Beer of the Weekend #71: Hoegaarden

The beer this weekend is Hoegaarden brewed by Brouwerij van Hoegaarden of Hoegaarden, Belgium.

Technically, it’s all owned by InBev.

Serving type: Six 11.2-ounce bottles. I don’t like 11.2-ounce bottles. If I would have seen in the store Hoegaarden came in 11.2ers I may not have bought it. I only noticed it when I was putting them in the fridge. The bottles looked a little shorter than the PBR long necks I have, so I checked the label. Grr.

Appearance: Poured a cloudy, lemonade yellow. A finger of white head developed and dissipated to a thin film and dense ring.

Smell: Much more aromatic than I was expecting. I was thinking it would be Blue Moon dull, but this is impressive. Pleasant yeast/wheat smell with invigorating lemon citrus. The banana is missing, which I always like in a wheat brew, but coriander adds spice.

Taste: Again, more than what I was expecting. The wheat is prominent, and the lemon citrus from the smell is replaced with a slightly tart orange. The coriander spice also comes through in the tail.

Drinkability: The drinkability is high. This is a decent wheat, though I prefer German style hefes.

Fun facts about Hoegaarden:

-Serving temperature: 48º-50ºF.

-Alcohol content: 5 percent ABV.

-Food pairings: BA recommends peppery cheeses like Monterey and Pepper Jack, and tangy cheeses like Brick (tha shizznit!), Edam, and Feta. BA also recommends the usual meat.
Beers of the World recommends “grilled chicken with light vegetable accompaniment.”

-I always try to sample beers I’ve never drank before, but I may have not done it this time. I don’t know for sure. I may have had it in Iowa City a long time ago. It was on tap at The Airliner and I may or may not have had a pint once.

-Hoegaarden is pronounced “who-gar-den.” I know this because of a surprising design quirk in the carrier. At BevMo!, when I was standing in line, I noticed a line cut around the handle. I thought it was weird and placed the sixer on the counter. After paying, I took the handle again and the entire case dropped while it was in my grasp. I was caught off guard, and looked at the carrier. The handle hold is part of a sliding piece of cardboard that reveals the simplified name by each syllable.

Unique, but stupid.

-Here’s a little history gleaned from
Beers of the World: Pierre Celis grew up in Hoegaarden next to the Tomsin brewery, where he worked to brew wheat beer as a teenager (sounds like a dream job to me). However, during the ‘50s all the wheat beer breweries in the town closed, including Tomsin’s, because pilsner became the preferred style. Celis was determined to revive his favorite style of beer, and thus Hoegaarden was born in 1966. My kind of man.

The Quiet Man’s grade: B+.


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