For the past few weeks we have been drowning in winter beers. A national newspaper invited us to write an article recommending some of Britain’s best festive brews and, being dedicated to our task, we have thoroughly researched the subject. This has meant a liquid diet of porters, stouts and strong ales flavoured with cinnamon, port, spruce and other Christmassy flavours.
We will capitalise on this dark beer marathon by adding some more words on the subject to this wesbsite before too long but, for now, I’m craving a break from the heavy brews and have scanned the beer shelf for the first sighting of the words ‘pale ale’.
It could be the impressive typography, or the winter antitidote of a palm tree illustration, that drew my eyes this bottle, but whatever the sublminal reason, Tiki Tango is a pretty decent choice. It’s the colour of unpolished brass, has an astonishingly strong smell of mango and other tropical fruits, and a sweet, fruity flavour with a decent pine-tinged hoppy finish. As far removed from a stout as you can wish.
The only downside is finding more about the brewery has been a bit of a challenge. The website contains sparse information, all written in Swedish, and has been set up in a way to defy google’s translate tool. I know from the bottle that it’s based in the Hökarängen district of Stockholm and a rummage around facebook and other beery sources has filled in a few gaps.
As you might imagine from a brewery called ‘Pang Pang’, and a beer named ‘Tiki Tango’, the operation appears to be run by someone erring on the side of eccentric: Fredrik Tunedal. Having established the brewery in 2011, aged just 23, he tattooed ‘Pang’ on the knuckles of each fist, eventually using the resulting inksmanship as the basis for the company logo.
It took a while for Sweden to start collecting microbreweries at the same rate as other Northern European countries, but now it can boast its fair share of exciting new beery enterprises. However, none can quite match the slightly bonkers names of Pang Pang’s range, which includes ‘Bamboleo’, ‘Cocojambo’, ‘Flamingo-go’, ‘Libertango’ and ‘Tiki Tango’. (I’m sure at least three of those were nightclubs on the edge of Coventry in the early 1990s).
All those summery names are enough to distract you momentarily from the long dark nights of winter (which are, of course, darker for longer in Sweden). I’ll bet Pang Pang also make a decent fist of a winter beer, but our taste buds will have to wait for that – for now we’ve still got a few more British ones to get through.
Brewery: Pang Pang, Hökarängen, Stockholm, Sweden
Beer name: Tiki Tango
Beer supplied by Beer52