Today our beer isn’t a craft beer as such since it’s brewed by AB InBev (the old SAB). But they’ve clearly decided to try some new styles out and the first release is a Weiss.
Name: Carver’s Weiss
Brewery: AB InBev
Country: South Africa
Style: Hefeweizen (Weiss)
Rating: 3.5 / 5
I once heard (from a pretty legendary guy) a truism about the beer industry that’s stayed with me: If SAB (then) wanted to make IPA they’d make the best damn IPA ever. Basically, they’ve got the equipment and resources to not only produce excellent beer, but they have the distribution and logistics networks to own the market… if they chose to. Well the day has come – sort of.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think that AB InBev wants to kill the craft beer scene (in fact, they make money off it by supplying everything from grains to bottles). But, they’re clearly taking notice of it and have decided to dabble in other styles. I think it’s a particularly strange style to release as the first (widely distributed) “craftish” beer. But let’s take a look.
The beer is a very predictable weiss. All banana on the nose, with good carbonation and the tell-tale slight haze. It’s fairly sweet but well balanced and ends off being helluva refreshing. The one thing that it does really well is balance the suspended yeast that is characteristic of a weiss while not being too yeasty or heavy. Ash normally reacts badly to beers with residual yeast, and this one left him without any allergies. Win.
That being said, I’d have liked a little more clove or citrus in there. Something that says: we do it better. It’s essentially ordinary BUT that’s the style of big breweries because they know that it’ll have mass appeal. So in that sense, good job.
I have to hand it to them, their labelling is cool. Not because it’s extra beautiful but because they placed the back label upside down to encourage people to “tilt” it (and unsettle it) before drinking. Honestly, that’s brilliant. Apparently folks were complaining on social media and sending their beers back because of the “labelling fault” but it really is deliberate.