No Corporate Beer Reviews: Hilma

Beer: Hilma
Brewery: Omnipollo (Stockholm, Sweden)
Style: IPA – Imperial/ Double
8% ABV / N/A IBU

Omnipollo is known for its wild, expressive can and bottle art – and equally strange concepts. Even by the Swedish nomad brewery’s usual standards, Hilma (named for the Swedish artist and mystic Hilma af Klint) is way out there. It’s an imperial IPA brewed with vanilla burger buns, french fries, and lactose. Or, in other words, all members of Aqua Teen Hunger Force represented in a pounder can. Actually embodying the taste of hamburger might’ve been a bridge too far; Hilma is really supposed to replicate the experience of dipping crispy fries into a vanilla milkshake, except… it doesn’t taste like that, either.

Usually it’s the other way around, right? You’d use craft beer to make a beer batter and fry things. Adding things like bread and potatoes to the mash probably just contributes extra sugars to get converted into alcohol. That’s probably why Hilma doesn’t taste like either, although it’s certainly a goofy, fun gimmick.What’s left is a New England style IPA with a good amount of haze, a nice orange body, and the pineapple and tropical fruit notes you’ve come to expect from that style, with a decent amount of bitterness.

Still, there are at least two exceptions that set Hilma apart. Although the vanilla burger buns don’t deliver as an ingredient, there is a pronounced, creamy, vanilla-esque flavor -– likely from the introduction of lactose. That’s a common trick with the milkshake IPA style, and it definitely balances the pineapple notes well. The other odd thing is the unmistakable yeastiness of those nose. Hilma smells like freshly-baked soft pretzels. Don’t know how to explain that given the beer’s formulation, but Ominpollo always walks a fine line between science and magic.

For more info, check out Omnipollo.