Given a previous article appreciating the art of so-called “novelty” beers, I’ve decided to look at three more beers often pigeonholed in the same way. These beers aren’t necessarily the most outrageous beers in the shop, but people do often call them novel, which just isn’t the case. They may be out there and different, but there is a reason why the brewers made them that way. We do not do novelty, and neither do brewers.

Omnipollo (SWE) – Magic #90000 7.0%

This is Omnipollo’s self styled smoothie IPA, brewed with blueberries, pecans, almond flour, vanilla and lactose. You can see why this is called a smoothie IPA. Far from false advertising, as soon as you try this you’ll realise how far removed from your standard fruit beer it actually is.

#90000 pours a deep, vivid red colour with hops more dominant on the aroma than you would expect. However, there’s also a tangy sweetness coming from the fruits. The flavour becomes the perfect blend of sharp, hoppy, tropical bitterness with a tartness emanating from the blueberries. From the almond flour and pecans follows hints of nuttiness that provide a savoury edge to the beer and prevent it from becoming overly sweet.

Omnipollo, from Sweden, produces fantastic beers that stray from the ordinary, but are rarely anything short of brilliant. This not so innocent smoothie is proof of that.

Beavertown (ENG) – Stingy Jack 7.2%

It’s approaching Halloween which can mean only one thing: Pumpkin beer season is upon us! These may seem like they’re trying to take advantage of an already hugely commercialised holiday, but that isn’t strictly true. If you go way back to when the British first travelled over to America, the flesh of pumpkin almost entirely took the place of malts in the brewing process. As it became easier to gain access to malts, the use of pumpkins in beer waned, but it was still used reasonably often as a flavouring in beer. Although its production is now commonly limited to being brewed this time of year, that doesn’t mean it’s just a novelty for Halloween.

From Beavertown, the Stingy Jack is essentially pumpkin pie in a glass, and it is delicious! Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pimento peppers, ginger, Demerara sugar and cardamom are all added alongside the pumpkin; and flaked oats create a smoother, silkier body. All this works together to give the beer a spicy, warming quality that is perfect for enjoying knowing just hold cold it is outside.

The Bruery (USA) – Cuivre 16.2%

This beer was brewed to celebrate The Bruery’s seventh anniversary. The eagle-eyed amongst you who have an intimate knowledge of wedding anniversary gifts and the French language (I know there’s a lot of you!) will notice that Cuivre is French for copper: the seventh anniversary present. This is, in all honesty, an incredible, over the top but very well balanced beer. I promise you, the ABV above is not wrong. It is 16.2%!

Every year this beer is brewed to celebrate The Bruery’s birthday. This is nothing too crazy, quite a lot of breweries do this. However, what they do with these beers once they’ve been brewed is what makes it stand out – they solera age their beer. This means that every year a portion of the beer is put into barrels for a year to be aged. This is then blended with the fresh batch from next year which, in some ways, creates the ultimate vertical beer series.

Solera ageing creates a level and depth of complexity in the beer unachievable by any other means. The beers in the barrel mature and change their characteristics, whilst taking on elements of the barrel that they sit in. The fresh batch naturally change slightly year to year, again giving their own personality to the final product.

This may seem like it’s excessive, however, it creates a simply outstanding beer. This is a beer that offers dark fruits, sweet vanilla and oak, creme brûlée and more. The creation of this beer is an exercise in indulgence, and that is exactly what you should do. It is rich, complex and luxurious – indulge away!