The Hawaii/Alaska Spring Boogie

Once again a package from our good friend Todd in the US arrived. This time the contents came from a couple of (to us) exotic places; Hawaii and Alaska, and as ususal also a couple from the "usual" westcoast states.

The package contained five beers from three different breweries on Hawaii, and I was surprosed to find the high quality and diversity of the brews. I guess I was expecting the usual fizzy tropical lagers... However, in the end Fire Rock Pale Ale, a very well hopped beer from Kona Brewing Co. stood as a winner at the excellent score 4.14. But everybody in the group also liked the more discrete Trade Winds Sunset Ale from Trade Winds Brewing Co. on Maui, and the smoother golden Pacific Golden Ale, also a Kona product. The two beers from Ali'i were much more demanding. Their Kona Coffee Stout was absolutely black, and extremely robust with nearly overwhelmingly strong coffee notes. I really liked, others didn't. Pau Hana Porter was even more demanding. It was also a robust brew, not quite as black as the stout, but still completely black.

Alaska was only represented by one single bottle, but what a beer... Alaskan Smoked Porter is a delicious porter with perfectly balanced smoke flavour. To me this was definitely a classic, and can surely measure even with the fresh Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Märzen served straight from the brewery outlet in Bamberg.

I have been impressed by the beers from the Californian Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. almost every time I've come across them. Their Pale Bock was certainly no exception. Though it is maybe hoppier than traditional German Maibock's the fine maltiness and the lovely aroma would probably have made even the most demanding braumeister in Franconia proud.

In order not to let good beer turn stale we cheated a little bit, and tried a couple of German beers we were supposed to save to later. From Nürnberg's two brewpubs (or does also Tucher count as one?) we got Altstadthof Vollbier, a pale and hazy unfiltered complex lager, and Barfüßer Schwarzbier a dark, rich and earthy Black Beer.

I also had recieved two Russian bottles from a friend who has been working in Moscow. Thanks Patric! Afanasiy (I hope that's the correct translation of Cyrillic writing into English) came in a really cool shaped green bottle. The beer itself was a bold, weetich semi-dark lager. Not bad. Baltika Porter from the Baltika Brewery in St. Petersburg (a part of the Scandinavian owned Baltic Beverage Holdings) was unfortunately the least exciting example of a Baltic Porter I've tried. It was overly sweet and vvery one-dimensional.

Of the beers we picked up at home another US beer was the better. Brewer's Cave Amber Wheat Ale from Minnesota was a smooth, but somewhat one-dimensional ale, that won out ahead of Munkbo Ångbryggeri's new lager Artbeer.

Beers rated in May '98
35Fire Rock Pale AleUSA4.144544344 Ale, British style
101Altstadthof VollbierGermany3.86 3 55434.8%Lager, Light
106Sierra Nevada Pale BockUSA3.8545343436.5%Lager, Bock
142Trade Winds Sunset AleUSA3.755443324 Ale, British style
217Black Hawk StoutUSA3.6243444335.2%Porter/Stout
226Barfüßer SchwarzbierGermany3.60 4 3434 Lager, Dark
228Alaskan Smoked Porter 1997USA3.6035324446.1%Special
237Pacific Golden AleUSA3.573353434 Ale, British style
242Moss Bay ExtraUSA3.554442433 Ale, British style
342Brewer's Cave Amber Wheat AleUSA3.3643433335.1%Ale, British style
416Ali'i Kona Coffee StoutUSA3.273443512 Porter/Stout
481Freiberger Premium PilsGermany3.1734333244.9%Lager, Light
647North Coast Wintertime AleUSA2.983433421 Ale, Belgian style
648ArtbeerSweden2.98 3 34325.2%Lager, Light
804N0:3 God LagerSweden2.78 4 23225.3%Lager, Light
857Diamant PilsenerGermany2.71 3 22344.9%Lager, Light
1019Ali'i Pau Hana PorterUSA2.522332413 Porter/Stout
1076Pete's Wicked Summer BrewUSA2.4232332224.9%Special
1088Skånsk Lager 3.5%Sweden2.40 2 23333.5%Lager, Light
1104AfanasiyRussia2.3623233225.0%Lager, Dark
1136Baltika PorterRussia2.3122322337.0%Porter/Stout
1146Jolly Roger Christmas AleUSA2.303422211 Ale, British style
1170Germania SpecialGermany2.26 3 22223.5%Lager, Light
1194Schloss EdelpilsGermany2.22 2 22334.8%Lager, Light
1253Estrella DammSpain2.09 2 22325.4%Lager, Light
1383Anderssons 7.2 ExtraSweden1.77 2 21317.2%Lager, Light
Rated by: Johan Zetterlund, Per Samuelsson, Cecilia Gårdebäck, Fredrik Huldt, Lars Granström, Oscar Hansson and Minna Hytönen

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Updated 98-06-09 Per Samuelsson