After trying so many world class and highly acclaimed beers, I thought it was time to try something new from a mega brewery. I will preface this review by admitting that I went into this with the lowest possible expectations. I thought this would be a soapy, fake tasting shandy with nothing more than artificial flavors and a metallic aftertaste. Boy was I wrong.
Consumed ice cold straight from the bottle. There is an instant and strong lemon smell, much more than any shandy I have ever tried. The carbonation is heavier than most beers, and feels much like a San Pellegrino Limonata. The taste is dominated by lemons, and is quite refreshing. The aftertaste, like the rest of the experience, is characterized by a nice, lemon flavor that seems to linger for a while. It is strong, but tastes real and not metallic at all.
I am not ashamed at all to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed this beer. For $1.69 per bottle (remember I'm in NYC) this is an absolute steal. The ABV is very low on this one, but due to how sugary it is, I could not drink more than one or two. I can imagine this would be a great one to enjoy by the pool or at the beach.
Us bloggers and tasters in the craft beer community often get too narrow minded when it comes to trying new things, and there is such a negative opinion about the brewery behemoths. While I am not a fan of Bud Light, Busch or Amstel Light, these breweries have many solid, easy to drink beers. This one is an example of that. It also represents a growing trend of coming out with lighter ABV, summer shandy types. They appeal to almost everyone, and are highly drinkable without the threat of high alcohol percentage.
One thing I have noticed is the trend towards extremes in the beer industry. Breweries such as Dogfishhead and The Bruery have been pushing the limits on ABV, releasing beers upwards of 19% (see 120 Minute IPA). However, on the other end of the spectrum, lower ABV beers are also popular. Evil Twin makes a 2.7% IPA called the Bikini Beer, which was actually quite good. At some point, there could be a craft beer bubble, or at least a great divide (hah!) between both sides of the spectrum on this debate. There is such a limited amount of shelf space that eventually not every place can survive.
Enough rambling for now. Look for an extensive article on this sometime in the next few weeks. As I said when I started this post, I went into the tasting with low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised. Will actually buy this again.