My plan tonight was to try a dubbel from Kalona or Peace Tree’s new session IPA, but instead I decided to buy Whitewater, brewed by the Great Divide Brewing Company of Denver, Colorado.
Why? Because I have not had any wheat beers this summer and was intrigued by the “Hoppy Wheat Ale” description on the carrier and label.
Whitewater pours a lightly hazy gold with small bits of hovering sedimentation. A finger of dense, fluffy, bubbly head dissipates slowly. It smells much more like a pale ale with a huge dose of floral hops, grapefruit, and tangerine. The hops dominate the aroma, which is unusual for a wheat ale — thought probably not one from Colorado. The flavor follows suit with prominent floral hops, a zesty, adequate bitterness that works the taste buds, and flavors of grapefruit and a little tangerine. The hops dial back a touch as the beer continues to warm and there are hints of a wheat ale. Frankly, though, I prefer like the hops. This beer is a pleasing twist for a style that is too often uninspiring and dull.
Fun facts about Whitewater:
• Style: Great Divide calls it “American wheat ale.” On BeerAdvocate, though, I saw that it was classified as “Hefeweizen.” That’s a good enough excuse to bust out my small weizen glass.
• Price: $9.99 per sixer at the “Drug Town” on First Avenue and Rochester in Iowa City.
• Alcohol content: 6.1 percent ABV.
• Food pairings: Listed on the beer’s webpage are “Cumin-spiced lamb, steamed clams, roasted zucchini, Pecorino Romano, grilled pineapple.”
• If you came of age during the nineties, it is hard not to associate the name Whitewater with the scandal involving Bill and Hillary Clinton. To be completely honest with you, though, I know very little about the scandal. I know the name, know the Clintons were involved, but the details are very fuzzy to me. (In the mid-nineties, it seemed like there was a new scandal involving the Clintons every week.) It seemed to be one of those things that was always coming up — and was dragged on, and on, and on, and on… It hasn’t come up recently but I’m sure it will at some point. I should do a little reading.
The Quiet Man’s grade: B.