BJ’s daily beer review!
My hometown of Racine, WI is sometimes referred to as “Little Denmark” because of the influx of Danish immigrants after the Civil War. The Danes brought with them a penchant for delicious pastries which slowly morphed into Racine’s renown, regional delicacy, kringle. Kringle is a sweet oval-shaped pastry that can be filled with wide array of jams, creams & cheeses. It is staple of all things social in Racine; family gatherings, sporting events and parties. It’s super decadent & tasty and I can’t imagine life without it.
I found this bottle of Arctic Panzer Wolf hidden in the way-back of Groppi’s cooler (which has Bay View’s best beer selection thanks to buyer, Enjoli Duval). I was quite surprised to find one as I was under the impression that our fair city was completely out of stock. I greedily loaded it into my basket on one of my bottle-shopping excursions.
I pour the light-bodied, kinda thin liquid into my glass and with my first sniff I was flooded with memories; fresh raspberry kringle! I can smell the raspberry tartness rolled into the flaky buttery phyllo dough, topped with a wildly sweet frosting. I feel as if I am sitting in my parent’s kitchen, sipping coffee, waiting for the kringle to be cut and served. So, anxiously, I dive right in.
The raspberry-kringle aroma turns into a sugar-on-grapefruit bittersweetness once it hits my tongue. It’s not overly sweet like many other versions of the style, but it keeps the citrus rind tang in check with a pleasing and subtle tropical fruit perfume. The alcohol is masked in it’s own drinkability. There is an easy-goingness about this monster that I was not expecting.
Then, it hits me: this hop monster is not of the scaring kind! It’s a friendly beast! It’s welcoming like those nordic people who settled on our shores of Lake Michigan so many generations ago, the offspring of vikings, who seemed so large and unruly at the time, but instead of slaying us; invited us over for coffee and sweet kringle.