We’re still set in Stockholm, despite having previously said we would start from Barcelona… These are Swedish beers that just have to be mentioned before we move on any further. We start with the bar itself, 19 Glas, set in the cobble stoned streets of Old Town Stockholm, Gamla Stan.

Standing along one of the main drags in the heart of Stockholm’s tourism, 19 Glas is almost invisible to the passing tourists’ eyes. It’s right there, yet with all the hustle and bustle going on, the touristic blinkers hide it away from view. If you get the chance, have a chat with the friendly owner, who would love nothing more than to talk about beer. Below his bar sit rare Mikkeller bottles, and while I would have loved to try them, I was there for something Swedish. So as I sat on the awkward oversized cork stool that loved to topple on the uneven cobble stones, I enjoyed yet another knockout Swedish IPA.

Nils Oscar Hop Yard IPA

From tap, the beer pours a golden brown with a really fluffy white head. The aromas are quite floral, with grapefruity hop notes. To be honest, the nose isn’t anything special, but this is when we move on to the flavours to pick things up again.

The strong, full malt body carries the beer from beginning to end, making the beer a smooth treat. In addition to this, the citrusy hops is layered on top to leave a lingering bitterness that leads you on to the next sip, making this a very enjoyable beer to drink.

I highly recommend the Hop Yard, and at 7.7%, it adds to the smoothness, making it even more easy to drink. At 19 Glas, it’s 99 Kronas for a pint - quite dear, but totally worth it.

Oscar Nils India Ale

Now we’ve got ourselves the younger brother of the Hop Yard. This is 5.3%, is much more common around Stockholm and isn’t nearly as nice as the Hop Yard. It’s clear amber with a thin white head and has a slightly citrusy aroma, but mainly brings grass and malt notes to the nose. The flavour is much the same as the nose, being crisp and refreshing, but nothing that takes your breath away.

So the moral of the story is that if you are presented with a choice between the two beers, the Hop Yard is the one to go for, and if you have the chance to sit on a cork stool on cobble stones, don’t do it.

RS


Closing tasting notes from a drawn out Akkurat experience

In my overwhelmed state of not being able to choose a beer to drink at Akkurat, I was given a taster of two Swedish beers that are almost exclusive to the bar. I’m not going to babble on about them. Just a short review for each, as they’re both worth a mention for their own reason. I also apologise for the lack of photos of the beers themselves, so to make up for it I’ve added the Akkurat tap list.

Nynäshamns Ångbryggeri Tjockhult Tjinook

Here’s a lager brewed specifically for Akkurat and Oliver Twist. It’s got the three C’s - Chinook, Centennial and Citra - to add the hopfix everyone loves to love, adding a few points to my not-so-favourite lager style of beer.

The beer pours a clear golden with a white head, and as you’d expect it’s got a full citrusy and piney hop nose. I’d have to say that the aroma is the most redeeming feature of the beer. It really does transform this beer into something worthwhile.

Flavour wise, it’s got a light body with grainy notes. The hops aren’t a major player in the flavour, only adding a slight bitterness and citrusy hop to the mix. However, as the beer warms up, the hops are released a tad more. It’s a very easy beer to drink and while I’m not too fond on lagers, it’s one of the nicest I’ve tried. If you want a break from heavier beers, and just feel like something that’s easy to drink while still having a tiny bit of flavour to it, the tjockhult tjinook is the way to go.

Närke Kulturbryggeri Rainbow Warrior

This is a once a year brew, specially crafted for the Stockholm gay pride festival, and utilizes the New Zealand green bullet hops. The bartender got pretty excited when I asked about this one thanks to its distinct peatiness, so he urged me to give it a go.

Pouring a golden orange, it supports a big, white fluffy head. The nose presents tropical fruits with a background of spice. The flavour has a citrusy bitter hops along with alcoholic estery notes, while sweeter malts provide a full body. However, what makes this an interesting and worthwhile beer to try is the peaty malt that’s sitting in the background. It’s quite noticeable, and really tasty in my opinion. I probably wouldn’t go for a whole pint of the stuff, but definitely worth a taste.

So there we have it. Two more interesting Swedish beers to add to my repertoire. It also brings an end to the beers I’ve enjoyed at Akkurat. But that’s OK, because I know that in a few short weeks I go to New York, where a whole new level of overwhelming will be experienced!

RS


An Ale Attack at Akkurat

On this occasion, we’d just arrived in Stockholm after a not-too-long flight from Amsterdam. While my drinking arm was suffering from twitching pangs due to the unfortunate lack of beer I’d had that day (counting to a dismal zero), my palate was screaming at the rest of my body for some damned hops, sending me into an uncontrolled seizure of shivers. My girlfriend knew exactly how to fix this. Like a horse to a carrot, she edged me ever closer to the hopspital until we finally arrived at Akkurat. 

Walking past the outside bar, I can only just make out the Brooklyn East Indian Pale Ale tap glowing like a fire in the distance, and the next thing I know is I’m holding a cold glass, and I can feel the beautiful beautiful hopiness drain through me, an antidote to my alement.

Now, while the events of this night may or may not have panned out like this, it was a truly great night for some extremely tasty ales at a place that I could only wish was down the road from my house back in Perth. I guess this then leads us nicely on to the beers themselves… First up:

Brooklyn Brewery East India Pale Ale

I’ve had a few Brooklyn experiences, some good, and others not so good, so I went into this EIPA cautiously - not expecting the world, but still hoping for something decent. As it turns out, my angst turned quickly to joy.

The beer pours a clear golden with a thick an fluffy white head. The bouquet reveals an amass of tropical fruits, citrusy punch and a nice malty background. The flavours are heavily influenced by this aromatic introduction, bringing a citrusy bitter hop to the palate, being balanced perfectly with a big, smooth malt. The bitterness lingers on, leaving a drying and thirst inducing finish to take you to the next sip. All in all, the EIPA is very easy to drink and I’d happily choose it again.

Thornbridge Jaipur IPA

I moved inside to choose my poison this time, and looking at the number of taps was quite an overwhelming experience. However, the beacon of the Jaipur shone through, and after hearing quite a bit about this one, it only took seconds until I was walking outside with the pint in my hand.

It pours a light yellowy golden and sits under a small white head. Aroma-wise, it’s got that florally perfume tinge to it, coupled with fresh tropical fruits. The flavours are introduced with a slightly sweet malt that tends to fresh citrus and piney hops, leaving a pleasant lingering bitterness. Again, this is really easy to drink and I’d get it again. The freshness of both this and the EIPA make them perfect sessionable summer beers.

RJ Rockers Black Perle Black IPA

Lastly we get to the Black Perle, a recommendation by the bartender. And what a recommendation it was!

This plunderously pitch-black brew let’s you know it means business with its thick brown tanned head and it’s robust smoky malt and big caramel nose. It signals to you that what you’ve just experienced is only the tip of the iceberg, with the rest to flow through the flood gates of flavour.

The roasted malts come through at the forefront, joined by a hit of coffee to give it a nice and full flavour. Towards the middle the piney hops enter the equation, bringing it to a crispy bitter finish. For such a strong beer, being 9.5%, the alcohol is really well hidden, making this beer an absolute pleasure (and with ease) to drink. So much so, I’d happily go for this beer time after time, although I’m not sure how I’d hold up after a few of these. Nonetheless, this is a really solid beer that I’d recommend anyone who likes a bit of roastiness to their beers.

So there you have it. Three solid IPA’s at everyone’s favourite Swedish bar!

Until next time,

RS


Oppigårds Golden Ale at Akkurat

I do apologise for all these broken up posts. While I may be having several beers at one bar, it’s hard to find time to translate all my notes into one larger review. Instead, it’s much easier to post single reviews at a time, while occasionally sneaking in a double post. I know this draws things out, making my beer adventure in Europe seem like it’s taking an age, so bear with me. On the plus side, it does keep me from rambling for too long!

Anyway, back to my second night at Akkurat (the first night involved three American beers, and while these were astounding beers, I think the Swedes deserve a bit of limelight at the moment), and on to the next beer…

After some more ummm’s and uhhhh’s, I was handed a bottle of the Oppigårds Golden Ale to pair with the balmy Swedish summer’s night. It pours an obvious translucent golden hue, paired with a thin white head.

The beer is quite light, crisp and really easy to drink. The flavours are floral and citrusy with grassy notes, topped off with a light malt body. To finish off, a pleasant florally alcohol flavour lingers, yearning for you to take another sip.

All in all, the Golden Ale is a nice addition to my Swedish beer repertoire and I would recommend it for any warm summer’s day in the sun.

RS


Oppigårds Bryggeri Indian Tribute

Now I’m getting into the swing of things. I’ve put my blinkers on and have shut out all the wonderful beers I have available to me from countries other than Sweden. The royal family would be proud…maybe.

Remember how I talked about Oliver Twist and all the wonderment that surrounds it? Well here we have Akkurat. The sister bar. However, this is the louder, older sister who likes to party a bit more. From the outside, this is really an eyesore.

Plonked at the bottom of a concrete rectangle on the main street of Hornsgatan, you wouldn’t think much of this bar if you walked passed without knowing what secrets it held inside. Despite this brash exterior, people HAVE heard of the excitement that waits inside. The excitement of seeing an array of taps that provide access to limited edition, hard to find, and just plain goddamn tasty beers, along with an artillery of bottles hiding in the fridge. What makes things better is that the extremely nice staff are so prepared for any beer questions that may come their way. Being at one with the beer selection they’ll be sure to lead you in the right direction when you seem lost and overwhelmed.

Doing just this, I walk to the bar, spend five minutes looking like a dog without a home and am told to have the Oppigårds Indian Tribute. Not told, directed. Pushed. Coerced. All in the best possible way of course. I’m told it’s the best Swedish IPA they’ve got on tap, so I gladly take my beer and go outside and bask in the glory that I’ve got trapped in my glass.

The beer pours a clear golden brown from the tap with a frothy tanned head. The aromas are both floral and tropical fruity along with a pinch of pine. Flavour wise, it’s got an initial crispness with a hit of citrusy hops, which smooths out towards the end thanks to a caramelly malt and alcohol fueled push thanks to the 6.6%.

All in all, this is one nice IPA! It really does compete with the decent US IPA’s and I’d easily go for this again. If you happen to see it, I suggest you do too.

If you’re in the area, it’s 88 Swedish Kronas at Akkurat.

RS