Blink and there's a good chance you'll miss a new beer style or trend these days. Just as you're adjusting to the flood of Brut IPAs taking the place of NEIPAs, here come Tallboy & Moose with a beer brewed with a Norwegian yeast that loves to go to work in sauna-like temperatures; where the majority of yeasts do their work around 10 to 14C (lager strains) or 16 to 20C (most ale strains), this one prefers things to be in the 40C range. The beer into which it's been added is Lightning Axe, a name we assumed was a play on the yeast's name, Kveik (pronounced kwike, apparently), but it turns out they were just thinking of something Viking-esque so the pun must have been gifted by the gods.
As for the beer itself, it's a pretty intense and intriguing beast. It's dry-hopped with Ekuanot and Enigma hops, both of which can deliver an array of fruity characteristics, yet the yeast is responsible for creating much of what the brewers are calling "a unique fruit smoothie aroma and flavour". Certainly, it's dense; imagine a stack of fruit squished, squeezed and prodded around in a bowl or bucket and you're on the right track. The body could almost be that of a chewy double IPA or heavy NEIPA, while there's some quirky esters in there alongside the more obvious citrus led ones – maybe even a hint of banana? There's a clipping tang rather than a bitterness closing things down in a beer you mightn't want to session, but which offers something of a session in a glass as it is.
Accompanying Lightning Axe on tap is Practically Bier, a collab with Melbourne honey harvester The Practical Beekeeper. It's a Belgian witbier style base to which has been added 50kg of honey and some chamomile. There's a woody, almost smoky, herbal side to the aroma that's a little confronting, with the flavours more in line with what you'd expect from a witbier, albeit with a touch of that woodiness and plenty of honey, the latter leaving behind a residual sweetness too.
- Norwegian Pale & Honey Wit
- 6.0% & 5.8%