Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Random beer tastings in Sweden

During my visit to Sweden there were opportunities to try out several beers. I had some nice days tasting some of the beers sold at the state owned alcohol stores, Systembolaget. I also tried some of the weaker lagers sold in ordinary shops and supermarkets. The prices are low for a Norwegian. Beers in Sweden are often nearly 50% cheaper than in Norway. That makes visits to Systembolaget very interesting as there are many different and enjoyable beers available at decent prices.

Here are some tasting notes about beers I tried in Sweden. A good advice for a beer tasting is to start with the weakest beer and proceed with the ones with a higher alcohol content later. I will present the beers that way although they were tasted on different days and in different settings. There were also some beers I tasted without doing tasting notes, but perhaps I can write about those beers the next time I come across them?

Falcon is one of Sweden's largest breweries, and the brewery has several beers on offer. Falcon 2.8 is a fizzy pale lager that builds a large but not lasting head. The nose is fruity with a hint of grains. In the mouth there is little taste, but I feel some malts and a touch of butter before a half bitter finish. This beer was a nice thirst quencher, but it is not a beer to be recommended.

In many European countries the German supermarket chain Lidl is represented. Lidl has several own beer brands brewed at disclosed locations, and one of them is called Nobelaner. I have heard of Alfred Nobel, but I do not know a European city or village called Nobel nor a Nobelaner brewery. Nobelaner 2.8 is another lager beer in the Swedish class 2, folköl. It is a pale lager with some carbonation and a medium sized head. The beer has very little aroma, and the taste is both malty and watery. This is a beer to be avoided!

Moving to a stronger beer, Spendrup Premium Gold 3.5 is also a folköl found in Swedish supermarkets. Spendrup is also a large Swedish brewery, and it has several products on the market. The Gold folköl is another pale lager. In the glass there is some carbonation and a medium sized head. The aromas are of malts and grains. In the mouth this beer feels sweet with a touch of malt before a watery finish with a hint of hoppy bitterness. There is also a metallic taste in the beer, but that could come from the can.

At Systembolaget there are some German lagers. One of them is König Pilsener, which is a fizzy pale lager. In the nose there is grains and fruit. König Pilsener is a more fullbodied beer than Spendrup Premium Gold 3.5, and it is also a sweeter beer. The finish is bitter, malty and watery. This is a nice lager, but I would have liked it less sweet.

Åbro is another Swedish brewery with several beers on the market. Åbro Bryggmästarens Premium Gold is also a pale lager, and with an alcohol strength of 5.7% it is considered a starköl. It has little carbonation and an aroma of fruits and grains. In the mouth there is malts, a hint of apricot and some sweetness before a bitter finish. This was a fine starköl, but there are other beers found at Systembolaget I would prefer.

1 comment:

  1. Konig is a nice, clean pilsner and plentiful here in the States. Nice blog, btw