Stuart’s Beer Gallery

Beer- A log of the beers I sampled on our trip and a few details about them. I didn’t think I was that keen on beer but it’s a bit of a worry that there are more than 140 were supped during the year away!

Rated from one to five stars with the Moroccan lagers being one star. Nothing got 5 stars- I now really appreciate that the best English real ales are unbeatable.

Apologies in advance for some of the photos-some not quite in focus- can’t imagine why this happened.

Best: Korce Black, Korce, Albania-  4*  mmmm…very nice. Probably not actually the best beer I tried but finding it after so many weeks/months of the trip trying indifferent (usually Heineken) lagers, it was amazing to find this gem in south-east Albania.

 

Iceland

Gull Pilsner 5%

Brewed by Ölgerðin Egill Skallagrímsson,Iceland

Average lager

**

Baldi IPA 5%

Brewed by Arskogssandur, Iceland

Very nice

***

Viking Stout 5.8%

Brewed by Viking Brewery – Vifilfell Ltd. , Akureyri, Iceland

Nice pint

***

and

Viking Gylltur 5.6%

Average lager

**

Borg Solveig 6%

Brewed by Borg Brugghús, Reykjavík, Iceland

Very pleasant wheat beer

***

Borg Saemundar 4.7%

Brewed by Borg Brugghús, Reykjavík, Iceland

Made with mangoes! Nice though

***

Faroe Islands

Foroya Classic 4.5%

Brewed by Foroya Bjor, Klaksvik, Faroes

Average lager (Black Sheep was a little better)

**

Okkara Rinkusteinur 5.8%

Brewed by Okkara, Velbastaður, Faroe Islands

Excellent beer

***

Norway

What little craft beer we found was excellent. The lone draft beer less so.

Hansa lager (of some sort)

Brewed by Hansa Borg Bryggerier, Bergen

For a £10 pint this was underwhelming. Run-of-the mill lager

**

Lomb Fest 4.7%

Brewed by Lomb Brygerrii, Lom, Norway

Very nice- excellent beer.

***

Audhumla Pale Ale 4.7%

Brewed by Sma Vesen, Aurdal, Norway

Another very nice beer

***

Bryggeri 7null4 Stout 5%

Brewed by Bryggeri 7null4, Follebu, Norway

And another nice beer

***

Sweden

God Lager 5.3%

Brewed by  Nils Oscar, Nykoping, Sweden

Not a bad drop

***

Lervik IPA (?)

Brewed, it would appear, in Norway by Lervik, Stavanger

Tasted this in a supposed real ale mecca in Stockholm, at over £10 for a 0.4L glass. Apparently it was supposed to be cloudy but was pretty poor.

*

Black Soil Black IPA 7.5%

Brewed by Sigtuna Brygghus Arlandastad, Sweden

Very nice

****

Skebo Gjutarns Basta 5.2%

Brewed by Skebo Bruksbyggeri, Skebobruk, Sweden

Supposedly a bitter- quite nice though

***

Dr Pauls Pauls Pale Ale 6.0%

Brewed by Lottas Krog and Pub, Umea, Sweden

Very nice- didn’t realise it was 6.0% so a merry evening was had at Lotta’s,  followed by a slightly uncertain walk through town back to the van!

***

Norrlands Guld 5.3%

Brewed by Spendrups Bryggeri AB

A very average lager- the lady serving checked that we wanted the strong beer.  What the weak one was like I don’t know!

**

Poppels Russian Imperial Stout 9.5%

Brewed by Poppels Bryggeri, Jonsered, Sweden

Excellent stuff- good for a wintery evening. Imperial stout in a Lenin glass.

***

Finland

Maisteri 5.5%

Brewed by Panimoravintola Koulu which is a Finnish brewery pub in the city of Turku. Koulu (School) is the largest brewery restaurant in Finland. A real surprise find and great beers.

Dark lager . This was excellent

****

Stallhagen Honungensol 4.7%

Brewed by Stallhagen Bryggyri AB in the Åland Islands, Finland

Lager- not bad

**

Stellhagen III 4.5%

Brewed by Stallhagen Bryggyri AB in the Åland Islands, Finland

Lager- OK

***

 Stallhagen Delikat 4.7%

Brewed by Stallhagen Bryggyri AB in the Åland Islands, Finland

Dark lager-quite pleasant.

***

Iisalmi IPA 4.7%

Brewed by Olvi, Iisalmi, Finland

I bought a load of this IPA at a supermarket on the Latvian/Estonian border- reminiscent of our long ago booze cruises trips to France, Finns travel here to get their cheap booze. One of the best canned beers I have tried. Very good.

**** (for a canned beer)

Estonia

Beer House Medovar Honey 4.4%

Brewed by Beer House, Tallinn

Very nice

***

and

Beer House Dunkles Extra 4.7%

Brewed by Beer House, Tallinn

Very good too

***

Belhaven Heavy 4%

Brewed by Greene King!!!!

The Scots have a significant presence in Tallinn after the Scottish team managed a magnificent result there many years ago (look it up) Unfortunately, this beer doesn’t travel as well as Scottish supporters- actually it’s not that good in Scotland anymore- sorry.

**

Hell House Dunkel

Brewed by Hell Hunt, Tallinn

Good stuff

***

Some random Russian lager

Brewed by…someone who should know better

*

Saku Dark 4.6%

Brewed by Saku Estonia (Carlsberg)

Surprisingly good beer.

***

Latvia

Balles alus Tumsais 5.7%

 

Brewed by Valmiermuiza alus, Latvia (microbrewery)

Nice

***

Kokmuisa IPA 5.8%

 

Brewed by Valmiermuiza alus, Latvia (microbrewery)

Also nice

***

Lacplesis Staburags Baltais 4.9%

 

Brewed by SIA Cido Grupa (Royal Unibrew)

Wheat beer- nice

***

 

Lāčplēsis Staburags Gaišais 5.4%

 Brewed by SIA Cido Grupa (Royal Unibrew)

Lager

***

 Lāčplēsis Staburags Tumsais 5.8%

 Brewed by SIA Cido Grupa (Royal Unibrew)

Dunkel beer- very nice

***

Brengula alus Tumsais 5.6%

Brewed by Brengula Alus, Latvia

Good beer

***

Aldaris Mezpils Tumsais 5.8%

Brewed by Aldaris (Carlsberg), Latvia

Another dark beer- very good

***

Leilvardes Giasais 5.4%

Brewed by SIA Cido Grupa (Royal Unibrew)

Golden ale- good stuff

***

Lithuania

After nearly nine months in the beer wilderness albeit with the occasional reprieve from the dead hands of Heineken/ Molson Coors/ Carlsberg (ah.. Korce Black) we unwittingly entered a country where people actually love beer. Everywhere men and women were drinking all sorts of beers each with its own particular shaped glass. Craft beer is common and although the usual suspects have control of much of it, and it’s not all great, there are numerous micro-breweries and brew pubs. Great beer!

(Editor’s note: Apparently Lithuanians have a major drink problem and the most stringent laws in Europe are to be introduced to limit consumption and even touching alcohol to over 20 year olds- IMHO the availability of marvellous beer and heavy consumption are not necessarily linked!)

 

Volfas Engelman Bohemijos Dark 4.2%

Brewed by Volfas Engelman (Olvi), Lithuania

Very pleasant

***

Davra Varniukų 5.6%

Brewed by Davra Alaus Darykla, Lithuania

Little Crow- very good.

***

Gyvas bar in Kaunas– a great spot and great beer- unfortunately I didn’t record what I had (sorry)

One IPA and one dark beer. OK but not brilliant- great bar though.

***

Raudonų Plytų Ungurio Kojos 5.3%

Brewed by Raudonų Plytų Alaus Dirbtuvės (Švyturys) aka Carlsberg

Apparently, “this style is a hoppier versions of a helles, served with natural carbonation and unfiltered – the lager world’s answer to real ale”. Great idea but I’m not a fan of this particular pint

**

Genys APA- Kalifornikacija 5.2 %

 

Brewed by Genys Brewing Company, Kaunas

Very nice beer from a local craft brewery

***

 

Genys Tamsus miškas 6.2%

Brewed by Genys Brewing Company, Kaunas

Very nice porter from a local craft brewery

*** (nearly 4)

Avilys Avilio Honey Beer 4.9%

Brewed by Avilys Brew Pub and Restaurant, Kaunas

Nice restaurant and good food- the beer was, frankly, a bit reminiscent of a good home brew. Had high hopes.

**

Švyturys (aka Carlsberg) is the big brewer in Lithuania- we sampled a few and not all are described.

 

Švyturys Baltijos Dark Red 5.8%

Brewed by Švyturys

The best of their beers- good stuff

***

Švyturys Ekstra 5.2%

Brewed by Švyturys

Average lager

**

Švyturys White beer 4.2%

Brewed by Švyturys

Good taste – refreshing

***

Poland

Ksiazece Ciemne Lagodne 4.1%

Brewed by Tyskie Brewery (Asahi)

Very nice- at last….a dark beer with a tad of flavour!

***

Zubr lager 6%

Brewed by Bialystok Brewery

Not bad- a little bit more than 2 stars

**

Pszeniczne Ciemne 5.1%

Brewed by Polskie Browary Sezonowe

 

Very good

***

and

Miodi Altaju 4.7%

Brewed by Polskie Browary Sezonowe

Very good

***

Tatra lager 6%

 

Brewed by Warka Zywiec Heineken

Eurofizz

**

Zywiec Porter 9.5%

Brewed by Zywiec Group (Heineken)

A good drop of black- potent stuff

***

and

Zywiec Lager 5.6%

Brewed by Zywiec Group (Heineken)

Standard stuff

**

Okocim 5.2%

Brewed by Polska Carlsberg

A step above the average lager

***

Czech Republic (I cheated in desperation- we didn’t go there)

Staropramen Dark Beer 4.4%

Brewed by staropramen Breweries (Molson Coors)

Very nice- bought in Hungary as a change to standard eurofizz

***

Romania

Silva Premium Blonde Lager 5.2%

Brewed by Heineken Romania

Very good- a nice surprise from Heineken

***

Silva Pale Ale 5.5%

Brewed by Heineken Romania

An even nicer surprise from Heineken

 ***

Ursus 5%

Brewed by Ursus Breweries aka SABMiller plc

More eurofizz

**

 Ciuc 5%

Brewed by Heineken Romania

Even more eurofizz

**

Timisoreana 5%

 Brewed by Ursus Breweries aka SABMiller plc

 The best beer in Romania…oh no its not

**

Hungary

Beerfort Meggyes 4.8%

Brewed by Beerfort Sörfőzde, Hungary

Very nice sour cherry beer

***

Karl Mikro-Sörfőzde Dark 5.8%

Brewed by Karl Microbrewery, Hungary

Good stuff

***

Borsodi 5.2%

 Brewed by MolsonCoors

A slightly better grade of eurofizz

**

Kobanyi 5%

Not sure who brews this. Not very interested either.

*

Soproni 4.5%

 

Brewed by Heineken Hungary

Average eurofizz 

**

Bulgaria

Zlatna Varna 4.5%ish

 

Brewed by the Black Sheep Brewery Pub, Varna

Draft beer brewed in a pub/restaurant in Varna using Czech equipment and ingredients. Great beer, great place and very welcoming. Two friendly locals stopped us ordering the usual depressing euro-fizz and insisted we try this. Good call!

 

****

 Glarus Premium Pale Ale 4.2%

 

 Brewed by the Glarus Craft Brewing Company, Varna

Good stuff.

***

Zagorka 4.6%

 

Brewed by Pivovarna Zagorka aka Heineken

The usual Heineken lager offering across Europe and beyond

**

 

Astiki 4.6% and Kamenitza 4.6% (indistinguishable)

Brewed by Haskovo Molson Coors and by Plovdiv Molson Coors down to the Heineken benchmark

**

Stolonichno Bock 6.6%

 

Brewed by Pivovarna Zagorka aka Heineken

Pretty good surprisingly

***

Star Anise Stout 5.8%

 Brewed by the Rhombus Craft Brewery

We met Dmitri from The Beers Beer Shop in Burgas at a fair in the Sea Garden in Varna. The high cost of craft beer when compared with the mass offerings nationwide is a real hurdle for these guys. We wish them well.

Very good

***

Greece

Beptina (Vergina) 5%

 

Brewed in Komoti by Macedonian Thrace Brewery

*** Best of the bunch

FIX Hella 5%

Brewed by Olympic Brewery

Lager- Pretty good (for lager).

***

FIX Dark 5.2%

Brewed by Olympic Brewery

Stout- A welcome change

***

 Fix Weiss 5%

Brewed by Olympic Brewery

Wheat beer- good

***

Mythos 5%

 

Brewed by Mythos Brewery- a division of Carlsberg

Lager- OK but not quite as good as FIX

**

 Alfa

Brewed by Athenian Brewery

Lager- not the worst of lagers but the least good of the small range available in Greece

**

Albania

Korce Black 5%

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“BLACK BEER is a unique beer for Albania and further in the region. It is another beer, a completely different variety, unlike the other two types of beers concerning the aroma and taste. For the production of this beer, four types of malts have been used, which give this beer its special taste, where above all one can tell a light taste of caramel. In the meantime, the color of this beer is completely dark (black), which distinguishes it from the other beers. This beer is more viscose and has a very specific and admirable cover.”

(Extracted from Korce Brewery info- I couldn’t have put it better myself)

Brewed by Hysenbelliu Group, Korce

**** Top drawer. What a treat after all of those poor, poor lagers in Italy!

 

Korce 1928 4.8%

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Brewed by Hysenbelliu Group, Korce

Pale lager

**

Korce 01 4.1%

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Brewed by Hysenbelliu Group, Korce

Paler lager

*

Tennents Stout draught 4.7%

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Brewed by Tennent Caledonian Breweries

Not a bad keg stout- imported from Glasgow to Durres.

***

Birra Tirana Kuqalashe 4.1%

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Brewed by Birra Malto, Tirane

Lager

*

Birra Elbar 4.8%

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Brewed by Alfa S.A., Gjirokaster

Lager but a tad better

**

Kosovo

Peja 4.2%

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Brewed by BirraPeja, Kosovo

Lager

**

Italy

DOC 15 Birra 4.7%

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Brewed by Cooperativa Birrificio Messina, Sicily

Lager but really good. From a newish small brewer. A ray of sunshine in the depressing land of Heineken.

****

Birra Lara W16 5%

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Brewed by Birra Lara Sardinia

*** Good

Birra Messina 4.7%

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Brewed by Heineken Italia S.p.A.

Lager

*

Dreher 4.7%

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Brewed by Heineken Italia S.p.A.

Lager

*

Birra Moretti bottle 4.6%

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Brewed by Heineken Italia S.p.A.

Lager

*

N.B. Pretty certain all of the above by Heineken are made in the same factory as their Moroccan brands. Consistently poor.

Birra Moretti draught 5%

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Brewed by Heineken Italia S.p.A.

Surprisingly much better than bottled

***

Yblon Juta 5.6%

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Brewed by Yblon, Ragusa, Sicily

Stout- very nice.

***

Yblon Hoppa 5.6%

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Brewed by Yblon, Ragusa, Sicily

*** IPA – good

Yblon Timpa 6.5%

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Brewed by Yblon, Ragusa,Sicily

*** Farmhouse ale!- good.

 

Poretti No 4 and No 5 5.0% and 6.5%

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Brewed by Carlsberg Italia

Both very good

***

Alveria Vardy

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Brewed by Birra Alveria, Syracuse, Sicily

Named in honour of the Leicester City footballer – “A Beer for Champions”, no less.

***

Alveria Blonde 4.4%

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Brewed by Birra Alveria, Syracuse, Sicily

**

Peroni Gran Riserva Doppio Malto 6.6%

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Brewed by Birra Peroni Industriale S.p.A. (SAB Miller)

I had high hopes but disappointing.

**

Peroni 4.7%

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Brewed by Birra Peroni Industriale S.p.A. (SAB Miller)

Lager

**

Nastro Azzurro Roma 5.1%

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Brewed by Birra Peroni Industriale S.p.A. (SAB Miller)

Special edition- not entirely clear what was special though

**

Ceres Strong Ale (Imported from Denmark)

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This was available all over Sicily. Strong and better than lager- just

**

Sardinia

Pedra Ruja 5%

 

Birra Di Sardegna

Non-filtered red ale

**

Ichnusa 4.7%

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Heineken Italia SpA

THE beer of Sardinia

**

Corsica

Pietra 6%

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Brasserie Pietra

Made with chestnut flour. Nice.

***

France

Steinburg Negra 7.2%

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Champigneulles (TCB Beverages)

***

Randoleta Biere de Garde 5%

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Brasserie Du Quercorb

***

Tres Ficela Dry Stout 4%

 

[waiting for photo]

Brasserie Du Quercorb

****

Portugal

1163 craft beer

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From Ponte de Lima brewed by the local teacher

***

Super Bock 5.6%

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Unicer (part of Carlsberg Group)

**

Common People Urban Lager 5%

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OPO 74 Brewing Co , Porto

***

Sagres Bohemia 6.2%

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Sociedade Central de Cervejas e Bebidas (Heineken Group)

Very nice

***

Spain

Cruz Campo Gran Reserva 6.2%

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Grupo Cruzcampo SA

**

Cruz campo with footie player on label 5%

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Grupo Cruzcampo SA

*

Mahou Negra 5.5%

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Mahou (Grupo Mahou-San Miguel)

Very nice

***

Mahou Mastre Doble Lupolo 7.5%

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Mahou (Grupo Mahou-San Miguel)

**

1906 6.5%

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Hijos De Rivera, S.A. (estrella galicia).

***

La Sagra Premium 5.4% and

La Sagra IPA 7.2%

DSC_3274

Daviyun (Cerveza SAGRA)

Both excellent

****

Destra Perlo 5%

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Not a bad craft beer

***

San Miguel Selecta (bottled)6.2%

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San Miguel

As this beer was a year past its sell by date it was…. not great

*

San Miguel Selecta (in cans)

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**

Brabante Oscura 6.5%

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Brabante Cervecas

Very nice

***

1925 6.5%

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Grupo Cervezas Alhambra, SL

Very average

*

Ambar Especial 5.2%

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La Zaragozana

**

Volaera Blonde 4.9%

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IMAG0618MCJ Cerveceros Portuenses S.L.

Very murky on draft but apparently its supposed to be like this (really?)

***

Morocco

Casablanca 5%

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Brasseries Du Maroc (Heineken)

“A very special beer, says the waiter

Um…..no it’s not, sorry.

*

Kania 4.7%

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Brasseries Du Maroc (Heineken)

*

Flag Speciale 5.2%

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Brasseries Du Maroc (Heineken

*

N.B. These Moroccan beers all brewed by Heineken and all taste the same (i.e. not at all)  so they probably are the same.