Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., December 12, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Vintage beer (VB) pushes the envelope of beers by conditioning the beer to continue fermenting very slowly after bottling. This means the beer will continue to improve with age, like wine.
Yats Wine Cellars is bringing beers to a height that challenges the supremacy of wine in the world of connoisseurship. Just as most wine is made to be drunk right away, so are most ordinary beers. Fine vintage wine improves with age. Likewise for these great vintage beers, though they are rather delicious when young, they improve significantly after a few years.
After undergoing extended re-fermentation in the bottle, VBs continue to improve inside the bottle for as long as 15 years depending on their styles and alcohol strengths. The taste of matured vintage beer is very different from ordinary strong ales. A 3-year-old VB for example already has a fascinating aroma, a wonderfully rich taste and a full body.
How does a Vintage Beer improve with age?
Bottle re-fermentation gives the VB its complexity which cannot be achieved with a normal one-shot fermentation. Because VBs are fermented on lees, there is a deposit of the yeast in the bottle and they are partly filtered. Ageing potential for VB varies according to their structure and composition. With as much as 11% in Alcohol-By-Volume (ABV), a VB can easily age for 15 years. If well kept, they can easily preserve if not improve for another decade or more.
What exactly is “Bottle Re-fermentation”?
Fermentation is the transformation of sugars by micro-organisms – yeast - to yield alcohol. This process takes place in big tanks, called fermentation tanks. VBs undergo another round of fermentation not in these tanks but inside the bottles, hence the term bottle re-fermentation.
Yeast is added during bottling to provoke re-fermentation inside the bottle. The yeast that is kept in the bottle provides a good source of vitamin B which gives the VB a very special aroma. Since it is re-fermented in bottles, like Champagne, there is no oxidation because the yeast that eats the sugar also eats up the oxygen. This preserves the freshness of VB while it ages for many years.
How do I cellar my Vintage Beers?
Keep your VBs like you would for your vintage Champagne and Sparkling wine. Ideally, you should lay them on their sides in a cool cellar totally away from any direct contact with sunlight. That’s easy if you happen to own a chateau in Bordeaux with a cave the size of a tennis court. For some of us who might have to cut a few small corners, the good news is that VBs are incredibly resilient to oxidation. If you can avoid sharp intraday temperature fluctuation and direct contact with sunlight, lay them down on their sides and they will mature nicely for many years.
To many gourmets and top chefs, VBs come to the rescue when faced with food with which wine find awkward to pair. Spicy food, plain chicken, sandwiches and Asian fusion cuisine have played havoc with wine enthusiasts for decades but are heaven sent for lovers of VBs. Ordinary beers fall way short because it lacks the complexity and depth of flavors that fine wines and VBs have to offer.
Another attribute that VBs can bring to the table with food pairing is age. Couple the styles of VBs with the extra dimension age and we have a rainbow of options to create a perfect pairing.
VBs can be served very cold like ordinary beers but cold temperatures tend to mask out nuances and undertones that form the extra dimension of taste. Whereas there is really nothing wrong with drinking VBs icy cold especially in a hot summer’s day, but allow yourself to savor them in slightly higher serving temperature – white wine temperature to be more precise, 10-12C. If you fancy that over the colder version, it might be a worthy experience to try the big ones at red wine temperature of say 14-16C.
There are sediments in VBs. Take special care with the last glass out of the bottle. Decanting is an option but should be done by first chilling the VB to near freezing to avoid loss of fizz, and poured as gently as possible.
You can order these luxurious beers at:
Clark Wine Center
MA Roxas Ave corner A Bonifacio Ave, Clark Freeport, Pampanga, Philippines 2023
(632) 6375019 0922-870-5173 0916-542-6602 Ana Fe
Manila Sales Office
3003C East Tower, Phil Stock Exchange Center,
Exchange Rd Ortigas Metro Manila, Philippines 1605
(632) 637-5019 0917-520-4393 Rea or Chay