Wild Beer Breakfast of Champignons

Total Score: 6/10 Peppercorns1Coriander1Earth1Tulipglass1

These just landed at Black Sheep Newmarket and I was a bit curious as I’ve not tried many beers that have mushrooms in them (Garage Project VPA springs to mind). So colour me intrigued Wild Beer Co, which I imagine is sort of a purpley-gold colour, their labelling and style is reminiscent of BrewDog, which is hardly a negative thing in my eyes. If this brew goes down well I’ve been eyeing off that bottle of Gazillionaire too – which is based on the theme of a Swedish bun (who doesn’t like a good Swedish bun every once in a while, I go out of my way to IKEA for that shit). Back to Breakfast of Champignons, which is described as a Sour Ale on Untappd, I take it that Wild Beer Co only brew spontaneously fermented beers – I can dig that.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Cloudy amber/orange body with not much of any head, the little of which is white. Experience has taught me to expect no head from most wild fermented beers so this is neither here nor some other place (there). 7/10.

S: Great nose on this beer – quite unique, very earthy/spicy and herbal, notes of barnyard, pepper, musty yeast and literal damp dirt fill the olfactory senses. If you’re not a fan of wild yeast beers then: a) WTF did you buy this in the first place? And b) this isn’t going to be a great time for you… for me: I love this style of beer and I’m whiffing non-stop hey. 8/10.

T: Smacks you in the face with upfront tartness, like random spontaneous yeast beers generally do, was kinda hoping for a little less sourness and more of that earthy mushroom character as that was what drew me to buying this in the first place. Behind the veil of tartness there are not a great deal many flavours going on, it’s slightly peppery, musty and earthy. Finishes dry without any bitterness or sweetness, yep that’s wild yeast for you: All take, take, take, when it comes to sugar. Burps are not fun either… it’s one of my favourite hobbies too. 5/10.

M: Mid to light, a bit thin and watery, bodied with a flat carbonation… nope. 6/10.

D: This one goes into the “too weird for its own good” box for me. If they used a better yeast and maxed the mushroom and sweetness it might have been a winner, however the end result here is a beer that if you home-brewed it you would probably have tipped out, or struggled through (because you know – you calculate the exact amount of cents each bottle costs and you’re too poor to waste a batch of beer). Sorry Wild Beer, I’m now hesitant to try their Gazillionaire. 6/10.

Food match: Fish and chips to go with this vinegar brew.


Mikkeller Cucumber Witbier

Total Score: 8.7/10 Cucumber1 Coriander1 WhiteWine1 Chalice1

It’s hard to go past that wacky-one-man-team known as Mikkeller, a former Math and Physics teacher Mikkel Borg Bjergsø, who hails from the most Danish of countries: Denmark. This Cucumber Witbier, brewed in conjunction with I’m A Kombo (some sort of Danish catering company I believe) has what I would consider an eye-catching label with instructions on how to cap your beer with a cucumber. Needless to say I didn’t follow them.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Chimay chalice.

A: Presents a hazy amber body with a wispy white head that sticks around at about half a centimetre. Looks more like a Pale Ale than a Witbier, but I’m still drawn to it nonetheless. 7/10.

S: This is why I love reviewing beers – to this day I am still presented with new and exciting aromas, tastes and textures, and this Cucumber Witbier has one of the most unique aromas I’ve ever encountered in a beer with; Cucumber (of course, we all expected that) with a distinct note of dill (never encountered dill in a beer before). In the background hints of lime and dry white wine grapes add to the olfactory delight. 9/10.

T: The cucumber becomes less notable in the flavour – it is quite a light flavour to begin with – as the dill, dry white wine, lime take over. Along with this is a tiny bubble gum note, some sweet candi sugar and pepper towards the finish, which is more a vermouth dry than bitter. The aftertaste leaves a pleasant cucumber and dill sandwich taste on the palate. 9/10.

M: Medium bodied with a nice soft carbonation that suits this Wit well. 7/10.

D: Damn this is an interesting brew I’ll have to try again, if I ever see it again. Which I won’t because Mikkeller (usually) only brews single batches, I hate you Mikkeller! But I also love you Mikkeller! Make this beer again and forever and I will keep a spot in my fridge for it. Overall this beer is an oddity in ALL the good ways – a moreish treat for an old beer geek like me, helped along by the fact that I love a good old-fashioned cucumber sandy. 9/10.

Food match: You know what I’m going to say and it is cucumber related.