Jetty Beers #1-2
Newsflash: London Beer Blog is currently in Sweden. So for the next few weeks, the blog will be given over to the primer to Swedish culture I know you’ve all been clamoring for. And also beer.
For lesson 1, I need to explain a simple concept: “Jetty beer”. The explanation has three parts, and since we live in the 21st century, I will be using audiovisual aids (sorry for the lack of Flash animation. For shame!).
This is your average Swedish summer cottage:
In this case, the summer cottage happens to be mine. And my brother’s. And he and his wife do most of the work on it. But still, my name is on the deed and that technically makes it part mine.
This is the jetty next to the average Swedish summer cottage:
Thus, when you have a beer on the jetty, enjoying the fact that you are 1000 miles from your workplace, then that beer is a “jetty beer”. Like so:
This is a Årsjubileum Festbrygd [trans: Anniversary Party Brew], an ABV 3.5 nondescript lager brewed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Swedish supermarket chain Netto. It’s ultra-rare, limited edition, and available in select stores only – I’ll trade you this for two Barrel-Aged Dark Lords and a Hill Farmstead Ann. And it’s also completely crap. But hey, drinking beer beats working, right? My dad left this in the summer cottage for me knowing I like oddball brews and this certainly qualifies. Thanks, dad.
Jetty Beer #2 of this holiday is a distinct improvement on #1:
This is RyeKing, a rye stout (ABV 7.7) from noted Danish brewers Amager Bryghus, in collaboration with John Laffler of Goose Island. It pours thick, black and oily and, on closer inspection, slightly cloudy. It is crowned by a thin, café latte-coloured head. It starts of strongly roasty (blending burnt bread, coffee, and burnt sugar notes) with a hint of smoke and a dry, straight bitter aftertaste. As it warms up it gets a distinct cream note, and also some citrus – like a caffe romana (espresso with a bit of citrus peel in it). Some cocoa and dried fruit notes also appear, though fairly subtle. The beer is much more light-bodied than you would expect from the ABV and drinks much more like a porter than a big stout, which is good in my book – I love easy-drinking yet complex stouts and porters. 3+/5.
Additional Swedish culture primer: you traditionally bring all the non-matching glassware (and cutlery, and other tableware, and so on) from your regular home to your summer cottage. Hence the inappropriately-branded glass.