A first for the blog today as I believe this post could be the inaugural “single beer” review. I haven’t been bothered to look past a couple of years’ blog posts and I certainly can’t remember any other beer holding such a privileged position.
The Drinkers for Ukraine project created a Solidarity Brew recipe for a beetroot stout, inspired by a local speciality, borshch – a beetroot and vegetable soup. The website says…
“Brewers in Ukraine have seen their livelihoods wiped out and, in some instances, their businesses destroyed by Russian attacks.
To show solidarity with them, we are inviting breweries around the world to brew a Ukrainian Anti-Imperial Stout called RESIST, developed by displaced Ukrainian brewers. Once brewed, we’re asking brewers to donate the sales proceeds of RESIST to the Red Cross humanitarian relief effort – as much (or as little) as you can afford.”
It provided a recipe, graphics and gave some tips. The rest was up to you.
I’m happy to be corrected but I’m aware of only three Irish commercial breweries picking up the baton to brew the beetroot stout – Ballykilcavan in Co. Laois, Elbow Lane in Cork and Donegal’s Otterbank. The latter is our focus today, mainly because I haven’t managed to track down the other two!
Otterbank has never shied away from brewing bold beers and this challenge is right up their street. It’s a 330ml bottle of a 10.5% ABV beetroot stout. Run of the mill surely? Ahem…
Once opened, the earthy aroma bounces out of the bottle and the glass is filled with a massively dark purple/black stout. It’s more Deep Purple than Ritchie Blackmore. As you taste it, you know it’s all of the purple. Earthy beetroot bounces over every part of your tongue and you’re in no doubt about its inclusion as an ingredient. There’s a backdrop of sweet chocolate and sticky treacle which reminds you that you are actually drinking an imperial stout but then with a sharp and slightly sour bump you’re brought back into Beetroot World.
Fair play to the breweries mentioned earlier for getting involved with the initiative and brewing Resist.
Buy this beer if you like beetroot. If you don’t like beetroot, buy it anyway and give it to someone who does.