I have to admit that nowadays I’m not particularly a fan of the burnt-bean water we call coffee. The post-‘coffee-high’ slump, sweaty palms, and all that faffing around with plastic tops on cardboard cups are things I don’t need in my life. The roasty, smoky flavour of the stuff though – that I can appreciate. Which is one of the reasons why I’m a fan of stouts, and their roasted grain flavours that tend to have similarities with the black stuff. Where usually the natural sweet bitterness that comes from roasted grains is a good enough base for a stout, we’ve seen several brewers add a drop or two of arabica bean juice into the mix to add to those dark flavours.
Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Flat White is another of the company’s beers that has seen several iterations over the years. The full ABV version clocks in at 7.5%, and has been available as a double oatmeal version, one flavoured with cinnamon, and even some variants flavoured with different brands of coffee. This AF version is a mere 0.3% ABV by comparison. A ‘flat white’ involves frothy milk added to your coffee, and in the case of a beer I’d expect the milky aspect to come from added lactose. However, this doesn’t seem to appear in the beer’s ingredients, so I’m not sure what Mikkeller’s thinking is here apart from a snappy name for their stout. Once again, Mikkeller has palmed off the actual brewing of their beer to De Proefbrouwerij in Belgium, where they use the company’s own Mikkellensis yeast to ferment the nolo bev. Whilst I’ve had many AF beers that use this strain of yeast to develop their flavour, they tend to be IPAs and other ales that work well with the tangy grapefruit citrus aromas produced. It will be interesting to see what the little Mikkellensis organisms can do to stout wort.
The beer pours a deep reddish-black colour, producing a dense caramel-coloured head as the glass fills. It’s certainly looking like a decent stout to me. On the nose there’s no getting away from it, coffee is dominant. More black coffee than flat white, the ground coffee aroma is strong and offers bitterness along with some chocolate sweetness, and a touch of fruity dark berry aromas.
On tasting we get an initial tartness, juicy lemon or grapefruit citrus, which I think is the Mikkellensis at work. The flavour quickly swerves back to black coffee, offering roasted bean flavours and a growing bitterness to the drink. It’s quite light bodied with low carbonation (but not flat), giving a slick mouthfeel. Subsequent mouthfuls also have the initial sour kick. We get a roasty bitter finish to the drink, pretty much like drinking a black coffee.
Mikkeller Beer Geek Flat White is a strange beast. It’s like someone squeezed a lemon or grapefruit into your cup of cold, slightly carbonated coffee. While I do like coffee flavours in a stout, this beer is just coffee flavours, except for the citrus kick. So not much like a stout at all. An interesting drink, but I don’t think I could drink more than one in a sitting.
Buy Beer Geek Flat White 0.3%
Mikkeller run a number of bars throughout the country where you might get your hands on Beer Geek Flat White, but if you prefer to just reach in your fridge for one, stock up at the following shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)|
|Water, Barley Malt, Roasted Barley, Oat Flakes, Hops, Yeast, Coffee (1%)|
|Country of Production||Belgium|
|Brewer||Mikkeller – https://mikkeller.com/|
Beer Geek Flat White Alcohol-Free Stout Review
If you like your coffee cold, with a squeeze of lemon juice, then this is the AF beer for you. Strong mixed flavours will probably mean this is not for all stout drinkers.