Emelisse (NL), Herfstbok: 6.5 per cent, £3.25
However, in that time their popularity has risen and the quality of their beers has only improved.
They regularly release a range of contemporary and traditional Continental styles, including Belgian blondes, saisons, and dubbels, and they’re jointly responsible for the sensational Earl Grey IPA in collaboration with Marble brewery, so you’d be foolish to disregard this Dutch outfit.
The bok, however, is a style very much in the Dutch psyche; not only do most breweries (yes, even the big boys like Amstel and Grolsch) produce at least one seasonal bok, but the style is so widely appreciated that an annual festival is held in Amsterdam dedicated to showcasing bokbiers from across the nation.
Herftsbok is a strong, nutty lager, pouring a stunning, bright mahogany with a steady tan head. It looks beautiful in the glass and releases a nutty, wheat-bran aroma with walnut and raisin notes that is divine.
Full bodied, with a bright, spritzy carbonation, the initial taste is a sweet bonfire toffee hit that gradually subsides to reveal coffee, all-bran, dried bananas and treacle before an even, neutral bitterness cleanses the palate. A substantial and hearty lager, ideal for blustery days and cold, dark evenings.
• Recommended by Michael Bates, Trembling Madness, 48 Stonegate, York, YO1 8AS