I truly believe that what Plato said was true: “He was a wise man who invented beer.” It is and will always be my drink of choice and with the thousands of microbreweries out there today, I doubt I will ever run out of beer to try. That being said, when I was given the opportunity to sample a new “gourmet” beer from the Spanish brewery Estrella Damm, I could barely hold back my tears of joy.
The brewers at Estrella Damm have decided that it is time the market had a real alternative to wine when it comes to fine dining. Never again should you feel emasculated when ordering beer with your bone-in filet. No longer do you have to hang your head in shame as the owner of the lone longneck among a sea of fancy crystal stemware. Estrella Damm INEDIT is the product of nearly 18 months of trial and error (18 months of beer testing? Sign me up!) and is marketed as a beer “specifically created to accompany food.” Among those that had a hand in the creation of this high-end brand of suds are world-renowned chef Ferran Adrià and the sommeliers of elBulli in Catalonia, Spain.
After 400 attempts at reaching the summit, INEDIT was finally born this May. Showing in at a respectable 750-mL (about 1.5 pints), it is meant to be shared. Cloaked in an enigmatic black bottle adorned with a singular gold star, this beer fits right in with the bubbly and vino. According to the proud parents of this bouncing baby brew, this is a beer that should be served in a white wine glass filled no more than halfway, as to allow one to “appreciate all its virtues.” After all that, I’m not sure I’m worthy.
I was lucky enough to sample some and I have to tell you, their hard work paid off. I’m not saying this beer is for everyone, but if you truly enjoy the taste of beer and want to try something different next time you’re out, give it a shot.
Brewed in the Belgian witbier (white ale) style – think Sam Adams Summer Ale or Hoegaarden – you will find most of the typical characteristics: banana and clove aromas, coriander, lemon and orange background, and a cloudy pour with a thick white head. INEDIT also has several pleasant surprises including the stealthy use of licorice. It is bottle-conditioned which adds to the character and provides a nice yeast sediment layer on the bottom to boot. It’s fairly light and has a pretty heavy carbonation. It reminded me a bit of a white wine so I am not sure how well it would pair with heavy sauces or a big steak. I guess I will have to try it. (The things I do in the name of research.)
Estrella Damm INEDIT surprised me. For all of its glitterati front and love-story background it turns out to be a pretty good beer. It is light, flavorful, biting, and heady enough to cut through most of your food choices.
This ride has just started, so it’s only available in a few restaurants in the US and some specialty markets like Whole Foods. The Dallas Whole Foods Market carries it for around $10. Mosey on over to www.estrelladamm.com for more info and some charming Spanglish. Bottoms up!