When it comes to beers infused with fruit flavoring, I can’t say I have been the biggest fan. Despite the fact that the practice has enjoyed a long and celebrated life, at least in an intellectual manner, I feel beer should be comprised of water, malts and hops. Perhaps a hold out from my Germanic lineage is hiding in my brain forcing me to recite the Reinheitsgebot laws, or perhaps it’s just snobbery, but I am apprehensive when trying a beer that diverts from those ingredients.
So, when I got some beer mail that included a can of San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewery’s “Hell or High Watermelon”, a wheat beer that is infused with watermelon flavoring and juice, I waffled on reviewing it. But, for better or worse, when I opened the fridge for some refreshment, it was staring me in the eye from its wonderfully designed can.
With the gauntlet thrown, I picked the can up and brought it back to my office for a moment of truth.
The beer poured out a nice straw color, slightly cloudy, but mostly clear, and alive with a lot of carbonation. Perhaps I was a bit reserved with the pour, but the head creation was minimal, and retention was non-existent.
The nose was malty, and had a mild, inviting watermelon essence.
So I looked at the beer a little longer, and built my confidence for the first sip.
What greeted me, much to my surprise, was a wonderfully refreshing, just sweet enough, watermelon flavor reminiscent of a Jolly Rancher. There was a slight bitterness on the backend that brought out some of the wheat of the beer which added additional depth.
Is this the beer for me? No, not really, but for those that like beers infused with flavoring, this was a nice, refreshing, unique experiment that adds a little something different to the evolution of beer. I would highly recommend this beverage to those drinkers that prefer beer augmentation.