Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Danish, special ed teacher, male model, gypsy brewer . . . now established in Brooklyn. Evil Twin Brewing was founded in 2010. I almost wrote “Evil Twin Brewery” but there is no such thing, he brews at 10 different breweries in 6 countries. All the ones reviewed here were brewed in Connecticut or South Carolina. He’s extremely prolific, and the press kit notes “Launched more than 40 different beers in 2012.” So everything is in limited supply and everything sells out. Before he became a brewer, he
started the famous beer store ‘Ølbutikken’ in Copenhagen 2005. Was voted ‘Best in the world’ by RateBeer in 2007.
Sounds like my kind of place, but I’m glad he switched his focus from selling to brewing.
His brother Mikkeller started brewing even earlier, but unfortunately the brothers had a falling out, leading to Jeppe striking out for the New World and landing in Brooklyn. One could hope that in time they will forgive each other . . . leading to an awesome collaboration beer.
I expected it to be too sour for me, and it is. The style is not to my taste. The color is pale straw with haze that’s apparent even in a small sample. The eucalyptus comes into play, starting with the aroma. Then there’s a citrus quality up front, maybe like biting into a lime. So it’s quite interesting–it *is* Evil Twin, after all–and I think those who appreciate the Berliner Weiss and other sour styles will like this. 4% ABV and low bitterness. Brewed at Westbrook Brewing in South Carolina
A Brett IPA, it arrives with a cat pee nose over light stone fruit and bread malt. In the glass it is cloudy light amber like pear nectar. There’s a ragged off white head dissipating to thin foam over 2 or 3 minutes. Brett gives a mild sour bitter-flavor and then a strong hit of earthy/bitter orange hops. Then there is more stone fruit, the kabosu is an unusual note, then leads into a mildly sour finish. Quite refreshing and even better with food. 6.0 % ABV, brewed at Westbrook.
An Imperial Stout, very dark brown with a tan head lacing the glass. Sweet roasty caramel nose over bready malt. Coffee and roasty caramel flavor coating palate Lingering caramel finish. They describe it better than I possibly could:
This stout looks like soft dookie and some will say it smells and tastes like it too. If you like a thick, creamy and utterly vanillalicious stout you’ll like this one. If you don’t, get yourself something else instead.
Apparently the beer passed through a couple of different names, including Soft Dookie, and faced a legal challenge about the name in at least one state. Thus the name has shifted to the relatively innocuous Soft DK. Comes in at 10.4% ABV, brewed at Two Roads Brewing in Connecticut.
I have to apologize that after the gose I truly couldn’t appreciate this. It came in as cloyingly sweet, and I think that’s partly or largely due to following the intense sourness. I went looking for this to be able to give a more complete review . . . and I couldn’t find it except on draft at Growler & Gill, but the supply was limited so no growlers available. So I looked at a beer finder online, identified a couple of sources, and drove 40 minutes to find . . . they didn’t have it either. But what they *did* have was . . .
Pours gold with about a one-minute off-white head. Peaches in the nose arrive with spicy hops and underlying bread malt. Then comes rich stone fruit and caramel malt flavor, and maybe crystal malt unless sugar was added. The sweetness is balanced, barely, by the hops, but never crosses over into cloying. Slight alcohol is perceptible, but not heat, and it definitely doesn’t feel as strong as it is. Medium to full body with slight syrupy quality and slight effervescence. On the finish, sweetness gives way to fruit gives way to hop bitterness, but at the end sweetness and bitterness sway back and forth. I almost feel like I’m licking sugar off my lips. Working on the glass, it stays richly flavorful with sustained balance of hops and sweetness. 13% ABV Brewed at Two Roads in CT.
Having been thwarted in reviewing the “basic” Molotov Cocktail, as if anything from Evil Twin is “basic,” I picked up a couple of more varieties to try.
A pilsner that pours clear pale gold like Czech pale lager. Foamy white head lacing the glass. Mild effervescence. The head dissipates in a couple of minutes. Clean crisp cracker nose with a little yeast and faint fruity esters. Hoppy flavor then full bodied malt with touch of toast and then caramel. This is hoppier than classic pilsners, but subtle, with mild spice and maybe a noble hop misled by the Evil Twin. 5.5% ABV, brewed at Two Roads.
Hazy golden amber in the glass with a generous ragged off white head, long lasting. Subtle nose of crackery malt with a tiny hint of spicy hops. Medium body lightly foamy and staying subtle, almost like you took a crackery pilsner and turned it two notches toward pale ale. Soft piney hop finish. 5.5% ABV, Brewed at Two Roads.