Mash Gang’s Stoop was the brewer’s attempt at making a 1980s-style ‘dad beer’ and was well received when we reviewed it here, although as far as lagers go I preferred their subsequent ‘Brewski‘ release. I thought the beer was pretty dry to begin with, but with Mash Gang being Mash Gang the guys have doubled down on their recipe and released this ‘extra dry’ edition, apparently modelled on Japanese lagers.
The four main beers in Japan – Asahi, Kirin, Sapporo and Suntory, have been on the dry side of the beer spectrum since the late 1980s, when Asahi released their ‘Asahi Super Dry’. This started a period known as ‘dorai sensō’ or ‘dry wars’ in the English language – an era of breweries bringing out their own dry lagers to try and take their fare share of the marketplace. But what actually constitutes an ‘extra dry’ lager?
A dry lager is brewed similarly to a standard lager, but fermentation is allowed to continue until virtually all of the sugars have been converted to alcohol, resulting in a beer with pretty much zero sweetness and usually with a higher ABV than usual. Some are even so high in alcohol content that they go through processes similar to those used to strip alcohol from regular beers to produce alcohol-free versions, though obviously only stripping a percentage point or two to hit the standard 4-5% ABV mark. Considering Mash Gang do not use any mechanical jiggery-pokery to produce their nolos, and instead fully ferment them using their Kveik yeast that produces minimal alcohol, it’ll be interesting to see how dry they’ve managed to go. Kanpai!
The beer pours a light straw colour, producing a lovely fluffy soapy head, and it’s a stayer, remaining until virtually the last drop. There’s some light fridge haze to it but otherwise it’s crystal clear. The nose is quite light, with lager malt and citrus being discernible, with maybe some slight stone fruit aroma.
Grassy hops greet us on tasting, with a biscuity malt backbone. Citrus joins the party, adding some fruitiness to the mix along with a very slight sour edge. There is some sweetness there but the bitterness is dominant. The chilli pepper that Mash Gang uses to emulate the alcohol ‘burn’ sensation is used well here, appearing as a mild warmth at the back of your throat after about half the drink but remaining quite restrained. The carbonation level is not as high as I was expecting but pleasing enough, the body is light and mouthfeel lovely and soft. The finish is dry and oaky.
Mash Gang Stoop Extra Dry is very similar to Stoop ‘original’ but guess what – it’s drier! It’s like they’ve given the beer a bit of extra love and the flavour has certainly improved as far as I’m concerned. If you like your lagers dry with barely any sweetness, like the big bottles of Asahi and Sapporo in Japan, then this is your beer. And I think it’s probably the only nolo of this style available currently.
Buy Mash Gang Stoop Extra Dry
Mash Gang’s beers are usually limited runs, but thanks to Stoop and it’s extra-dry sibling being in their core range it should be easier to get hold of. Try the links below:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Additional nutritional information not given. Boo, hiss!
|Water, Malted Barley, Oats, Wheat, Maltodextrin, Hops, Yeast, Chilli, Szechuan Pepper, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Metabisulphite
|Country of Production
|Mash Gang – https://mashgang.beer/
Mash Gang Stoop Extra Dry Review
It’s like Stoop but drier and spicier, very refreshing and I think unique in the current non-alcoholic lager marketplace.