Lebanese Pale AleNovember 1, 2013
Mazreat Yachoua, Lebanon
Imported by St. Killian Importing
961 Beer is the only microbrewery in the Arab World. Inspired by Lebanese spice markets and based on an English IPA, Lebanese Pale Ale is brewed with za’atar (wild thyme), sumac, chamomile, sage, anise and mint.
ORIGINAL GRAVITY: 1060
AVAILABLE: CT, IL, MA, NC, NJ, NY, CT, RI, VA
This beer is brewed in Mazraat, Yachoa, Lebanon, so it’s easy to see how the Lebanese spice markets inspired this pale ale. Hints of sage, thyme, anise and chamomile mingle in the glass, creating a sweet aroma that belies the way this beer finishes—dry and clean on the palate. In between that first whiff and the final swallow, the beer is awash with strong herbal notes, backed by a malt structure that helps keep the herbal onslaught in check. Made with the above-mentioned herbs and even sumac, this pale ale is not for everyone, but will appeal to those who enjoy unique and herbal beers.
- Lisa Morrison
This Lebanese beer is sure to divide opinion. A glance at the ingredients reveals why. In here we have a whole bouquet garni of herbs—thyme, mint, anise, camomile, sage and sumac. No beer is going to taste straightforward with all that going on. I picked out sage and gingerbread in the nose, with more gingerbread and a minty coolness in the perfumed taste. Sage and thyme are there, too, in a grassy sort of way, and the herbs all run on into the dry, increasingly bitter finish. It’s not my kind of beer, but I admire the adventure.
- Jeff Evans
Lisa Morrison, aka the Beer Goddess, talks beer every day at her beer store and taproom, Belmont Station, and on a weekly radio show in her hometown of Portland, OR.
Jeff Evans is author of the Good Bottled Beer Guide, The Book of Beer Knowledge and Beer Lover’s Britain. More of his writing can be found at www.insidebeer.com.