Sonntag, 12. Oktober 2008

Organic beer, Dutch and Swedish style ...

Call me an old fashioned Greenie. But I have to confess, I couldn´t believe my eyes when I searched for organic beers in a Coop store in Malmoe, Sweden, and the only beer I could find was in a can! I was appalled. Not just because beers just don´t taste right after being stored in a can. But also because it seemed just too ironic: an organic brew in environmentally most dubious packaging. But, of course, I was still curious to try (and there was no other store anywhere near the European Social Forum, that had brought me to Malmoe). I was also curious to find out whether Abro, the brewer, would justify the choice of their packaging on their website. They don´t.. I guess they don´t feel they have to, being Sweden´s oldest and largest brewing giant. Should I complain - or just be happy that such a mainstream firm has an organic beer in their range, I wonder!? - Abro describes their organic ´oel´ as ´discreet´; they somehow detect a flavour of citrus in their brew. Their ´discrete´, to be honest, struck me as simply bland. If you think Carlsberg is a decent lager, you might just like this beer. If you are a fan of boring - and slightly sweet - lagers, go for it. But if your taste is for real Pilsner, do not touch it (and not just because it comes in a can!) - Real Pilsner is also not something the Dutch are famous for (sorry). But the Brouwereij ´t IJ does make a fine one! It´s flavoursome, strong, and slightly bitter. It´s how a Pilsner should be. Their wheat beer is also special. It´s strong (7%) and, for a wheat beer, surprisingly somber and hoppy. Not just because of it´s high alcohol content, it´s not a beer I can imagine having a few of on a hot summer day. But it is a true beer experience, and a special, unique taste. It´s a treat; and just right for a dark autumn night in need of some spice. - Luckily, I have four more ´t IJ beers to try over the next few weeks. I got a box of six from my wonderful Greenpeace colleagues as a farewell present. Thanks, Nathalie. Cheers to the Hotel California!

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