Each family has to tell about one of its members who is considered the Black Sheep or Gara Guzu in Turkish. Brewing beers on the other side of the Aegean are no less good than beers from the rest of the world as we know them.
They are produced in a country that does not promote alcohol consumption and that is why there is no official website and other promotional material such as social media. Well-known overseas companies make the most of the market pie, while small nomadic breweries are popping out through home-brewing and manage to get started after three years of bureaucracy. Does that ring a bell to you?
Gara Guzu (meaning black sheep) is Turkey’s first microbrewery. Spark, lit at a time when microbrewery was developing in Europe and interesting flavors and aromas were locked in a bottle and aroused a pleasant feeling for consumers. Ataç and Akgonca Besi, not only share the vision of a better and freer Turkish brewery they have shared life since they have been married since 2009 and have two children. They had known each other since their student years, but the couple came together much later after everyone had lived their lives. The life that eventually led them on a trip to America, from which they returned with the microbrewery germ, having seen and tasted so many beer labels.
In 2009 they left the capital and headed for Yesilyurt, a small part of Muğla, between Smyrna and Antalya, home of their small brewery – opened in 2011 – producing from 2014 European and American-oriented beers, apart from the classic Lager or Pilsner which still dominates their home market today. Blonde Ale, Amber Ale and Red Ale were the first labels. Followed by Weissbier and Summer IPA, along with a Black or Gara, ie a Porter! The brewery has a total of nine labels. Their desire to expand consumer horizons in their country and become part of the global family of craft brewers, offering local beers, from natural raw materials.
Recently made Chefs Beer, a limited production beer. They collaborated with Mehmet Gurs, owner and Chef of Istanbul’s “Mikla” restaurant, which was ranked 44th at “World’s 50 Best Restaurants” in 2018. The combination of Chef’s vision and brewery’s production resulted in Tangerine IPA known as “Blonde Memed” by Chef’s nickname. Beers are available except in Turkey and Germany. Their labels are great with 4C IPA being awarded by the Turkish Graphic Designers Community. It is a brewery that if the situation allows it to carry out an “international career”, it is worth watching.
The “Black” of brewing. A Porter, as it should be. Aromas of coffee, roasted malt, caramel and bitter chocolate notes. Tastes are common to her fragrances. Moderate body, emphasis on coffee and bitter chocolate with notes of roasted malt. Feeling smoked. It is produced with three hops, six malts and wheat, roasted barley and oats. At 35 IBU’s it remains a bitter beer. Recommended with sweet.
Style: Robust Porter| Alcohol: 6,4% abv | Serving Temperature: 9-10οC | Bottle: 330ml | Glass: Pint, Tulip
It is produced with six different malts and four hops (Columbus, Chinook, Centennial and Cascace). They also have the distinctive name of “4C”. Light orange color with aromas of conifers, citrus fruits, blossoms and notes of spices. Moderate body with common features like in nose. Its IBU’s are 60 and pretty much as they should be.
Style: West Coast IPA | Alcohol: 6% abv | Serving Temperature: 8οC | Bottle: 330ml | Glass: Pint
Birra Gara Guzu Address: Bayır Mah. Tevfik Oğuz Cad. No:16 D:16 Menteşe, 48000 Muğla, Turkey Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Url: www.garaguzu.com.tr Founded: 2011 Twitter, Instagram