|Sun Blaze: The new beer|
and Super Heroine from the
(Photo: Mike Horton)
|Meidad Ram (left) and Eyal Noam,|
brother/partners of the Six-Pack Brewery,
share the first bottle of Sun Blaze
with the old blogger.
(Photo: Mike Horton)
Six-Pack was founded over two years ago by brothers Meidad Ram and Eyal Noam (yes, I know, they have different last names, but that's another story). The other beers they brew now (at the BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat) are SMASH, a single malt and single hop IPA, and Ultimus Amber Ale.
At the Jerusalem launch of Sun Blaze at Beerateinu, they told me that they had all but ceased brewing after their father had open-heart surgery last year and was in a coma for two months. After he recovered, the brothers were meeting in their parents' home and discussing a new beer to begin their brewing once again.
"We mentioned a few ingredients that we could use," said Meidad, "but other Israeli brewers were doing the same thing. Then we saw the answer on the plate in front of us: maple cookies."
They began experimenting with maple syrup, trying different recipes for their beer. The final product was Sun Blaze, an ale containing 25 liters of Canadian maple syrup in every 1,000 liter batch, and a mix of Hüll Melon hops (also known as Hallertau Melon) from Europe and Sabro hops from Washington State. Both hop strains are aroma hops, with Hüll Melon adding honeydew melon, strawberry and apricot characteristics, and Sabro (a very new variety) known for tangerine and coconut flavors.
Eyal continued: "You can achieve a 7% ABV from any fermentable sugars. But the sugars from maple syrup will give you a lighter body than the sugars from malted grain. And that's what we wanted: a strong beer with a light body."
So after all that explanation, let's see how this works out.
Sun Blaze pours out of the bottle a hazy dark amber color. At least that's what it was in the dim light of Beerateinu. I was joined by two other tasters, and between us we got aromas of tropical fruit, caramel, coconut, hazelnut and some wood. The tastes were a delicious blend of these in a mild bitter envelope. The mouthfeel was mid-field -- in the body, the carbonation and the alcohol "warmth."
Yet we felt that something was missing. Oh yes, the maple. I know. It's not called a maple beer, and the syrup itself was used to add sugars rather than as a flavor. But we all were hoping for at least a hint of maple.
It's a good thing we didn't give up. As the beer diminished and warmed up in our glass, the maple aroma rose up. Just a little bit, but enough to make itself felt.
Even without the maple, we thought that Sun Blaze is a tasty, well crafted brew. Perhaps not a light summer beer, but a heroine nevertheless who packs a rich, flavorful punch.