Like every year I had high hopes. I fantasied about checking the weather forecast every day in the morning paper only to see red. I prayed for long days on the beach where dips in the tepid Bothnia washed away the warm sand and soothed hot skin.
The good thing about clouds though is that some of them have silver linings and so as we still search for the first Swedish medalists to help us lift the sense of disappointment this washout weather has thrown over us there comes hope in the unlikely guise of the Systembolaget.
Even if we’re still waiting for the first gold in the Olympics we don’t need to wait for a gold medal beer very much longer. Tomorrow we’ve all got the chance to be winners when the monopoly releases the first batch of new beers since the summer break.
At 10.00am in the morning just under 7,000 bottles of North Coast Old Stock Ale go on sale for the price of 43,30SEK. My advice to you? Buy as many of them as you can carry.
Why, you may ask, should you go out and buy bottles of 11.7% barley wine from a brewery in Fort Bragg in California in the middle of the summer. Isn’t that beery capitulation? A drinker’s way of saying the weather gods have won?
Well no, not really. The beauty of Old Stock Ale from North Coast Brewing is that it is doesn’t give a stuff if the sun shines or not. It doesn’t care if it rains, snows or the earth cracks with drought because whatever the weather this beer should be safely tucked away from the elements in your cellar, maturing, morphing and languidly changing into something pretty incredible.
My vertical tasting of Old Stock Ale (2001-2012) in San Diego earlier this year remains one of the absolute highlights of my drinking career. To experience how a single beer can evolve over time, shed layers of flavours and generously welcome in new ones was nothing short of a revelation.
Old Stock Ale is a beer designed to be aged, so please, whatever you do, don’t just buy a single bottle tomorrow. As I often advise buy a few, try one fresh and then (try to) hide the others away until the next Olympic Games in Brazil.
11602 Contessa Italy 750ml 82,00SEK
11607 Zeven Sweden 330ml 24,70SEK
11632 Old Stock Ale 2012 USA 355ml 43,30SEK
11634 Sierra Nevada Harvest Southern Hemisphere 2012 USA 710ml 89,00SEK
11643 Decadent Imperial IPA USA 650ml 83,00SEK
11652 18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA USA 650ml 92,90SEK
11724 Lervig Rye IPA 2012 Norway 330ml 28,70SEK
11735 Lervig Konrads Stout Russian Imperial Stout 2012 Norway 330ml 29,90SEK
11736 Stronzo Walrus Punch IPA Denmark 500 51,90SEK
11781 BrewDog Dog A Scotland 330ml 169,00SEK 2208
11601 Bastarda Rosso Italy 750ml 79,00SEK
11665 AleSmith Wee Heavy USA 750ml 169,00SEK
11669 AleSmith Horny Devil USA 750ml 159,00SEK
11676 Vieille Brune France 750 149,50SEK
11678 Double Old Thumper Ale USA 650ml 71,80SEK
11710 Caronte Italy 750ml 86,00SEK
+11778 Emelisse White Label Imperial Russian Stout Glen Elgin Holland. 330 ml 45,90SEK
+11782 Emelisse White Label Imperial Russian Stout Ardbeg Holland. 330ml 45,90SEK
Have already rambled on for far too long so I’m going to (attempt to) keep this short.
Anything from Ska Brewing is likely to be, like the brewers themselves, bursting with fun and vitality. Their Decadent Imperial IPA however is more naughty than decadent.
Great Divide’s 18th Anniversary Wood Aged Double IPA is a steal at under 100SEK. If you’re a fan of vanilla tinted wood aged beers and not afraid of the oak monster then you really need to try a bottle. Must Buy!
Great to see Norway and Denmark represented this month. Lervig has been in the slipstream of the other Norwegian craft brewery for a long time but they’re catching up fast with two solid beers. Recommended!
BrewDog’s reworking of its iconic AB:04 – which ranks among many as the greatest beer the Scottish craft beer warriors has ever produced – is a little tamer than the original but it still shows the chilli who’s boss by smothering the heat with smooth coffee, chocolate and vanilla. Must Buy!
That’s it. I’m off to feed the mosquitoes again. Have fun tomorrow wherever you are and whatever the weather!