Here’s a confession. I’ve never tasted pineapple beer. I have heard countless tales from South African brewers of how pineapple beer was their first brew back in university/high school/kindergarten but I’ve never encountered a glass of it. In fact, before I came to South Africa I don’t think I’d ever heard of it. I did always find it an odd concept though. And having tasted Liefmans Yell’oh, I still do.
There is, of course, nothing remotely beer-like about the kind of pineapple beer that students ferment in their parents’ garden sheds. And likewise, there is not much that is beer-like about Liefmans’ latest brew. Foamy crown aside (pic doesn’t quite do it justice), to me this was more like a wine cooler than a beer. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing. It’s just not my kind of thing.
Is started fairly well – I quite liked the aroma and picked up a lot of elderflower and perhaps a touch of basil (though I only thought that once I read that basil is one of the ingredients, to be fair). The thing is though, that there is nothing about the aroma of this beverage that would lead a blindfolded drinker to believe it was a beer.
And that’s even more true when you sip. For me it’s pineapple all the way and I really don’t know if pineapple has any business being in a beer. Maybe I should have drunk it on the rocks, as instructed by the packaging but I simply refuse to put ice in a beer.
In short, I have zero doubt that Liefmans Yell’oh will sell. It certainly has a place in the drinks scene of South Africa. It just doesn’t have a place in my fridge.