Beer of the Weekend #721: Samuel Smith's Organic Strawberry Fruit Beer

Last year I reviewed a beer each day in December. I have decided to do it again.

Why? The same reason I did last year: I am way behind on my liquid research. There is a lot of beer out there I have not tried, and a lot of stuff is passing me by. My Texas haul from September really set me back. It was good to try those beers, but I think I missed some stuff locally because I was not perusing the beer aisle. Not so this month.

Do I need yet another “job”? No — but I am apparently crazy like that.

Kicking things off is a beer that is definitely not local: Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Fruit Beer, brewed, according to the bottle label, “at Melbourn Bros ancient brewery in Stamford, Lincolnshire and blended and bottled at Samuel Smith’s Brewery, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.”

Pours a mostly cloudy amber. Two fingers of grayish, eggshell-colored head leaves a bubbly center froth with surrounding thin spots, a ring around the edge, and short trails of lacing along the glass. The strawberry-tinged aroma is immediately noticeable, even from an arms-length away. The grains, especially wheat, and strawberry are most prominent. The strawberry is reminiscent of strawberry-flavored holiday cookies or breakfast cereal. It also reminds me of jelly-filled pastries and strawberry or cherry 7UP or sparkling grape juice. (Is there a strawberry-flavored 7UP?) The flavor is tart but oh so delicious with malt, a wheaty body, and strawberry juice. Apple seems to be present, too. Again, it reminds me of strawberry-flavored soda or sparkling grape juice.

Fun facts about Organic Strawberry Fruit Beer:

• Style: Fruit beer.

• Price: $5.49 for a 550 ml bottle at the New Pioneer Food Co-op in Iowa City. It seems like an odd bottle size to me. I’m not sure why it’s 550 ml instead of 500 ml.

• Alcohol content: 5.1 percent ABV.

The Quiet Man’s grade: A-.

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