Beers of the Week: Cerveceria de MateVeza's Cocktail-Inspired Brews
Times are good for equal-opportunity imbibers. Beers are being aged in all manner of wine and spirits barrels for added complexity. A surge of brews made with grapes are blurring the lines between beer and wine, and some of the city's best bartenders are shaking up all manner of interesting beer cocktails. Today, Cerveceria de MateVeza will serve three beers that aim to boggle the tastebuds. All inspired by classic cocktails, the brewery's foray into genre-bending beers follows closely on the heels of their Girl Scout Cookie-flavored beer project.
The first beer in the cocktail series is the Big Lebowski White Prussian. This collaboration with Master Cicerone (and former Social Kitchen brewer) Rich Higgins is based on The Dude's favorite drink -- a White Russian. The base brew is an unfiltered, lightly sour German style called a gratzer. Where a traditional gratzer has smoked malts, this brew instead employs coffee from Bicycle Coffee Roasters. The addition of lactose plays the role of the milk, and service from a nitro tap creates a rich, silky body that leaves you with a serious milkstache. At 9.5% ABV, The Dude would certainly abide.
The Juan Daly beer (7.0% ABV) is an ode to the Arnold Palmer. A three-day sour mash gives the beer a puckering tartness while yerba mate adds a slight herbal note. Meyer lemon zest boosts the thirst-quenching character of the beer and ties the room together, so to speak.
Last but not least, Fernet and Coke beer (6.0% ABV) replicates a -- you guessed it! -- Fernet and coke. Not only is Fernet one of the darling beverages of San Francisco, it's also one of the national drinks of Argentina, where the MateVeza team draws much of their inspiration. Based on their research into the closely-guarded recipes for Coca Cola and Fernet, the team decided to use mate, kola nut, star anise, lavender, Peruvian bark, and gentian. This gruit-style beer is defined by its herbal quality, which comes remarkably close to capturing the essence of its inspiration.
All three beers will be on tap when Cerveceria opens today and will *ideally* last through the weekend. Call ahead for availability later in the week.