New comers to the scene Matera Brasseurs Tonneliers, have been working hard to get some of their beers down to their specific vision and liking. They have big dreams to move things to their own facility in the future, but for the moment they are currently contract brewing out of Oshlag. There has always been a debate on whether contract brewing helps or hurts the beer industry and there are breweries that stand on distinct sides of the spectrum. In my opinion there are pros and cons to both sides and I don’t particularly stand on one specific side. The effects of contract brewing to the industry is an all together broader topic on its own and a complicated one at that. For this article the end product makes its way into the consumers hands and they are left to judge the quality of the beer. I recently had that opportunity at Matera’s event last month where they showcased three of their beers on tap at Brasserie Harricana.
After a long hard day of work, my palate was feeling dry and my taste buds yearning something to settle me out for the night. I last had the Tam Tam session when Olivier handed me a bottle several months back, you can read about it Here. Since then Tam Tam has evolved drastically to a more suited product. I am sure they will keep improving the recipe and tweaking here and there, as all brewers do, and the product may see changes through each release.
IPA || ABV: 4.75% || IBU: 60
Already from the nose, it varies a lot from the batch I had back in February. The nose has a lot more of a fruit attack and the appearance has gained more of a hazyness to it, rather than a redish clear. To start the hops come at you first with a minor kick of fruityness followed by a minor grainy feel and finishes off cleanly with a yeast, malt bill. The mouth feel is pretty decent, not to heavy and not too light. Far better in terms of the label of a session IPA. Initially when I had the test batch, it was not really a session IPA for me. But now it really has developed into something to fall into that category. Although the beer itself did need improvements previously, the qualities of a session IPA did not seem to be there which is what wasn’t settling for me. However, there are so many different variations on what an IPA is, or a session IPA is, so it all depends on taste. For me I was thinking more of the Vermont style session IPAs. It was a test batch and I knew it would change into something more worth while. Tam Tam is a very good easy drinking session IPA to come out of Quebec.
DIPA || ABV: 7.75% || IBU: 60
Recently I have found myself straying away from DIPAs. I know its weird to say or think. I’ve slowly come to realize that more of my love is with Pale Ales and IPAs. The DIPAs tend to get too sharp, boozy, heaty, and over all kind of masking the hops. It might be the general fatigue and evolution of my taste buds, but as far as my personal taste currently I have realized a difference on how I perceive DIPAs, even from some of the greats like Trillium. Granted there are still a lot of DIPAs I have consumed recently that have shaken me with that feeling of beer arousal.
the action or fact of arousing or being aroused by drinking beer. A feeling of rush through your body and an outer body experience that can only be described by the action of arousal as a direct result of consuming a specific beer.
“Does not follow with sexual activity with a beer, that is just weird”
This DIPA has some of the same qualities that I stray away from personally. It is not nearly as strong as some of the DIPAs I usually have had, but it was in the same ball park. The Aroma has a very sweet kick with some hoppy fruit notes. On the taste for me it is strong and bold. It has got a decent hop attack with a bit of a malt backbone. The sweetness on the nose wasn’t so strong in the taste but, the malt attack is pretty strong and it does hold a decent amount of malts. Overall the beer itself was well crafted and still a delight. But as far as my personal taste and current preferences goes, it wasn’t as gratifying.
I am always honest with my reviews because I know that helps the brewer improve their beer. Some brewers tend to turn away from reviews and feedback because they have reached a level of content with the way their beer turned out personally. But others still like to get some feedback to see if their vision is being shared collectively, or if the consumers are pin pointing some of the same notes. It doesn’t all just boil down to the beer tasting the way it tastes, it is also all about perspective. Each consumer defines a DIPA diffetently and within the DIPA category there are many sub categories, as well as personal tastes and preferences. There are a lot of factors that can contribute to the conclusive experience of the consumer. Overall the Real is a decent DIPA, but just not really floating my boat as much. I am interested to see how this transforms in future batches.
Matera No. 1
Dubble with Prunes|| ABV: 6.3% || IBU: –
This one is a collaboration between Brasserie Harricana and Matera. And I was ready to dive right in! The aroma is solid, it has some interesting wild ale qualities, with some of the prunes and an oaky kick. The taste starts off with a strong kick of a red wine. Although I smelt oak on the nose, there is no oak in the taste, that misconception may have been the sugars from the prunes. The red wine turned out to be red wine! I had not read the description through sheer excitement to try this beer. It does have a powerful dryness to it, which for me is settling well along with some funky light notes dancing around. Overall I find it light and easy to drink with some great complex flavours. It isn’t a traditional Dubble, I would say its more of a modern take on a tradition Dubble, which I am enjoying more! Don’t get me wrong Dubbles are great but sometimes for me they can be a bit strong and brutal, same as a barley wine.
For me the winner was the collaboration done with Brasserie Harricana. I am unsure what Matera’s main focus or goals are, but for me I would be excited to see more of the experimental side of things over the hops. They are still one of the new breweries that is keeping me on their radar and have sparked my curiosity to what is to come next!
Words + Photography by Hopcitizen