Enter the Lizard

Walking into Oljenkorsi last night, it was immediately obvious that something was Going On. All the staff were decked out in matching t-shirts, and the latest thing to come out of the wellspring of innovation in Espoo was already on tap: Fat Lizard‘s 101 California Pale Ale. Is that a good metaphor? Would a lizard come out of a spring? Who knows..

Before long, a van pulled up outside and sent forth a bunch of energetic-looking people, who carried with them some not-so-typical accessories. A frying pan. Bunch of coriander. Ok, cool, we might get some snacks. Is that a worm farm? Yes. Yes it is.

Fat Lizard, based in Kivenlahti, began brewing in January. They make American-style beer, because American beer should be enjoyed fresh, and by the time it arrives in Finland it’s not fresh – or so they explained to Hesari the other day.

What else is best enjoyed fresh? That’s right: insects. The Fat Lizard crew enlisted the help of insect chef Topi Kairenius to liven up their lunch launch by cooking up some bugs & worms for the (surprisingly?) eager crowd.

Diet of Worms
Diet of Worms

But what about the beer? This California Pale Ale struck me as more English- than US-style. Slightly pungent, piney aroma. Medium body. If you’re looking for a big malty backbone and a huge burst of floral/citrusy hops, you won’t find it here. But, I sometimes find the typical west coast beers to be a bit overdone in that regard, so even though it doesn’t quite fit the image, I enjoyed the more restrained approach employed here.

This Fat Lizard is also crawling out of taps in Gallows Bird, Kaski, One Pint Pub, and the Black Door. You’ll have to bring your own insects though.

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