Fearful Symmetries

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20 January, 2014

If You Listen to Fools: Blood Orange Tea Weizen from Mobcraft



Madison's Mobcraft bills itself as the world's first crowdsourced beer company. Giotto Troia, Henry Schwartz, and Andrew Gierczak started Mobcraft with the Internet-age idea of having customer submit recipes or ideas for beers. After the wheat is separated from the chaff, those that remain are put up for a vote via social media sites and the winner is brewed. These crowdsourced beers are released once per month and brewed over at House of Brews by brewmaster Page Buchanan.

I recently found a bottle of crowdsourced batch #2, Blood Orange Tea Weizen, over at Trixie's Liquor and figured I'd give it a go. I like weizens and blood orange and tea sounded like interesting additions.

My beer photos are usually pretty crappy and this review will be no exception. The usual spot for my photographic disgraces, the dining room table, was occupied by two cats so it was off to the kitchen where harsh white was the order of the day making it look like I took the snap at a hospital. The beer looked really nice – take my word on this. It was clear a deep amber, perhaps more of a golden brown. My pour didn't produce much of a crown and the beer didn't have much in the way of bubbles either.

A caveat here: my nose was fairly stuffy when I drank this beer. That aside, I mainly smelled grass and citrus when I took a whiff. There was just a bit of sweetness in there as well which was bready to my stuffy proboscis.

I found the taste to be very similar to the nose. On the tongue, this beer is very smooth – almost velvety – with a medium body. The blood orange comes first followed by a bit of the grassy tea flavor. I didn't taste much carbonation but did catch a faint hint of what I thought was bubblegum. The beer got a bit sweeter as it warmed up, mainly citrus-tinged sweetness. The finish was grassy and bitter. I believe that the tea became a bit more discernible and that there was a bit of hops in there as well.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the lack of a nice, pillowy head, a trademark of hefeweizens, was due to something brought in by the tea or fruit. Not really a big deal. The beer wasn't cloudy like a traditional hefeweizen nor was it as light on the tongue. Again, not a big deal. What is a big deal, however, is that I couldn't taste much of a hefeweizen here. It really tasted like blood orange iced tea but with more body than tea delivers. Aside from a fleeting hint of what I think was bubblegum, there's none of the phenols or esters giving the typical banana and cloves flavors. Hefeweizens generally have a lemon-like flavor to them and I thought the blood orange would complement that. Similarly, the style is not usually very bitter but green tea can add a little grassy bitterness to the proceedings. It's not that this is a bad beer but I was expecting/hoping for the citrus and tea to complement the flavors I enjoy in a hefeweizen instead of beating them into submission.

Junk food pairing: Munch on some lime chili tortilla chips with this stuff.


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|| Palmer, 7:43 AM

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