The team from celebrated Spanish restaurant elBulli and master brewers Estrella join forces to craft a unique ale designed for fine dining
The rise in craft beers, microbreweries and beer’s elevation to a sophisticated beverage is unlikely to have passed you by. It is hard to walk into a bottle shop these days and not be overwhelmed by the dizzying array of ales now on offer from near and far.
Local brewers like WA’s Little Creatures, Melbourne’s Mountain Goat, Tasmania’s MooBrew and a new wave of beers from wine regions, like Vale Ale and Knappsteins, are despatching beer’s once bogan image.
But it’s safe to say the trend has achieved new heights when the executive chef of the world’s most awarded restaurant, elBulli, spends 18 months collaborating with his award-winning sommeliers and one of Europe’s oldest breweries to come up with a beer that comes in a wine bottle with instructions to serve in a chilled white wine glass (and no more than half full, at that).
“Inedit was developed from the belief that there was a need for a beer that could complement a dining experience,” says Ferran Adrià, executive chef at elBulli. “Inedit is the fruit of more than a year and a half and 400 trial iterations between the master brewers of Estrella Damm and the team of sommeliers at elBulli.” Though the famed elBulli restaurant closed in 2011, it continues as a Foundation dedicated to these types of idealistic, gastronomic endeavours.
Inedit was developed by Adria, his partner in elBulli Juli Soler and sommeliers David Seijas (awarded the “Golden Nose” in 2006) and Ferran Centelles (named Spain’s best sommelier also in 2006), in collaboration with the brewmasters of Estrella Damm, with 150 years of beer-brewing tradition. It was designed as a beer to be paired with food as an alternative to wine and comes in a distinctive black bottle. It aims to complement food once thought difficult to be paired with wine, including salads, vinegar-based sauces, bitter notes such as asparagus and artichokes, fatty and oily fish, and citrus.
Inedit means “never done before”. Described as a combination of lager and wheat beer styles, it blends malt and wheat with hints of liquorice, orange peel and coriander. Its tasting notes describe it as: “High intensity and aromatic complexity. Its appearance is slightly cloudy. Fruity and floral to the nose, with a yeasty sensation and sweet spice reminiscences. Creamy, fresh texture, soft volume and delicately carbonic. Long aftertaste and pleasant memory.”
It is recommended that it is kept in a wine cooler while serving in a white-wine glass and that it is not more than half full “to appreciate its many virtues.” It is unlikely to be served at Bay 13 of the MCG during the Boxing Day Test.