Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bali Bitter

It’s not often that I veer from the topic of English beer and the English inspired beers that I brew. However recently at the supermarket I found three Indonesian real ales in a bottle, I knew I would have to not only check them out but also write something on them.

Located in Denpasar, the capital of the Indonesian state of Bali, Storm Brewing Co seems to be a fully active top fermenting craft brewer. I assumed on seeing the label that the Storm was a reference to the Boxing Day Tsunami, however upon checking out the website I see a far more fairy tale England explanation is given, check it out here.

The bottles encouragingly all display (the same) ingredients and I quote “Air, Gandum, Otter, Cristal, Jagung, Ragi, Karbondioksida, Hops/Rasa: Starian Golding (pahit)”. Now while I flatted for a year with a chap from Bali I never picked up a word of the lingo, but I think it can be deduced that Maris Otter pale (or I suspect extract), crystal malt and Styrian Golding hops went into these beers making a refreshing difference to usual Asian/Tropic lagers to come from that part of the world.

Now what were the beers like ? well of course I didn’t actually expect them to be very good, in fact I half expected them to fob and foam the minute I opened them. While they weren’t quite that bad they were like a decent early extract homebrew attempt. Regardless I’m glade I tried them.

Storm Beer Bronze Ale 5%abv

Pours a light brown with a big white head. Aroma features a hint of resiny hop, a dirty butterscotch character, and a grassy note. On the palate there is aggressive carbonation with a creamy mouth feel, dry caramel, more butterscotch, and a dry finish. My bottle was property of Mauritius Breweries. Interestingly Mauritius features in the totally absurd ’history’ of the brewery on the website.

Storm Beer Golden Ale 5%abv

Pours a dirty hazy gold with a fluffy white head. Aroma features a massive cherry character with a hint of iron. On the palate the big confected cherry character continues with a creamy mouth feel and a bone dry finish.

Storm Beer Pale Ale 5%abv

Pours a hazy gold with a fluffy white head. Aroma features huge tropical fruit character, lychees and pineapples which turns into a sherbety lemon lime as the beer warms. On the palate there is more sherbety citrus, a watery mouth feel, a super dry finish.


Paul Garrard said...

It is quite amazing how widespread real ale actually is.

maeib said...

According to RateBeer they do a stout which seems pretty decent. Hope you can get your hands on it.

Bailey said...

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of small breweries, especially in places where beer isn't a big deal (south of France, for example), do turn out stuff which tastes like it's come from a homebrew kit. It's sad, because I always really *want* to like these beers, but drinking them can be hard work.