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I8 After Hours recap: Belhaven Wee Heavy wins International Beer Day

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After Hours Wee Heavy

In celebration of International Beer Day on August 4th, the Illumine8 team took to Facebook Live for the maiden voyage of Illumine8 After Hours. In this first installment, we sampled five beers from around the globe (okay, mainly Europe) and judged each on taste and label design.

Here’s how it went down live:



Be sure to "Like" us on Facebook to catch future streams

When the shards of glass settled and the votes were tallied, Scotland’s Belhaven Brewery Company emerged the winner with their rich Scottish ale Wee Heavy. With 0 being the worst and 5 being the best, here’s how the ratings averaged out:

1. Belhaven Wee Heavy

Design rating: 4
Taste rating: 4
Overall score: 4

Scotland - Belhaven

Maybe it was just the high ABV talking, but the Wee Heavy ran away with this one. True to a good scotch ale, this full-flavored eye-opener caught our attention with its strong, sweet, yet well-balanced malty taste. The clean label design solidifed a well-deserved 1st place ribbon for our Scottish friend. Subtle handwritten typography works seemlessly with the on-brand sketch of their historic dual-chimney brewery.

2. Żywiec Beer

Design rating: 3.625
Taste rating: 3
Overall score: 3.3125

Poland - Zywiec

I think we were all surprised to see Żywiec creep up into the silver medal position, and I’m sure beer snobs are cringing at this one. Spots 2-4 were extremely tight. This Polish lager’s drinkability—a common quality for popular pale Euro lagers—earned it a high enough taste rating. But it was the unique label and beveled bottled design that gave it enough to edge out its Belgian and German competitors. Na zdrowie!

3 (tie). Chimay Dorée

Design rating: 2.875
Taste rating: 2.875
Overall score: 2.875

Belgium - Chimay

The Dorée is not the typical rich, strong Belgian ale you get with other popular Chimay beers. Subtle notes of coriander, but nothing overwhelming. The dark brown and gold label design—though very clean and simple—doesn't quite match the beer style in our opinion. Christina was a litter harsher in her ratings, but I suppose a tie for third place is fair. Good, but not great.

3 (tie). Ayinger Bräuweisse

Design rating: 2.75
Taste rating: 3
Overall score: 2.875

Germany - Ayinger

For a beer we both genuinely enjoyed, I think going first was a detriment to this refreshing, crisp German hefeweizen. Perhaps we were a bit reserved in our ratings not knowing what was to follow? Oh well. Tied for third it is. The provincial art in the Ayinger logo is pleasant enough, but likely won't "wow" anyone from the beer shelves.

5. Xingu Black Beer

Design rating: 1.25
Taste rating: 1
Overall score: 1.125

Brazil - Xingu

Sorry, Brazil. If we ever have a caipirinha sampling episode, I’m sure you’ll flourish. But Xingu is probably not your best export. The label appeared disjointed, and perhaps better suited for a Jumanji-esque early 2000s era web game. And it didn't get much better past the label. The intitial bland dark lager taste slowly melded into a filmy aftertaste vaguely resembling black licorice. Clearly not our idea of a good beer.

Illumine8 Marketing & PR is a Frederick, Maryland-based firm that combines the power of business development strategy, marketing creativity and customer-focused sales to deliver sustainable and measurable results.

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