Estrella Damm Inedit, one of the more interesting discoveries on my most recent trip to the Cambie LDB, claims to be “the first beer specifically created to accompany food.” A rather bold and somewhat laughable claim to make, but not particularly surprising considering this beer was made by a large lager-centric Spanish macro, Damm Brewey, in consultation with avant-garde chef Ferran Adrià, Juli Soler and El Bulli’s sommeliers’ team.
“Inedit was developed from the belief that there was a need for a beer that could complement a dining experience,” said Adrià in an interview last year. The name Inedit means “never been done before” in Catalan.
Really? For a beer developed in a culinary think-tank consisting of mostly wine and food nerds, see here, it is a pretty over-hyped and underwhelming beer that may please novice drinkers but is sure to disappoint everyone else.
Inedit is best categorized as a Belgian style witbier (wheat beer). The literature that accompanies the 750 ml bottle encourages the drinker to serve the beer at 4ºC – 8ºC in a white wine glass , and to keep it chilled on ice to fully “appreciate all its virtues.”
The virtually non-existent nose has elusive aromas of wheat and coriander and pours a pale and cloudy yellow with a robust creamy white head. The light body of the beer has an interesting and subtle taste of barley, wheat, and notes of orange peel and licorice (two adjuncts of the recipe) that ends in a disappointing watery finish.
While the Inedit quite predictably pairs well with most foods (hello easy-drinking bubbles?), so do most lighter beers. And if I was looking for a Belgian-style witbier, I would rather be quaffing Driftwood’s White Bark Ale, or the original mac-daddy, Hoegaarden.