I first tried the White Ale from Allagash earlier this summer at an upscale restaurant called Char in Red Bank, New Jersey. It happens to be the same place where on another occasion, my friends and I spotted actor Chazz Palminteri and his entourage, a member of which grabbed me by the back of the neck and shook me, mocking me for ordering lobster at a steakhouse. I thought for a moment that I just pissed off a wise guy and was going to get whacked when I walked out the door. But, I digress.
From Maine’s own Allagash Brewing Company, the White Ale is a fantastic example of a witbier, and sets a high standard for that type of brew. Light and refreshing, the White Ale is spiced with coriander, and balances that out with some citrus flavor, particularly lemon and orange peel. The beer is light in color, and also light on the alcohol content, with just a 5% ABV, allowing you to enjoy two or three in one sitting.
As you can see on the beer’s label in the picture above (if you can figure it out beyond the glare from the camera flash), the White Ale is “bottled conditioned”, meaning that once fermentation is complete, the yeast is allowed to naturally carbonate the beer. Many other beers, sodas and other bubbly drinks go through forced carbonation, a process in which CO2 is mechanically forced into the liquid in a sealed container.
This beer is truly delicious, with a perfect spread of Belgian yeast, citrus zest, and spice. This very tasty wheat beer is great for the summer months and the early fall…oh, who am I kidding? It’s awesome anytime, and luckily, it’s available year-round. You can find it in 4-packs anywhere in its distribution areas, and if you find it on tap at your local watering hole, don’t leave without trying it!
Allagash’s White ale can be a very reliable go-to, as it’s not strictly designed for a certain time of year, and needs no occasion. Allagash Brewing Company is based in Portland, Maine, and you can check out the brewery’s official website here. I’m going to be recommending a slew of great beers in this series, but this one gets an especially high accolade early on. It’s a must for any fan of witbiers.
Have you had this beer? Leave a comment and tell me what you think!