I begin the 50 American Beers Project with a beer that came all the way from the other end of the East Coast. Peak Organic is a brewery that gives us beer from Portland, Maine. And not just any beer, but organic beer. So you can drink beer and feel somewhat green about doing so.
They have a nice selection of beer, but interestingly, on Peak Organic’s site, there doesn’t seem to be any sign of the Pomegranate Wheat Ale I drank, outside of a photo in which I see a six-pack of it in front of a smiling employee. I got my bottle of Peak Organic wheat ale from Stardust and brought it home to imbibe it. I lacked a nice clear pint glass to use, so I used the only glass I had in the house that would hold a bottle of beer.
… what? My folks don’t have any decent glasses, and this is the only one I’ve got to hold beer. Besides, I’m sure I’m not the only person using her Great British Beer Festival pint glass to hold un-British beer.
Anyway, as you can see from the colouring of the ale in the glass, it’s a little bit dark for most wheat beers I’m used to, which may be due to the pomegranate. However, the taste of the pomegranate ale wasn’t particularly fruity, I think. It was more crisp and hoppy than anything. It would pair well with pizza, I thought, as I took small sips. Peak Organic’s pomegranate wheat ale is 5.9% ABV, which is about average for most American microbrews and for Peak Organic. The Maine brewery’s IPA is at 7.2% ABV, while their Nut Brown Ale is at 4.7% ABV.
Because I’ve been drinking mostly ale while in London–particularly stouts and porters and amber ales–other beers take some adjusting for me. My tongue has forgotten what American beer tastes like (Wha! Fizzy!), so when drinking the Pomegranate Wheat Ale it took me a moment to warm up to it, but once I did, it was easy to drink. I was drinking it at home without food, but again, it would have been lovely with pizza or a cheese board. The ale had a bite to it that would have contrasted well with a smooth cheese, and it would also hold up well alongside a nice hamburger (or veggie burger) or some barbecue. I don’t know whether Peak Organic’s Pomegranate Wheat Ale is a seasonal beer, but if it is, it would be well-suited to summertime selections of backyard barbecue and summer arugula/rocket-based salads.
The hint of pomegranate was gotten not so much in the taste of the beer, but more so in its aftertaste. When I exhaled, I could taste a bit of sweetness, that was a nice hint, rather than a super flood of pomegranate. It’s not a frambois, after all.
Being able to buy single beers at Stardust is great, because it allows for me to try out beer at home without having to buy a whole six-pack. Although the Pomegranate Wheat Ale is nice, it wasn’t an instant favourite, and I’m glad that I don’t have five other bottles to drink, as it isn’t quite barbecue weather here in Florida at the moment. In the past, I’ve had other Peak Organic beers, and I recall being fond of their Nut Brown Ale and buying sixers of it from Publix in Orlando. Looking on their site, their Maple Oat Ale looks especially tasty and I’d love to try it if I can find it.
So, that’s one beer down for the new project! Here’s a profile for it:
- Beer: Pomegranate Wheat Ale
- Brewery: Peak Organic
- From: Portland, Maine
- Purchased at: Stardust Coffee & Video, Winter Park, Florida
- Notes: Sharp, slightly hoppy, wants to be friends with a slice of pizza or a backyard-grilled burger.