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Top 3 craft beer recommendations for March & April - L'apaisee - Ārpus - Põhjala - Blackwell & more

It is time for Zurich Beer Tour's Top 3 beers for March & April 2021. We had some busy days in the last two months, so we decided to combine our monthly recommendations for March & April in one post. Which means more tasty beers to look for. Simona went for an Estonian stout with hazelnuts and a Swiss barleywine that spent some time in the in the Swiss #Alps. Sandro's top beers are, as expected, 2 very nice IPA's both showcasing one specific #hop variety. This month's staff picks are both from Switzerland: a fantastic sour beer from #Geneva and a very unusual beer style brewed in #Bern. Let's do this!

Simona's pick for March: Põhjala Brewing (EST) - Pime Öö Hazelnut


The Beer:


Another fantastic stout by one of the best #breweries, especially for dark and strong beers, in Europe or even in the World: Pöhjala Brewing from Tallinn, #Estonia. The base of this beer is their Pime Öö imperial #stout, one of their most famous beers. There are a lot of different versions of this particular beer (for example one that was aged in Glen Garioch #whiskey barrels), the one we enjoyed in March was brewed with hazelnuts. The aromas you get from this beer are dark roasted malt, chocolate and even some coffee, not much hazelnut not on the nose, though. As you take your first sip, you will find out where those #nuts were hiding. On the palate you can get lots of dark chocolate in combination with natural hazelnut aromas and just a hint of coffee. A really tasty #dessert stout.


The Brewery

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


Our food pairing recommendation:


Burnt Chocolate Cheesecake


Simona's pick for April: Hoppy People (CH) - Clash of the Titans - Red Wine Barrel Edition


The Beer:

The bottle on the far right


This is a beer that we featured in one of our beloved online tastings: Chocolate and beer. This #barleywine was the result of a friendship collaboration brew of Hoppy People from #Switzerland and De Struise Brouwers from #Belgium. Another beer that exists in more than one version, three to be exact: one aged in red wine barrels, one in white wine barrels and finally a Grand Cru blend of both. They were all aged in barrels for 28 months in the Swiss Alps at an altitude of 2’364m . We are talking about the red wine version here. The beer has aromas of #figs, raisins and some lovely #caramel notes. On the palate you can really feel those 28 months in the #barrel, lots and lots of oak aromas, tannins and some lovely vanilla notes add to the beer. It is a bit drier than most barleywines, but this actually went extremely well with the flavor profile of the beer.


The Brewery


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


Our food pairing recommendation:


Fig & Gianduja truffles by Max Chocolatier

Sandro's pick for March: Ārpus Brewing Co. (LAT) - DDH Strata IPA


The Beer:


A lot of #IPA's these days are on the stronger side if it comes to #ABV, as alcohol is a flavor carrier this makes them mostly more flavorful. Which means finding an extremely flavorful IPA below 8% is way harder than just grabbing one of the mass of #DIPA's out there. This beer is a flavor bomb with only 6.5% ABV, and it is what Ārpus is really good at: tasty and flavorful beers that still have that drinkability and you can also drink more than one on an evening. The brewers used only one hop variety here, which is perfect to taste the flavors of said hop. The hop used in this beer is #Strata, a hop strain from the US. Strata gives this beer massive notes of tropical fruit, together with notes of red berries, grapefruit and some dank notes of #cannabis.


The Brewery


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


Our food pairing recommendation:


Chorizo style BBQ sausage


Sandro's pick for April: Overtone Brewing (SCOT) - It's All Nelson DIPA


The Beer:


Like the beer above, this beer focuses on one specific hop strain but also has a higher ABV. #Overtone from Glasgow used Sandro's absolute favorite hop strain for this beer: #NelsonSauvin from #NewZealand. This almost creamy New England style IPA comes with a super nice aroma and flavor profile: notes of #grapes, #gooseberries, #mango and #pineapple. The beer also has a good amount of residual sugars which gives it a very pleasant sweetness which is balanced with a nice hint of hop bitterness on the finish. A really amazing showcase of a Nelson DIPA.


The Brewery


Overtone Brewing from Glasgow, Scotland was founded by Bowei Wang in 2018. His goal was to: "make a difference in the Scottish Craft beer scene and to be recognised #globally". They definitely reached this goal, as they nowadays export to 12 different markets. Overtone is a fully #fluid brewery, which means the brewers Dan and Charlie brew new beers every month. Even with so many new #releases, Overtone are still using only high quality ingredients, sometimes in huge amounts. They produce all-natural, #unfiltered and #unfined beers bursting with #flavour.


Our food pairing recommendation:


Pork Schnitzel with country fries

Zurich Beer Tour's pick for March: l’Apaisée (CH) - Prunus Persica, Pêche Jaune


The Beer:


Wow, that's two in a row for l’Apaisée, after their stout being our staff pick in February, this amazing sour beer is our #March pick. This beer is called prunus persica, which is the Latin name of the peach, and this already gives you a hint what this beer might taste like. Again, there are several versions of this beer, it is barrel aged and than #macerated on fruit, each time using a different variety of #peach. This version used the yellow peach which is slightly more acidic than most other peach varieties. The beer itself is very complex, really sour, #funky and has lots of intense fruity notes. It almost feels like biting in a fresh (but very sour) peach. An amazing brew by Xavier and his crew from l’Apaisée.


The Brewery:


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


Our food pairing recommendation:


Steamed mussels with a squirt of fresh lemon


Zurich Beer Tour's pick for April: Blackwell Brewery (CH) - Lichtenhainer? Kenntdochkainer!


The Beer:


After all those beer styles most of you probably already knew, our pick for #April is something rather unusual. This beer is a so called #Lichtenhainer and was brewed by Blackwell Brewery in collaboration with Drinks Of The World, a Swiss drinks shop. This style originates in #Germany, in Lichtenhain, which is nowadays a part of the city of #Jena. A Lichtenhainer is a top fermented, slightly #sour and slightly #smoked beer. It is mostly brewed with malted barley and wheat, one of which is a smoked malt. It is definitely a beer style that is not for everyone, but it is brewed perfectly true to style, it is light and has a huge drinkability (which is rare for a sour beer). We really enjoyed this beer and hope more breweries will have a take on this #classic beer style.


The Brewery:


Blackwell Brewery from #Burgdorf, Bern was founded in 2012. They were inspired by Belgian #farmhouse brewing. This inspiration is something you can feel in any of their beers. They often brew rather classic beer styles with a #twist. Want an example? They brew a beer called Tannenbaum Effekt every year, where they dump a whole #fir tree in their brewing vessel (Yes it really tastes like a #tree). They also use wild #yeasts from the Emmental region where they are located, which makes their beer as local as it gets. Using mostly #local and #sustainable ingredients is one of the most important parts of Blackwell's #philosophy .


Our food pairing recommendation:


Whole grilled Sea Bream

These are our top beers for March & April. 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 May recommendations! (Now coming monthly again, we promise!)


Cheers,


Your Zurich Beer Tour Guides

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