And now for something a little different…Mango beer.
When I met the boys from Hachatzer Brewery at the Rananna beer fest thingy Last Sukkot, I had a sip of this strange Mango beer. For want of not offending anyone at the time, I didn’t think much of it, pretty plat and syrupy actually, slight hop tinge to it, but that’s all. Sensing my discomfort seeing seeing my twisted facial expressions, the boys told me to relax and that its a new fresh batch out is nowhere near bottle conditioned yet. And in-case that might be unclear to some readers, the fermentation matter had not yet settled and the priming sugars had not yet built up a good level of carbonation which in turn brings out the depth of flavours.
So I took a bottle home with me and for some unknown reason, I stupidly stuck it in a cupboard which I rarely open, and promptly forgot about it for a good few weeks. How it got there I still cant remember…possibly because it was a Friday and I was doing some cleaning and I may have exercised the age old male habit where tidying things away actually means sticking stuff in the nearest hiding place.
When I did eventually find it again, I pinged the boys again to find out if in their opinion, sufficient time has past for bottle conditioning. It had. I put it in the fridge and popped the cap a couple hours later. I am afraid to say that the second taste was horrible and sour and entirely MY fault. The cupboard was hot place and the poor beer didn’t stand a chance. I really was not doing these guys any justice at all.
But I was resolute and determine.. Next day, a new bottle in hand, I followed the same routine of sticking in the back of the fridge and ceremoniously opening it. FINALLY, I got it right, and it was worth waiting for, if for no other reason that this beer is both unique and interesting.
The idea behind the name of this beer is cute, derived from a unanimous answer to the question ‘If you were stuck on a desert Island, which beer would you want with you’. Hence the name “Crusoe” (as in Robinson, as in stranded on Island, as in…o.k. you got it!). So they set about making the perfect beer they would want to happily die of dehydration with.
Now before we start, it must be told that I reckon that this Mango beer will undoubtedly not be everyone’s cup of tea. There will be beer snobs that will turn up their beer snob noses, but if your just a lover of the craft and after something new and intriguing, grab yourself a bottle and follow my lead.
Thick & sweet nectar, mild carbonation, juicy, hazey and mouth watering to the eye. Light medium crisp head which fades in record time.
Unsurprisingly, you get mango first. Or was that the hops? No, deff Mango first! What is surprising is the dominating aroma the mango offers over the traditional pale ale hops once you get to sniffing professionally. Maybe a 65-35%.
This brew is sweet. Not the sweet you may associate with a wheat beer. Not the sweet you may associate with some porters or stouts. But a sweetness that only a tropical fruit married to american west coast hops can dare to test your traditional tastes. Its also light, APA all the way. But contrasting that, is a thickness, honey, syprupy-ness too. Its a strange balance actually. This is why I chose to introduce this beer as intriguing. The after taste not not exactly packed with flavour thought, I was surprised how short-lived the tastes are to be honest.
I would offer my personal view that the balance towards the hops could do with evening out a little and tilt back towards the Pale Ale, to allow for a bit more depth and body, but then again the Hachatzer boys are happy with their end product.
(1) Leave a fingertip off the bottom of the bottle for the beer angels. Too much yeast and mango syrup.
(2) Wake up this Yom Hatzmaut morning, cook yourself a scrambled egg and pour yourself a Kuruzo in a champagne class. I have a feeling that’s how this beer is best served.
(3) 5.2% Alc (typical for an APA)