Thursday, February 23, 2012

[A Beer a Day] Hell or High Watermelon Wheat | 21st Amendment Brewing | San Francisco, CA

The new can design doesn't make me as tight in the pants, but the beer itself takes care of that.
21st Amendment is one of those breweries -- like Bell's, Jolly Pumpkin, Goose Island, Russian River, Founder's, Three Floyd's, et cetera, et cetera -- that I am consistently seeking out and trying to chase down all over the flippin' country.  I have a source in another state who is this older, expatriated man whom I call to confuse from time to time, asking what his inventory of 21st Amendment looks like, and I usually have to go through the drill every time on why I'm calling him: 1) No I'm not confused that this is a small liquor store 2) several states away, and 3) yes, I do indeed have a delivery arrangement.  21st and I are tight like that, yo.

Back before Austin Beerworks opened their kettles for hard, pipe-hittin' brewing, one of the brewers invited me and several other friends to do a craft can share.  In other words, a bottle share, sans bottles -- oh, and he was gonna bring all the hooch, so no worries, just show up, savvy?  Why?  Well, since ABW was going to be exclusively canning (12oz and 1,984oz cans), Mike wanted us to be convinced that aluminum cylinders were the ultimate in beer vessels.  I don't know how he procured the massive stock of canned crafts from around the country -- I guess its the kind of thing that automagically happens to you when you are in the small brew industry -- but he had about two or three dozen samples for us to try.  And if this prolonged intro is any indication as to what was in his treasure chest, then it should be no revelation to you that one of these delicacies was 21st Amendment's Hell or High Watermelon Wheat.

The can that launched ships.
As I've alluded to before, atmosphere, location, mood, et al has so much to do with the highly subjective methods of judging beer.  Look, during this can-tasting, you could have handed me a Mountain Dew, and I would have said that it was awesome to the MAX, but if you asked me to drink that shit on the regular, I would have told you to be a good lad and fuck off.

Now, I'm not drawing any kind of comparisons to Watermelon Wheat and the Dew, but context has A LOT to do with this beer.  Lazing by the pool, eating Green Chili Pork Tacos from Torchy's at the South Austin Trailer Park, disc golf ... you know, stoner shit, is EXACTLY the type of situation you want to get yourself into with this beer.  Actually, go watch a Mountain Dew commercial, and its exactly all that shit, except their warm counterparts.  Its completely refreshing -- not unlike a soft drink -- but lightly carbonated to still resemble something brewed with hops and grains.  The watermelon flavor is well-distributed and finely balanced, and rewards you for being brazen enough to buy a six pack.  While most fruit beers are always paired with that infamous tag line from the buyer -- "Well, this is good, but I can only really drink one of these things" -- Hell or High Watermelon Wheat is such a pleasant beer, that you will surely finish all of them in a single sitting as I did.

And given the azimuth of your misdeeds at the moment, this beer will rank very highly for you as it did for me.

ABV: 4.9%
Acquired: Pic 1: The Trail of Beers / Pic 2: ABW can share

1 comment:

Jack said...

The new can is the one with lady liberty on the bridge. The old one is the white can with the text.