Mateveza is a prize winning beer made with yerba mate. Mateveza contains the stimulating and energizing properties of yerba mate. You can currently purchase two varieties of the Mateveza, the Black Lager and Organic IPA. Mateveza was classified as one of the best 25 beers by Draft magazine in 2007.
We had the opportunity to talk with the founder of Mateveza Jim Woods in order to discover more about his creation.
How did you first become acquainted with yerba mate? And how did the idea of brewing a beer with yerba mate come to you?
I’ve been a homebrewer since high school. My cousin introduced me to mate while I was in college and I later traveled to Argentina to experience it firsthand. In 2004, I followed a sip of freshly brewed yerba mate with a hoppy pale ale in my San Francisco apartment. The lingering bitterness of the mate contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the malt. It seemed to perform the same function as the bittering hops. So naturally, I thought “What if I used mate to provide bitterness in beer?”
How would you describe the taste of Mateveza? Does the flavor of the yerba mate come through strongly?
The yerba mate is substituted for a portion of the hops. Like hops, it provides bitterness to counter the sweetness of the malted barley. Unlike hops, it provides a soft herbal bitterness and a dry finish. The earthiness of the yerba mate is pretty subtle in the aroma and flavor but definitely comes through in the finish.
In Argentina, yerba mate is usually enjoyed with pastries or by itself. What foods pair well with Mateveza?
Mateveza is quite versatile. My favorite pairing for our Yerba Mate IPA is huevos rancheros, although Indian food (curry especially) is another great one. As far as Argentine cuisine is concerned, the IPA would pair well with pork empanadas and our Black Lager would go well with anything barbecued.
Are there plans to expand further, nationally or internationally? Any chance of seeing it in Argentina at some point?
We’re continuing our march across the US. We’re currently in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado. We hope to add additional states over the next year. We’re going to keep the growth measured and manageable. We’d love to be in Argentina as well. Ideally we’d brew locally in Argentina.
More information: MateVeza