The Beer Savant

October 14, 2012

Wells Banana Bread Beer

Wells Banana Bread BeerDate: October 12, 2012
Cost: Not recorded
Brewery: Wells & Young’s Brewing Company, Bedford, UK
Alcohol content: 5.2%
Served: Cold in a chilled glass with snacks

I love bananas, but I usually don’t like banana-flavored foods and beverages. I know this doesn’t make sense, but there you have it. I had to make an exception to this rule when I discovered the Holy Grail of all beers, Ayinger Ur-Weisse, which has a delightful hint of bananas foster. (I need to write a review of that beer, but not today.)

Banana Bread poured a nice golden amber with slight foam that melted away quickly. It smelled of nuts and bananas and spices. My first mouthful tasted bitter, like they had used the inner peel of the banana to brew the beer. After several swallows, I warmed up to it a bit and enjoyed the malty, banana flavors and hints of yeast and hops. The carbonation was spot on.

This wasn’t a bad beer, but it wasn’t a fabulous one, either. I would certainly drink it again but wouldn’t go out of my way for it, especially with the far-superior Ayinger Ur-Weisse just up the street at BevMo.

September 23, 2012

Tangerine Wheat Ale

Filed under: Ale,American,Fruit,Wheat — hikingsandiego @ 7:30 pm
Tags: , ,

Tangerine Wheat AleDate: September 2012
Cost: $6.99/6-pack at Ralphs
Brewery: Lost Coast Brewery, Eureka, California
Alcohol content: 5.0%
Served: Cold in a chilled glass and chilled in the bottle

September has been brutal in San Diego: temperatures in the 90s and 100s, alternating between tropical rainforest humid and desert dry. When I saw a six-pack of Tangerine Wheat Ale on sale at Ralph’s, I thought that sounded like a nice, light, fruity beer that would put a cold kibosh on the murderous heat. And I was right.

Let me preface this by saying that it wasn’t love at first taste. My initial reaction to the first sip was that the tangerine flavor was delightful, but the ale behind it was weak. Still, not a bad summer beer.

Subsequent bottles have made this beer grow on me. Served cold, really cold on a blistering summer day, this beer is like a liquid oasis. The spicy, fruity tangerine and cold, mellow ale flavoring mixed with the chill of the fridge will make you feel civilized again. It’s a different beer with a unique flavor, and I’ll definitely buy it again.

August 27, 2011

Purple Haze

Purple HazeDate: August 25, 2011
Cost: NA
Brewer:  Abita Brewing Company, Abita Springs, Louisiana
Alcohol content: 4.2%
Served: Cold by the bottle at Bud’s Louisiana Cafe

There are two things that make my heart sing, and that’s Cajun food and fruit beers. The shrimp and crawfish pasta dish I ate at Bud’s made my heart belt out opera; the Purple Haze beer I had with my meal…not so much.

The beer pours a slightly cloudy dark yellow/orange with almost no head. I could smell the delicious raspberries right away. When I took a sip, I also could immediately taste the raspberries…but that was about all I could taste. No grain flavors, no hops, no yeast; if I hadn’t uncapped the bottle myself, I would have sworn I was drinking watered-down Kool-Aid. The texture was thin with little carbonation, and the aftertaste nonexistent. If Miller Lite and Hawaiian Punch had an offspring, it would taste like Purple Haze. I’m sorry to say that the best thing this beer has going for it is its name.

Abita brews a number of tempting-sounding beers, and I do plan to overlook this weak sister and try more of their products. If there’s an Abita brew that you recommend, leave me a comment about it.

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