It’s Wednesday; the same old routine, you know the one, stumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen, something about pouring a cup of ambition. Yawning, stretching and trying to come to life. For us nine to fivers, it’s hump day. Last weekend seems a long time past, but weekend beers are still out of reach. You know what, you’ve made it this far, get work out of the way and treat yourself to a couple of brews.
As you might have read on our about Wednesday Beers page, we love a couple of midweek beers to tide us over until Friday night. It’s also a great time to try something new. This is the spirit of our Wednesday Beers feature.
Wednesday beers / Onsdag öl
Last Wednesday, after a pretty busy day at work, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to chill out with a couple of bottles of beer from Swedish brewery, Stigbergets. I’d never heard of these guys before, but the simple label designs caught my eye the last time I visited my local bottleshop. After picking up a bottle of Pale Ale Pale Ale Pale Ale, the new collaboration between renown Swedish brewers Dugges and Manchester’s Cloudwater, I had to grab a bottle each of Amazing Haze and West Coast.
Amazing Haze – Mosaic IPA, 6.5%
The first bottle I cracked open was Amazing Haze. Given the current craze with ultra murky New England style IPAs, combined with the name of the beer, I was expecting a translucent juice bomb. Pouring into a glass, Amazing Haze is hazy for sure, but it’s unlikely to be mistaken for fruit juice.
It’s great on the nose. Double dry hopped with Mosaic hops, it’s just as much orange and tropical fruits as it is dank, resinous pine notes. To taste, it’s a nicely balanced beer. Bearing in mind that I was expecting all juice with just a hint of bitterness, Amazing Haze hits you straight away with equal parts sweet malts, and citrus, bitter, floral flavours from the hops. The mouthfeel is medium, with a dry finish that’s pretty refreshing.
Single hopped Mosaic IPAs certainly divide opinions, but personally, I’m a fan. I tend to find this style extremely drinkable and Amazing Haze was no different. After the first taste, I had to drain my glass within 10 minutes.
West Coast – IPA, 6.5%
With the name West Coast, I was expecting an IPA very much in the American West Coast style; perfect clarity and in your face bitterness. Wrong again. It pours a hazy, golden colour with a pillowy white head. Stigbergets beers are unfined and unpasteurised, so a crystal clear beer isn’t on the cards.
West Coast does have a lot in common with a lot of West Coast style IPAs. The aroma pairs citrus fruits (blood orange, grapefruit) with pine and floral notes. It’s a fruity beer, combining tangy tangerine with tropical fruit flavours. There’s biscuity sweetness from the malts, but the sharp citrus, hoppy bitterness cuts right through from start to finish of each gulp. There’s a refreshing natural carbonation from the bottle conditioning that helps it go down smoothly.
At the time of posting, it’s a week after my first experience of Stigbergets and reading back through my tasting notes, the beers are still fresh in my memory. I’d say that’s a good sign. Two great IPAs.
See you next Wednesday!