Wheat beers have their following, of that there is no doubt and we are in agreement. There are even the devotees which scarcely drink anything else. My wife is one of these actually, a staunch ally of the Endosperm, Bran layers and Germ which form the wheat ear attached to the top of the stalk. And when soaked and brewed into a ‘Wheat beer’ I myself am more of a weekend fan rather than an in-the-terraces-every-home-and-away-match, kind of supporter.
So it made sense to recruit my queen among members the fairer sex, for this weeks review of the Bazelet Wheat beer (produced by the Golan Brewery). Another reason for wanting her opinion was that we both recently had a short but pleasant chat with one of the proprietors at their stall in Dizengoff Center. For the size and stature Golan Brewery has grown to since 2006, this was quite an honour and it is actually still since that occasion that I now hold the bottle from which we were about to follow our lip licking and throat clearing, and get tasting.
A sparkling medium thick golden colour with the transparency of the liquid near to none. The head is a crisp white with plenty oxygen.
Right off the bat during the pouring ,the aroma is remarkably pungent, very distinctly wheat beer-ish. I got a ping in my brain from some distant obscure memory of an earthy fruity hand soap I must have used on holiday somewhere. There is a European freshness wiff to this beer too you know? Must be the all that fresh water up there in the Golan Heights.
The key to a good tasting wheat beer, I have led myself to believe in recent years, is a familiarity of other wheat beers tasted in days gone by, while leaving at least 30% uncharted territory for the taste buds. The boys at Golan Brewery were making it wonderfully difficult for me to put my finger on what it actually is I was tasting in this remaining percentage. It was a citrus fruit, but not one you nor I have ever tasted before. It was a lime, but not the ones you squeeze into your gin. And it was also a lemon-pumpkin-pomegranate-thyme leaf freshly plucked from its natural state of being half submerged in a fresh waterfall!
If this analysis reads as though the thoughts of a rambling madman with a foggy mist between the eyes, asked to describe the contents of a garden greenhouse, then I have gotten the nub of this experience over to you; but perhaps a little strongly. But the truth is that I hope you find it as enjoyable as I have done trying to find enough familiarity in your mind to put pen to paper and do this beer justice.
It also struck me with satisfying reflection that this is actually a drink best served in the morning to pay homage to the fresh bright feeling you get when drinking it. Stuff champagne in the early hours, this far better suits, only don’t forget the cheese pairing. Beer for breakfast? Perhaps the more grounded female opinion is required at this juncture…
” Nice and rich, and a bit sweet. Just as a fabulous wheat beer should be”
…and I quite agree.
A wonderful new angle on the scent senses discussed earlier. Go for it.
The rise of the Golan Brewery has been astonishing since its founding in 2006 by Naftali Pinchevsky and Haim Ohayon and in no small part due to their partnership with Golan Heights winery. Deserving of a number of features and posts to themselves, I will be looking in the near future to both visit the spot where it all happens where they also sport a nice little pub/eatery, and to speak directly with some of the names whom together are turning the cogs at an ever faster speed.
The label is the very chic of ’boutique’ using recycled (or at least styled as such) paper with a glossy painted bits to highlight the name. It also offers the following helpful blurb about the beer for those like myself who are keenly interested:
5.1% Alc per 330ml
WATER: The name “Bazelet” translates as “Basalt” which is the rock substance of cooled lava readily found in the Golan Heights. The waters therefore are steeped in these natural rich minerals.
GRAIN: 60% Wheat malt refined with Bavarian Barley malts
HOP’S: Selected hops from Splat in Bavaria – very interesting!