Back in the summer I thoroughly enjoyed Abita's Strawberry Lager
, another fruity brew in the Covington, Louisiana brewery's Harvest series. I recall buying fresh strawberries down in Louisiana in March one year from the back of a pickup truck. While I'm not sure, I would say peaches ripen beginning in May down there, if my memories from another trek to the Bayou State are to be believed.
I'm also not sure when Abita released their Peach Lager
- this is apparently the inaugural batch of the beer - but I think it began appearing on shelves here in Madison about a month ago. Now that I actually give more than a passing glance at Abita's website, I see that they do a fair amount with fruit and they're not afraid to flavor lagers with them either. There are three Harvest beers using strawberries, blueberries, and peaches; a strawberry doppelbock; and Purple Haze, a raspberry lager and also one of the breweries year-round beers. Fruited lagers are something of a rarity, at least in these parts, yet Abita does much more than did its collective toe into the water.
Having been duly impressed by what they did with strawberries, I was eager to discover to what use Abita would put peaches.
Peach Lager looks like summer which is a good thing here in October in Wisconsin. Its light gold color and hazy countenance brought back memories of the dog days of summer. My less-than-spectacular decanting skills were again on display as I managed a scant white head that was not eager to pose for pictures. On the other hand, there were plenty of bubbles to be had beneath.
If you ever take the plunge and try a Peach Lager, do yourself a favor and pretend you're Kim Basinger in 9 ½ Weeks
. Close your eyes and smell. Your nose will thank you as it is inundated with fresh, juicy peach. It was simply marvelous and I could almost feel a summer breeze on my face. Oh, and I also smelled a tad of grassy hops. But mainly it was peaches.
If the aroma gave me a mild meteorological flashback to summer, then the taste was a full-on 3D experience. I closed my eyes and saw sunshine, flowing dresses, and smiles – like a scene from The Tree of Life
- but not one with dinosaurs. "Juicy" became an even more apt description as the beer flowed giving unto me its fresh peachy, though not particularly sweet, taste. All those bubbles weren't for nothing as it had a nice fizziness to it as well. I also caught some more of those grassy hops and a little biscuity malt flavor too.
The wonderful peach flavor lingered on the finish as the hops and carbonation combined for a moderate dryness bolstered by a mild hop bitterness. My empty glass was left in a pretty state lined with a couple nice foamy streaks and lots of white spots.
This here Peach Lager is a mighty fine brew. A clean lager base largely stays out of the way of the luscious, juicy peach. The fruit is ever so slightly tart and goes very well indeed with the beer's light body, lager crispness, and ample fizz to make a really refreshing brew.
Junk food pairing: Pair Abita Peach Lager with lighter fare such as potato chips. BBQ and plain both go well with the beer's peachy goodness.
Labels: Abita Brewing Company, American Pale Lager, Beer