With the weather turning into a six-month prequel to a climatic explosive diarrhea episode, I decided to hit the aux beer box which I had on the floor of the Manly Garage. This used to be the Binny box, but since most of that beer is gone, what was left was the remaining sixpack of beer from our trip last Labor Day to my sister’s house in St. Louis, MO.
I’ve often wondered about how long you can keep beer in storage before it goes bad. It’s been two months since the St. Louis trip, but the beer’s been on the concrete floor and it’s been covered. But, hey. If the beer goes bad, I’ll try it anyway, write about it and chalk up the whole endeavor as a learning experience.
The last remaining sixer is what we’re having tonight. It’s Boulevard ZôN Belgian Wit Beer, brewed by the Boulevard Brewing Company out of Kansas City, MO. It’s a midwest beer but for some reason, I haven’t seen it in the vast metropolitan Morris area. I’m pretty sure that this sixer set me back about $7.49. It’s been so long that I’ve lost the receipt and can’t remember exactly what it cost, but $7.49 seems reasonable for this type of beer.
ZôN is a summer seasonal brew and after all the hoopla of Oktoberfest, it will be a pleasant change to revisit the summer of ’08 with this beer. Understand that WIT is the identification for Belgian Wheat Ales. They are absolutely different from German or US wheat beers. A WIT must be brewed using at least 25 % of wheat malts. Belgian wheat beers are fruitier, with a slight lemony touch, because the use of coriander seeds, orange peels, and other spices. So a WIT is really a WHEAT. And ZôN is unfiltered, which means there’s some sediment at the bottom of the bottle. This is why we swirl the last inch or so of the bottle to pick up those tasty dregs. But isn’t that what the beer snobs care about? Enough. We are not beer snobs. We just like beer that tastes good. From the label:
Our interpretation of a classic Belgian witbier, or “white beer, ZôN combines the subtle flavors of coriander and orange peel with traditional ingredients to create a crisp and refreshing summer beer. Because ZôN (Flemish for “Sun” is unfiltered, we recommend gently swirling the last inch or so before pouring. Santé.
Saturday finally broke through the horizon and before I knew it, it was beer time. I must point out that this ZôN beer comes in a unique sixpack. It’s like a mini-box with flaps on the top. Makes it great for carrying, even upside down, but I wouldn’t try it. I grabbed the designated wheat beer glass, stoked up the Sotz out in the Manly Garage and worked open the top of the sixer. Hmm. The bottles are shorter but fatter than the traditional bottles. I grabbed the first one.
After many hours of practice, I poured the beer into the specially shaped glass that the beer snobs insisted that I buy. As was expected the brew came up a foggy translucent yellow with a somewhat thinnish head. Maybe that was my fault owing to the fact that these bottles are somewhat squatty. Down at the bottom of the glass millions or maybe even billions of micro-bubbles were rising. A sniff at the top yielded that nice yeasty aroma of recipe ingredients and beer. Let’s have a taste.
The flavor was in abundance and had that great distinctive taste of wheat. Not over the top, but just enough to keep my taste buds happy. A bit of sweetness soon entered into the picture and I relished this great taste by following it with another big sip. Halfway through the first glass the flavor set up shop in my mouth and everything became well with the world and the Cubs won the World Series and three of my burnt out fluorescents sparked up to full brightness.
This beer and my salivary glands have become buddies for the duration. Great friends, actually. ZôN is a great sippin’ beer for out on the patio on a warm day. It could be considered a lawnmower beer. It will settle in with your taste buds quite nicely and may give you pause after the fourth one is gone. But at 3.4% ABV, your worries should be minimal.
If you live in the midwest or find yourself passing through these parts anytime soon, stop at a beer store and pick up a souvenir sixer of Boulevard ZôN. No wait. Get a twelve-pack. You’ll be glad you did.
Taste: A- > Like watching g-stringed Can-Can dancers.
Smoothness: A > Black ice for the summer.
Drinkability: A+ > Make sure you get enough the first time.
Bang for the buck: B > A nice price for a great beer.
ABV: 3.4% > Swill away.
Wife’s all-encompassing opinion: (Sip) “That’s not bad. A little tangy; a little bit. (sip) But it’s not really beery tasting. (sip) I kinda like this. Yeah. (sip) It’s not bitter. (sip) On a nice hot summer day, this would be very good.” (This is what I meant by urging that you buy enough the first time.)
Note: I couldn’t get the correct name of this beer to appear as it is on the label. I was looking for a breve (dash) over the o in “ZoN,” but WordPress only offered me the next best thing, a circumflex (up arrow.) Please see the photos in this post for correctness.