Latvian Beer Review: Brālis bitter

In a land of malt-forward lagers, finding a hoppy beer is like…

FINDING THE HOLY GRAIL!

At least if you love Humulus lupulus.

IMG_7636Based out of Riga, Latvia SIA Alus Nams, produces a wide range of Latvian microbrews.  I was able to sample a few on a recent trip, and while some beers left a bit to be desired, I really enjoyed their Brālis bitter.

I couldn’t find any information on what style they were going for, but it tasted to me like hoppy lager.  It could have been an ale, but really had almost no ester character and was super clean, since most of their other beers are lagers I assume this one is as well.

Appearance-golden with good clarity and a surprisingly tan head, at least for so light a beer.

Smell-Wow you can actually smell hops!  what a change after other Baltic beers that tend to go very light on the hop aroma.  Smell like UK varieties although I don’t know which, earthy and floral, and not citrus like at all.  Also a really nice pilsner malt aroma

Taste-Very clean and crisp on the palate with bitterness to match, lots of pilsner character

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied with medium carbonation

Overall- A pretty nice, hoppy-beer from Latvia. Worth seeking out if you find yourself in Eastern Europe and are missing hops.