Summer ratings '98

Summer ratings '98

The group's laziness during the cold and rainy summer of 1998 made us only rate around 60 new beers. As usual in the summer the beers came from various travels and other sources. However a big part of these beers were picked up at De Bierkoning, an excellent beer store in Amsterdam.

Polish beers: All bought in Gdansk, and mostly consisting of strong lagers. The beers from Hevelius, a brewery in Gdansk now owned by Elbrewery were my favourite of the lot. They lack the somewhat cloying sweetness of many other Polish lagers, and a crisp and clean. The best scoring Polish beer in these ratings were the fairly strong Hevelius Classic.

US beers: A gift. Bought in Kalamazoo by a friend. The beers from Kalamazoo Brewing Co. are really impressing, especially the high gravity ones. Since I usually like well hopped barley wines, so it's no wonder that I adored Third Coast Old Ale, but I had no idea that a fruit beer could be as tasty as Bell's Cherry Stout, a potent stout with sour cherries. Another interesting beer we got was Toronado Pale Ale from Olde Peninsula Brewpub & Restaurant, which was draught ale tapped into a huge plastic bottle. Unfortunately it was way past it's best before date when we consumed it, and the rating may thererfore suffer. The group's overall US summer favourite was Bell's Amber Ale, a well made and tasty American amber ale, perhaps less challenging than some of the other Bell's brews.

Maibocks: We had managed to scraoe together 4 or 5 different maibocks for a head to head rating. One of them was Einbecker Mai-Urbock the original bock beer, and one of the true classics. Though scoring really well this dry and bitter bock was surprisingly outscored by a Dutch beer: De Drie Ringen Meibok from Amefoortsche Bierbrouwerij, a slightly darker, less bitter and perhaps a little bit toffeeish awesome bock. Also the Maibocks from Hofbrähaus and Löbauer Bergquell were of high standard.

Other Dutch and Belgian beers: Most of the bought at De Bierkoning, including our overall summer favourite, the excellent, lightly spicey Speciale Vlo, especially brewed for this beer store by Brouweij t'IJ. But the brweries in the Netherlands can brew other types of good beer than what is usually associated with the Benelux countries. Bonn'ess Strong Kerst Stout is a wonderful strong and malty stout brewed by Tesselse Bierbrouwerij. Unfortunately the diversity of Dutch brewing goes all the way to the crappiest of lagers. The can of Modelo Cerveja Holandesa picked up in Madeira, showed Dutch brewing from it's most awful side. Grolsch Summer Blond is a sweetish one dimensional summer ale also to be avoided. Girardin Gueuze 1882 on the other hand was a treat. More authentic gueuze than the ones that usually reaches us, and in my opinion the sourness is better balanced than in Cantillon's beers.

Swedish beers: From Uppsala, a university town north of Stockholm comes two tasty beers from a brave new micro, Slottskällan. Their golden ale Premiär is complex with vanillaish flavour, and was our Swedish beer of the summer. Their porter Svart also scored well, as did Gamla Stans unpateurized summer seasonal Midsommarfärsköl. Hallsta has for some reason started filling up the shelves in my local beer store with the same beer with different labels. The beer itself is decent, but I really dislike their practise.

Other beers: Ballard's Blizzard was a disappointingly thin barleywine, while Aldaris Porteris from Latvia was a rather one dimensional Baltic Porter. I also picked up two rather tasty lightbodied lagers from northern Italy brewed by Brauerei Forst. Other mediterranean beers included the decent Imperial from Portugal and the carbonated water labeled Mythos from Greece. The Phillipines became our 70th coubtry when we rated San Miguel Pale Pilsen, a fairly nice tropical lager with a hint of maltiness.

Beers rated July-August '98
54Speciale VloNetherlands4.05554235  7.0%Ale, Belgian style
80PremiärSweden3.9844 4    5.0%Ale, British style
121Bell's Amber AleUSA3.8144 424445.5%Ale, British style
135De Drie Ringen MeibokNetherlands3.78445145  6.5%Lager, Bock
165Bonn'ess Strong Kerst StoutNetherlands3.70454234  8.5%Porter/Stout
169Tripel KarmelietBelgium3.69244 54  8.0%Ale, Belgian style
176Einbecker Mai-UrbockGermany3.68444343  6.5%Lager, Bock
185Bell's Pale AleUSA3.6744 344335.0%Ale, British style
190SvartSweden3.6644 3    5.5%Porter/Stout
210Gamla Stans MidsommarfärskölSweden3.6444 343344.8%Lager, Light
257Jopen KoytNetherlands3.54443433  8.5%Special
272Van Vollenhoven's StoutNetherlands3.51434433  6.5%Porter/Stout
294Hevelius ClassicPoland3.4643 432446.8%Lager, Bock
317Hofbräuhaus Mai-BockGermany3.42334344  7.2%Lager, Bock
339Hevelius Jasne PelnePoland3.3933 344345.7%Lager, Light
353Gulpener LentebockNetherlands3.37324354  6.5%Lager, Bock
371Bell's PorterUSA3.3544 243335.3%Porter/Stout
398Girardin Gueuze 1882Belgium3.31253343  5.0%Gueuze/Lambic
439Vliegendenon DubbelNetherlands3.27424343  6.5%Ale, Belgian style
478Bell's Kalamazoo StoutUSA3.2144 335116.5%Porter/Stout
490Reinaert Grand CruBelgium3.18344332  9.5%Ale, Belgian style
497Zeunerts Midsommaröl 1998Sweden3.1734 332345.1%Lager, Light
501Löbauer Bergquell MaibockGermany3.17443233  7.0%Lager, Bock
535Van Pur PremiumPoland3.1323 44 335.7%Lager, Light
574Puckie JasnePoland3.0932 442346.2%Lager, Bock
598Hevelius KaperPoland3.0624 233448.1%Lager, Bock
615Amber Red MocnyPoland3.0532 343347.0%Lager, Bock
629Toronado Pale AleUSA3.0344 32322 Ale, British style
630Ballard's BlizzardEngland3.02434331  9.8%Ale, British style
676Starke ArvidSweden2.9833 3    4.9%Lager, Light
676Stockholm GuldSweden2.9833 3    5.3%Lager, Light
676Birger Brosa PilsSweden2.9833 3    5.0%Lager, Light
744Aldaris PorterisLatvia2.93234333  7.0%Porter/Stout
752Third Coast Old AleUSA2.9235 3231210.2%Ale, British style
756Dortmunder ExportPoland2.9132 333345.7%Lager, Light
759Van Pur Strong 15oPoland2.9022 44 337.0%Lager, Bock
787Amber GoldPoland2.8632 433236.0%Lager, Bock
938Paderborner PilsenerGermany2.6532 332244.9%Lager, Light
949Gustafsbergs KanalölSweden2.6423 3    5.1%Lager, Light
994Van Pur Strong 18oPoland2.6121 34 438.1%Lager, Bock
997Göteborg GuldSweden2.61233332  5.3%Lager, Light
997Big BerthaSweden2.61233332  5.3%Lager, Light
1068Forst PilsItaly2.51244212  5.0%Lager, Light
1117ImperialPortugal2.4233 222235.1%Lager, Light
1127Bell's Cherry StoutUSA2.4125 134018.0%Special
1139Bullephant Extra StrongSweden2.3932 233227.5%Lager, Bock
1140Dojlidy ClassicPoland2.3832 321335.5%Lager, Light
1163Lodzki Gold PilsPoland2.3422 23 336.2%Lager, Bock
1170Forst PremiumItaly2.33243212  4.5%Lager, Light
1204Vieux TempsBelgium2.29223 32  5.0%Ale, Belgian style
1257La Bière De La Grande ArméeGermany2.19124241  7.0%Lager, Bock
1265EB MocnePoland2.1722 14 327.0%Lager, Bock
1318San Miguel Pale PilsenThe Phillipines2.05132232   Lager, Light
1343VargölSweden2.0121 322235.1%Lager, Light
1346Saison de PipaixBelgium2.00242220  6.0%Ale, Belgian style
1403De Troch Lambic ChapeauBelgium1.91132 40  3.0%Gueuze/Lambic
1455Grolsch Summer BlondNetherlands1.7122 311124.5%Ale, Belgian style
1458Modelo Cerveja HolandesaNetherlands1.70211322  5.0%Lager, Light
1528MythosGreece1.46111232  5.3%Lager, Light
Rated by: Johan Zetterlund, Per Samuelsson, Lars Samuelsson, Cecilia Gårdebäck, Fredrik Huldt, Anna Hultén, Oscar Hansson and Robert Boström

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Updated 98-09-09 Per Samuelsson