Now that I’m a married man I spend much of my free time doing things like buying shelves from IKEA. Not whole furniture units mind, just individual shelves. While standing in line behind a guy who was either about to throw an awesome party or was restocking a bar after a particularly brutal bar brawl, my attention began to wander. As the checkout assistant totted up the man’s two trolleys full of glassware, I noticed a garishly coloured bottle of liquid next to the check out.
I’m typically immune to special offers at checkouts; we all know they exist to grab the attention of screaming children. Curiously, the bottle looked like fire lighter fluid. Unsure if it was traditional for Swedish children to drink fire lighter fluid (well, it is a cold country after all), I decided to look more closely at the bottle. There, amongst the ingredients, I noticed our good friend, hops! Hop flavouring to be precise.
It has been awhile since I last reviewed a beer, so I thought I would take advantage of this unlikely find to warm up with something light and easy. Dryck Julmust, from Sweden’s iconic IKEA Food Services brewery (technically contract brewed in Germany), pours with a reassuringly thick body and a vibrant, tan coloured head.
It has a treacly sweet aroma, with a hint of musty old sofas; the sort of saggy, corduroy ones that you find in student bedsits. The smell of a family pet, a dog perhaps, still lingers on the cushions even though the dog has been dead for some years, and Dad never really liked it anyway because of the time he shat in the cupboard under the stairs and ruined that nice coat Dad owned even though he hardly ever wore it.
Quickly following up the thick, sweet body is a fierce carbonation that delivers a powerful taste of fizzy cola bottles, dried sweat and old cardboard. Regrettably, it would appear the clear plastic bottle has allowed the hop flavouring to become light struck. It’s difficult to give a true appraisal of Dryck Julmust, but if you find it on cask, keg or in brown bottles and you enjoy the taste of wood shavings and frayed corduroy, then it might be worth a go. Given the festive tie-in of the drink, it’s likely to available in pubs across the land once the pumpkin and cinnamon themed beers have been chucked out.