While I may not be writing about Oktoberfests again this autumn, that doesn't mean that brews of the season have fallen off my radar. To wit: Pearl Street Brewery's Appleweizen
Despite the fact that I like both apples and beer, I don't get overly excited about apple beers. The ones that I can recall having are Furthermore's Fallen Apple
and New Glarus' Apple Ale
although I'm sure I must have drunk others at some point. The former combines apple cider with a cream ale while the latter does so with a brown ale. Both beers are okay by me although the apple tends to overshadow the beer. Malt sweetness isn't given much of a chance to stand in contrast to the tartness of the apple. I can drink one and am happy to move onto something different.
Pearl Street takes yet another tack and combines the juice from Honeycrisp apples with a hefeweizen. The German wheat bier is known for its fruity esters and phenols so I was intrigued enough to buy a six pack. That and the Appleweizen just looked so lonely sitting next to empty shelf space where the shiny new Linalool IPA had been.
One thing that I like about summer is that there's more daylight and thusly it is easier for someone like me who is completely incompetent at still photography to take decent photos. Now with daylight on the wane, my pictures are, generally speaking, plummeting to new depths of lousiness. This one, however, isn't too bad. You can see that Appleweizen is a lovely beer that radiates a golden hue. You can also tell that it is quite clear. My pour produced a small frothy head but what little there was lingered for a spell. My photo also shows that the wealth of bubbles there were moving upward through the brew.
What my picture cannot show is the wonderful aroma. Unsurprisingly, apple was the first thing that caught my nose. It smelled like fresh cider with a moderate tartness. After that I caught some of the expected esters/phenol aromas that one normally gets from a hefeweizen, namely, clove and banana. It was quite a fruity extravaganza. There was also some grain/wheat scent to be had but, really, the smell here is all about fruit.
Appleweizen is a paragon in truthful advertising. As with the aroma, a fresh apple cider taste stood out in the taste with a nice moderate tartness. The hefeweizen yeast provided a wealth of esters/phenols for my tongue with banana and bubble gum flavors. Much to my delight, the apple flavors were prominent but not overwhelming. I could taste the beer underneath. In addition to all the fruit and a spot of wheat and malt, all those bubbles gave the taste a little dryness and an almost champagne-like sparkly sensation.
The beer finished slightly dry with the carbonation, apple tartness, and some herbal hop bitterness all pitching in. Sadly, my glass was left with very little Schaumhaftvermoegen. Just a spot here and there as most of the foam slid gently back into the beer.
Pearl Street has brewed a really nice apple beer. It has a medium-light body which was fairly smooth and when combined with all the carbonation makes for something that goes down easily. It's just very light and nimble on the tongue. Yet it also has lots of flavor. The apple was tart and tasty but it did not consign the hefeweizen flavors to an estery oblivion. Appleweizen is 5% A.B.V. and is a fine "salute to the fall harvest", as the brewery advertises, and a great late summer/early fall beer. Drink it now while our thermostats still reach near the 60 degree mark.
Junk food pairing: Pair Appleweizen with Buffalo Blue Cheese Combos. You'll love the pas de deux that the sweetness from the beer and the saltiness of the Combos engage in. in addition, the sharpness of the blue cheese flavoring and the gentle chili heat contrast nicely with the more restrained fruitiness of the brew.
Labels: Apple Beer, Beer, Hefeweizen, Pearl Street Brewery