You have to admit that’s just a great name for a beer! Hell or High Watermelon? Love it! This is an unusual beer for me to be trying for a couple of reasons – let me elaborate.
For starters, this wheat beer from 21st Amendment Brewery is another fruit-flavored beer. So? Well, maybe I’m a slow learner, but recently we’ve reviewed a bushel of fruit-flavored beers, none of which I was crazy about save the Lindeman’s Raspberry Lambic. Everything else, from blueberry ale and strawberry wheat, to raspberry puree, really left me wondering what was the point and why I bother. I didn’t like them. So, here I am with another fruity beer, this time watermelon!
Secondly, this beer happens to come in a can. I’m pretty sure the only other beer we’ve reviewed from a can is the Boddington’s Pub Ale. Everything else has been from a bottle (or in Liz’s case, a keg or growler(s)). Like many, I’ve always thought beer from a can is just wrong. Why? Probably because of the horrid stuff that younger Scott used to consume from a can. One builds a negative association of the ‘type’ of beer that’s from a can – meaning crap. Its a tough mindset to break I think. What about you?
Still, beer in a can has a couple of advantages. For starters, there is no light to get in and ‘skunkify’ the beer. That’s good right? Its like the complete opposite of the clear glass that the Newcastle Brown Ale is packaged in – and that beer SUCKED! Also, it seems that cans are a bit more portable, supposedly easier to recycle than glass, and nowadays there’s a lining on the metal to protect the beer from picking up any metallic flavors. Sounds like a win win win win win situation to me!
Still, beer from a can?
Keeping an open mind, let’s see how this 4.9% ABV watermelon wheat beer from a can does. I know, their website says 5.2%, but my can says 4.9% so ppppppppppt!
Reading the can, it informs me that there is “Yeast inside…Agitate Before Opening.” What does that mean? At first I’m thinking of shaking it like a champagne bottle and imagining it spraying all over the kitchen. While this delusion greatly amuses me, I soon realize the Wife will have other reactions. So, I go for the moderate wrist shake to agitate the yeast in the can.
I’m thinking its going to open like a can of shaken soda, but it doesn’t. There is no fuss, no muss. The beer glugs from the can into my glass and created a typical whitish wheat-beer head – nice and fizzy. The color of the beer is like straw, also typical, and its also somewhat cloudy. Looks nice!
Smelling the 21st Amendment watermelon beer, I find it a bit hard to pick up anything that really stands out. The can also says that Hell or High Watermelon is ‘fermented with watermelon, with added watermelon juice”. One might think there would be an abundant watermelon aroma, but there isn’t. You can definitely smell the watermelon, but it is not overpowering which I think is a good thing. Otherwise, I would say it smells basically like a nice wheat beer.
Taste. At first, I’m really surprised how this beer tastes. Its smooth, but I find it to be rather watery ant thin feeling in my mouth. Not much body. However, I do like how nicely balanced the watermelon flavor is with this beer. If you drink it a little cold, you’ll find that its crisp and refreshing, and that the watermelon flavors are in there from the beginning of the sip, to the aftertaste. I thought it was nicely done and not over the top at all. It isn’t heavy or sticky feeling, and so I think the Hell or High Watermelon makes an excellent summer beer. Bring it to a friend’s BBQ instead of the normal ‘stuff’ you would normally bring in a can.
So, wrapping up this watermelon beer review for The Brew Club, I would say that for a change, I actually enjoyed a fruit-flavored beer. I enjoyed it so much, I had the second can of it that was in my fridge! This watermelon flavored beer I would buy again personally, especially during the horrid summer months here in New Jersey. The only real downside I can think of with this beer was its a bit pricey, even for a baller such as myself. At Wholefoods, a six pack cost me $11.99 +tax. Ouch!
Second, I’m thinking that I, and you, should probably not be so hard on craft beers that are packaged in cans. Craft beers. This beer tasted fresh, and really no different than something fresh from a bottle. Through my own program of exposure therapy, I hope to overcome my fear of beer in cans. Any suggestions?
I’m giving this beer 3.5 stars, which ‘aint bad at all. (‘specially for fruit flavored beers!)
Have you tried this watermelon wheat beer? What did you think? Whadda you think about beer in cans? Would you try something from a can, or are you a canophobe?