Monday, June 19, 2006

A TALE OF TWO WHEATS

Summer is icomen in and that means the wheat beer's getting pushed like never before. I'm comfortable enough in my manhood to fess up that I've always loved this style, hot weather or no, and this past weekend I was able to try 2 new ones I'd never experimented with. First, and you'll laff at this one, but Hedonist Beer Jive was interviewed by the Associated Press (!!!) for a nationwide, syndicated article about beer blogs. I'm flattered, or course, and I guess this blog's going to be the centerpiece of the thing, as AP even sent a photographer out to snap my picture at my local pub last Friday. Who knows, it may even run today, so check your local paper (you know they buy all their content from the AP anyway, right?). So the guy asks me where we should meet and I chose the Valley Tavern in San Francisco's Noe Valley 'hood. He says, "you gotta order a beer, and you gotta pretend I'm not sitting here taking 700 fast-frame photos of you while you drink it". So I bellied up & picked something called BLUE MOON BELGIAN WHITE. That's "white" as in "wheat", I guess. The friendly lady behind the bar even threw a slice of orange in there, wasn't that nice? Well, as I was drinking it I found myself wondering about something I'd read about the Memphis-based BLUE MOON BREWING company, but I couldn't quite put my noggin around it - now, looking on the "World Wide Web", I remembered - they were bought by Coors (hisssss!!!). But I'm not a guy who lets externalities interfere with my beer consumption, so let's just cut to the quick. This beer was fantastic. So crisp, incredibly smooth, and just the right amount of citrus flavor to give the tongue a good ride. It's exactly what I want in a wheat beer, and it's definitely more on the beer conoisseur side of the great drinking pendulum than the "turn it loose with the Silver Bullet" side. Coors, I guess, didn't tamper with this fine brewery's wares, and it shows. Give me more of this any day. 8.5/10!

On the other hand, there's this SUNSHINE WHEAT beer from nationwide tastemakers NEW BELGIUM BREWING Co., yeah that's right, the Fat Tire guys. I didn't cotton to it, and I had three at a summer barbeque, ground friggin' zero for wheat beer appreciation. Totally bland, dry beer with maybe a little lemony bite to it, but long after you've given up on it after a couple of swigs. Well, that 6-pack was a sunk cost and someone had to drink it, but this is the first New Belgium product I can unequivocably say I didn't like. A dry, depressing 4.5/10. Tune in next time when we explore some real Belgians, not that pretend stuff, kids!

3 comments:

Kyle said...

Have you tried the Celis White? I wonder how the Blue Moon compares. I've seen it for sale around town, I believe.

Anonymous said...

Anything stamped with New Belgium is a 4.5 or less.

Kyle said...

No doubt. My dad got suckered into buying some fat tire this weekend. I felt like weeping for him.