Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. has announced a range of international craft beers from its newest partner, Sublime Imports. The Dallas-based importer specializes in Mediterranean craft beer, including La Socarrada and Mateo & Bernabé from Spain, and Malka from Israel.
“While craft brewing in the U.S. is at an all-time high, it’s particularly exciting to see innovative brewers on the other side of the world who are making an impact on the craft scene,” Louis Glunz's craft and specialty import brand manager Anthony Norkus says. “Sublime Imports has sought out some really distinctive beers to give Chicago a taste of what’s happening in the burgeoning beer scene in the Mediterranean.”
Glunz introduces the following breweries from Sublime Imports and offers their beers to its restaurant, bar, and retailer partners:
La Socarrada, Xátiva, Valencia, Spain
This brewery’s name, a translation from socarrat, or “burned,” pays homage to the War of Spanish Succession at the turn of the 18th century, during which the town of Xátiva was razed and kept aflame for eight days by King Felipe V. However, the survivors thrived, rebuilding Xátiva and to this day are referred to as the socarrats. Blazing the way for Xátiva’s craft beer scene, longtime friends and socarrats Rafa Suñer and Sergio Iborra create a product reflective of the region’s best ingredients, brewed according to tradition in small batches, and bottle-conditioned in 750 mL bottles.
- La Socarrada Cervesa Artesanal Premium (golden ale with rosemary honey; 6 percent ABV): Mel de romer, or rosemary honey, is an exceptional product of the Valencia region, made from the nectar of the rosemary flower. As Valencians believe that rosemary honey has no equal in quality or purity, mel de romer is also an expression meaning “top of the line” or “best of the best.” This beer’s herbaceous notes from fresh rosemary are balanced by subtle sweetness of rosemary honey in a golden ale.
Mateo & Bernabé, Logroño, La Rioja, Spain
Introducing the first craft brewery in La Rioja, Spain, Mateo & Bernabé artisan brewer and virtuoso chef Alberto Pacheco, provides the inspiration for beers with a distinct identity and characteristics of the region. Each beer is named after a saint and the date the saint is celebrated. All beers are bottle-conditioned and available in a 500-mL (16.9-ounce) bottle format.
- 11 Bernabé (golden ale, 6 percent ABV): With a subtle malt sweetness, light fruit tones, and a citric finish, this medium-light-bodied beer honors San Bernabé, who fed the people of Logroño by catching fish in the Ebro River during the famous French siege of 1521. He is celebrated on June 11, the day the French were vanquished from the city.
- 21 Mateo (wheat ale, 5.5 percent ABV): This beer features a light wheat character with pronounced yeast flavors, in honor of the San Mateo fiestas that mark the start of the wine harvest on September 21.
- 25 Santiago (Belgian-style strong dark ale; 7.5 percent ABV): Sweet and fruity with overtones of spices, this full-bodied beer is designed for sipping and savoring. It is brewed in honor of the pilgrims who trek thousands of miles to bring offerings, including scallop shells (as depicted on the bottle), to Santiago de Compostela by July 25, St. James Day; the city of Logroño is along the famous spiritual route.
Malka, Yehiam, Israel
Located in the Upper Galilee town of Yehiam, at the foot of the 12th-century Montfort Castle, Malka is one of the first microbreweries in Israel. Maintaining the European tradition of hand-crafting small batches of beer, Malka specializes in Belgian, German, and English styles while imparting a local Israeli twist: using natural water from the Ga’aton Springs and other local flavors. All beers are kosher and available in four packs of 330-mL (11.2-ounce) bottles and 30-liter key kegs.
- Blonde Ale (Belgian-style blonde ale; 6.5 percent ABV): Balancing hops and orange peel, this pleasant, inviting ale offers refreshing aromas and flavors, characterized by a background citrusy taste.
- Dry Stout (English-style dry stout; 6 percent ABV): With its subtle roast blended with notes of toasted oats and light nuttiness, this ale conjures up flavors of marble monk bread combined with dark chocolate and a tinge of espresso.
- Pale Ale (English-style pale ale; 5.5 percent ABV): Characterized by barley and bread flavors and deep red color, and resting comfortably on the cusp of “sessionable,” this pleasantly bitter ale offers a robust beer without high alcohol content.
“After doing quite a bit of reconnaissance throughout the Chicagoland area, calling over 40 different retailers of all types, we knew we were most interested in working with Glunz,” says Austin Clar, “Sales Extrovert and Reinheitsgebutt” of Sublime Imports. “The comments we got ranged from simply ‘they do a great job’ and ‘they’re very reliable,’ to ‘they’re the best distributor for imports’ and perhaps most importantly, ‘they’re family owned and a staple of the Chicago beer scene; really what Chicago is about.’ Through these many conversations, it became clear to us that Glunz has made a name for themselves, not simply through the diversity and quality of their profile, but mainly through the establishment of good, lasting relationships—and this, we knew, was the kind of culture we sought to associate ourselves and our beers with.”