Boulevard Brewing Co. – 80 Acre
To be honest, the prospect of drinking American wheat beer seldom fills me with excitement and anticipation. I’m not happy to admit this personal bias, but I usually think of those insipid, often fruit-laden wheats some brewers feel compelled to keep around in case some poor soul who “doesn’t like the taste of beer” is dragged in to the taproom by their friends. For every Oberon or Gumballhead, I’ve suffered a hundred headache-inducing raspberry wheat coolers. Fortunately, Boulevard crafted just the beer to convert a hardened cynic like me.
80 Acre pours golden and hazy, recalling the hay fields that inspired the name. Paired with a creamy and thick white head, it’s a real treat for the eyes. In the nose, I find lemons, limes, grapefruit, honey, pineapple, grass, and fresh flowers with an undercurrent of subdued yeast notes. A sip reveals slight bitterness followed by an explosion of tangy, citrusy hops (especially heavy on the lemon) fading to a moderately sweet, crackery finish. The intriguing interplay between bitterness, piquancy, and sweetness result in a sessionable but exciting wheat beer that will practically leap out of the glass and ride a thresher down your gullet.
With it’s low ABV, juicy hop flavor, and refreshingly light body, I suspect many will find a reason to spend some quality time with 80 Acre, especially as the temperature climbs. Now, if Boulevard could just turn their attention to brewing a California Common …