Read the labelling on this beer by Hardknott and you won’t know what you are about to drink.

‘Queboid is not square. It contains solid geometry in its hex-faceted flavour profile, which, co-ordinated with its parallel piped direction, makes for a right angled and perpendicular drinking experience’

We cracked open a Queboid on Monday night in the hope of translating.

Queboid is indeed, not square. It is in fact an 8% imperial saison. An imperial saison – a contradiction in terms you might think. A saison is after all supposed to be crisp, summery, refreshing &  light. Hardknott have taken the fruity, slightly wheaty qualities of Belgian Saison yeast and re-imagined them as something closer in style to an American IPA.

On the nose, the saison yeast is very apparent, as is lots of sweet malt and notes of banana, kiwi and a bit of grapefruit. Certainly tropical. Certainly a saison.

On the palate, the flavour of saison yeast is almost entirely lost. It does provide quite a dry body and allows a citrussy flavour to come through. The predominant flavour though is a syrupy sweetness and all that alcohol prevails  in a hit of warming spirit. The tropical notes are reminiscent of an American IPA, bit it lacks the crisp, bitter finish of said styles. The flavour is warming and enjoyable, but the body is slightly chewy.

When you try this beer, believe it or not,  what Hardknott are saying on the label starts to make sense. OK maybe that’s an overstatement. But what they have done is re-imagine a style and push boundaries. The result isn’t perfect, but certainly interesting… and experimentation is what brewing is all about. And we like that a lot!