imperial IPA
Abv: 9 %
A wolfly brew from the wilderness?
Panimo Hiisi is an old acquiantance since Loviatar review (Ölbeat 020). Humulus Lupus is described to have been brewed by "outrageously abusing a myriad of hop plants". The name of the beer is a word play with the latin names of hop (Humulus Lupulus) and wolf (Canis Lupus). When we get a douple/imperial IPA with that kind of predatory label, we should expect a hop explosion, shouldn't we? Let's cut the crap and get to the business, then.

What about the beer?
Colour is thick orange with tiny whiteish head. Aroma gives first grapefruit and then sweet fruits like mango and pineapple. Taste is nicely sweet malty and bitter hoppy not in a sharp and aggressive but in a slowly growing and strengthening way. Palate adds citrus, fruits and some piny notes. Bitter aftertaste lasts pleasantly long.

This one's a gentle beast. It doesn't chew your head off with the first bite, but instead waits its prey let one's guard down and then makes a gentle smooth kill. The palette of flavours wasn't expected: I thought this one would be a mean hop attack but got something a lot better.


As usual, the Hiisi brewers recommend some music with the beer: this time it's a Finnish band called Maj Karman Kauniit Kuvat. As usual, I don't give a shit. Instead, I try to piss them off with a song which literally has someone growing on someone:

The Darkness: Growing on Me (YouTube)

From the 2003 album, Permission to Land, the song was written by the band members Hawkins-Hawkins-Poullain-Graham. It represents the purest sound of The Darkness - guitar-riff led glam rock with Justin Hawkins' recognisable high tenor vocals. Probably the band's reputation of having fun and making music tongue in cheek is the reason why the song's lyrics have occasionally been misinterpreted to refer to pubic lice or STD's. According to singer-guitarist Justin Hawkins the song is really about a woman that you will never understand, but you love her so much that you'll get over it. Humulus Lupus got matched with the song not only because of the 'growing' thing but also because the beer was fun to enjoy.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ölbeat 030: Nøgne Ø Havrestout

Brewery: Nøgne Ø
Country: Norway
Style: Sweet Stout
Abv: 4,5 %
Brew with oat - you'll have black beer...
Nøgne Ø, founded in 2002, is a craft brewery from Grimstad, Norway. The name of the brewery means 'naked island', referring to the name used of the barren islands near Norway's southern coast by the 19th century playwright and poet Henrik Ibsen in one of his poems, Terje Vigen. Their webpage describes the mission of the brewery "to create fantastic full bodied and handcrafted beers" and the subtitle to the brewery's name is "The Uncompromising Brewery".

What about the beer?
Colour is espresso black with small bubbly beige crown, that rebuilds as a tiny foam top after vanishing due to high carbonation and oats, probably. Aroma has coffee, dark chocolate and sweet malts with a slight roast. Taste starts with the carbonated mouthfeel, which turns to caramel and chocolate malts. Palate adds soft bitter hops and coffee with a gentle roast. Aftertaste has roasted malts and coffee.

After getting over the strongly carbonated mouthfeel, there are elements of a really fine stout. The oats added to the brew really give an extra taste to the malt. Coffee is clearly present in the aroma, but surprisingly shows up in the taste in the last minute. Very nice beer especially for the abv.


The colour of the beer doesn't make it heavy. On the contrary, this stout was pretty light to drink but there was some serious soul present, so that's what we get:

Marvin Gaye: I Heard It Through the Grapevine (YouTube)

From the 1968 album, In the Groove, the song was written by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong for Motown Records. First recorded in 1966 by The Miracles and first released as a single in 1967 by Gladys Knight & the Pips, it was Marvin Gaye's version that became the soul classic. Gaye had an argument with the producer about singing higher than his normal range. The producer was the one to finally decide, and as we can hear Gaye's raspy overhigh vocals give the cake its icing. The sharp-hitting soul is played by the Funk Brothers and the recording was enhanced with the string section of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Lyrics tell a story about the betrayal of the singer's lover, that he hears from the gossiping people ("through the grapevine"), and his suffering on the ordeal. It was the serious subject and the gently floating soul that I felt with Havrestout to make this match.   

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Ölbeat 029: Kotipanimo Hirvi Otso 2.0 / Homebrew

Brewery: Kotipanimo Hirvi - Homebrew
Country: Finland
Style: Stout
Abv: 5,2 %
Won't find this @RateBeer.
It was Teddy 2.0, not 2.0 Teddies...
Kotipanimo Hirvi is the name of a homebrewery of one young dude in Helsinki, Finland. The dude has his beer review and homebrewing blog, Nuorukaisen vaahtosukelluksia (Foam Dives of a Young Man), in Finnish. His own review of Otso 2.0 tells us, that the stout is spiced with lactose, vanilla and cocoa. We should expect a beer with coffee, dark chocolate and roasty aroma and flavour. Let us wait no longer - time for tasting.

What about the beer?
Colour is black with half-finger thick beige head. Aroma has roasted malts on top, black coffee and dark chocolate on the side. Taste begins with roasted, slightly burnt malts and a tiny hop bite. Journey continues with black coffee, dark chocolate and malty flavor. Palate adds some medium-sweet bitterness. Aftertaste offers mild coffee with malty hints and lasts nicely long.

Mouthfeel is nicely silky and round all the way. One could probably ask more edge, but then again there are no overpowering factors present. The start is powerful enough, maybe a late hop (Saaz or Sladek?) or a crazy amount of vanilla could have made the beer strong all the way. Anyway, Kotipanimo Hirvi is on its way from good to great. Cheers until the next time!


The brew had a nice dark mellow mood. I decided to find a Finnish song that has somewhat shady and heavy - ended up with this:

Sara: Vielä muodostan varjoni (YouTube)

From the 2006 album He kutsuivat luokseen, the song's composition was credited for the whole band and the lyrics wer written by singer-guitarist Joa Korhonen. The music in the song relies on the combination of Korhonen's soft and clear tenor vocals and piano-guitar -based rock. There's a short synthesizer solo in the middle of the song. The song's name translates to "I still form my shadow": the lyrics don't form a coherent story but they might have something to do with need to change and dependance to other people in doing that. There's some uncertainty in the bridge: "Kuinka paljon kestän vielä? / Onnistunko kerran vielä?" ("How much more can I last? / Can I succeed once more?"). The song's mood is shady as it was with Otso brew, too.

Brewer's Choice

The brewer himself thought of big band music from the 30's or the 40's - round and mellow but still energetic. His ultimate choice was this fine classic.

Glenn Miller: Perfidia (YouTube)

Recorded by Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1941, the song was originally written in Spanish by Mexican composer Alberto Dominguez. The English lyrics were written by Milton Leeds. Vocals were sung by 16-year old Dorothy Claire and vocal group The Modernaires. The English lyrics are addressed to a woman called Perfidia (translates from Spanish to 'perfidy' i.e. 'betrayal' or 'treachery'), whom the narrator has loved before finding out her being unfaithful. The orchestration shows Miller and his band in its best with heavy brass in the start and the clarinets following. Smooth and swingy, like the brew.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ölbeat 028: Top Fuel Hoplite Pale Ale

Brewery: Top Fuel Beer Company
Country: Finland
Style: American Pale Ale
Abv: 4,7 %
Bottled power of Ancient Greek infantry?
Top Fuel Brewing Ccmpany has been introduced in a previous post about their Hippie Juice IPA (Ölbeat 003). Hoplite Pale Ale was actually the first beer I tasted from them. Since I didn't remember anything about the taste - just a hazy recollection that I liked it - I picked, opened and tasted it again.

What about the beer?
Colour is cloudy orange with an overwhelming white slowly lowering head. Aroma gives mild citrus and fruit. Taste starts with moderately bitter hops, joined soon with heavy grapefruit flavour and a malty backbone. Palate adds hoppy piny notes and the aftertaste has a dose of dry grapefruit.

This tasted very American, we are pretty close to West Coast Session IPA. Some harshness in the taste, but that gives the brew its edge. My memory was right: this one was and is good.


There's something fresh but also something very classic in this beer. So, we'll turn towards this classic piece of rock:

Free: Wishing Well (YouTube)

From the 1973 album Heartbreaker, the song was probably solely written by singer Paul Rodgers, even though it's credited for the whole band. The album was to be the band's last before breakup. Guitarist Paul Kossoff was replaced during the album recording and is uncredited in this song, even though it is heavily labelled by his recognisable bluesy rock jamming and riffing. Rodgers has denied the lyrics to be a message to Kossoff, who was suffering from drug addiction at the time. They have also been interpreted to be a message to an unnamed friend who isn't happy about his present life but doesn't dare to chase his dreams. Being satisfied only "with feet in the wishing well" would be a genius metaphor for that state: ready to reach for the goal but only in one's dreams. Hoplite Pale Ale just asked for a classic rock tune, and this one hit my head. Sorry, guys at Top Fuel - your brews seem to make me choose only 60's to 70's songs.