You might have noticed that I have been gone from this blog for a while. I have been working in a country where alcohol is considered a great sin. I have had the opportunity to work with Germans and they of course pay little notice to that. The beers they had to offer was actually pretty good, Paulaner Helles Lager, Weissbeir and Dunkel Weissbier. I came to talk to a German colleague about beer. I made the mistake in telling him that I think America is the leading beer nation in the world. That of course was a hard one to swallow for a German. But that is what I think. A second beer revolution has started in America (or is it the third?). New breweries are popping up like mushrooms. The breweries are innovative and creative. The beer community is also exploding with beer lovers not just ordering a beer. They know about beer and know how to pick a beer that they will enjoy. I moved from Durham, NC less than a year ago and I hear that they have at least two new breweries. I’m not saying that the European breweries should follow the Americans’ and coming up with more and more extraordinary beers. The European beer countries have their style and they should stick to that. What I miss is some creativity within the beer countries’ beer styles. But what I miss the most an enthusiastic beer community celebrating beer. England and the Nordic countries have some of that but I don’t see the same thing in Germany. I’m not looking for an over hopped lager or a Berliner Weise that is more like a Gueuze. I’m actually tired of the hoppy trend that has been going on to long in America. I enjoy a back to basic beer with a little twist much more than a Double Extra Hopped Oak Aged Imperial Brewer by Seventy-two Virgins ESB IPA Stout. My message to the Germans breweries is to do what they have always been doing but with a little more creativity and innovation or the American breweries will do it for you.
I friend of mine asked me what my first beer would be after coming back from beer desert land. The answer to that is pretty easy, the first British cask condition ale at Akkurat in Stockholm that I lay my eyes on. So when I today had the opportunity to have my first beer I went to Akkurat and found out that due to a Swedish holiday they opened at 6 PM, another four hours to go. “No problems “I said, “I’ll wait!” My crave for a beer grew stronger much faster than the clock got closer to 6 PM, so at 2:15 I stepped in to Akkurat’s sister pub Oliver Twist. Their selection of beer is just as good as Akkurat but with less beers to choose from. The first beer I laid my eyes on was Dark Star Old Chestnut. This beer lacked a little of the fruitiness that I like in a British cask condition ale but it’s still a good beer. While I have been gone I have read about Akkurat and Oliver Twists attempt to find a replacement for their house lager Hell. Many years ago they started to cooperate with Jämtlands Brewery to brew their own lager. They came up with Hell, which was a very balanced and hoppy lager that was extremely popular. The brewery have not been able to keep the high quality it used to so Akkurat and Oliver Twist have started to cooperate with Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri. Together with them they came up with Tjockhult* Tjinook that is a very hoppy American style lager. This is one of those beers that I think is a little over hopped and lacks the balance that I look for in a good beer. It’s not a bad beer but it’s not a beer I prefer.
My first beer at Akkurat will most likely be a Kreike or a Gueuze or what ever they have on their Cantillone tap. But it’s another 2 hours to go so I just have to try to survive that and I think won’t be a problem here at Oliver Twist.