I have three bottles of as new brand of craft beer before me. I have to drink all three this evening. Imagine! Oh, the trials and tribulations we writers have to go through! Well, now, without more ado, let me tell you that the brand is Bira 91 (with a mirrored ‘B‘).
The three bottles on my table are three variants of the brand—Bira 91 Strong, Bira 91 Blonde, and Bira 91 White. I started with the first, keeping the other two in the chiller. And, no, they wouldn’t be ‘chasers’, since the bottles were small, 330 ml each, actually. In fact, I figured that the three together would be just about right to give me a nice kick.
And, while it would have been perfectly all right to drink straight from the bottle (more appropriate, it being so handy-sized), I nevertheless poured it into a glass. The rich foam was an unexpected reward, and so frothy was the foam that I was left in no doubt that here was something special. This ‘something special’ certainly due the superior-grade hops and its masterful-blending with barley malt, wheat, and yeast, and no doubt, sparklingly pure water.
The first gulp was very satisfying indeed—a robust flavor, quite bitter, intense—just the kind of drink to gratify my craving for something strong and fulfilling on a warm and muggy evening. Here, straightaway, I can vouchsafe that Bira 91 Strong is a very good beer. Unpretentiously out and out what an excellent beer should be. It is to be expected that I finished the bottle in time at all, and soon was pouring the second variety, Bira 91 Blonde, into my glass.
It, too, offered luxurious foam, and also tasted like its brother, Bira 91 Strong. I was pretty happy, as you can guess, it being merely a most pleasant continuation to the first. You know how it is, we beer drinkers don’t like too many surprises, and certainly, Bira 91 Blonde was not one. It had the same robust flavor and was similarly bitter, albeit somewhat on the lesser side. Speaking technically, Bira 91 Blonde has barley malt, hops (more than its siblings, perhaps, because it’s touted as ‘extra hoppy’), yeast, and maize. And, to be noted: its alcohol by volume (ABV) is 4.9% as against 7% for Bira 91 Strong.
The third bottle, Bira 91 White, however, was cause for more than quite a bit of surprise. It, too, was 4.9% Vol., and it was frothy, as well. But, its ingredients are quite an eclectic mix of barley malt, wheat, oats, hops, yeast, and spices (coriander and orange peels). My palate was put to the test trying to discern the flavor of the spices, but didn’t quite succeed in doing so. What my palate had no difficulty at all in identifying was a sharp citrusy taste. In fact, the tanginess was quite striking, and no bitterness at all. It’s a nice light lager good for anytime of the day.
I’m sure there are many who’ll delight in its distinctive taste, just as I did. I also enjoyed the strong character and intensity of Bira 91 Strong and Bira 91 Blonde. So, all in all, it has been a far from trying evening, I must admit. Quite the contrary, in fact!