Friday morning had all the symptoms of being another another blisterer of a day here in Illinois. A lift of the bathroom curtain during morning sitdown duties showed the sun to be exhibiting its blazing glory in what’s become its usual strong glare these days. Rats. The third morning inside the house in the air conditioning on the houseMac. It had become the reciprocal of winter.
After my usual morning website visits, I decided to liven up my day by venturing out into the heat and visit the beloved Morris Beer Store to once again peruse their craft beer shelf and perhaps get a beer that would be suitable to review and enjoyable to drink after a hot day at the ol’ warehouse.
As I walked in the door, I noticed that the store was surprisingly full for a Friday morning at 11 o’clock. Virtually unnoticed this time, I quietly made my way around to the beer shelf to scan for new arrivals or something that would tickle my taste buds. Hmm. that Leinie’s Honey Weiss is being advertised on the radio. There’s a blonde ale I haven’t tried. And another blonde. Down through the lagers and stouts. Let’s go back.
I paused about 3/4 of the way back to ponder a beer from a rather new company to the area and a beer that’s dear. The dear beer was Big Bison Ale, the commercial beer that tasted so much like my last batch of homebrew. The company was Crown Valley Brewing out of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. The beer I was scrutinizing was their Worktruck Wheat Beer.
I like the idea of some companies’ naming conventions and this Worktruck name struck a chord with this blue collar beer drinker. Besides that, it was a wheat beer… those oddly tasting, foggy looking, delightfully refreshing beers that also have a special place in my psyche. I grabbed a bottle to see what I could learn from the label.
There, on the left side of the bottle label was a simple statement:
BREWING A MISSOURI LEGEND
Worktruck Wheat is a German style hefeweizen. Traditionally served with a slice of lemon.
And that was it. Therefore, as a personal thanks to the brewery who brews a beer as well as I do, (pfft!) I decided to purchase the sixpack of WT Wheat. Hmm. 10 bucks for six beers. At that price, it better be good. I paid my bill at the counter and engaged in light conversation with Gail, the Beer Maven, and a pretty young lady I barely recognized. It was Kristen and she was Ashley the Cute’s relative in some form. Kristen was equally as cute. Kristen told me that she has visited the SPT confines at least a couple of times and gestured to the SPT sticker in the window of the store during our chat. Do you see why I go there from week to week?
Back home I chunked the brewskis in the beer fridge in the garage knowing that they will have over twelve hours of chill time before I return from work to guzzle them down while trying to write about how they taste. In whatever heat is left over from the day. It would hopefully be in in the low 80’s after work. At the height of the day, it was 92°.
Work was brutally hot, a sweat generator, like working in a giant closet and it kept reminding me that I wasn’t 30-something anymore. At 11 pm, I thanked the heavens that I survived the day and was still able to be the provider for my family. I’m still bringing home the bacon, having a BLT every Thursday and beer on the weekends.
At 11:40, with a clean wheat beer glass in hand, I unlocked the Manly Garage. Lights, windows, fan, fridge… and ACTION!
The beer poured up with the expected translucency, a nice lemon meringue color. Small bubbles by the millions rose from the bottom of the glass and disappeared into the cloud about 2 inches up. The head of the liquid was a nice half-inch of really white foam, that slowly dissipated to just a few sixteenths minutes later. The aroma gave hints of heady yeast and a great beery smell. I could hardly wait to dive in.
The first sip had that nice flavor of wheat and a bit of a unique “off-ness” for lack of a better term. It had a very slight but somewhat thick flavor along the sides of the tongue. Chances are, though, that halfway into this first glass, my tongue will wake up and all will be revealed. The was a bit of sweetness in the beginning and the beer was light on the tongue and had a bit of carbonation crispness going down. While I was pondering that side cack, I discovered my glass had emptied. Well, whaddya know.
With a fresh bottled poured, some tartness manifested itself along with the other wheat-borne flavors which gave the beer a somewhat citrus characteristic. Add that to the lightness of the taste and the crispness of the swallow and now we’re talkin’. The off-ness was the tart in disguise.
I found the beer to be a very easy drinker. The light feeling of the beer makes it a perfect candidate for these hot summer months. It has the citrus wisps in its flavor, enough body to keep the sides of the tongue busy, light enough for the entire mouth and a nice zip at the back end. It will be hard to prevent yourself from swigging this beer rather than sipping it.
Is this a session beer? Is this a lawnmower beer? I’d say guilty on both counts, in spite of what the numbers and the rule books say. This beer is summer drinkin’ beer. It’s for slamming after some tough yard yardwork or for sipping out on the patio from eight to one in the morning with your sweetie. The wheatiness, the tartness and the slight zing at the end will make for a wonderful drinking experience but it may get old after a while. Regardless, two people, two sixpacks, now we’re golden. And at 5.3% ABV… the perfect ending to a very hot day. At least once, this summer, wrap your lips around a wheat beer, a traditional German hefeweizen like this one. It’s a really great taste treat.
Taste: B > An exotic mystery fruit in disguise.
Smoothness: B > Great taste similar to nothing in my vocabulary.
Drinkability: B+ > It’s amazing how well they slide down.
Bang for the buck: B- > It’d be great if it was a buck-fifty cheaper.
With no Crown Valley Brewery video that I could find, I give you —