Marshall's Mugs: Beck's Sapphire
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 02:02
Black goldfish anyone? That’s how Beck’s introduced their new smooth German lager made with Saphir hops. During the Super Bowl, Beck’s featured an animated black goldfish singing to its stylish black bottle.
If you ever had the original Beck’s, you may have noticed the label states, “Brewed under the German Purity Law of 1516.” All beers in Germany were brewed with only three ingredients—water, hops and barley. Beck’s uses yeast as a crucial fourth ingredient.
Sapphire sticks to those standards, and it is quite fascinating how each German lager can have its own signature taste. Interestingly enough Beck’s is not even brewed in Germany anymore. Bought out by Anheuser Busch, brewer of Budweiser, Beck’s is now made in St. Louis.
While some may argue it does not have the same German quality taste, I am not really sure because I haven’t tasted beer long enough. That being said, the main difference between the traditional pilsner and Sapphire is the hops used. Beck’s Sapphire uses Saphir hops to give it a smoother lager taste.
Pour the Sapphire into a pilsner-style glass (as seen on the right) and the carbonated golden straw haze fills the flute with a white foamy collar. There is not too much aroma because of the “lack” of ingredients.
There is nothing spectacular about Sapphire and I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. The beer is actually made perfectly to fit its style, which is a German-style pilsner or lager, and Beck’s claims Sapphire to a more drinkable lager —“new standard” for beer.
While I think that the “new standard” part is a load of, for lack of a better word, crap, there is a desire for Sapphire. It is a good beer, but that is all it will ever beer—just good. Sure at 6 percent it is a little bit stronger than most drinkable beers on the market, but to impress the ever-growing class of craft beer drinkers, you need more than four components.
Dogfish Head uses four “crazy” ingredients per beer nowadays and people can’t get enough of it. However, Beck’s will be Beck’s, and they score an A for what they shoot for.
I’d pair Sapphire with something spicy like Buffalo wings or a spicy Cajun sandwich. The spiciness of the wings in combination with Sapphire’s smooth qualities will balance out. Basically, it will quench your thirst but leave a lingering heat.