Friday, September 21, 2012

Brown's Hefeweizen

A lot of American brewpubs make a wheat beers for the non-craft beer drinkers who want something "light," and if that’s the intent behind Brown’s Hefe-Weizen then mission accomplished. It has all the familiarities of the style and on that notion alone it succeeds.

3.6
   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Chad9976 (731) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 21, 2012

I poured a 22oz bomber into a wheat beer glass.

Appearance: Bright yellow hue, only slightly hazy with plenty of hyperactive carbonation visible. Forms a small, white, soapy head which fizzles away rather quickly and leaves no lacing on the glass. It’s possible this beer might actually be brewed in the kristallweizen style as it’s quite transparent for the style, and I saw no yeast sediment at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell: Strong clove scent with pink bubblegum undertones and banana peel. A slight tart scent as well.

Taste: If you’re familiar with the classic Bavarian-style hefeweizen then Brown’s Hefe-Weizen should not surprise you in the least. It’s pretty much by-the-book for the style, but just a little restrained in the palate likely due to its target audience. It begins with a strong clove spiciness at the front of the tongue. It’s almost candy-like with a hint of lemon peel as well. There’s a quick bitterness through the middle, but it ends with a lightly sweet taste of banana and apple juice. This might actually be acetaldehyde: a green apple-like taste and tartness which can be caused by a variety of factors and is something brewers try to avoid. In the case of this beer, though, only keen palates might detect this and it’s not completely off-putting anyway. In fact, the subtle tartness works with the lighter, crisp body and imparts a hint of cider flavor. Personally, I’d prefer more spice and robustness, but for it is it’s not bad at all.

Drinkability: I noticed Brown’s Hefe-Weizen seemed a little thinner and fizzier than most hefes, but considering what the beer is meant to do I wouldn’t consider it a tragic flaw or anything. There’s a crispness for sure but it’s closer to that of a cider’s body than a lager. It goes down very smooth with almost no aftertaste. The bottle label indicates a potency of 5.8% ABV, which seems a little high for such a lighter body brew. Still, no one would have any trouble drinking an entire bottle of this on their own.
 Grade: 7/10