St. Arnold Brewing Co.
Wheat is not my favorite style, but I rarely meet a beer about which I can’t find something to like and, since this brew is from none other than St. Arnold – my new crush – I am excited nonetheless by this particular sample.
From the pour, we get a frothy white head that sits at a quarter-inch quite comfortably. The color is lustrous gold with straw blonde accents coming through the touch of haze and the lovely effervescence that spreads itself around the glass.
The nose has some banana and orange notes without much spice, but a good yeasty aroma that comes across as grassy with a bit of damp chalk – all quite pleasant.
The mouthfeel is impressively full, considering that, with the first sip, there is no overwhelming taste that you ordinarily associate with wheat beers. Bubblegum doesn’t come through aggressively, nor is there coriander providing too much peppery pop. What you do get is a pleasant softness of lemon-water that eases you into the subtle yeasty tang that expands across the palate. The end touches on the chalk aroma (without being chalky, of course) but culminates in a delicately grassy hop finish.
This beer drinks more like a nice session ale than a typical wheat, though the aftertaste intimates at a weissbier flavor, but subtly so. Again, St. Arnold surprises me, showing some deft hands in creating a complex beer that doesn’t have to hit you over the head to be noticed.