Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Opa-Opa Raspberry Wheat

Finally a fruity beer that doesn’t drink like a girly one!

Normally when I reach for summer beers, aside from the blueberry variety, I go straight up. I find that when you put fruit into beer the sugar level is insane. I feel my teeth fuzzing over and my cheeks puckering before I get through half a pint. Immediatley regretful about my drink selection, I start looking around to see what else is in the cooler.

The Opa-Opa Raspberry Wheat beer pours slightly blush and the nose is subtle. You can smell the fresh berries, but I am also getting wafts of the wheat and grains which is nice. This also calmed my fears about the $7 I dropped on a growler.
This is the other exciting thing: My liquor store carries growlers from a variety of local breweries so I am drinking this baby fresh from the tap.

The taste is crisp and refreshing, slightly tart – but not over the top. It’s perfect for a barbeque or on a hot day and a definite palate pleaser (for the boyz too). I am shocked for a wheat beer that it is incredibly light and drinkable. My only gripe is that all the flavor is in front, no staying power. It finishes like a Miller Lite. Hard to explain.

Still, I am grading this with an A-

I think this would be a really cool brew to bring to a gathering for your friends to try, it's something new from the standard summer varieties, and ladies I would suggest floating some frozen raspberries in the glass to wow the girls.

Let the summer drinking season begin!
Salud everyone (ANNNND go Bruins!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blueberry is the new Pumpkin

Ok, so that's a lie.

NOTHING will replace the awesome abbreviated season that is Pumpkin Beer season in Aug/Sept/Oct. But this new Shipyard Brewing Company offering gets me excited.

In only their second year, Shipyard's Smashed Pumpking went from something new to something to find. I heard about it last year and low and behold found a small packy up in New Hampshire that carried it. Big alcohol taste up front, big nose, decent pumpkin throughout... overall decent in their first attempt. The following year, my friends and I conducted a blind pumpkin beer tasting... consisting of 10 different varieties. Admittedly, my tastebuds were a bit tired after all of the "research", and our system could definitely use some tweaking... but nevertheless, Shipyard's Smashed Pumpkin ended up in most of the tasters top 3.

Enter new offering stage right... introducing Shipyard's Smashed Blueberry. As the article below points out, it joined a small list of offerings from Shipyard's Signature series, all of which have received awards here and there.

This beer clearly is a "sit down and drink this" sorta brew. You don't grab a sixer with your friends and play wiffleball in the backyard. And while I don't really gravitate towards fruity beers, I do love me some Blueberry beer... ideally out of the draft (Seadog Blue Paw) with frozen blueberries in there. (I know I know, beer purists are probably saying, "Don't Fruit the Beer." Yeah well you know what? This is Kate and I's blog, SO YOU WILL READ EVERYTHING WE HAVE TO SAY!). Haha... Along the lines of the "summer time" beer theme, its also worth pointing out that this going to be more on the heavier side. As I mentioned earlier, you aren't grabbing a six pack and going to town, this beer not only has a high ABV% at 9%, but Shipyard writes that is a mix btw a Porter and a Scotch Ale... "Rich mouth feel and a body of complex intensity"... "This beer pairs well with glazed duck, ribs, barbeque, chocolate, and blueberry deserts."

Expect a full review if I can get my hands on this... would be even better if I could find this on tap! We'll see if it makes the trip from Portland, ME.