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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

January 2006 - South of the Border

Here are the beers that the Memphis Beer Club will be sampling in January. These beers are from Mexico and Brazil. Most of these beers are very mild in taste, but should work well with the spicy Mexican food.

The first beer will be Sol, A Pale Lager from Mexico, will be the lowest rated beer that we have tried so far. This type of beer is the world's most popular style of beer. Modeled on the three original, world-famous examples Carlsberg, Heineken and Budweiser, these are the mainstream of the beer world.


The next beer is Dos Equis XX Amber brewed by Femsa in Mexico. This is a A Vienna style beer that is based upon the Oktoberfest type of beer. Dos Equis has been brewed since 1900 and was developed by master brewer Wilhelm Haase who emigrated from his native Germany to Mexico and melded the traditions of his homeland with the ones of his new country to create this excellent brew. The brew was originally called "Siglo XX" to signify the coming millennium. Of course today we all know Siglo XX as Dos Equis or the "two x's" in English


We will then try two varieties of the Modelo brand, Especial and Negro. The Especial is another Pale Lager like Sol and was first brewed in 1966 and is one of the 10 best-selling imported beers in the USA. Negro Modelo is An American Dark Lager and both are brewed by Grupo Modelo witch also brews Corona. Negro Modelo is better known as the "Cream of Beers" and was first brewed in 1926 and is the most popular dark beer in Mexico. These two beers will be quite different in taste with Negro being a richer fuller beer.



The last beer we will sample is Xingu (pronounced shin-goo') from Brazil. This is A Schwarzbier with a very interesting story. The search for "Black Beer" was started in 1986 by five women in Vermont looking for some of the rarest styles of beers. These five women hired beer historian Alan Eames to research and locate native prototypes of dark, rich beers from around the world.

The search began in Brazil where Eames insisted the best examples of black beer could be found. The earliest Western account of black beer brewed by the natives of the Amazon region dates to 1557. Just like Mexican beer, it is produced with dark roasted corn or manioc root, fermentation being initiated by wild yeast.

The name XINGU is a tributary of the Amazon River which is home to the few surviving cultures and species of native Amazonian. An opaque, full-bodied black lager with mild bitterness. Extravagant treacle and anise aromas. Rich and creamy, well balanced sweet notes and hints of tartness with exceptional mouthfeel, in two words: Black Silk

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