Thursday, 30 July 2015

Brazilian Brews--WÄLS Session!

The Continuing Travels of William Newcastle
A few weeks ago, I and my party traveled to the state of Minas Gerais. Everyone seems to have a relative in Minas and they invariably describe it as a place with great cooking and simple living. It is a place known for its cheese and sugar spirits.
We stayed in the exceptionally rural village of Pedralva. The street on which we took lodging was next to a pasture and hosted no less than four agricultural supply stores. Young men there wear cowboy hats.  Coffee and bananas are king and queen.
It was here that I acquired a bottle of WÄLS Session! by the WÄLS brewing company, a subsidiary of Tropical Juice Commercial and Industrial Beverages Ltd. This beer is advertised as having 30 IBUs and 3.9% ABV. It is supposed to be for combating the heat. It may be because I waited to drink this beer until fall in São Paulo, rather than using it to combat the heat of the summer in the hills of Minas Gerais that I found this to be a disappointing citrus IPA.
Its labelling could have come from the Flying Monkeys Brewery: a rabbit on mescaline seems to be promising a mountain of hops. It poured a pleasant clear honey colour with virtually no head. However, rather than citrus I could only detect cough candy on the nose. That flavour continued as I drank it and while it had the distinctive IPA kick, it was hard to pin down what flavour the hops gave off, although apple and banana we both present. Its carbonation was minimal.
Thankfully, this is a beer that it was possible to get used to and while it didn’t really reveal any nuances as we sipped, it became tolerable. However, because of its steep price – about nine dollars for a 600 mL bottle – it seems like a poor choice for long afternoon of drinking.

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