While Candy Kaiser was Brewdog’ take on an Altbier, ‘No Label’ is their interpretation of another classic German beer style – ‘Kolsch’.
Kolsch is a similar brew to Altbier, this time hailing from Cologne. They’re closer to lagers, but top fermented and then stored for an extended period. Genuine Kolsch, like Champagne, has ‘Protected Geographic Status’ which means it can only be brewed within 50km (about 30 miles) of Cologne.
That’s not to stop brewers from brewing Kolsch style beers, and Brewdog have added a couple of twists, firstly by dry-hopping the brew and by using ‘Jester’ hops that switch gender just before they’re picked.
Brewdog have focused on the ale/lager dichotomy (I never thought I’d use the word ‘dichotomy’ in a beer review) and the use of transgender hops (something else I never thought I’d use in a beer review).
To their credit, and while the whole transgender thing has alienated large sections of the LGBT community, Brewdog have announced that profits from the sale of ‘No Label’ will go to ‘Queerest of the Queer‘, an organisation that organises events for the LGBT community.
By, as it says at the top of this page “it’s about the beer” and this pours a pale golden colour, with a rich, white head.
Those is familiar Brewdog, citrus papaya and mango, nothing wrong with that.
The flavour is well balanced, reminiscent of Brewdog’s Hoppy Christmas, but that’s no bad thing. There’s a rich malty underpinning and just enough hops to provide a refreshing drink.
Regardless of the sexual politics, it’s a pleasant enough beer, and the added ‘Jester’ hoppiness enhances the brew, making it one of the better Kolsch beers I’ve tasted.