Booze by Design - To Øl Nordic by Nature
This IPA made in Belgium by the Danish brewers To Øl is quite interesting. This beer is brewed with Juniper Berry Juice and Sea Buckthorn Juice. I am always intrigued with different flavors being brewed with beer esp. when the beer also has a clever name. Nordic by Nature is true to these nordic ingredients that gives the beer a little bit of a bitter bite on the first few sips.
One of my favorite unconventional microbreweries is Mikkeller. It is no wonder that I happened to pick out this bottle of beer as To Øl are friends with Mikkeller and even share a bar space together in Copenhagen.
The label design is by Kasper Ledet. He does all of the graphic design and art direction for To Øl. The look for most of the labels is a collage of different images, with a few relying on simple graphic shapes and text.
Kasper Ledet also has a nice collection of photography and contemporary art. This is shown in the graphics he creates for To Øl.
While I am familiar with the flavor of juniper berries I have never heard of sea buckthorn before. It is a bushy plant with clusters of orange berries that preduce a nutritious sour and oily taste raw, but once fermented the sourness reduces and it actually enhances sensory properties. This IPA does have notes of a sour ale but the flavors of juniper do shine through.
If you are looking for a more herbacious nordic tasting beer I would recommend this beer. While at first it did taste sour, it was no where near the intensity of some sours I have tasted and the local ingredients which are naturally a bit bitter yet flavorful make this beer fun to drink and explore the complexity of flavors.