July 18, 2021

BeerBazaar Mutatzia + Purpilicious (Casis) + Grapefruit Punch + Vienna Sunset

It's time I caught up on some of the new beers from the BeerBazaar Brewery in Kiryat Gat.  No matter how fast I run (and I admit I'm slowing down), I just can't keep up with the succession of new beers from BeerBazaar.  The good thing is that even if the supply of certain beers may run out, there's a good chance that Brewmaster Lior Weiss will bring them back sometime soon.

BeerBazaar Hamutatzia APA:
A tweak away from the Bhindi IPA. 

The first beer I want to discuss is Mutatzia, an American Pale Ale at 5.5% alcohol.  The name means "mutation" in Hebrew, and we certainly have been trying to cope with all the Covid mutations which have been arriving from overseas.  But the name also alludes to the fact that this beer is merely a tweak (a mutation, if you will) of BeerBazaar's popular Bhindi IPA.  A change in the malt, a variation in the hops, and the IPA becomes an APA.

To my aging olfactory and glossopharyngeal nerves, the line between APA and IPA is already very blurry.  These two styles share a lot of the same characteristics and the parameters overlap in almost every category: Appearance, aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel.  Personally, I appreciate and enjoy these beer styles very much.  What do we have with Mutatzia?            

It's 5.5% alcohol, a clear golden color with a thin foamy head.  The hops aromas are decidedly citrus (grapefruit and lemon), some yeast, but balanced by a malt sweetness.  In the taste, there was some citrus fruit and pineapple, but not very distinct.  It's bitter and rather bland, with my drinking partner Daniël Boerstra picking up some "dried orange peels."  (He's much younger than I am.)  We felt that Mutatzia was leaning more towards a Blonde Ale than an APA.  Nitpicking perhaps, but we were a little disappointed.

BeerBazaar Purpilicious Sour Wheat:
Berry aroma and taste from the black currants.
Moving on to Purpilicious, a sour wheat beer made with black currants, also known as cassis.  Before we even start, that earns an "A" for effort.  Black currants are very healthy, but they are not a very well known fruit.  I read that they taste tart like passion fruit with a dark berry flavor.  Their growth is banned in New York state and some western counties because they carry a fungus which can destroy pine trees.  You probably didn't know that.  

Purpilicious is indeed a dark shade of purple, topped by a pale purple and long-lasting head.  The aromas bring hay, grass and faint berries.  My drinking partner (in this instance Moshe) smelled some yogurt in there as well.  The taste is sour, as specified, but it's mild enough to be enjoyed even by a drinker who is not a fan of sour beers.  The fruity tastes are stronger than the sourness, accompanied by a mouthfeel that is fresh and creamy.  

Purpilicious is not everybody's glass of beer, but it's drinkable (even sessionable at 4.4% ABV), refreshing for a summer day, and would probably be super teamed up with a sweet fruity dessert.

BeerBazaar Grapefruit Punch NEIPA:
Fruity, juicy and smoothy.

(Photo: Mike Horton)

Coming up very strong for me is Grapefruit Punch, a 5.3% New England IPA brewed with grapefruit juice.  This beer does a wonderful job in approaching the overall impression of the NEIPA style: Intense fruit aromas and flavors, "juicy" and smooth mouthfeel, lower bitterness than other IPAs.  

Ah, but some would say, it achieves this with a cheat.  Instead of relying on the hops alone for the fruity qualities, the brewers added grapefruit juice.  To which I respond: So?  They may not be displaying the same brewing mastery which produces an NEIPA without additives, but the final beer produces the same impression and enjoyment, does it not?  

At any rate, Grapefruit Punch pours out a cloudy orange color.  The aroma of grapefruit jumps out at you, but there is also citrus scents from the hops.  The flavor is also full of grapefruit with some orange, mildly sweet and sour, with a smooth and bitter finish that make you want to drink more.  Moshe called Grapefruit Punch, "the official refresher of the summer" -- and I completely agree.  

IBAV photographer Mike Horton said that his first impression was, "grapefruit juice and tonic.  Then after a short while, the taste of pale ale started to filter through. . . A welcome summer's drink, and maybe even has a bit of vitamin C in it." 

BeerBazaar Vienna Sunset:
A Vienna Lager as it should be.
We'll close with Vienna Sunset, probably Israel's only commercial version of a Vienna Lager, ever.  This style is solidly in the family of pale lagers, Pilsners and Marzens which originated in Central Europe.  In Vienna Lagers, says the good book, hop bitterness should be balanced by the malt sweetness, with a smooth, dry finish -- but it says the same thing about a lot of styles.

Vienna Sunset is golden red amber color, darker than most lagers as it should be, that really reminds me of a red sky at sunset.  You get caramel and bready hops in the aroma, with flavors of caramel, malt and some delicate fruit.  In fact, everything about this beer is delicate: Mid-sweetness, medium bodied, 5% ABV, and a finish that is dry and bitter-ish.  All the boxes seem to be checked off.  

I don't have much experience with Vienna Lagers, but I enjoyed this beer as I do all well-made lagers.  It's a welcome addition to the BeerBazaar repertoire and I hope it stays around.                        

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