October 22, 2020

Shevet wins three London medals; introduces Small Batch Blonde Ale

The Shevet Brewstillery in Pardes Hanna has come out with yet another beer in its Small Batch series.  This time a Blonde Ale. 

At the start of the year, Shevet entered three of its beers in the London Beer Competition -- and in the summer (the delay was because of the severe corona epidemic in England) all of them won medals in their categories!  More about this later.     

The Blonde Ale also came out earlier this year.  It may not be easy to find on the shelves, but I've been assured that it will be making a comeback.   

I love the amount of information that's given on the Blonde Ale label (as with all of the Small Batch series):

4.9% alcohol by volume 

IBU (International Bitterness Units):  26 [moderate]

Number of bottles produced: 4,000

Specialty malt: Carapils

Hops: Citra, Nelson, Centennial

Tasting notes: Medium maltiness with smooth citrus hops flavor.

Thus should it be with all beer labels!

American blonde ales, as this one is, are easy-drinking, with neither the hops nor the malt dominating, and some mild flavors in the families of grain, bread and fruit.  

At least that's what the textbooks say.  Let's see how the Shevet Blonde Ale matches up.

It pours out a very clear light amber, lively bubbles rising but only a thin head.  The aroma is bready with some grass, spice (on the peppery side) and citrus (on the limey side).  You get a mid-bitter taste, low hop bitterness and some sweetness from the malt, also in an envelope of bread and yeast.  A thin body, active carbonation and a dry finish complete the picture.  

Lior Balmas, the former Brewmaster of Shevet, under whose auspices the Small Batch Blonde Ale was made, explained that the three hop varieties used for the beer contributed aroma and flavor, but not bitterness.  This is because they were introduced in the fermenting stage ("dry-hopped"), and not in the boiling stage, which would have absorbed the bitter acids.   
Shevet's three prize-winning beers
from the London Beer Competition. 

Lior also proudly told me about Shevet's three medals in the London Beer Competition.  "We sent our beers to London at the start of the year," he began.  "The judging was supposed to be at the end of March, but because if the corona crisis in England, it was only held in June.  That means our beers won even though they were sitting around in London for five months!  There was no public ceremony held, so we got our prizes by mail."

The London Beer Competition judges beers by their ability to identify and target a specific beer drinker, beers that are marketable and consumer driven.  Quite naturally, then, the judges are importers, store owners, pub owners, and others in the profession who have their finger on the market pulse.

"Our awards put Shevet on the same line with the best breweries in the world," Lior continued, "and Israel on the map of world beers."

Shevet's Small Batch IPA won the Silver Medal in the IPA category.

Wee Laddie won the Bronze for Scottish Ales.

Ice Mann, a Helles Lager, took the Bronze Medal in the category of Pale Malty European Lager. 

Congratulations to the Shevet Brewstillery on continuing the excellent Small Batch series, and on three prize-winning beers. 

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