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Top 3 craft beer recommendations for July & August - Tempest - Dva Kohouti - Holy Goat - Omnipollo +

It is (finally) time for Zurich Beer Tour's Top 3 beers for July & August 2022. If you are wondering what took us so long this time, well, we were travelling quite a bit, but you will hear more about this in a future post. Back in Summer, Simona went for two very special (and heavy) beers. One brewed in her home country of Bulgaria, the other one brewed in her home-away-from-home country of Scotland. Sandro's top beers can be placed on both ends of the drinkability scala: the first one being a Czech pilsner, the other one an imperial porter. Our monthly team picks are also quite different, one being an absolute classic German beer style, the other something so experimental, you probably would land in jail for brewing it Germany (that's why it was brewed in Scotland). Let's do this!

 

Simona's pick for July: Sofia Electric (BG) - Beer Geek Balkan Breakfast Stout


The Beer:


This imperial pastry stout was brewed by Sofia Electric in collaboration with the famous Mikkeller brewery from Denmark. The "Beer Geek Breakfast" series by Mikkeller is the one that made the Danish brewery founded by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Kristian Klarup Keller famous many years ago. The beers from the series always feature flavors that should remind the drinker of #breakfast, and also use some breakfast-y ingredients like oats or coffee in the brew. The same goes for this version brewed in Sofia, because here they used medenka, which is a really popular honey cookie in Bulgaria (yes they actually dropped cookies in the brew). The result is an amazingly flavorful beer, featuring notes of #coffee, #chocolate and a hint of #honey on the finish. Honey, I emptied the beer.


The Brewery


You can find out more about Sofia Electric in this blog article.


Our food pairing recommendation:


Medenka (or your local honey/chocolate) cookies

 

Simona's pick for August: Tempest (SCO) - Cherry-Coloured Funk Mixed Fermentation 90/- ale


The Beer:


This beer by Tempest Brewing is something very special for many reasons. First of all, the base beer style is a 90/- ale (90 Shilling Ale), which is a really specific beer style from #Scotland. Nowadays referred to as Scotch Ale or Wee Heavy, these brews are high ABV, malt forward brews. The term 90/- ale comes from the invoice price per hogshead (250 L) during the late 19th century for these beers. There are also 60, 70 and 80/- ales. But this beer is totally different to the ones from the 19th century, because it was fermented on mixed yeast cultures (a regular brewers yeast , Brettanomyces (wild yeast), Lactobacillus (lactic acid bacteria), and Pediococcus (lactic acid bacteria)) and barrel aged in a Speyside whiskey barrel. As you can see, this beer has a lot going on, lots of #funk, dried dark fruit. On the palate this is absolutely complex, honey, caramel, oak and some fruity #esters. We would easily pay those 90 shillings for that.


The Brewery


The brewery was founded by Gavin Meiklejohn. After he met his wife Annika in Canada, they traveled the world for a while and then settled in Christchurch, New Zealand. Gavin started to #homebrew in the garage and every time friends from Scotland came for a visit, they would ask why they couldn't brew beers like this at home. This was the motivation for Gavin to move back to Scotland and start a ten barrel brewery in April 2010. Tempest is known for creating really interesting and #experimental beers. They are also one of the best rated breweries of Scotland and this is for a reason.


Our food pairing recommendation:


Tangy goat cheese

 

Sandro's pick for July: Dva kohouti (CZ) - Místní pivo 12°


The Beer:


This interpretation of a classic Czech pilsner is one of the flagships beers by Dva kohouti, a #brewpub located in Prague, Czech Republic. It is brewed with Pilsner and Munich malts and hopped with Žatecký poloraný červeňák (a hop strain grown in the Žatec region) and Saaz (the most popular Czech hop strain used in many pilsners around the world). With its 4.9% ABV it still has lots of flavor and even a bit of sweetness left. This super drinkable beer ends with a classic bitter #pilsner kick. Na zdraví !



The Brewery


Trendy food group Ambiente has formed a joint venture with one of the Czech Republic's most famous craft breweries Matuška and the result was Dva kohouti. They are a #taproom for Matuška and they also brew their own beers in-house. This is great for people who want to drink some really great brews other than Pilsner Urquell in Prague (Pilsner Urquell is really dominant in the Czech Republic, which is for a reason: It's amazing). Their 9 taps feature different Czech style beers, but also IPAs, Pale Ales and even fruited sours. There are even more cool things about this place, especially if you are a #BeerGeek. Dva kphouti use a custom tap system, designed by Lukr (famous for their side-pour taps) and former bartending world champion Lukáš Svoboda. The system runs through visible pipes, serving the beers in 3 different temperature ranges, depending on the beer style: 2-3 c., for their Místní Pivo, 3-5 c. for other lagers, and 5-6 c. for ales and other styles that benefit from more temperature. Also if there is a big line at the till, you can order your beer via a digital kiosk outside and walk straight to the bar. Just an amazing place for beer fans.


Our food pairing recommendation:


Kuřecí kapsa (Czech style stuffed Chicken breast)

 

Sandro's pick for August: Omnipollo (SE) X Siren (UK) - Lorelei 6th Anniversary 2022 Imperial Porter


The Beer:


The original recipe of this beer actually comes from a #homebrewer with the name Dave Strachan. Once a year, homebrewers are encouraged to send their best beers to Omnipollo and Siren. Dave submitted a fantastic coconut porter, so the breweries decided to play with that theme. Since 2016 they have released several versions of this beer, including some amazing barrel aged ones. 2022 marks the 6th anniversary of this great beer, to celebrate they took 6 kinds of coconut, both fresh and with different toasting levels and made an even more intense Lorelei. The beer is sticky and heavy with tons of coconut and chocolate flavors. This new interpretation of this modern classic is a must try for every fan of dark beer.


The Brewery


You can find out more about the brewery in this blog article.


Our food pairing recommendation:


Canadian Nanaimo bar

 

Zurich Beer Tour's pick for July: Brauerei Spezial (GER) - Spezial Weissbier

The Beer:


In Bamberg there is so many great beers, we could write a whole blog article just about this beautiful town (should we? let us know in the comments below). But we had to pick a favorite for this article so we went for this Weissbier. Bamberg is known for being home to some of the only breweries in the world exclusively brewing #Rauchbier (beers produced using smoked malts) and one of them is Brauerei Spezial (the other one being the more popular Schlenkerla). This Bier is their Weissbier, and wouldn't it be for the smoke aroma, this would be a really classic Weissbier. You can get tons of wheat aromas with banana esters, combined with quite a bit of sweetness. We think Weissbier is one of these underrated beer styles many craft beer geeks do not like as they are too traditional. We here at Zurich Beer Tour love to have a Weissbier from time to time and we think it is such a popular beer style for a reason. If you like Weissbier as well or you don't and want to try a special one, the #smokey version by Brauerei Spezial has got you covered.


The Brewery:


Brauerei Spezial was first mentioned in records in 1536, since 1898 it is owned by the Merz family. As almost all breweries in Bamberg (with exception of Blech.Brut maybe) tradition is really important to them and all beers are brewed according to the German purity law (Reinheitsgebot). They use only #regional products for their beers: hops from Bavaria and smoked malts from their own malting. They smoked their malts about 24 hours over an open fire using only beech wood. This gives the beer it's really specific aroma profile which makes it so #unique.


Our food pairing recommendation:


Stuffed roast of wild boar with beer sauce

 

Zurich Beer Tour's pick for August: Holy Goat (SCO) - Honeybucket 2022 Sour


The Beer:


This golden sour was brewed with Buckwheat Honey & Elderflower. It was primary fermented with a blend of Brettanomyces strains, and brewed with local Scottish barley, wheat and oats. Honeybucket was #blended from 3 different batches of beer which had an average age of around 4 months, to which they added fresh elderflower blossom foraged from the original vicinity of the brewery. In this 2022 interpretation of Honeybucket, they refermented it with raw buckwheat #honey supplied by the Edinburgh Honey Co. The dark rich buckwheat honey lends subtle molasses and earthy notes which combine with bright elderflower aromatics and character from the mixed culture. An absolutely complex beer, with just a hint of acidity, a must try!


The Brewery:


Johnny Horn founded the Holy Goat brewery after having worked for another really well known Scottish brewery: Vault City. Holy Goat is based in Dundee and is focusing on mixed fermentation and wood aged beers. If you wonder how they came up with the name, here is how they describe it: "The breweries name references the tongue-in-cheek description of the ‘goat’ like qualities of #wild yeast (Brettanomyces) characteristics. A reverence to this yeast and to the beers which display these characteristics is a strong part of the identity of the brewery." If you don't know what they are talking about you have definitely never tried one of these beers. Now it is the time to do that, jump into the Honeybucket!


Our food pairing recommendation:


Crispy duck with cherries, lovage and elderflower dressing

 

These are our top beers for July & August. Which ones were your favorite brews these months? Tell us in the comments!


Are you looking for more personalized recommendations, that are made to fit your taste? Check our Pocket Beer Sommelier.


Stay tuned for our future recommendations!


Cheers,


Your Zurich Beer Tour Guides

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