With a label usually worn by a grand national jockey, Wunder Lager makes you want to say “I’ll put a Pound on that one, he’s wearing the Sweden 2011 away kit.” Alas, this ale is far from Scandinavian. Not too far mind, only a quick trip across the North Sea to Belgium. Both the bottle design and the beer contained within have been meticulously crafted to give a result that is both simple and effective. This beer is literally a direct cross between a lager and an IPA. It’s a hybrid beer. This shouldn’t be a surprise, given that the bottle literally describes it as a India Pale Lager, but it is somewhat disconcerting. The Brussels Beer Project is real and it is happening. We, the people, need to be aware of it.
It’s the real ale equivalent of the Manhattan Project. The country’s finest brewers have been flown in from all across the vast, sprawling kingdom of Belgium to collaborate on Europe’s most elaborate beer experiments. The results are exemplary and fully worth the effort by all those involved. What they’ve managed to craft is delightfully light and refreshing, perfect for a summer day, straight from a chilled ice bucket. This begs the question as to why I decided to crack this bottle open in the middle of a thunderstorm during the COVID-19 imposed lockdown but we’re all learning. Next time the sun’s out post-pandemic, the Wunder Lager’s are getting cracked open and I’m dragging the couch into the front garden.