By Lindsey Goodwin, About.com Guide
MateVeza Organic Yerba Mate Black Lager is a 5.2%-alcohol, 25-IBU Schwarzbier brewed with yerba mate. Each 12-ounce serving contains about 60 mg of caffeine, which is roughly equivalent to a 3/4-cup of coffee (depending on the coffee).
This black lager has a has a roasty, rich, coffee-like flavor that’s dark enough for winter, but a light body that makes this just about the darkest beer I’d ever love to crack open in summertime.
MateVeza (short for “Mate Cerveza”) bottles all sport an image of a gaucho holding a yerba mate bombilla (drinking straw) and gourd. It’s partially based on MateVeza’s owner, Jim Woods, and partially based on a classic painting of a South American cowboy. Even people who get confused by the image and think it portrays a pirate seem to think it’s pretty cool, and I have to agree. It gives the brand personality and makes it stand out in the cooler and on the shelves.
Poured, MateVeza Organic Yerba Mate Black Lager is nearly black (hence the name “Black Lager”) with a minimal beige head.
Aroma, Flavor, Aftertaste & Body Effect
MateVeza Organic Black lager has a mild, lightly bittersweet and very malty aroma.
Its flavor is less like the green yerba mate notes of MateVeza Organic Yerba mate IPA and more like the full flavor of roasted yerba mate. Notes of rich malts, bittersweet chocolate and Turkish coffee give it a dark, robust flavor, yet, strangely, the body is quite light.
The finish is long and heavy on the yerba mate, and the aftertaste is reminiscent of espresso. Yum!
Like the flavor, the body effect is pleasantly balanced. It’s uplifting, but rather than the jarring feeling of drinking an energy drink shot, it’s actually relaxing and energizing at once.
This versatile beer is great for drinking year round. Its flavor is likely to appeal to yerba mate drinkers and fans of dark beers. Given its Turkish coffee and espresso notes, I also recommend it to coffee drinkers.