Mate Beer, Yes or No? February 19 2017, 5 Comments
Mate Bier - Photo screenshot from mate-bier.de
I am a traditionalist matero and I have always believed that introducing mate to newbies in the authentic way is the best approach but I might have been wrong.
In Berlin there is a city load of young Germans who know mate as an ingredient in sodas but have never even seen a bomba. The word, "MATE" has become such a buzz in Germany that beverage companies around the country are slapping the word on products and they automatically become hip.
The latest is that brewing companies are matéfying beer. I thought it was pretty exciting so I went to try a few of them.
Fabricio and Krithika Do Canto from Meta Mate have been at the forefront of innovating new mate based products for years. In their Meta Mate Bar I found the best quality craft yerba mate and everything in the kitchen zinc made from mate: dark mate-chocolate, herbal mate-soap, mate e-cigarette liquid, mate-absinthe, mate face cream and their craft mate beer range called, MIER (mier.metamate.cc).
One evening after drinking chimarrão for a few hours we had a bock MIER. It was an easy drinking beer, slightly caramalised with a small tickle of tannin on the tongue thanks to the mate in there. Delish!
Mier - Photo from yearofopensource.net
On another occasion Fabricio invited me to the pre-launch party of a new mate beer, called Mate Bier (www.mate-bier.de) which is expected to go mainstream. Mate Bier uses an extract made from one of the best quality yerbas (organic Meta Mate) in the world according to me.
I was expecting fresh and smoky flavours but this beer tasted like a light Mexican beer... something you would want to put a wedge of lime into and drink litres on a hot day at the beach. I tasted no mate.
So, I came to the conclusion that the beer will sell on the merit of containing mate rather than tasting like it. Let's be honest most people that will drink the beer have no idea what real mate tastes like anyway, so what do they care.
As long as the name is on there it's hip and everybody benefits; more mate is being imported into the EU which means the Brazilian mate farmers' market is expanding and they're getting more business. It's also another stick in the fire for the generic brand name of "MATE".
Thanks for reading - Jovi