Tuesday, April 21, 2009
TBG Drinks: Hell or High Watermelon Wheat
Brewed By: 21st Amendment Brewery
Brewed In: San Francisco, CA
Type: (Fruit) Wheat Beer
What They Say: "The definition of summer in a pint glass. This unique, American-style wheat beer, is brewed with 400 lbs. of fresh pressed watermelon in each batch. Light turbid, straw color, with the taste and essence of fresh watermelon."
Website: The "virtual pub tour" feature is wonderfully user-friendly and something more of these brew sites should implement. A few nits, though: the "Show Us Your Cans" feature isn't anywhere CLOSE to realizing its true potential (giggedy) and the "beer list" is only a sample. Patrons have to call for the current on-tap assortment.
Why I Picked It: M'man Smitty told me about this odd concoction a few weeks ago, then brought a can(!) of it down to Anaheim when we met for the Angels/A's game earlier this month. He is a good friend to my family and his graciousness is appreciated. On the other hand, m'man Vig lives in the Bay Area and never took me to or even told me about this brewery. My family and I now hate him. Yes, Vig, even Jalen.
Presentation (5): I can forgive the cheesy play on words, since the logo itself is pretty bad ass. The trident/pitchfork thing is appropriately cartoonish, while the streak of brightly-colored flames makes for an aesthetically eye-catching image. 4
Originality (5): The union of watermelons with wheat-based beer seems to be almost commercially exclusive to the fine folks at 21st Amendment. At first blush, I can certainly understand why American brewers aren't exactly in a rush to line store shelves with suds from large green gourds. 5
Body (10): It pours out a cloudy, muddled yellow with minimal head and lacing. This is one of the more carbonated "snob" beers I've had as the beer's haze seems to re-create itself every few seconds. Overall, a somewhat malty medium body. 6
Taste (10): Sweet. I've read some online reviews that call the watermelon flavor here "mild" or "modest", but I couldn't disagree more. Don't get me wrong: there are also some strong bready notes, a hint of acidic citrus and that typical wheat beer taste in here somewhere. Hey, it actually works. The almost synthetic sweetness won't be for everyone, though. 7
Efficiency (10): This one checks in at 5.2% on the Richter Scale and if you can get past the Jolly Rancher flavoring, there's no reason why one couldn't suck down several of these in a single sitting. I'd guess the kick would be fairly stealth, though, and on you before you knew it. Still, though, I only had the one can. I'm not sure how the taste would hold up after two or more. 6
Versatility (10): I enjoyed this with a plate of Mrs. Bootleg's parmesan-shrimp pasta and damned if I didn't inadvertently stumble upon a palatable pairing. I can't imagine much middle ground with beer aficionados, though. You're either curious enough to give it a go or inherently repulsed by the notion of someone "fructosing" with your beer. 4
Grade: 32 (out of 50) – Good beer
The above format has been lifted with permission from That Beer Snob Guy.