House of Metal is the local rock and metal festival that has been going for nearly 14 years now. In that time they have had some massive bands like Anthrax, Lamb of God and Opeth. For the past few years Bryggverket has made a beer just for the festival, changing the recipe every year to keep things fresh. One thing does stay the same though: every year the beer is made with reindeer blood in it, hence the name “Ren in Blood”. There are not that many beers brewed with blood in them so it’s a great selling point for those who are feeling a bit adventurous. I knew I wanted to do a northern Sweden tasting all the way back in February, so I grabbed the last few cans and held them for about 8 months in order to have something really rare in the tasting. In fact these were the last few cans left in the world so I was happy to open them and share them with the guests.
This years version of the beer was a dark lager, with added colouring to make it as black as possible. A creamy head held for a while, but due to the deep colour it was hard to tell how carbonated it was just from first appearance. A dark malt sweetness rose from the glass along with a little iron and black syrup. Brown sugar and toasted burnt malt were there upon tasting, with an aftertaste of toast, iron and a long lingering bitterness. It felt a lot more alcoholic than 5.1% as the burn was present that I would expect with beer pushing 7 or 8%.
This beer won’t be for everyone palate. Some people indeed might even be put off from drinking a beer that contains blood. I believe though that there are too many good brewers out there who are happy to stay in their safe zone and never really push their boundaries. Bryggverket aren’t doing that, and tht why their reputation is building so quickly. I for one though love strange beers, so I was really happy to have this on the night. I’m looking forward to seeing how the guys in Bryggverket will change the recipe and come up with something new ready for the next House of Metal in February 2020.