Amidst the deluge of new craft beers from across the globe making their way onto Alberta shelves are brews from Stockholm’s gypsy brewer Omnipollo. Omnipollo is one of Sweden’s newest breweries to brew unique and artisinal brews in a wild variety of styles. Nathalius is an 8% ABV Imperial IPA by style but with a major twist. Nathalius is brewed with rice and corn; ingredients usually considered to be adjuncts in beer. Nathalius was first brewed as a collaboration project with Baltimore, MD brewery Stillwater.
Pouring a bright yellowish orange Nathalius is well topped with a heady serving of dense white foam. A nice stream of bubbles stream upwards glistening in the body. The nose has a certain graininess that is slightly off putting. Aromas of rice, slight skunk, firmly resinous hop notes and lemon zest are duly noted. A mild honeyed sweetness in the mid palate with an adjoining maltiness of cereals and grains. Light grassy and citrus hop notes become prevalent towards the finish with moderate bitterness. A rather acidic finish with a lingering resinous bitterness. Overall Nathalius is a bit of a mess stylistically despite the firm hoppy characteristics.
I am finally getting around to posting reviews and blog articles on my May and June European Beer Vacation so this may be the first in a torrent of Belgian and Scandinavian beer articles. But during a 3 day stay in the Swedish capital of Stockholm and finally managing to find the government owned alcohol store known as Systembolaget I picked up a can of American IPA for Colorado. SKA Brewing Hoperandi is a beer I have seen many times on blogs, youtube reviews as well as on ratebeer and the like so choosing it instead of 100 SEK ($18 CAD) Swedish craft brews was an easy choice. For ony 29 SEK I purchased this little green can of hop elixir I had wanted to try for so long. SKA brewing is located in Durango, Colorado a distant town in SW Colorado closer to SantaFe and Albuquerque than Denver. At 6.8% ABV and 65 IBU’s this should be a hop rocket in a can. Later that evening after lettign Hoperandi cool a bit in my hostel fridge I set out to a bench overlooking the Baltic near my hostel on Skeppsholmen, Stockholm’s smallest island.
Unfortunately due to my rather bohemian style of travel I lacked a glass to pour this into and drank straight from the can. An aroma of solid citrus hop with a rather intense spicy hop note and resins. SKA Hoperandi smells like a freshly squeezed grapefruit mixed with sticky pine needles and resin with a bit of freshly cut grass atop. The first swill for the can has a mild sweet caramel malt with light toasted flavours and pervading citrus hop flavours in the mid-palate. A zingy tang of bitterness on the finish with definite grapefruit zest and a hot sticky resinous aftertaste. The hops linger well into the aftertaste with big floral grapefruit flavours. This although a surprisingly monotone beer has a rather nice drinkability and on a warm spring night in Stockholm it was most definitely a great beer experience.
Although this beer wasn’t Swedish I would soon visit a few of Stockholm’s legendary watering holes for some tasty treats.
Price: 29 SEK ($5 CAD)