Brewery: St. Eriks
St. Eriks is a craft brewer I was drawn to back when they first started producing beer again in 2010. As I slowly made my way through their range, their name became synonymous with quality beers in my mind. I especially liked their unique bottle shape. Even with the label removed, you could still easily spot a St. Eriks beer from the thin necked and fat bottom bottles (see picture). Recently the brewery went through a bit of a change in their aesthetics and they got rid of the bottles, which I though was a shame. They were instead replaced with boring, generic bottles with pretty hideous labels. Luckily this is one of the last bottles using the old style of bottle, which is much more pleasing to the eye. Out of their range I was mostly drawn to the elderflower IPA as I wanted to see how well they balanced the light, summer tones of the elderflower with the bitter hops. They manged to do a pretty good job I must say.
The beer had a hazy apricot hue, with a large head that held well. The medium carbonation was evident and seen through the fairly robust body. Prominent elderflower, citrus hops and vinous grapes were immediately evident on the nose. A subtle hint of menthol was also noted. The taste continued what the aroma had started, with the sweet elderflower opposing the bitterness of the hops nicely. It was quite medicinal and herbal but not in a detrimental way. There was also a minor sweet mango quality coupled with lemon peel which worked nicely. The elderflower became more pronounced as the beer warmed up. The hops were not overpowering but did continue into the aftertaste and lingered on the tongue.
This is a kind of IPA that I would say I enjoy most. I’m not one for IPAs that are just overstuffed with hops until it feels like your chewing on a hop bud. I like my IPAs to be balanced with a good hop to sweet malt ratio. This is what they have successfully done here. I tested this then proceeded to go out the next night and buy another. I think this is a nice, refreshing summer IPA and I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is. Now all they need to do is go back to nice looking bottles like they used to have and I’ll be one happy chap!