Its downtown bar closed except for takeaway drinks, Budapest brewers Mad Scientist have used their downtime wisely, experimenting with the mulled genre to produce two tasty beers to beat the winter chill. We sampled both and were warmly surprised.
Mulled beer is not the work of the devil. Poles, for example, enjoy traditional grzane piwo, while Belgians turn to mulled cherry beer in winter. Nevertheless, the concept remains alien to many.
Now, after no little experimentation, the Mad Scientist crew of Budapest brewers have stepped into the breach to introduce two mulled beers to Hungarian ale aficionados.
Hungry for Apples is a sour, apple-flavoured honey beer to which cinnamon, cloves and oranges have been added and which, when warm, conveys a Christmas atmosphere. In fact, mulled wine comes to mind sooner than beer.
The other warming delicacy was made from Mad Scientist’s New York Mocaccino, which features coffee from domestic roasters Casino Mocca, cocoa beans and cream, fooled with marshmallow to give it a sweet, milky flavour. It first evokes Irish coffee, perhaps Baileys if warmed a little first.
The Mad Scientists have dipped their toes in warmer waters before, offering such beers last summer at Mad Garden then, before the recent closures, Madhouse in early November. They have then carried over this experience to this winter.
After having sampled the goods, we can most certainly recommend these beers. You can buy both in a takeaway glass
from Madhouse in the city centre. One is a perfect substitute for mulled wine
or tea, and the other is like any coffee – and you can order these hot drinks
with food as well.
Their great advantage is that if they cool down, they can be reheated smoothly with little deterioration in quality. Hungry for Apples is stronger (10-12% proof) and more expensive (1,190 HUF), New York Mocaccino 900 forints, 8-9% proof.
Although it stands to reason that mulled beer is best suited to autumn or winter, we should remember what experts say about the heat: hot drinks help you cope. If demand continues, these mulled beers will be available at Madhouse in summer as well.