Mateveza, Ale Brewed with Yerba Mate

I ran out of coffee today, so I ordered a 5 pound sampler pack of nine different single-origin fair trade, organic green coffee beans from Seven Bridges that I’ll roast myself. The future is green.

But that didn’t solve my immediate problem at hand: lack of caffeine. Sundays and Mondays, for different reasons, are both great days for a jolt. It doesn’t take much, just one mug o’ joe usually does the trick for me. So today, lacking the black stuff, I reached for some of the green – yerba mate, that is. I’ve had a bag of the stuff in the cupboard for a few years. I grab it once in a blue moon and have a little gourd of it. In fact, I recently bought a new gourd and bombilla (the metal strainer/straw used for slurping it from the gourd) while I was in Chile visiting breweries.

MatevezaAfter a cup or two of this highly caffeinated tea it was time for a beer. Aha! I had actually forgotten that I have a 22 ounce “bomber” of yerba mate beer to go along with my mate bombilla. What better time to try this organic wonder than on a day of mate drinking? Last time I drank lots of mate and followed it up with beer was actually with two of the founders of the Guayaki, a fair trade and organic yerba mate company, when they were attending a conference I organized for the Fair Trade Federation. The experience left a positive impression so I am eager to try it again.

I picked up a bottle of Mateveza while I was in Chico, CA a couple weeks ago visiting the Butte Creek brewery (and Sierra Nevada, which I intend to post about soon). Butte Creek makes a wide variety of organic beers so I’ve always wanted to visit. I was even more excited when I saw that they had brewed this organic mate-ale concoction.

A dark gold beer, it pours with a fluffy head that disappears quickly and completely. Brewed with cascade hops, citrus hit me first then a distinct but not overpowering herbal aroma. The mouthfeel is bright and crisp with a soft uplifting effervescence. I get the feeling of strolling through an herb and flower garden in spring and then sitting around a campfire of evergreens. I would drink this regularly, especially during the spring and summer, if I could get it in Washington D.C.

Its curious that I’ve written four blog posts today and been drinking mate all day. I’m going to have to drink some regular beer just to get to sleep!

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6 Responses to Mateveza, Ale Brewed with Yerba Mate

  1. Dave says:

    Funny, I was just thinking about putting a pound of coffee in my next brew. But I do, it’ll be decaf. (Is there such a thing as decaffeinated maté? Somehow I doubt it.)

  2. beeractivist says:

    I’ve never heard of decaf mate but if its just the flavor you’re looking for, and not the caffeine, check out some of the brewing herbs available from Seven Bridges. Some of them probably get close to the same flavor as mate. Of course, you can probably pick bunch of them right in your yard. The mate beer reminded me of a yarrow beer I’ve brewed.

    Chris

  3. Excellent bombilla you have right there! I have a similar straw too.

    I have tried Guayaki and it tastes great, but I have found it to be quite expensive.

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