Review Date 4/11/2008
As I look back, it’s been a while since we’ve made
another stop in our festive flight of fancy around the world in eighty
brews. As you may know, we’re hopping around the globe without ever
leaving our favorite easy chair, traveling the globe by bottle rather than
by jet airliner or cruise ship.
And everywhere we go, we drink something different. Depending on how the mood strikes us, we may sample a time-honored local classic, or maybe something from a more recent upstart. The latter, you see, is the case tonight as we stop by Brazil for a tasty glass of Eisenbahn S.A.P.A. I would like to say that the Eisenbahn brewery has a long and storied brewing tradition in Brazil, but alas, such is not the case.
Instead, the company is a recent development, seemingly more at home in Bavaria than Brazil. But Eisenbahn, German for railroad, is located in Brazil, albeit with a transplanted German brewmaster. And with truly Teutonic styled offerings like Rauchbier, Weizenbock, Dunkel, Kolsch, and Weihnachtsbier winning awards left and right, Eisenbahn is gaining recognition far and wide, and not just in Brazil.
So, if you find yourself in Brazil, this is the beer to look for. Of course, if you can’t make it to Brazil, Brazil now comes to you, since Eisenbahn beers are now imported into the United States by Shelton Brothers. And one of their more unique offerings is the S.A.P.A., or South American Pale Ale. This one is a bit less Germanic than the rest of the line. But don’t fret: it’s a very wonderful and tasty brew all the same.
Eisenbahn S.A.P.A. pours to a reddish golden brown color with a thick creamy head formation and a slightly sweet, fruity malt nose. From the first sip, I’m impressed with this beer: lots of chewy, caramel malt with a hint of chocolate and some delightful ripe fruit notes. If that wasn’t enough, a wonderfully herbal, grassy hop aroma pokes its head through about halfway from first sip to finish, and then leaves a minty bitter buzz on the tongue.
I’m very impressed with this one, but then again I’ve been very impressed with just about every beer I’ve tasted from this brewery. Eisenbahn S.A.P.A. is a wonderfully drinkable, flavorful pale ale with a difference. If this is what South American Pale Ale is like, then make way: I’m headed for Brazil.