An interesting bunch this. My eye was caught by the sleek, shapely bottles on the Drinkstore page and before I knew it I was cracking them open one Saturday evening with Reuben (Tale of Ale).
VG Noster is a Spanish brewery, who seem to be fairly new, (if the lack of ratebeer reviews is anything to go by...). These beers are all at session strength, but in a classy 750ml bottle which suggests to me they're supposed to be challenging wines' dominance in the Spanish market, whilst not being too challenging for those used to likes of San Miguel and Estrella Damm. As all good breweries know, it is the brewery name that needs to be emphasised, beer names are not as important when first launching (as long as its nothing stupid like this lot).
Copper is pale copper in colour (say what you see?) with a hazy, off-white head, metallic nose with redcurrant, very high carbonation, sweet redcurrant flavours and a short finish at first but as it warms lasting blackcurrant appears. A rose wine substitute perhaps?
Golden Ale Hazy golden with large bubbly white head, fairly metallic nose and some pineapple yeast esters in behind. Slightly tinny flavour with sweet malt and yeast esters, very high carbonation, v easy drinking.(No picture as I drank it too quickly...)
Quercus Pale pours a clear ruby-amber with a foamy, fluffy creamy coloured head. Earthy sage and parsley notes on the nose. Again with the high carbonation of its siblings, there's herbal apricot and caramel notes plus a fairly heavy body and long dry finish. Like a vermouth or dry sherry. This is the beer I found most interesting, but 1/3 bottle is sufficient, then the herbal flavours become too much, without the food to help counteract it. Translating the Spanish from the website, this beer is suggested for oily fish and dark meats, and I can certainly see it working on these occasions. Couldn't work our why its named after the latin for oak though...
So whilst I'm probably not their target market, I think the beers are decent enough, though wouldn't be my first choice when pairing food. I hope they find their place in the market and will certainly look out for future offerings.