Hoppy Xmas Countdown – 18 Dec

On day 18 of our Advent Calendar of Beer we’re looking at an interesting little brew from Darling; it’s the first beer in Africa to audited as carbon neutral. This was achieved in a few ways including recycled tap room furnishings and offsetting production emissions by supporting re-forestation. They’ve named the beer in honour of the endangered secretary bird.

Name: Blood Serpent
Brewery: Darling Brew
Country: Darling, South Africa
Style: Export Lager
Rating: 3.5 / 5

Ok so the beer is a dry hopped lager made with Hallertauer Mittelfrüh hops. I’m not too familiar with them, but Devil’s Peak lager also uses this old world Noble Hop. It’s meant to give a slight spice and floral aroma to the beer. Since Darling dry hopped with them, that’s what we should expect on the nose. I got a fair amount of grass with a little citrus.


The appearance is a hazy gold (from the dry-hopping), with a good amount of white rocky head. The flavours are almost typical of a pale ale or even a steam beer (AKA California Common) in that there’s both crispness and fruitiness. I got a fair amount of grassy hop flavours in this one, and there was a bit of tangerine or blood orange lingering there too.

I actually struggled to understand this beer, in all honesty. It’s nicely made, clean on the finish and it’s got some great flavours. It’s just that it didn’t blow me away in any one direction. However, it’s very session-able and could become a staple in many a lager fan’s beer fridge because of it’s richer flavours.

I found mine at my local Liquor Boutique, but these can be sourced online from League of Beers and Cybercellar.

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