Lancaster Strawberry Wheat

Lancaster Brewing Co.
Wilkes-Barre, PA
Strawberry Wheat

While a beer that I would most certainly not ordinarily order, buy, or look at. However, it is a Pennsylvania brew and certainly seems interesting. Likewise, the beer was mae with Cascade and Hallertau hops so should be an interesting meeting of West Coast and Noble.

As expected, the beer is lively and is audibly effervescent. The head is clean white and rocky – not billowy – and dissipates rapidly. The carbonation looks steady, though not quite pearl strands and more of a meteor shower of bubbles heading to the surface. The color is penny-copper with a touch of bronze – it’s like an Irish Setter.

The nose is too sweet for me and reminds me of berry-flavored bubble gum. A slight malt aroma appears in the form of graham cracker but it is still too sweet to discern anything different. The mouthfeel is good. The effervescence really kicks in nicely and tickles the front end of the swallow with out overwhelming the palate with carbonation.

The initial flavor is like a berry lozenge, though isn’t quite as sweet. The Hallertau hops do a good job of introducing a slightly peppery earthiness to get away from the sticky sweetness. The finish is drier than you might think, though the strawberry flavor persists. It comes across as ‘freeze-dried’ and lasts a bit longer than it should. However, sacrificing that sweetness would probably produce a brew with less body than this one.

If you’re a wheat freak, you should probably steer clear. It’s a nice summer brew, but has little grass or bitters for you. If you’re into fruit beers, this will probably do nicely for you. If you’re not, give this a go and expand your horizons. It doesn’t take quite the leap of faith to enjoy as some other fruit-laden beers might. And who knows? You may even enjoy it.

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