We Got Beer June 30, 2008Posted by Alexander Sawit in Food & Drink, Reviews / Recommendations.
By Alex Sawit
30 June 2008
It finally happened. We got beer.
Specifically, we got Kaiser Beer. Made by the family-owned Kaiser Brewery in Bavaria, this beer is produced purely from local ingredients according to traditional methods that the family stubbornly refuses to relinquish (I’m told that everything that goes into Kaiser Beer is sourced within an 80 km radius from the brewery in keeping with the family’s commitment to making an authentic-tasting Bavarian beer, even though it is sometimes cheaper to import similar ingredients from neighboring states).
To be honest, we’d previously experimented with ale and stout at the wine shop, so technically we’ve served beer before. But this is the first time we’ve received a “non-experimental delivery” of beer at the establishment, meaning that this is a product that Cyrano is committed to serving and keeping in quantity from now on.
Why the change of heart? I’ll give you two reasons. In spite of my well-established reluctance to serve pedestrian alcohol at Cyrano – we are a wine shop, after all, and we have no interest in competing with the rowdy establishments up the street by serving the same cheap intoxicants made from sugar, rice and a little malted barley – I’d always been open to suggestions that we try serving high quality specialty beers. And (here’s the second reason) when it comes to specialty beers, I’ve always been fond of that wonderfully fruity beverage that the Germans call weizen bier.
Wheat beer is one of the least known beer styles now available on retail shelves in the Philippines. Yet it is the ideal beer to serve in out hot, tropical climate, owing to the fact that wheat-based beers are typically lighter and more thirst quenching than the heavier barley-based beers. As a matter of preference, I like a good wheat beer that’s full gold in color with a cloudy but appetizing appearance. I want it to feel light but not thin, typically offering a fresh banana flavor to start and finishing with something comparable to a Bellini peach fizz at the end. True enough, that’s what I discovered in Kaiser.
Unfortunately, in the past whenever I wanted a big cold glass of the stuff, I had to drag myself all the way to Grappa’s, which operates a franchise of the Czech microbrewer Pivo Praha and which offers customers fresh brew from the tap. Then I discovered Oettinger “Wheat Beer” at the supermarket and thought that was okay. But it wasn’t until our faithful Cyrano friend known as “X” showed up with a tall can of Kaiser that I finally knew we had to serve this stuff. It is simply superior to anything else locally available, be it fresh from the tap or out of a can (for those of you who are uncomfortable with beer in an aluminum can, worry not because Kaiser uses steel cans that are not supposed to adversely affect the taste).
So fine, I finally caved in to your demands. Whoopee. Marvy. Wow-dow. Hubba-hubba. Just don’t expect me to plan Oktoberfest for you too.
POSTSCRIPT: We currently serve Kaiser Beer in two variants: Kaiser Weiße (Bavarian wheat beer) and Kaiser Pils (German-style pilsener). The two variants have an alcohol content of 5.2% and 4.7% per volume respectively.