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Beer Review #122 Citra Blonde Summer Brew

Today’s beer review, a summer ale, comes from Widmer Brothers Brewing Company out of Portland, OR. When I originally saw this beer in the store I thought twice about purchasing it. The “citra” in the name made me think that they added some extra citrus flavor to the beer which can be a good or bad thing. I grabbed it anyway and decided to give it a chance.

Citra Blonde Summer Brew pours an orange color unlike what the name indicates. It has a white head and I halfway expected this beer to be hazy, but it was perfectly clear. The nose gives off some super citrus notes, with a touch of sweetness. It smells more like a health drink than a beer, but then again you could argue that beer is a healthy drink.

On my first taste I was kind of confused on what just went over my taste buds. There isn’t a lot of flavor upfront but then the citrus kicks in on the back-end. The flavor is not light like you would have in a Blue Moon or something of the like, but it felt more like an orange juice. Do you know what your mouth feels like just after you take a drink of orange juice? Well this beer will leave you with the same feeling. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be as strong as it was.

I didn’t really care for this beer all that much. The citrus kicks in so oddly for a beer that it threw me off. I could only handle a bottle of this one per sitting, and at that, I was burping citrus all night long. If you like that kind of flavor in your beer I suggest you try it. I think there are other summer selections that are more refreshing out there. (more…)

Beer Review #121 Blue Point Summer Ale

In the spring I reviewed Blue Point Brewing Company’s spring beer and found it to be a solid brew. Blue Point is brewed in Patchogue, NY a.k.a. Long Island, NY and they have been making a large variety of beer recently.

Blue Point’s summer offering pours like most summer beers; golden in color, clear, and a fluffy white head. The nose has some similar notes to most summer beers, like a honey-like sweetness, but also has some other components. I noticed a bit more hop odor than a normal summer beer has along with a nice biscuit aroma.

The taste is pretty straightforward and not overly complex. There is some sweetness followed by a slight hop flavor. The overall taste was pretty nondescript. Now this isn’t always a bad thing. If I had this beer in the winter I would be highly disappointed, but for a summer beer, it is light and refreshing.  It might not be packed with flavor, but it does a good job of quenching your thirst. I believe that there are better summer offerings out there, but this one might be good for a newcomer to craft beer or someone who has never had a craft brew. (more…)

Beer Review #120 Heavy Seas Summer Ale

I have only reviewed one previous beer from Clipper City Brewing Company out of Baltimore, MD, and I enjoyed it a great deal. I live about an hour away from the brewery and I have had many of their beers that have not been reviewed on this site yet. One of my favorites is Loose Cannon which I think is an outstanding beer. Clipper City has a bit on an identity problem in my book since they label everything “Heavy Seas” but the fine print shows Clipper City. Even the major beer review sites are not sure what to call them.

From my understanding, Heavy Seas was originally supposed to be a line of their beers that were “big beers.” They were high in ABV, malt, and IBUs, but it seems that all of their beer are now labeled Heavy Seas. This includes their Summer Ale which is not particularity strong in any category. It comes in at a tiny 4.3% ABV.

This summer offering pours a nice golden color and is perfectly clear. There is a nice two finger white head to go along with the rest of the beer. The nose is pretty complex for such a simple looking beer. I didn’t get any hop notes, but there was a lot going on in the malt department. There was first a honey-like sweetness which is then followed by a grainy odor. Everything was very clean and pleasant smelling.

On the first taste I really liked how drinkable this beer was. It wasn’t strong in any particular area, but the whole beer was well balanced and perfectly suited for the summertime. As the nose hinted, there is a good light sweetness to the malt. A slight hop balance kicks in and cuts the sweetness. Once the two main components fade away you are left with a nice biscuit aftertaste. As I said before, this beer is wonderfully drinkable. I have enjoyed more than a few on this 90+ days here on the east coast. (more…)