Although winner of its class at the relatively-recent Beer Festival here in town, I hadn’t gotten around to trying one. And damn, was I missing out. It’s genuinely fantastic. Originally (the story goes) brewed to go with the food from the curry house near the brewery (hence the name), it’ll give people who dismiss lagers as uninteresting something to think about. It’s got light fruity flavours swimming around in it — a limey citrusiness, passionfruit, and even a suitable drift of mango — but they’re only there through clever choices of malts and hops; no cheating additions of fruit juice or whatnot. It’s nicely dry and crisp, and would indeed go gangbusters with a curry.
Verbatim: Invercargill ‘Biman’. 17/1/09 $8 at work. 330ml 5.2%. Golden lager, made to match the curry at the place near the brewery. Fruity, but only through Cleverness. No cheating. Citrusy, and with suitable mangoness in there. Quite dry, and crisp. Would indeed be magic w/ curry.
Afterthoughts, November 2010: To quote the brewery’s website: “In 2009, in an attempt to clarify pronunciation, the beer was rebranded, B.man.” To my mind, that’s sad. Not because there’s one too-many commas — I’m definitely not in a position to judge about comma overuse — but because of the running-away in the face of the fairly predictable shall-we-say ‘sexuality-based’ mockery the actual spelling attracted. ‘Biman’ is the name of the man who ran the curry-house which inspired the beer. To hell with the cavemen and their lame humour; stick with the actual inspiration.
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Is it possible to buy Biman beer?