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Hell or High Watermelon Wheat

Judges Rating: 
18 / 24
4 / 6
33 / 40
9 / 10
Overall Impression: 
15 / 20

In the shadow of the famed San Francisco Bay Bridge, 21st Amendment Brewery is known for producing solid and occasionally eccentric beers for a rapidly growing market. Since 2000, Nico Freccia and Shaun O’Sullivan have been bringing characterful beer to the Bay Area and are now sharing the fruits of their labors with the rest of the country. From the can, their watermelon wheat beer pours an ever-so-slightly hazy, inordinately pale yellow and casts a rather small, rapidly dissipating head. While the aroma is punctuated by malty sweetness, there is a definite note of watermelon rind intermingled with the rest of the aromas. Across the board, the judges commented on the wheat and malt aromas and noted that the fruit character was quite subdued. Lee did pick up a faint whiff of melon rind, but he found the dominant fruit character more akin to strawberries. As the beer warmed, Tom detected aromas of sweet lime and kiwifruit. Slightly grainy malt and light, spicy wheat notes were forefront in the flavor, while fruitiness was again subdued. Nick noted some melon-like flavors and likened them to watermelon rind and ripe honeydew, while Tim sensed the melon character more in a somewhat bitter finish. Overall, this is an intriguing brew that would be perfect served at a picnic or barbecue.