Pistonhead Kustom Lager has been around for a while, it has been on the shelves of our supermarkets for a couple of years and if I am to be honest I kind of just passed over it not knowing anything about it. Maybe I was partly being snobbish and ignoring it, assuming that because it was on supermarket shelves it wasn’t worth me spending my craft beer geek pennies. This isn’t a positive attitude to have, on the same shelves was bottles of Brewdog Elvis Juice, Sierra Nevada and Brooklyn Lager which I would more than happily drink, so why should I not try Pistonhead. I bought a can of the Kustom Lager, it wasn’t it wasn’t offensive, there was nothing wrong with it, but it wasn’t exciting me. So when I was asked if I wanted to try two other beers from Brutal Brewing in the Pistonhead lager series, I was intrigued to see what else the brewery had to offer.
The Pistonhead beers are brewed at Brutal Brewing, which is an offspring of big Swedish brewers Spendrups. Working in their free time, employees of Spendrups use Brutal Brewing to experiment and have fun coming up with new ideas. The beers are based around “Raggare”, which is the Swedish equivalent to the American Hot Rod scene. This Raggare scene inspired Brutal Brewing for their brand, including the skull on all their cans which was designed by Jesper Bram, a famous tattooist and graphic designer from Copenhagen.
Alongside the Kustom Lager, which I used to make amazing roast potatoes, I was sent a can of Flat Tire and Full Amber. Both cans followed the design of Kustom Lager, the skull tattoo being present on both cans making it obvious they were all from the same people.
Full Amber poured a glowing red-ish wood brown with a large bubbly head, which reduces to a thin bumpy layer with tiny slow bubbles rising along the outside of the glass. On the nose, you can find caramel aromas with punchy tropical fruits bursting through. The beer itself I slightly sweet with a nice bitter finish, there is the faintest of tongue tingling going on from some tropical fruit flavours, which come from the Citra and Cascade hops used in the brewing. It was enjoyable and a beer I would happily return to.
I was excited to try Flat Tire the most, Mosaic is a favourite hop of mine so I was eager to see how it plays in this beer. Pouring a pale straw yellow with a big bright fluffy white head. Flat Tire is a very good beer, the subtle flavour from the mosaic hop gives this beer real drink-ability. The aroma is strong juicy mango which isn’t as strong in the taste, it’s not juicy in your face but a lovely subtle mango flavour. I could see this appealing to both newbies and beer geeks, it is incredibly easy drinking and perfectly balanced. Sometimes less is more, it is not a hop bomb at all. If you are looking to start your journey into trying new beers, then you would do well to start with a Flat Tire.
Both these beers are found fairly easy in supermarkets and usually in some sort of 4 for £6 sort of deal. From trying these two beers, I have learnt to not ignore other beers from a brewery just because one of their beers didn’t tick my boxes, although Kustom Lager doesn’t do it for me both Full Amber Ale and Flat Tire did and are both beers I will happily pick up on my supermarket runs in the future.
Disclaimer – I was sent these beers free of charge via Proofdrinks, however I do not think this changed my opinion on the beers.