Craft Beer: What the Kviek? Farmageddon's new brew is alive, I tell you
THE Bach-inspired score rises as the arm of the great heaving lump of assembled body parts on the table slowly lifts its arm as its creator, with maniacal joy exclaims: "It's alive, it's alive."
The famous scene from the 1931 production of Frankenstein came to mind recently when I cracked open a bottle of Kviek, a 4 per cent IPA from Co Down brewers Farmegeddon.
Let's get one thing straight, this is a seriously tasty beer, but we'll get to that in a minute. The initial burst of life, though, manifested itself in the way the head seeped its way over the top of the bottle before I had even started pouring.
Pouring itself was problematic in that the glass filled up with more foam than beer. Patience is required to pour this beer, but the reward is great. A lot of foam like is usually a sign of a sign of insane levels of carbonation, which in turn comes from the yeast used.
You'll often get brewers tripping over themselves to tell you about all the wonderful hops they use in their beer and a fair few will give you a run down of the different kinds of malt they use.
Yeast is a different beast altogether. It gives beer its carbonation and, more importantly, its alcoholic content. Some brewers guard a yeast strain with their lives, while others are a bit more experimental and will try and get their hands on all kinds of weird and wonderful strains to add different dimensions to their beer.
Yeast can play a bigger part in beer than just bubbles and booze, it can provide added levels of flavour and alter the mouthfeel and, as a fan of Belgian farmhouse ales, for me, the more spontaneous the fermentation, the better.
So back to Kviek. You'll need to hack through the foam like Prince Charming chopping through the undergrowth to get to Sleepy Beauty to get a sip of this one, but once you get a gulp, there's a world of flavours to find.
There's a sweet, stone-fruit flavour and a hefty dose of citrus as well. The secret to this beer, though, is the Norwegian Farmhouse yeast they've used to brew it. That gives it the crazy, natural carbonation which takes a while to settle down and they've also thrown a bit of coriander in there too.
If you are a fan of farmhouse beers, and are a patient pourer, then this is one to check out.