Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Mission Street Hefeweizen

One of my missions on this blog is to find good beer that is inexpensive. They do exist, but can be extremely hard to find, and often you go wrong. But that is why I am here slumming it for you, so you can avoid mistakes like this beer.

Brewed by Steinhaus Brewing Co. (for Trader Joe's, I assume) this beer is from a vagabond label brewed under contract at various breweries. It costs only $1.99 for a 22 oz., so considering it is in the price range of Tecate and Mickey's, it is a decent buy (and much superior to those).

The folks at Beer Advocate were much more positive on this beer than I was, but all reviews circled back to value for price. My concern is that this beer will make untrained palates hate Hefeweizen. A friend of mine, who is rather new to microbrews, hated it and actually poured it down the sink (and this guy hates to waste beer).

It starts with a weak head. Then the wheat body of the beer is not full and rich enough to carry through the necessary flavor. Instead, a sharp carbonation, early on the front end, washes out most of the richness that Hefs can have. I'd also note that the beer is quite watery, which helps it stay light, but takes away from the back end satisfaction. In general this beer misses the Hef mark completely: showing all of the challenges associated with wheat beers (the unique mildly rotten flavor of wheat, the lack of distinct hops front end) with none of the joys (rich & deep malt flavors, smooth finish).

So, is this beer worth $1.99. Yes. But at a slightly higher price point you can enjoy the real thing from Germany, such as this GEM, so overall, you are only hurting yourself. Skip It.

1 comment:

  1. The Paso Robles location for the brewery should have been a dead give away. It is brewed by Firestone Walker. Cheers.