Posts tagged ‘light’

Magic Hat: Wacko

My last “build-your-own-sixpack” adventure to Wegman’s ended with a good selection of summer seasonals, and here’s the first.

“Wacko”, by Magic Hat Brewing Company, is a very interesting beer. For starters, check out this beautiful red color!

Okay, so it looks a little less red here, but let me tell you, when I poured it, I was not expecting it to be the reddish gold hue that I got. The second interesting thing about Wacko is the taste. It is a fruit-hop duet almost in perfect balance. But I could not identify the fruit. Examination of the bottle revealed beet juice as an ingredient, so maybe that’s where the fruit taste came from.

Wacko finishes clean, with a crisp taste, and virtually no aftertaste. It was definitely a refreshing thirst-quencher, and isn’t that all you really want out of a summer beer?

Try this if you like: fruity summer beers, i.e. Ithaca’s Apricot Wheat, Leinenkugel’s Berry Weiss, Naked Dove’s Berry Naked, or Dogfish Head’s Festina Peche

4 stars

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Smuttynose Brewing Company: Star Island Single

Today’s selection is from a brewery new to the blog: the Smuttynose Brewing Company. Located in Portsmouth, NH, it’s been around for a short 17 years. But if the Star Island Single is any indication, these (relative) newbies are good at what they do.

This medium-bodied golden session ale has a distinctly fruity aroma. It is clear and smooth, with the slight taste of hops balanced by fruit and honey flavors. It finishes crisp and dry, which made me just want to drink more of it! It was incredibly refreshing for being so crisp. I would definitely drink this on a hot summer day. It was also ranked #5 in the 2010 U.S. Open Beer Championship in its category.

Try this if you like: very drinkable beers (see my Summer Shandy review), beers that aren’t too bitter

Tröegs Brewing Company: DreamWeaver Wheat Ale

Despite not pouring this beer correctly (yes, there is a correct way to pour different styles of beer) tonight’s selection from Tröegs was pretty darn good. I’m becoming quite impressed with this brewery. I hope they distribute in Chicago.

Ignore the lack of head on this pour. I said I didn't do it right.

The DreamWeaver Wheat Ale is an unfiltered wheat beer that reminded me a little of a Hefeweizen, which would not normally be a good thing, but it turned out alright! The first thing I noticed was how much it smelled like a wheat beer. I also got a hint of spice and fruit in the scent. Then came the taste: more spice, more fruit, more wheat. The fruit is a new one for my beer palate: banana. Thankfully it’s only hints of it, otherwise I’m not sure how I would feel.

One thing I will definitely say about this beer: it’s thirst-quenching. It isn’t too bitter or too dry, and it’s quite light. It would be an excellent “relaxing at the end of the day” kind of beer.

Try this if you like: Hefeweizens, Blue Moon, or other wheat beers (see my review on Indian River Light)

Tröegs Brewing Company: Sunshine Pils

Three posts in a row! Today for your reading and drinking pleasure we’ve got Sunshine Pils, a summer seasonal from the Tröegs Brewing Company in Harrisburg, PA.  As you might have gathered from the name, Sunshine Pils is a European Pilsner–with a bit of a hoppy kick!

Sunshine Pils is a lovely golden color with a decent head (if you pour it properly.) It has a slight citrus aroma, and a slightly less citrus taste. You can definitely taste the hops in this one, but the bitterness isn’t overpowering. Sunshine Pils is crisp and refreshing, a good summer beer, but one you should probably have with food–especially if you’re not the biggest fan of hops. Because it’s a lighter beer, it is easier to drink…but you’ll probably be thirstier afterwards.

Try this if you like: other pilsners, IPAs

Leinenkugel’s: Summer Shandy

I have been (not so) patiently waiting for this beer to hit shelves in New York since it last left shelves. Shandy season is my favorite time of year….and there’s good reason for it. I. Love. Summer Shandy. In fact, I love it so much that I am willing to pay the exorbitant six-pack prices here in New York. And…on to the review!

So…what is shandy? Shandy is the term for beer mixed with lemonade. If you took Leinie’s Honey Weiss and mixed it with lemonade, you’d get Summer Shandy. Leinie’s calls it “the perfect summer refresher” and I completely agree. After a hot day of laying on the beach or sitting out on the balcony reading, all I want is one of these.

Summer Shandy is light, crisp, and very citrusy. You can tell it’s brewed with lemonade just by smelling it. It has a lovely golden color and pours fairly clear with a decent head. I could drink this beer for days. Literally, ’cause it’s only 4.2% ABV. It is not bitter at all, so for those of you who don’t like the taste of hops, this is a good one for you.

I don’t have any “try this if you like these” suggestions because I’ve never had a shandy from any other brewery. If you know of one, I’d love to try it. (Side note: mixing Berry Weiss with lemonade makes it a hundred times better.)

Now, maybe this beer technically isn’t worth five stars, but this is MY blog and this is one of MY favorite beers, so take that, arbitrary rating system.

5 Stars

Ithaca Beer Company: Partly Sunny

Well, it’s been more than partly sunny here in Syracuse and I’ve been enjoying the wonderful weather. To celebrate, I cracked open a summery beer from the Ithaca Beer Company. (Yes, we’re back to NY beers…)

Partly Sunny is a classic Belgian Witbier brewed with coriander and other spices, as well as hints of orange.

Sorry there’s no pint glass picture…I was drinking this on my balcony and I really just wanted it right out of the bottle. The beer is a lovely cloudy straw color (as is typical of Belgian Witbiers.) The aroma of the beer is mild wheat with spices, and the taste is just the same. Honestly, this is basically a slightly better version of a Blue Moon. It was good but not too exciting or different. This is a “hanging out with your friends, grilling burgers” kind of beer.

Partly Sunny is a perfect sunny-day beer: light, refreshing, and just enough interesting flavor to keep you wanting to drink it.

Try this if you like: Blue Moon, Heartland Indian River Light

Kona Brewing Company: Longboard Lager

A friend of mine at work just got back from his honeymoon in Hawaii, and that reminded me that I picked up a beer from the Kona Brewing Company (this particular beer was semi-locally brewed in New Hampshire for the Hawaii based company.) Today’s selection is their Longboard Island Lager.

I sincerely hope this isn’t their best beer.  In fact, I’m almost certain it’s not. The aroma is mildly citrusy, and the taste is also slightly citrus. I don’t taste much of the malt or hops in this beer. My first thought was “generic lager,” and nothing I discovered upon drinking it made me change my mind.

Don’t get me wrong. The Longboard Island Lager wasn’t a bad beer by any means. It had a clean, crisp mouthfeel, good head when poured, and tasted just fine. But I expected something a little more exciting from a company that claims “Our approach is to create complex, full tasting beers with a relaxed style and charm that expresses our Hawaii based roots.”  I did not get the feel of the Hawaiian islands from this beer.

Thankfully, Kona has five other beers that are distributed to select mainland states. The Wailua Wheat and Pipeline Porter look particularly interesting.

Try this if you like: Leinenkugel’s Honey Weiss, other light lagers