When it comes to beer wankery, I think it’s going to be hard for anyone to top the efforts of Estrella Damm Inedit, from Italy. The beer itself is quite nice – a pleasant mix of a lager and a witbier. But it’s the packaging, marketing and attitude that screams “wanky”. How is it wanky? Well, let me count the ways.
1) While the beer has been around for a while, I’ve spotted it recently in several BWS outlets. There it sits in the beer fridge in a special box. Beers that cost close to the three-figure mark can have a box, but not something that goes for less than $10 from your suburban hotel bottle shop.
2) The beer comes with a little brochure (which appears in the accompanying picture at the base of the wine glass. Why a wine glass? See Point Six) looped around the bottle’s neck with a fancy-looking piece of red string. The brochure contains all sorts of puffery about the relative awesomeness of this beer. Most of the contents also say “wanky”.
3) The English translation of “Inedit” is “never been done before”. Which is both wanky and misleading.
4) The beer is a collaboration between the brewmasters at Estrella Damm and head chef Ferran Adria, from the famous elBulli restaurant (though the swanky brochure fails to point out that restaurant closed two years ago). I think when a head chef is involved in making a beer, that’s ever so slightly wanky.
5) Much more wanky is the fact that the beer “was created to pair with the most exquisite and challenging foods”. Foods like salad, asparagus, artichoke, vinegar dressing and tuna. Yep, the really challenging foods like that. Never mind that there would be heaps of beers that already go perfectly well with these foods. Including witbiers – which Inedit basically is.
6) The recommended way to serve the beer is “chilled in a white wine glass and kept in an ice bucket after serving”. Because, hey, the way to make people think beer is fancy is to treat it like wine.
I might possibly buy a bottle of this again because, as I said, I liked the flavour. But I could do without the wankery, because I just don’t think the beer needs it in the first place.