Heavy Hangover | Sevi – To Hell and Back with their New Beers

3 Beers To The Test

Bulgarian band Sevi is one of the biggest acts in their homeland with their international reach expanding. With Svetlana Bliznakova as their charismatic vocalist, and co-founder bass player Rally Velinov, the band has released 4 impressive consistent albums. Their debut `What Lies Beyond’ saw a band seeking identity which took shape on the 2016 follow-up `The Battle Never Ends’. Reinforced and modernized by 2019’s `Follow Me’, Sevi started to pitch higher with 2023’s `Genesis’ as the exclamation mark. The album combined the band’s elegant melodic rock style with modern elements, heavy guitars and powerful melodies. With Svetlana as the eyecatcher, Sevi puts their mark on modern metal music, ready to roam the international stages.


Upon releasing `Genesis’ the band got together with Bulgarian Rocket Science Brewery, based next door to the band’s studio. With the release party abound, band and Brewery met for a collaboration, sprouting 3 styles of beers, all wearing the mark of the band. For sure it is an interesting and fruitful collaboration. On their website sofiabrew.bg tone of the 3 brewers is wearing an Iced Earth shirt, revealing the brewery’s metal roots. 

Quite often we see established bands and renowned breweries join hands to further enhance their merchandise range, as well as adding to the lifestyle of many band followers and devoted fans. Colabs have proven to attract broader audiences and investing is interesting. When bands and beers collaborate for the right reasons, the outcome is more divine. This beer-colab has a true sense of sincerity to it and it oozes the typical comfort of the band’s approach. Taking the world by storm, one step at the time…  


Amber Ale
5.2% ABV

Flesh is torn into pieces
A new soul was born
Call the Genesis
Save us all!

Simple as it is subtle, the band’s logo is featured at the top of the matte black label on this tall standing 500 ml bottle. `Genesis’ subtle artwork consisting of the ‘tree of life’ amidst DNA strings outlining the shield is interwoven with the brewer’s logo. Rocket Science Brewery’s logo goes well with the `Genesis’ art. The Brewery’s logo is an upside-down hop cone with a bullet head, mocking it up as a rocket ship combusting on launch, the roots of the `Genesis’ tree branching out below as smoke and fire. On the right side the label features the above lyrics from the chorus of the album’s title track ,,Genesis”, with the web address of the band as well as the brewery’s email address featured below.

All additional info is in their native Bulgarian language, Cyrillic alphabet. On the left the label features the brewer’s logo and its beer style, the Amber Ale with again all additional info like ingredients, etc. in Cyrillic. ABV, IBU, SRM and PLATO are also present on the bottom. The presentation is spot on: Simple, sober and precise, matching the album’s artwork and adding to the experience.


As the beer pours into the glass, its dense and deep copper hue immediately catches the eye, hinting at the rich flavors to come. A creamy off-white head caps the beer, leaving lacing on the glass as you drink. It’s thick and full of volume, making the experience wonderful.

On the nose, aromas of toasted bread, caramel, and nutty toffee mingle with floral and light citrusy hop notes. The latter vaguely revealing citrus grass also. This inviting bouquet whets the appetite seeing me reach for the spin button to set ,,Genesis” in motion for an accompanying spin. The ‘music box’-style intro hitting I delve into the beers nice perfume, slowly fading.

The album bursting into the riff-theme laden ,,Ghosts”, the beer’s first sip reveals a delightfully balanced flavor profile. Rocket Science knows their craft, perfectly welling expectations as Svetlana belts out the wailing bridge section of the song.

There’s an initial rush of toasted malt sweetness with subtle hints of biscuit and toffee. This dryer maltiness provides a sturdy backbone allowing the hops to shine through. Adding to the experience, music and sun align while jotting down tasting notes. The hop character brings floral, citrus, and earthy notes to the party, adding a refreshing bitterness that cuts through the malt’s sweetness. Grapefruit and orange peel accents linger pleasantly on the palate.


With a medium body and gentle carbonation, the mouthfeel is smooth and easy-drinking. It invites to take bigger gulps. The finish is dry and slightly nutty with hop bitterness that doesn’t linger too long.

This amber ale manages to strike a gentle balance between malt and hops that makes it immensely quaffable (luv this word!). It has enough complexity to keep things interesting while still being incredibly drinkable, and with the album hitting the alternating ,,Shattered”, I find myself really enjoying the drink. 

Whether you’re a seasoned craft beer drinker or just getting into ambers, this is a fantastic example of the style. It’s the kind of beer that would pair beautifully with foods like grilled meats, aged cheddar, or even Thanksgiving dinner. So, raise a glass of this copper-hued gem and appreciate the harmonious blend of flavors. It’s a very solid and deep amber ale that deserves a spot in any beer lover’s rotation. It aligns with the band’s music as it also reveals progressive intricate notes as well as guarding a clean heavy metal slate. 


Now to make things even more interesting, this beer goes down extremely well with a dish of grilled chicken wings or chicken thighs. Nicely seasoned or spicy, the beer will make the dish and beer’s flavor exceed expectations. I personally always use a blend of satay spices mixed with chicken seasoning. 

Chicken seasoning, I personally use is made from the below spices:

2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon paprika (½ smoked + ½ regular)
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon: garlic powder & salt
½ teaspoon: onion powder & black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 

Possibly added chili pepper will enhance flavors and create the spicy bite you might like. Season to personal taste. You can store the seasoning in a ziplock bag for weeks.

For my Satay seasoning I use following contents:

2 teaspoons turmeric powder.
1 teaspoon: coriander powder + dark brown sugar + chile powder + ginger powder.
½ teaspoon: onion powder + garlic powder + teaspoon finely black pepper

Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers also work with any amber ale, refrain from bacon. The chicken – satay blend can be used for your hamburger beef also; be amazed!

If you want to go with snacks and bites, I recommend Spanish dried Fuet sausage or French saucisson sec with walnut. This can be combined with Port-Salut cheese.


Dark Beer
4.9% ABV

If you open your Eyes
If you look up the Sky
If you dare to Try
Just spread up your Wings and Fly

Sevi’s presentation of their dark beer `To Hell and Back’ differs day and night with their Amber Ale, although it is printed on the same matte black paper. 

Its presentation is more daunting, featuring the band’s design of their 2016 ,,Christmas Song” with different band logo and a shield reminiscent to a family crest, or coat of arms. The right side is a steel plate with rivets while its left side is in flames. Two skeletons on the left and right of the shield facing each other, drinking a raised glass. On top of the shield the band name in outlined font + in bold capitals ‘Dark Beer’. All crowned by a ‘mantle’ like in heraldry, also in graceful curls on the left and right. In the top middle, the star, which might refer to the coat of arms used for the country’s past as People’s Republic of Bulgaria, the socialist republic under Soviet Union’s reign from 1946 – 1990. 

On the bottom, below the shield, another ‘mantle’ of lines with `To Hell and Back’ in bold font again, like a motto on a coat of arms. Below the brewery’s logo and their name, perfectly intertwined with the black and white label.


On the right side the label features the above lyrics from the chorus of the album’s title track ,,Don’t Hesitate”, which is rather unexpected as I would think it to feature the chorus lines to ,,To Hell and Back”, initially recorded together with Jen Majura in 2019. The band’s web address as well as the e-mail address for brewery below. All additional info in Cyrillic alphabet. On the far left the label features the brewer’s logo underneath mentioning the beer being a ‘Rock Stout’ instead of ‘Dark Beer’, with again all additional info like ingredients, etc. in Cyrillic. ABV, IBU, SRM and PLATO are also present on the bottom. The labels far left and right almost collide on the back of the bottle, together creating the “back label”.

The presentation is spot on: Stylish and a tad more flamboyant as the art for their Amber Ale `Genesis’, but all in all nicely presented, falling in line with the band’s art.

Distinguished by its dark, almost black color derived from the use of roasted malts, this Rock Stout Dark Beer is a light classic variant of the style. Where most today relay on the Imperial Stouts, this classic brew reverts to the lower percentage stout, bordering with the classic Belgian dark beers and even more in this case; German Schwarz-style Bier.


Nonetheless, this all imparts a distinct roasty, slightly burnt or charred aroma and flavor reminiscent of coffee or dark chocolate, hailing from its warm fermentation. There’s a remote hint of hops, making its palate refreshingly drying. The mouthfeel is typically full-bodied and creamy, little bit dry, with smoothness coating the palate.

This rock stout checks all the boxes above. Upon its first pour it has the classic opaque black darkness, with a thick and foamy head with creamy tan on top. The dark coffee-ish head reveals an impressive scent of roasted malt. These burnt malts dominate, but there’s notes of coffee with hints of chocolate and caramel waving in. The aroma isn’t lasting too long but invites for a first gulp.

Tasting this stout, I decided for the second part of the bands recent epos ,,Genesis” to play in the back. Turning it up louder, the ominous modern ,,Dark Knight” blasted from my stereo, with Svetlana crooning her lyrics. Hitting the modern segment of the track, its dystopian synths storm into the bridge and chorus. 

Rally’s bass drones low as I waltz the beer in my mouth, reaching all my taste buds. There’s a robust nice roast present, dominating its rich malty flavor. There’s a delightful bitterness with subtle sweet notes. Creamy, but slightly dry, the beer reveals its deeper notes. There’s nice hints of coffee and a remote nutty flavor atop the dark chocolate noters. In the distance a little caramel comes in, but only minimal. Not too sweet, the drought cleanses quickly. 


Sevi’s Rock Stout Dark Beer is a well-executed example of the style, offering a harmonious balance of roasted malt flavors, bitterness, and a velvety texture. It’s a satisfying and very sessionable stout that would pair excellently with nice meals with burgers and grilled (lightly seasoned) potato slices. 

If you decide for it to go with a rump steak, (high) flank or picanha, I can only advise to season the steak for a couple of hours. Use ground coffee (YES, REALLY!) and black pepper. Rub in the coffee evenly and let it rest for 8 – 12 hours. Before you grill is, take the steak or picanha from the cooler and allow it to adjust to room for one- or two-hours temperature. This will make sure the juices inside can react to the grilling process and will provide more tender and juicy meat. 

Bring your grill to a temperature of 180 degrees centigrade (approx.. 350 F) and add sea salt. Apply as last step so the salt has no time to retract juices from your meat. Grill your steak and bring it to a core temperature of 140 – 165 degrees centigrade (285 – 330 F). This process varies in time but likely to surpass the 20-minute mark. During this time check the outside and turn and shift accordingly. The coffee will caramelize and its bitterness will change into a caramelly seared outside that is crispy and very rich of flavor. Remove your meat and wrap in tin foil to let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes allowing time for the juices to redistribute inside and provide a juicy result. 


Note: the above times and temperatures are based on the steaks or picanha grilled rare. Never grill longer than medium rare. This, in combination with the seared outside will make this a pleasant taster, combined with your Sevi Rock Stout. 

In summary, this colab Rock Stout from Rocket Sience Brewery and Sevi is a must-try for fans of the style, and certainly of the band, enjoying their music and good company. The low ABV of 4.9 combined with its medium carbonation makes it an easy drinkable stout that rocks. Delivering a rich and flavorful experience in every sip, the beer invites for groups and friendships to be forged, party’s to be enjoyed!

Great music blasting, this is one for the books!


Blond Beer
5.4% ABV

If you open your Eyes
If you look up the Sky
If you dare to Try
Just spread up your Wings and Fly

Sevi’s presentation of this blond beer `Bitter of Taste’ is in fine line with its dark opponent. The label is an inverted crisp white with black printing of the Dark Beer’s label, featuring the same family crest, or coat of arms. The right side is a steel plate with rivets while its left side is in flames. Two skeletons on the left and right of the shield facing each other, drinking a raised glass. On top of the shield the band name in outlined font + in bold capitals ‘Blond Beer’. Its mantle and shield the inverted versions, the minimal changes in artwork are pointing at beer style and ingredients, etc. On the bottom, below the shield, another ‘mantle’ of lines with `Bitter of Taste’ in bold font again. The statement takes out the expected experience from a normal blonde beer as you know there’s a twist to it. 


The bitterness that is present in some of Sevi’s melancholic tracks like ,,Fade Away” or the wonderful ,,Broken Wings”, perfectly aligning with this tasting session. Even better (or should I say, “Bitter”) is to play their profound new single ,,World that doesn’t Fit”!

Honestly: this beer evokes sunshine, so let’s cast aside the bitterness and go for the most melodic tracks on their previous `Follow ME’ release, where they mix up their melancholic ingredients with more dominant melodic aspects. The outcome is pouring rich epicness onto crispy rock hooks and great nesting melodies all together. The title track immediately evokes these lighter notes, going down well with the beer.

The brisk guitar melody blends well with the crispiness of the beer. It tickles the senses as much as ,,Never Again” does, though firing on other engines, with jabbing key and riff interaction. Tracks like these add to the atmosphere tasting the beer, and see the listener enjoy taste in its widest sense. 


With its light golden hue and hazy pour, this blond beer immediately draws you in with its sunny crisp appearance. A big (open) foamy white head caps the beer and is enduring. On the nose, zesty citrus and floral aromas mingle with light bready malts. There are hints of freshly cut grass that give the aroma a vibrant, sunshine light quality.

The first sip is an invigorating burst of crisp bitterness across the palate. Flavors of grapefruit, lemon zest, and pine resin remotely present, providing a mild, drying bitterness that is balanced by a dominant malty backbone. There’s a pleasant floral taste residing in its sparkling bitterness. 

While lightly bitter, the beer isn’t harsh and maintains its sweeter toned blond presence. There’s a crisp, clean bitterness that refreshes the palate rather than assaulting it. Beneath the hops, you get subtle sweet malt notes of toasted bread and crackers, akin Belgian blonde beers, providing just the right amount of balance and drinkability. The sweet and wheaty notes bring its bitterness lingers into the dry, crisp finish. Very pleasant while enjoying the sun. 

With its light-to-medium body and mild carbonation, this blond ale has a zesty, dry mouthfeel that accentuates its character. For an easy-drinking beer, it packs a refreshing amount of flavor. The hops are the true star here, showcasing bright citrus and floral notes without being overly bitter.


This is the kind of beer that would pair perfectly with flavorful salads, lighter seafood dishes and roasted chicken breast filet, or even spicy cuisine where the bitterness can act as a palate cleanser between oriental and spicey bites. The variety at hand offers possibilities. As I had chicken wings present already, the spicier ones came to fall into place perfectly. Added Hot Rock Chili’s ‘Rock Party of the Year’ habanero sauce, also worked well with the nacho’s that we added. No jalapenos though, as I learned from the past they won’t go down well with beer. I always withhold, even though I love them!

If you’re a hophead looking for your next flavorful fix or just want to branch out into more bitter beer styles, this crisp and lively blond should be at the top of your list. A true hop-forward revelation!

Purchase the beer at their upcoming concerts at the end of this year, or at the website of Sevi. Shipping within Europe is reasonably priced. You won’t be disappointed!



Logged in as