Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lager versions from Sweden

Swedish alcohol legislation prohibits the sale of beer with more than 3.5% alcohol in shops and supermarkets. Instead these beers are sold at the state owned alcohol monopoly, Systembolaget. This means that there is a market in Sweden for beers with 3.5% alcohol and slightly lesss. Most breweries selling beers in Sweden want to have a market share in this segment. From what I hear from Swedes, most of these beers are stronger beers that have been watered down to the right alcohol strength. Here I will take a look at some pale lagers available at 3.5% alcohol or less.

Risingsbo is a Swedish brewery. The Risingsbo 1856 Premium 3.5 is a fizzy pale lager with nearly no head. In the nose there is malt and sweetness. The beer tastes sweet with some apples and grass. The finish is watery. This is an average lower alcohol beer that does its job when you are thirst in the sun, on the beach, or after a work-out. In all it is an average lager beer.

Perlenbacher is one of the Lidl supermarket chain's beer brands. It was called Bergadler earlier. The Perlenbacher Premium 3.5 is another pale lager. It has some carbonation and a small head. There are hardly any aromas from the beer, but in the mouth I feel a touch of grass and apples. The beer is watery, and it has some hops and yeast in the finish. A boring beer.

Tuborg Pure Gold 3.5 is also a pale lager. In the glass there is some carbonation and barely a head. In the nose I feel sweetness and a tiny touch of citrus. The taste in this watery beer is of malts and some grass, but there is also a metallic touch. Hopefully it is from the can, which has a cool design.

BrewDog is the (in)famous Scottish brewery. On their website they call themselves a brewery that "makes innovative, progressive and exciting full flavour beers". The special Swedish 3.4% alcohol version of '77 Lager is not neccessarily such a beer. In the glass this is a pale beer with a lot of carbonation and a small head. In the nose there is some fruit cocktail and yeast. I feel biscuit, grass and some grapefruit in the mouth together with a watery feeling. The finish is bitter with some yeast. It is the best of all these beers, but it is a shadow compared to the ordinary '77 Lager.

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