November 25, 2020

Two fruited wheat beers: Mishmesh & Wheat Chee

Like other fruits, apricots can be 
excellent additives to wheat beer.

Two fruited wheat beers arrived on the scene recently.  I turned over a new leaf and rushed out to try them before they fade into the background.

I generally like wheat beers brewed with fruit.  The wheat style seems to be a "universal recipient" when it comes to fruit additives, much like people with AB+ type blood.  (That may not be the best analogy.)  I've enjoyed wheat beers made with cherries, raspberries, strawberries, oranges, citrons  . . and more.

Mishmesh (as those of you who know Hebrew can already guess) is a wheat beer brewed with apricots from the BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat.  It is one of their seasonal beers which are appearing with rapid regularity.  As I wrote already, when most of them are sold out, BeerBazaar eventually brews up another batch.  However, the apricot season is so very short (so much so that it's become an anecdote for "don't hold your breath") that there might not be more Mishmesh beer until next summer.

Mishmesh Wheat Beer from the
BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat.

Still, it was available recently and I had a chance to taste it with my drinking partner Moshe.

Its color is a cloudy yellow-orange which Moshe called "one of the coolest colors I've ever seen."  The aroma is sour fruit and grassy first of all, with a spicy tang.  This continues when you taste it: a little sour and tart, yeast and fruit sweetness.  The apricot is in the background, but as the beer warms up it moves to the fore.  The body is medium and what you would expect from a wheat beer.  Alcohol by volume is 5%.  

I enjoyed it, but remember this: Until the beer warms up a bit, the apricot gives notes of tartness, fruitiness, and lightly sour, without the actual flavor.  To get the fruit taste, nurse your beer a little longer than usual.

Luscious lychees add distinctive
aromas and tastes to wheat beer.
The same holds for Wheat Chee from Klara Beers, brewed at the Sheeta Brewery in Arad.  Its base is an American wheat beer, brewed with lychee fruit, with 5% alcohol.  

Here, too, the lychee taste only comes alive when the beer warms up.  But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Klara is the brand name for the beers brewed by Na'ama Ashkenazi, the "Israeli Queen of Beer."  Na'ama told me that Wheat Chee was brewed in collaboration with Rotem Zin of Biguns, the Center for Culinary Hobbies in Pardes Hanna - Karkur.

Three different bottles for
the same beer:
Wheat  Chee, the new wheat beer with
lychee fruit from Klara Beers.
[You can read more background on the Israeli Queen of Beer here.]

She also revealed something that is easy to overlook.  Wheat Chee comes in three different bottles.  Same beer inside, but different labels.  Look at the lychee fruit in the shape of a crystal ball within the hands of a gypsy fortune teller.  On one label, it's full, on another it's half, and on the third it's sliced in the middle.  Each label has a different color tone and a different fortune reading [they all lose something in my translations from the Hebrew]:

"Your future is shrouded in foam; you'll soon have a mustache."

"You feel that your life is stuck in a bottle cap; you'll soon be drunk."

"You're thirsty for change; something will soon open up." 

Anyway, back to the beer.

Na'ama Ashkenazi, the "Israeli 
Queen of Beer" and owner of Klara Beers.

A quick Google search reveals around 50 beers around the world that have been brewed or are still being brewed with lychee fruit.  It's not clear how many of these are wheat beers.  So Klara is not the first with a lychee beer, but it is a beauty.  

Wheat Chee poured out a very hazy, hay color, what you would expect from an unfiltered wheat, with almost no head.  The aroma was fruity and sweet, even bubble gummy, with some grapefruit.  The first taste is hoppy and bitter with a hint of lychee, citrus fruit and spice coming through.  Moshe's first reaction was that, "it tastes how lychee smells."  But as it warms up in the glass, the lychee becomes stronger.  In the end, you're left with bitter and lychee aftertastes that both stay with you.  "A good call," is what Moshe and I agreed on, meaning the wheat-lychee combination.

Beers from the BeerBazaar Brewery can be ordered from this English-language site:

Klara Beers are also available for purchase online at this site:    

Most of the pages have English versions, but the online shopping pages are only in Hebrew.  Na'ama says that there will soon be English shopping pages available.                                    

1 comment:

  1. Does the fruit taste real or artificial?
    Remember that actual fruit tastes better at room temperature, not straight from the fridge.
    Can these be bought in stores?


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