Sunday, July 31, 2016

Ölbeat 067: Thornbridge Halcyon

Brewery: Thornbridge Brewery
Country: England
Style: India Pale Ale
Abv: 7,4 %
What about the beer?
Colour is clear light yellow with a small white head. Aroma has very fruity scent of fresh orange and lemon. Taste starts with medium sweet fruity and hoppy first bite. Orange flavour quickly takes over. Hoppy bitterness and bite of alcohol get onto the stage later. Some faint sweet spice flies by. Towards the end orange turns to grapefruit. Aftertaste has dry piny bitterness and a bite of alcohol.

Excellent strong fruity IPA: sweet citrus domination seems to be the thing for me. When bitter grapefruit and dry pine finish the treat, couldn't ask for much more. Despite this being the first Thornbridge beer in this blog the brewery is an old acquaintance: Halcyon belongs to the quality continuum with Jaipur, Raven, Chiron and Bear State. I'll probably come back with them later.


Well, the phrase for this choice is 'instant spontaneous reaction' to the name of the brew. The beer and the great album of the young lady had the same name, and the beer's style matched the artist's style nicely. Only thing to choose was the matching song. While completing such task anything can happen:

Ellie Goulding: Anything Could Happen (YouTube)

From the 2012 album Halcyon, the song was written by Ellie Goulding and Jim Eliot.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ölbeat 066: Founders Porter

Brewery: Founders Brewing Company
Country: United States
Style: Porter
Abv: 6,5 %
What about the beer?
Colour is thick black with a modest beige head. Aroma has roasted malts, charcoal, liquorice and a thin slice of coffee. Taste starts with charred roasted malts. Some bitter hop and black coffee flavours join the fun. Towards the end salty chocolate and liquorice are added to the taste. Aftertaste has dry and malty charcoal roast.

This is a delicious heavy roasted, salty and gently bitter porter with decent coffee flavour. In the end the chocolate and liquorice perfect the exquisiteness. Like drinking thick liquid black velvet.


But no, it can't be Black Velvet by Alannah Myles. Since the label has the description "Dark Rich Sexy" and the brew more than fulfills that, we'll easily find much darker, richer and sexier voice and song. Like this:

Seal: Love's Divine (YouTube)

From the 2003 album Seal IV, the song was written by Seal and Mark Batson.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Ölbeat 065: CREW Republic Detox

Brewery: CREW Republic
Country: Germany
Style: Session IPA
Abv: 3,4 %
What about the beer?
Colour is bubbly golden yellow with a thick foamy white head. Aroma has hops, lemon and grass. Taste bites first with extra bitter hops. Fresh grapefruit with carbonation joins the party. Near the end sour lemon and piny dryness are added to the flavour. Aftertaste has mainly dry and bitter grapefruit.

Detox is a nicely fresh and tasty session IPA. Bitter, sour and dry flavours are present strongly enough but still this one goes down easily and quenches thirst well. With this abv this works better than many around 4,5 % session beers.


Many, probably most low-alcohol beers tend to fall behind the stronger ones. But sometimes it's better to be a good loser than a bad winner. I'm not referring to any certain Skippy-Digestive brews, but here's the song for Detox:

Beck: Loser (YouTube)

From the 1994 album Mellow Gold, the song was written by Beck and Karl Stephenson.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ölbeat 064: Lagunitas Maximus

Brewery: Lagunitas Brewing Company
Country: United States
Style: Imperial IPA
Abv: 8,2 %

What about the beer?
Colour is clear orange with a two-finger thick natural white head. Aroma has lemon, orange, hops and some malts in the background. Taste opens with fresh citrus hoppy bite. Lemon-orange liquid with a herbal side note fills the mouth. Towards the finish bitter hops come back with sour grapefruit and dry pine. Aftertaste has sour citrus and extra dry bitterness.

The aroma promises fresh citrus fruits and that's what we get: flavours of lemon, orange and grapefruit dominate the taste. Hops bring herbal-powered bitterness to the picture and in the end pine doesn't get over the fruit. Magnificent American Double IPA with surprising freshness and easy drinkability.


It's time for pompous and joyful classic rock. When two giants of rock united in the beginning of the 1990's, the result became a parade of musical happiness. The same heavy joy is present in Maximus: 

Coverdale/Page: Pride And Joy (YouTube)

From the 1993 album Coverdale - Page, the song was written by David Coverdale and Jimmy Page.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Ölbeat 063: Hiisi Raivoava Rakki

Brewery: Panimo Hiisi
Country: Finland
Style: India Pale Ale
Abv: 6,2 %

What about the beer?
Colour is dark copper orange with a finger-thick natural white head. Aroma has strawberry, mango and pineapple. Taste begins with gently hoppy and malty bitter bite. Grainy malt takes the lead with moderate grapefruit. Towards the end grapefruit, hops and pine show up more, with a sweet berry flavour on the side. Aftertaste has dry bitterness and grapefruit.

The brew doesn't completely match its name (in English: Furious Mongrel, hmmm?), if it should refer to aggressive hopping. Anyway I usually get bored with a beer, if it's only heavily bitter and dry. Malty start and growing fruitiness make Raivoava Rakki very enjoyable and even sessionable. Should try this again with BBQ dishes. 


I tried to look up an artist and a song which has the same kind of contrast that the beer's name, aroma and taste have. Since it's a grungy brew with a doggy theme, the wheel of fortuned stopped by this short-lived 1990's supergroup:

Temple of the Dog: Hunger Strike (YouTube)

From the 1991 album Temple of the Dog, the song was written by Chris Cornell.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Ölbeat 062: Lost Abbey Mayan Apocalypse Judgment Day

Brewery: The Lost Abbey
Country: United States
Style: Abt/Quadrupel
Abv: 10,5 %

What about the beer?
Colour is thick dark brown with only a thin white crown. Aroma has temptingly delicious milk chocolate, raisins and vanilla. Taste starts with gentle sweet hops and smooth milk chocolate. Liquid chocolate holds the scepter but lightly roasted coffee, raisins, cherries and warming alcohol party in the background. Towards the end there's a bite of alcohol and some sweet bitterness. Aftertaste is dry and has the main flavour of bitter cocoa. 

Thinking I ordered the original Judgment Day I was thrilled that the beer turned out to be a tuned version with chili, cinnamon and tamarind. With or without some help from the spices, I was blown away by the deep, neverending melting chocolate flavour. The only sad thing is that I'm still craving for the actual Judgment Day. The beer, you wankers.


Even though the Mayan profecies meant actually nothing like the idiotic doomsday theories born during the 2012 phenomenom, we'll have to bring something from the Judgment Day here. The beer surely is heavy and unforgettable but in a heavenly delicious way. This one tells a story about unforgiveness born from an individual undeserved hell:

Apocalyptica ft. Corey Taylor (YouTube)

From the 2008 album Worlds Collide, the song was written by Johnny Andrews and Geno Lenardo.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Ölbeat 061: Ayinger Urweisse

Brewery: Brauerei Aying
Country: Germany
Style: Dunkelweizen
Abv: 5,8 %
What about the beer?
Colour is hazy light brown with large creamy head. Aroma has sweet wheat malts, syrup and a sour citrus twist. Taste starts with hoppy sour bite. Sweet wheat malts bubble and kick in pretty fast. Orange and lemon flavours dance in the mouth with some sugary fruit sidekick. Near the finish we get yeasty and malty flavours. Aftertaste is fruity sweet and slightly alcoholic.

What we have here is a superb multi-flavoured beer: sweet and sour fruits combined with strong solid malts, not forgetting the presence of hops and yeast. Urweisse is a complex and very tasty brew, that gives the beer hedonist a rich and lasting experience.


A beer that has this kind of brewing tradition behind it requires some ageless jazz for company. Something sour, something sweet, something like this:

Nina Simone: My Baby Just Cares For Me (YouTube)

From the 1958 album Little Girl Blue, the song was written by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by Gus Kahn.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Ölmönger Special: First 60 Ölbeats - So far, so good, so what?

After making the first 60 beer and song matches it's time to wrap things up a bit. Since sixty tracks make 4-6 albums it's time for... *drum roll*
...the first Best of -collection of Ölmönger.

"Another lame excuse for not blogging about new beers, eh?" cries the voice inside my head. The voice may be right. The voice is now silenced with a simple invention: using duct tape.

Checking the beer styles, so far I've posted an Ölbeat of:
  • 23 India Pale Ales (incl. Session, Double & Imperial IPAs)
  • 13 Stouts (incl. Sweet, Smoked & Imperial Stouts)
  • 7 Porters (incl. Baltic, Smoked & Imperial Porters)
  • 4 India Black Ales and
  • 13 representatives of other styles of beers. 
One Imperial IPA that almost made it...

If we look at the countries the breweries are from, then
  • 21 beers are from Finland
  • 9 from the Netherlands
  • 7 from the United States
  • 5 from Estonia and
  • 18 from other countries.
As everyone knows, compilations are made to rip the fans off by putting the songs that everybody's heard the most to the same album. That's why I don't put this one together on the basis of post popularity. surprisingly fine Finnish brew just out of the top...

To make it easy - no, it wasn't - I'll just pick 4 + 4 + 4 subjectively best beers I've blogged so far on these groups:
  • Top 4 Finnish beers
  • Top 4 non-Finnish dark-coloured, mostly black beers and
  • Top 4 non-Finnish light-coloured beers.
The beers will be presented in publishing order, not in any kind of preference order. The best beers are chosen in a pure feeling and recollection basis, since there's no beer ranking in my head. Probably the chosen beers would be different next week, but hey, it's allowed to change your favorite beer, football club or band once in a while. Enough with the babbling - let's start.

...and one of the last ones out was this Gods' Nectar

Top 4 Finnish beers from the first 60:

Top 4 non-Finnish black beers from the first 60:

Top 4 non-Finnish non-black beers from the first 60:

Ölbeat Playlist: Best of First 60

One could think about putting the songs of the list in some kind of playble order but I didn't. Match the beer with song number on the list = see the number in the brackets after each Ölbeat link:

That's it for now. Let's continue traveling in the world of beer and song matching in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Ölmönger Special: Craft Beer Helsinki, 1 July 2016

While having a small break with the blog - when there's a choice between writing crap about beer & music and enjoying Finnish summer & life, I'll choose the latter - I got a chance to visit Craft Beer Helsinki a.k.a. CBH from now on. Since I'm probably not the greatest fan of beer festivals (see the previous posts on the subject here and here), the list of the breweries got me breaking my habits. Most of the Finnish summer beer festivals have the emphasis on Finnish breweries, but CBH had lured roughly the half of the breweries outside Finland. Some pretty known big names like BrewDog, De Molen, Founders and Stone and many unknown European microbreweries turned out to be a temptation I couldn't resist.

The start: De Molen Bommen & Granaten

To cut the crap of personal excuses and explanations, some short facts about CBH. The festival was organized first time ever on 30 June - 2 July at Rautatientori in Helsinki by Helsinki-based gypsy brewery Humalove and running school & event organizer Runner's High. There were 23 breweries present - each having a selection of 5-10 beers available mostly on tap. To get inside the festival area you needed to pay 3 € for a glass (or 4 € for a tulip as I did) and load some money to a Seamchip card which was the only acceptable payment device in the event. There were couple of loading points where you could increase your card's credit as well as couple of glass washing and free drinking water tents in the area. Also there were many reputable street food shops present, which is an exception in a Finnish beer festival, and a craft cider corner. The complete beer lists were available at CBH's website and the festival had pretty often updated Facebook pages.

Having heard about the first day's problems with the payment cards at the entrance and the resulting queues, I was at the scene when they opened at 2 p.m. Since "Only cash payment" line as well as the festival area were practically empty I got in quickly. There were no price lists of the beers available beforehand, so that's what had to be checked first. The normal price rate seemed to be 3 € for 15 cl and 5-6 € for 30 cl of beer but there were few cheaper and many more expensive brews available: the lowest price for 15 cl was 2 € and the highest 5 €. The prices of cider and food didn't catch my attention, because I was there for the beer. And meeting a long-time-no-see friend by a pint or some, and enjoying the sunny Finnish summer weather. At 6 p.m. I got out, since the place started to get packed with beer-thirsty people and I had spent enough time and dimes sipping small doses of good stuff.

Beer festival at Friday afternoon in July. Oh, the crowd! :)

What do I remember, that is: which beers were harder to forget than the others?

Both of the barley wines I had, De Molen Bommen & Granaten and Beer Hunter's Mufloni Barley Wine, were quality stuff. Bommen & Granaten as a heavy start had sweet fruity malt flavours with silky smooth bitterness. Mufloni Barley Wine had more malts and bitterness and less sweet fruits but didn't pale in comparison.

Spanish India pale ales Bidassoa Basque Larrun and La Quince LLIPA! tasted nice and were positive surprises. Larrun was a hoppy and fruity imperial rye IPA with strong malty and grainy character. LLIPA! was a fresh-hopped American-style IPA with moderate grapefruit. This experience convinces me that I'll have to get to know more about Spanish craft beer.

The most uncommon beers I had were Founder's Mango Magnifico and Hopping Brewsters Grimr. I tasted Mango Magnifico purely out of curiosity: a strong fruit beer with mango juice and habanero chilis is so out of the box for me, that it made me to get out of the box. And I got happy - thanks to sweet mango over-domination and habanero afterburn. Grimr on the other hand is an ancient gruit ale spiced with juniper, orange peel and cardamom. Like Starkadr, the darker gruit from the brewery, Grimr also has a fresh combination of slight sourness and strong spice. Works for me - would say that it was my festival fav brew.
Founders Mango Magnifico

Stone's Arrogant Bastard BBA and Americano Stout ought to be superb brews. However the weather was clearly wrong for enjoying a strong ale with a grip of oak and vanilla (Arrogant Bastard BBA) and an American imperial stout with surely delicious coffee (Americano Stout). Excellent turned to decent. My bad - have to taste these again in the darkness of Finnish autumn or whenever I get the chance.

To wrap it all up, the event felt and tasted quite nice. Most of the beers were good or very good: nothing mind-blowing but nothing tasteless or bad-tasting either. The prices of the beers were mind-blowing, meaning too high: asking 3 € for 15 cl of IPA and 5 € for same volume of barrel-aged imperial stout is utterly greedy. But it seems that in the Finnish craft beer market it's still seller's market: people seem ready to pay high price to get something that actually isn't so rare in Finland anymore. I must say that free drinking water was a big thumbs up for the organizer.

As a proof of still missing some political correctness or good taste towards the beer festivals, I must compare the squirrel logo of the event to something completely different. On the left in the pic is the event's logo from an empty tulip. On the right is the logo of Finnish bank Kansallis-Osake-Pankki, KOP (National Share Bank) which was merged to another large Finnish bank in the 1990's and which was later sucked into the Nordea group. I can see the similarities in business in the logos, can you?

Black, blue, where do these squirrels come from? ;)
Since I took only few bad pics in the event, there are more and better pics and also better stories available in these Finnish blogs:


After a beer festival it's time to get back to real business. Let's forget the taps for a while:

Calvin Harris (ft. Tinie Tempah): Drinking From the Bottle (YouTube)

From the 2012 album 18 Months, the song was written by Calvin Harris, Patrick Okogwu, James F. Reynolds and Mark Knight.