Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TBG Drinks: Great White Beer

Brewed By: Lost Coast Brewery
Brewed In: Eureka, California
Type: Witbier (White Beer)
ABV: 4.8%

What They Say: "A Crisp beer with a hint of citrus, made with two-row malted barley, unmalted wheat, a secret blend of Humboldt herbs, crystal clear mountain water and ale yeast."

Website: AAUUUUUGH! The neon spirals and trippy fonts may be appropriate for the company's Humboldt County roots, but after eight seconds my eyes began bleeding. Points for the uncluttered left-hand navigation and the nine distinctive labels/logos in the center of the page. Each logo leads to a brief beer description, while the links are combination of the usual (awards, brewery history, photo gallery) and the unique – particularly the "media kit", which is great idea and an area for "collectors". There are really people who collect beer coasters, bottle caps and labels? Really?!

Why I Picked It: This was one of two beers that m'man Smitty brought down with him when we hooked up for last month's Angels/A's game in Anaheim. Since Smitty is only three weeks older than me and already on the waiting list for donors to replace most of his major internal organs, I trust his libation recommendations.


Presentation (5): The label is 50% Picasso, 50% California. It's more than a little clich├ęd, too, right down to the "shark bite" out of the surfboard – to say nothing of the surfboard – and the sun setting behind the palm tree. Hell, even the beer's name is uninspired. I'm feeling generous, though, so I'll hand over a pair of points for the irony of a Black guy drinking one of these and my inherent West Coast bias (RIP Tupac). 2

Originality (5): I guess we can't call cloudy Belgian ales "original", can we? A little bit of internet research showed that "white beers" were very popular with independent and amateur brewers a few years ago, but the fad died down once the ceiling was reached and numerous high-quality witbiers began flooding the market. 1

Body (10): The thin milky-gold pour was a nice, aesthetic sight. On the side of the bottle were instructions to save two fingers of beer behind, swirl vigorously and then pour into the glass. This made for a fat bottom to go with a fizzy, quick-dissipating head and a low level of lacing. 6

Taste (10): Maybe it's the assorted asthma and allergy medication I'm currently on, but I had a hard time discerning the flavors here. There were certainly notes of spice like coriander, some citrusy goodness not unlike lemon zest and a bit of barely-there yeasty wheat bread; however I was ¾ of the way through a 22 oz. bottle before I could confirm all the tastes on my tongue. 5

Efficiency (10): Light and effervescent, it's easy to imagine throwing back a couple of big bottles in no time at all. Mouthfeel can only take you so far, though. The 4.8% ABV keeps this one from the upper echelon of efficiency. I'm not sure if there's any way to take off the ABV training wheels from a witbier, but I hope there's one out there with a grown-up alcohol-by-volume number. 4

Versatility (10): I have enough female friends and co-workers to know that light, bubbly, lemon-tasting beers are BIG with the b*tches. (Oh, you know I'm kidding, ladies.) This would be a good social beer if you're buying a round for the office at happy hour or something to have on hand for the hot neighbor you've been wanting to ask out. (Just don't tell my wife.) 8

Grade: 26 (out of 50) – Good beer

The above format has been lifted with permission from That Beer Snob Guy.


Blondezilla said...

Ooh, that website made me dizzy. I have enjoyed a few good weissbiers here in Germany, but there are no sharks on the labels.

I have a query on your rating system...if 26/50 (just barely 50%) is a good beer. What rating makes a bad beer?

That Bootleg Guy said...

The following link explains the ranking system that I lifted, girlfriend:

A score of "26" could more accurately be described as "low good". :)