Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Portugal Craft Beer Review: Black Rye IPA from LX Beer

Portugal Craft Beer Review: Black Rye IPA from LX Beer
Welcome to the Shed. I am even-star and this is The Beer in Review. Today's Portugal craft beer review is for Black Rye IPA from LX Beer.

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Black Rye IPA from LX Beer of Lisbon. Aromatic coffee, chocolate and floral nose. Up front very bitter dark chocolate with the astringent mouth feel of cocoa. Bit of a metallic tang of copper. None of the characteristic citrus you now associate with an IPA but still very hoppy. More tobacco than anything but there is something faintly floral in there that I want to say is Parma Violet!

Portuguese craft brewers are definitely capitalising on trendy beer styles and seem to be jumping right in to experimental beers. Getting a black rye IPA in the UK is still a pretty rare occurrence. You might say we have a "mainstream" craft beer market here. Then you get very small niche breweries who would rather put out more outrageous beers than try to compete with standard bitters.

Not sure if it is the same thing is happening in Portugal (where mainstream means Super Bock and not other craft brewers) or if these are simply people who started as hobbyists and are pushing the boundaries just for the hell of it. The variety of styles is certainly impressive.

I got this beer at the local Lidl. If you are looking for craft beer there don't look in the beer section. Look in the Portugal Gourmet section. This is a new thing in Lidl there. It's a few shelves dedicated to specialist Portuguese products including craft beer, salt, cured meats, and gin. So it seems that Portugal is starting to understand that it can offer unique craft made products that people are willing to pay a premium for. Especially in more touristy destinations like the Algarve.

Other stores simply put their craft beer in the beer section. In some you will have to pay close attention because they might only have the one! Jumbo was by far the best for selection and size of offering.

One thing, among many, that I don't know is who is buying it. Like I've mentioned before, the craft beer is outrageously priced compared to other beer and other alcohol in general. Even for tourists. But then again, the Portuguese are not a five pints a night kind of people. Maybe they are buying this beer and they don't mind the price because they only want one!

There definitely are not enough beardy hipsters in the Algarve to create an entire market for fancy beer. My feeling is that it is young city dwellers who have seen craft beer culture in the States and want a bit of a trendy adventure. It will be interesting to see how this progresses.

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The Beer in Review is a blog about craft beer and real ale. Keep up with new posts and contact me with comments and questions on twitter or YouTube. I'd love to hear about your craft beer adventures and recommendations from your home town.