The Pistonhead range of lagers hails from the brewhouse of Brutal Brewing, which is the moniker given to the more experimental arm of macro brewery Spendrups Bryggeri AB. One of the largest independent breweries in Sweden, with a history dating back to 1897, their Brutal Brewing ‘workshop’ was set up in 2011 to try and get some of the ‘edge’ that the many new microbreweries at the time were finding success with. Fast forward to today, and the offshoot is proving successful indeed, with offerings such as ‘Pistonhead’ lagers and ‘A Ship Full of IPA’ ales widely available.
Not only do Brutal Brewing take the striking can and bottle label designs favoured by small craft brewers, but are also very much influenced by them when it comes to the usage of ingredients. Pistonhead Flat Tyre is a Pilsner lager at heart, but is dry-hopped with the popular craft beer trio of American hops; Centennial, Magnum and Mosaic. These hops give citrus and tropical tastes and aromas, and are usually used in IPAs. So will we be seeing Flat Tyre wandering off into India Pale Lager (IPL) territory?
Pouring from the can we get a pale golden/amber coloured liquid with a steady amount of carbonation. A decent sized head froths up and does stick around, though it thins down quickly. On the nose we get grassy pine and lemony citrus aromas, fading away to Pilsner-style maltiness.
On tasting we get a crisp bitter pine taste with a background of malt and lemon citrus. A touch of tropical fruit also makes an appearance, before the bitterness starts to taper down as you drink more, and the malt takes up a more prominent role. By the end it tastes like a pretty standard Pilsner lager, with a bitter finish. The mouthfeel is quite creamy for a lager.
Even if Brutal Brewing hasn’t tried to make Flat Tyre an IPL it certainly does veer into that style at the start of the drink, which may put off many lager drinkers. The flavours are pleasing to a hop-head like myself, but they get lost during the imbibing process, which leaves a lackluster finish to the drink. Certainly easy enough to drink, but maybe Pistonhead Flat Tyre is a bit confused about what sort of beer it’s trying to be.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
0.5% alcohol by volume
20 calories energy
(taken from the side of the can)
Water, Barley Malt, Hops
Pistonhead Flat Tyre Alcohol-Free Lager Review
A hoppy lager that starts off well but ends up a bit bland. Maybe not the choice for a lager drinker who is looking for an alcohol-free alternative, but there are certainly worse options out there.