Lingonberry is a succuluent, tart taste all to its own – comparable only to currants or maybe cranberries. Now what happens when you take a tart flavor profile and top-to-bottom incorporate it into a strong, dark 10% ale? Well, if you’re Dogfish Head Brewery, apparently you make one of the best beers imaginable!
What you need to know
- This beer is in a class all its own.
Weighing in at nearly 10% ABV, Kvasir doesn’t have the usual fetid bitter or overly sweet notes typically found in high-alcohol beers. Dogfish Head Brewery thankfully steered clear of the barley wines (Sorry Andy Alligator) and also away from the India Pale Ales and straight into the range of Dark, Strong Belgian Ales. It tastes like a good Trappist Quadrupel and until I get pushed off a rock, I’m going to call it one.
According to the bottle, this recipe that included lingonberries was originally found in the grave site of a long deceased Scandinavian princess. Now it’s quite obvious that even with DFH’s world-renowned brewers, reconstructing faithfully a recipe this old is nigh impossible. So as far as my tongue can tell, what they used was one of their strong, dark quadrupels, added cranberry juice (certainly not on the original recipe), and then blended in lingonberry in a tactful process until the taster could nary tell where the beer ended and the artic berry juices began. Resulting taste is possibly one of the best experiences my tongue has ever had.
Dogfish Head Brewery is possibly one of the best breweries in the United States and even the world. They pride themselves on making a wide variety of very well crafted beers that consistently stand toe-to-toe with the world’s top brewers. As such, nothing good is cheap! But, thankfully, good doesn’t also need to be painfully expensive. Dogfish Head’s Kvasir can be found at Green’s on Ponce de Leon Ave for $8.99/pint (GA sales tax not included). While it’s certainly not cheap – it’s most certainly worth every penny. And weighing in at 10% ABV, one bottle is perfectly fine to share between friends. After taking your first sip of Kvasir, though, you’ll want her all to yourself.
If you can’t find Kvasir in the craft beer section of your local grocer – take it as an excuse to make a pilgrimage to Delaware. Dogfish Head Breweries is famous for hosting some of the best beer tastings at their Brewpub.
Now, if you’re drinking it at home and would like to pair it with something – we recommend poached pears in dried cranberries or apple/bosc pear pie. And of course, as Scandinavians are wont to do – it goes great opposite Swedish meatballs.