Beer of the Weekend #72: Blue Star American Wheat Beer

The beer this weekend is Blue Star American Wheat Beer brewed by the North Coast Brewing Company of Fort Bragg, California.

For some reason I’m thinking “Wall Street”: “Blue horseshoe loves Endicott Steel.”

It’s wheat beer season. Though I’m tempted to sample the good stuff — a.k.a. German — I’m holding off and trying the domestic versions until it gets warmer. While the Midwest has been steam cooked this week, the weather here has been typical June Gloom: cloudy and cool in the morning, then the marine layer burns off to reveal baby blue skies and the temperatures rise into the low 70s. It’s my kind of weather, but it doesn’t feel like summer; I wouldn’t know it was June unless I looked at a calendar. The heat’s coming, though, and so is some good drinking. I also plan on sampling German pilsners, which are, as one BevMo! description says, “just BEGGING for a heat wave!”

Serving type: Six 12-ounce bottles.

Appearance: Poured a cloudy, harvest wheat (it’s too orange to be straw yellow and too yellow to be orange). Two fingers of thick foam developed and dissipated to a thin lacing.

Smell: It’s more hoppy and ale-like than I expected of a wheat. Citrus scents of orange and lemon dominate, which gives it much more of an amber quality. It definitely lacks the complexity I’m accustomed to with wheat brews.

Taste: Reminiscent of the smell, but much less complex and potent. There’s not much more to say — it’s that disappointing.

Drinkability: It’s not that impressive — not your typical wheat. It certainly lives up to the “American” in the American Wheat Ale style. However, it’s not offensive, and is smooth drinking.

Fun facts about Blue Star:

-Serving temperature: 45-50°F.

-Alcohol content: 4.5 percent ABV.

-Food pairings: BA recommends “Latin American,” “German,” earthy cheeses like Camembert and Fontina, salad, and “poultry.”

-IBU: 17.

-On the carrier are a few curiosities.

To the left of the blue star is the Beverage Tasting Institute’s proclamation “One of the ten best breweries in the world.” Along the top of the handle is “Carpe Diem. Vita Brevis,” which is Latin for “Seize the day. Life is short.”

The Quiet Man’s grade: B-.

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