Lawnmower Beer

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A close cousin to the German Hefe Weizens (like Hacker-Pschorr) is a lovely, refreshing, cloudy yellow-orange beer called an American Wheat Ale. These beers are light, refreshing, sweet and citrusy. Perfect for those hot days after mowing your lawn, or in my case, instead of mowing my lawn.

Today's lovely selection is
Blue Star Great American Wheat Beer. This is, to me at least, a fine example of an American Wheat Ale.

This beer pours a tantalizing pale straw color, cloudy as can be, with a frothy, dense pure white head that stuck around for the whole beer and left some great lacing down the glass. All those lovely wheat proteins helped with that.

The aroma is really light; I catch hints of mellow fruit and yeast and a noble-floral hop presence. What I don't get is the banana-clove aroma you get in the German wheat beers. We use a totally different yeast strain that lends a mild esters rather than the more traditional German wheat aromas. It's what makes it distinctly American.

I find this to be a very flavorful beer, though balanced still towards a light crispness. Of course, right up front is a crisp, sweet barley and wheat malt, light fruit (again, more like melon), and a light refreshing hop bitterness. There is a slight spiciness, not so much from the hops but from the wheat used in the beer. It fades away to a pleasant tart note, with some of that floral hop presence at the very end. It' got a medium-light body to it with pretty high carbonation.

This is, again, a very refreshing and crisp beer. It is absolutely built for drinking on your deck. Or in your hammock.

American wheat beers and German wheat beers both are top-fermenting, or, ales. But the particular strain of yeast used lends to some of the most noteworthy characteristics of each country' version: the classic clove-and-banana of the German beers and the mild fruit of the American style. The yeast used in the American strain allows for the hops to shine more than in its German cousin.

5 comments:

Bob 8:38 AM  

I just picked up a 6 of Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat. I like it a lot, but if you drink it with dinner, it tastes a little too citrus for me. Alone, it is pretty darn good. It smells real strongly of orange juice.

I'll pick up some Blue Star next time I am at Beer Mecca. Wheat beers are some of my favorites for an after work brew.

Another fine review.

Smitty 9:10 AM  

They indeed sell Blue Star at the Beer Mecca. They have tons of it; it one one of their purchaser's favorite beers. Always on hand.

steves 11:47 AM  

Bob, I picked up some of the same stuff. I will probably try some tonight or tomorrow, after I mow my lawn.

Drinking Games Master 1:15 PM  

This beer is awesome, and it's really funny that I stumbled upon this post because we were drinking it while playing Drunk Mario last night! Together, they were pretty amazing and a ton of fun.

Anna Martin 5:53 AM  



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