It seems like no matter when I go to the beer store, Sam Adams (Boston Beer Company), has a new beer on the shelves. I generally find myself picking up their new beers as they are usually pretty solid examples of a style. I like to call the Sam Adams beers, starter beers because they are good examples of a style, but they are generally not full on choosing higher mass appeal over full authenticity. I don’t fault them for this at all, in fact I applaud it. They are one of the few breweries that has beers available nation wide and still hold true to craft beer values.
When I saw Porch Rocker I grabbed it immediately. I love a good name, and Porch Rocker is a fantastic name for a summertime craft beer. Porch Rocker pours a brilliant clear golden color and has a full white head that quickly dissolves back into the beer. The nose is packed with lemon. I have only smelled one beer that has ever had as much lemon as this beer and that beer was undrinkable to my likings. There is a slight malt note in there was well but the lemon dominates. I generally do not read descriptions of beers I buy before I drink them as I don’t want to skew my view, but after smelling this one I look a quick look at the label. The first thing I noticed was that it is a “beer with natural flavors added.” I bet 1,000 to 1 that the natural flavor added to this beer is lemon. Upon investigation of the neck label I found that this beer was inspired by Radlers, a traditional German drink that mixes beer and soda/lemonade. I had a traditional version of this when I was in Germany last summer, but I don’t recall it smelling as strongly of lemon as this beer did.
The taste is as expected, lemon. It’s not lemonade lemon, but a beer lemon, by that I mean that it is a bready lemon thanks to the malt. There are no real hops to speak of or other flavors for that matter.
This really wasn’t my style of beer. It reminds me of a toned down version of Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, which is the previously mentioned undrinkable lemon beer (in my eyes). There just isn’t enough brought to the table with this beer, it just tastes like carbonated lemon. I think I’ll skip this one if it is offered next year.