The friend of mine who was unable to attend the GWBCF this June with me because his wife booked a last minute holiday brought home with him a couple of beer shaped goodies for me.
The first of these i opened a couple of weekends ago with a birthday meal that was planned: antipasta cheeses and meat, and followed by some pasta with fresh pesto. The beer in question was brewed primarily to be drunk with food.
The beer was Estrella Damm's Inedit, brewed as a collaboration between the Damm brewery and the El Bulli restaurant, which is consistently rated one of the worlds best (although it recently closed permanently). This effort was described as 'the first beer specifically created to accompany food' which maybe it was for them but is a completely ridiculous claim to make.
I knew i had read about this beer before when i received it, and a quick google reminded me of the debates regarding its merits as trying to encourage the Spanish population to change from wine to beer at mealtimes, and as a beer in general.
I'm not going to repeat any of this stuff, you could read it here here and here.
You get a little booklet with it, with little bits of information regarding its brewing process, its flavors, serving recommendations and which foods it is designed to be drunk with.
For example you should serve it at about 4 degrees, and keep it in a ice bucket at the table. Lacking an ice bucket i put it back into the fridge.
The aroma was light, little lemon and yeasty. Good carbonation, nice white frothy head. The photo to the left was upon opening, but the table photo at the top was 2nd pouring and it retains a good head there too.
Its style is a wit beer, its not the best you've ever had, but its not bad. It served it purpose as a beer to eat with, it went well with the food, a little overpowered by some of the meats and olives, but held up well with the fresh pasta. There's lemon, coriander, a little pepper, its light and very drinkable. Its end is a little astringent and dry.
Overall as i said its not a bad beer, ignore its lofty pretensions, but you wouldn't pay its apparent high price that it originally sold for. Whether it still commands such a price i dont know.
And I also wonder what its future is seeing as El Bulli has closed it doors now.