Anchorage, AK - It used to be that when a person thought of a wheat beer, they envisioned warm summer days, the smell of freshly cut grass, and a cool breeze, all while sitting on the patio. Although this nostalgic vision is accurate, it is also common to include a slice of lemon or orange in that said beer. Citrus being added to a beer not withstanding, the thought was this was as close as one got to a 'weizen or wheat beer, with a hint of fruit.
Today, a small brewery out of Alaska is trying to change your thoughts on what fruit goes with a wheat ale. A few weeks ago, the same wonderful people who gave us Smoked Porter, Baltic Porter, Big Nugget, and Amber, produced a unique beer, Raspberry Wheat. Part of their Pilot Series of beers, these beers are centered around creating small batches that are then judged not just by the stuff but also local customers at the pub in Anchorage. Alaskan Raspberry Wheat is the first in what will more than likely be an ongoing series of craft beers.
As someone who is fond of a refreshing summer lager or ale, we were a bit perplexed on how one went about not only enjoying but sharing their thoughts on this wheat ale with raspberries in it. So instead we decided to taste this as a wheat beer since that is what the recipe started out as but with fruit.
About Raspberry Wheat Ale
Alaskan Raspberry Wheat is an American-style wheat ale highlighting the bright flavors and inviting aroma of more than 3,000 pounds of real raspberries added during fermentation. The tart flavor of raspberries balances the full-bodied wheat profile and malt sweetness of this enticingly red-hued brew. Bigger than most traditional fruit beers, Alaskan Raspberry Wheat has a little extra kick to its dry and effervescent finish
“Years of local demand through Alaskan’s Rough Draft program of draft-only releases and a Silver medal from the 2008 Great American Beer Festival made our Raspberry Wheat the perfect brew to officially launch the ‘Pilot Series’,” says Wilson.
Alaskan Raspberry Wheat Ale is first a wheat ale, which has been fermented with over one pound of Raspberries (in Puree form) for every gallon of beer. With that thought we popped the top of this beer to see what was inside.
The beer itself showed a strong amount of carbonation which was evident was the beer released a sweet tart aroma along with the expected wheat-like maltiness.
Taking a sip we are initially greeted by tart raspberry, which slides past our tongue before a smoothing affect is felt, which is slowly pushed aside by sweet to dry finish. Overall the body is mild to almost medium in weight on the tongue. Don't know why but suddenly I have an urge for some cobbler, or a shortcake with some whipped cream. However, this might also go well with a blue cheese, chicken, and baby spinach salad topped with some vinaigrette.
Score B+. Worth buying a few and at 6.50% it's a pleasant reward to yourself, after time spent outside in the sun, or resting in the boat on a fishing trip.
Thoughts by your colleagues
About Alaskan Brewing Co.
Alaskan Brewing Co. has been making award-winning beer in Juneau, Alaska, since 1986. The Alaskan Brew Crew bottles the unique character of the Last Frontier with historic recipes, local ingredients and glacier-fed water. Alaskan Brewing handcrafts Amber, Pale, White, Stout, IPA, Smoked Porter, Winter Ale and Summer Ale. Visit www.alaskanbeer.com.
About the photos’ author
Paul “Fruit Trees” Orchard, is an amateur craft beer enthusiast and amateur photographer. Throughout the many years in craft beer he is always carrying a camera (smartphone, digital, traditional) and is invites you to see that beer can also be exciting even if you can’t drink the photo.
In accordance with new FTC regulations regarding bloggers and endorsements, the aforementioned company has provided me a free sample that was used for research prior to writing this review.