If you have ever wanted to drink a craft beer while looking like a vagabond, To Øl1 has just the beer for you. In early 2014, the Denmark-based brewery first released the appropriately named Brown Paper Bag, which features a green 375ml bottle packaged in an actual brown paper bag that twists closed at the top.2

To ol Brown Paper Bag Bottle

The so called  “hoppy imperial lager” comes in at  8.5 percent ABV and is brewed with melanodin and caramel malts, pilsner yeast and three different kinds of hops: mosaic, citra and Amarillo. Although technically a pilsner, the beer is aggressively hopped, turning it into a style that is altogether different than its base beer.

The To Øl website has more information about the release:

Let get this straight – being hobo doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy the zesty, fruity, piney, green pleasures of potent hops once in a while. It doesn’t mean you can’t separate the wheat from the chaff. It doesn’t mean you can’t be a total beer maniac. Too long the lager yeast has been synonym with boozy malt liquor or obnoxious lagers, but the lager yeast is actually perfect clean canvas for showcasing the beauty and potent aromas of hops. And for all of you beer geek hobos – we pre-packed this sucker for you!

The To Øl3 Brown Paper Bag pours a dense muddy amber color, with two fingers of off tan-colored head that sticks around for a very long time, even after I start drinking. Aroma from the glass is very strong with juicy pine, sweet oranges, lemons, oak and some white pepper each present in different amounts.

To ol Brown Paper Bag

Although the hops are certainly present, they are not nearly as dank in the profile as the aroma would suggest. In fact, the Brown Paper Bag has flavors of grass, oak, tart lemon, pine, and peppery earth. The finish is a bit bitter, but also has a very slight sweetness underneath that I find quite appealing. Interestingly, the carbonation is quite low on the palate, which is a bit shocking after seeing the amount of head retention there was as I was drinking.

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To Øl Brown Paper Bag
BREWERY: To Øl
LOCATION: Denmark
STYLE: Imperial lager
ABV: 8.5 percent
IBU: n/a
PRICE: $11.99
RELEASE DATE: March 2014
AVAILABLE IN: 375ml bottles
BEERS POURED: One
While I am not a fan of pilsners in general, the To Øl Brown Paper Bag is something altogether different. The three different hops really do add a nice bit of complexity to the overall profile, although the balance suffers just a tad because of it. Carbonation was lower than I expected, but still within normal limits, and the alcohol in the beer is well hidden. I ended up enjoying it, and will definitely buy more if I ever run across them again.
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