February 28, 2021

BeerBazaar Mango Sunrise + The Coal Miner

This time there are two more beers from the BeerBazaar Brewery (Kiryat Gat) which continues its frenetic pace of turning out new beers.  As I wrote before, they are not on the shelves (or in this case, available in the online store) for very long, but they have been known to make come-backs, especially if they are popular.  I'm guessing these two might be. 

Mango Sunrise:
A flavored saison from
the BeerBazaar Brewery,
with mango you can really taste.
(Photo: Mike Horton)

Mango Sunrise is a saison-style beer, 5.8% alcohol, with the addition of mango.  Saison beers are often flavored not only with fruit, but also all kinds of herbs, vegetables and spices, coffee, chocolate, nuts and vanilla.  Still, the saison quality should always come through: Refreshing, moderately bitter, dry, and a little spicy from the yeast.    

By my count, there have been six other Israeli craft beers brewed with mango, and they are: Kruso and Double Kruso (pale ales from the now defunct HeChatzer Brewery), Freedom IPA (from Oak & Ash), Education IPA (from Good Stuff), Tropical IPA (a saison from Lodestone), and Mexico 70 (a wheat ale from Herzl).      

Of course, many other beers in Israel and abroad have mango flavors, but these are usually from the variety of hops used, and not from the addition of fruit.

Mango Sunrise pours out a cloudy orange juice color with a thin head.  A first whiff brings mango juice, sweet spice (maybe cinnamon?) and a sour note.  The flavor begins with sweet mango, followed by a little bitterness, beery malt and yeast esters.  The body is medium-full and the finish is semi-sweet and juicy. 

You can definitely taste the fruit in Mango sunrise -- unlike some of the other mango beers.  And since I like mango, I appreciated this.  My drinking partner, photographer Mike Horton, also likes mango -- but he "would prefer to have my mango juice separately and my beer separately."  To each his own.

The Coal Miner from the
BeerBazaar Brewery:
A mildly smoked lager.
(Photo: Mike Horton)

BeerBazaar's second new beer is The Coal Miner (HaKoreh in Hebrew), with 5.2% alcohol by volume.  It is a smoked lager, a beer style with ardent followers in Europe and elsewhere.  Here in Israel, I counted at least 10 local smoked beers over the years.

These beers get their smoky character from the specialty malt, which is exposed to different kinds of wood or peat smoke.  When the malt is used in the brewing, it imparts the smoky aromas and tastes to the beer.  Even a small percentage of smoked malts will have an effect on the beer.

The Coal Miner uses malt smoked over beech wood.  This gives the beer a mild smoky aroma, with some charcoal in the background.  The taste is not very bitter, with some malt sweetness and mildly smoked meat (as I remember it to be).  But my drinking partner Mike compared it to being in front of a charcoal fire before the meat is put on.  The body is medium and the smoky aftertaste stays with you for a while.  

I enjoy smoky beers (and smoky whiskies) if the smoke is not overwhelming, so The Coal Miner was just right for me.  The only thing I do question is the choice of the name and image, since coal has nothing to do with preparing smoked beers.  Ah well, what's in a name?  Enjoy the beer when it comes back.  

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