One of the greater things about watching football in America is that most matches, especially those of the EPL, are early in the morning American time, giving people an excuse to daydrink. This is part of our series discussing exactly what to drink when you’re at the pub, presented by our resident homebrewer, Keith. During the Euros, we’re doing things a little differently; we’re trying to find beers from the countries participating in the tourney. We did England last week, easily enough. This week, we’re off to Sweden!
The Beer: Starkporter, Oppigårds Bryggeri AB, Hedemora, Sweden
The Pub: Churchkey, in Northwest DC
What You Need to Know: If you’ve been following this feature, you’ll know that I like porters quite a bit. We’ve been over the history and regional permutations of style; this is a very straight forward robust porter.
Oppigards has been brewing commercially since 2004. Owner and founder Bjorn Falkestrom, whose family has owned the farm on which the brewery is situated since the mid-1700s, began construction on the brewery in a flax-dressing barn in 1997. In the first four years of commercial operations, Oppigards grew their production thirtyfold, reaching 240,000 barrels annually in 2008.
So, About this Beer: Pours black with ruby highlights and a tan head that dissipates to a thin cap. Heavy roasty aroma. silky mouthfeel with a nice scrubbing carbonation. Waves of different flavors here. Chocolate and roasty underpinnings. Some sour cherry high in the palate. After agitation, a wintergreen aroma is present. This is a seriously complex beer.
The Verdict: Complex, delicious, well carbonated. This beer pretty much has it all. I’d more than recommend it as a skeleton key for when you want to introduce someone to beer, no matter what they like, and it’s perfect for yourself if you don’t quite know what you’re craving. It’s complex yet refreshing, and just balanced enough to be good for any weather.