beer reviews Belgium bottled beer

Starts out Belgian, Finishes American

Elliot's Brew

One of our missions on our spree last Saturday was to find a Mikkeler beer — any Mikkeler beer. The output of this Danish brewery has come to represent for us all the continental holidays we’re not having now Eurostar is less handy; and all the exotic beers we left behind in the bars of London.

And, of course, everyone is always bloody on about them. (Word of mouth marketing works, it turns out.)

When we enquired, the barman at the Hand Bar in Falmouth, helpful as ever, produced a bottle of Elliot Brew, told us the price and waited for us to recover from our faint before opening the bottle.

It’s supposedly a double or ‘imperial’ IPA but, being brewed at De Struise, and bearing only their name and logo on the label, is a peculiar, hard-to-fathom creature which defies labelling and seemed to metamorphose dramatically as it warmed up from fridge temperature.

Those first mouthfuls: faintly funky, dry and dusty, stale in a good way — just what we expect from a hoppy Belgian beer. But perhaps a little disappointing given the IPA billing, if we’re honest. (More fodder for the ongoing pondering about what IPA means, there.)

Then the second half: the dust dissappeared, the beer rounding out, getting fatter and jammier until, as we drained our glasses, it had somehow become American in character.

It was a remarkable trick, like the transformation scene in a werewolf movie, which made us want another, just to see if we could work out how it was done.

Don’t ask us how much it cost. Too much. We’ve blanked it out. More than our train tickets to Falmouth, at any rate. Shudder.