I know I very often only write about wine and gin, in that order. But, believe it or not, I’m a very avid craft beer drinker! Yes, I have many hidden talents, and appreciating a good beer is one of them! Introducing L7 craft beer. What a pleasure it has been to do this review of a bold new proudly South African brew!
I was recently sent a couple of bottles of L7 beer as part of a press drop and as we all know by now, I was childishly excited at the prospect, as it’s been a while since the last time I got to play with new craft beers. I was immediately drawn to the very arty, but minimal branding and labeling and couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this one.
L7 is a unique craft brewed beer inspired by South Africa and made with the passion of Belgian brewing tradition. Amateurs describe it as complex, non-amateurs as easy drinking. L7 is a 100% natural, Belgian style amber ale that provides craft beer amateurs and connoisseurs alike with a perfectly balanced and easy-to-drink beer.
What kind of beer is L7? L7 is a Belgian style amber ale with a lagering process. Combining 3 malts, 3 hops and the special L7 Touch. Which is a secret, of course. Together, these seven natural ingredients enjoy a long maturation process, resulting a full-bodied, light-amber beer.
But there’s more!
No chemicals, colorants, flavouring or preservatives are added to the beer – L7 is 100% natural. This includes the C02 in their beer; which they allow to build up naturally during their fermentation process, using similar technics as the making of champagne.
They go one step further, introducing high standards of environmental responsibility and sustainability to their production process. This includes reducing water-waste in the brewery, reusing yeast, and only using eco-friendly techniques for their bottle labels.
The beer itself is also produced using organically farmed ingredients, and is completely free of additives and chemicals; tasty and good for you – some say it is the best craft experience they have had. Once bottled, L7 has an enviable 2 year shelf life. No chance it lasted that long in the Little Hedonist household!
Style of beer: Belgian style amber ale with a lagering process
Tasting notes: Slightly bitter floral and fruity taste from the hops followed by a smooth round transition to a sweeter taste from the malts. The bitterness from the hops and the sweetness of the malts are both enhanced by the choice of spice added to the beer.
Star qualities: No chemicals, colorants, flavouring or preservatives are added to the beer – L7 is 100% natural.
Approximate retail price:A bottle (330ml) sells for around R29 to R33 and the six-pack at R180.
The Little Hedonist’s food pairing suggestion: The list is endless. This mild, caramel-y ale holds it’s own against spicy dishes, such as peri-peri chicken and Mexican cuisine (think spicy tacos, enchiladas or nachos) but is also great as a mid-Saturday afternoon snack with thick slices of biltong. Anything grilled or charred – beautifully seasoned steaks, or barbequed chicken wings – this is a beer that asks for a itty bit of spice and heartiness. The subtle fruity aroma does wonders to lift the sweetness out of the spice found in marinades and seasonings, and the slight smokiness of grilled food compliments the toasted undertones in ways you can only imagine. For something meat-free, think of a spicy black-bean burger with sweet potato fries, or a Thai-inspired tofu stir-fry.
For me, this is a beer for new-comers and avid brew-drinking bru’s alike. If you don’t know what you like in beer, this is definitely the place to start. A little bitter, a little fruity, a whole lot of heart. At a first glance, L7 offers you a mild, easy-drinking ale that would appeal to most palates, and won’t scare newbies away from the craft beer scene at first taste. But – if you know what to look for, though, you will come to appreciate the nuanced layers of flavours and textures in a bottle of L7. It is really a work of art to be savoured and admired, but not from a distance, that’s for sure!
Leopold is your new bestie. Slightly quirky and unique, but so much fun to be around. He’s edgy and hip at the same time, with a flair for the creative. You can take him anywhere, because he turns any dish into a work of art. And he looks pretty good, too!
Please be sure to visit the L7 website for more information on their collaboration in the local art scene.
Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions expressed herein are solely those of The Little Hedonist, given in good faith and in no way influenced by the company or its affiliates. All images, unless otherwise stated/credited, are also my own.