Beer in a can? Some people won't go near it.
I used to be one of them, in fact, though my views have moderated of late in
that regard. The folks at the 21st Amendment brewpub in San Francisco like
the idea of canned beer. Here's what they say on the topic:
Craft beer in a can? Why not? Cans keep beer fresher, they're better for
the environment, and they're easier to take with you.
Recently, their beers showed up in the Atlanta market, and I brought home a
six-pack of theirHell or High
Watermelon Wheat Beer. In cans, of course. I thought the beer pricey at
$8.98 for a six-pack, but figured I'd give it a shot. I do love watermelon
ales, after all. The beer has an alcohol content of 4.9% alcohol by volume.
It's made with American Wheat and Two-Row Pale malts, Magnum hops, and
watermelon concentrate and juice.
It should be noted that 21st Amendment (named for the amendment to the
constitution that repealed prohibition) brews their canned beer under
contract in Cold Spring, Minnesota, not San Francisco.
As a humorous aside, Hell or High Watermelon Wheat is can-conditioned, which
means that it's not filtered and is packaged with yeast. This is not
uncommon for a wheat beer, but what is unusual are the directions on the
can: "Yeast inside, agitate before opening". I'm not so sure that's a good
idea, unless you want a face full of beer. Better to pour about two-thirds
of the can in a glass, and then swirl the liquid before pouring out the
last. If you're drinking straight from the can, you'd do better to take a
few sips then gently swirl the liquid in the can to rouse the yeast from the
bottom. 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beerpours
to a cloudy yellow color with a light tinge of orange and a towering, if
shot-lived, head of foam. The nose is mostly tart wheat, which was rather
disappointing since I was hoping to smell some watermelon here.
Taking a sip, I get a lot of the crisp wheat that the nose promised. That
makes the beer refreshing and crisp. But wait a minute! Where's the
watermelon? I get a subtle hint of fruit here, but it's not really
watermelon-like to me. More like sour fruit, which doesn't really jive well
with the astringent bitterness. A tinge of wheat tartness tries to recover
in the finish, but it doesn't help at all.
My friends, this is not a good beer. Watermelon ales can be done nicely, and
examples that I've tried from the Boston Beer Works and Coddington Brewpub
in Rhode Island prove that. Sadly,21st
Amendment Hell or High Watermelon Wheat Beeris
out of balance, doesn't deliver the promised main ingredient, and is
You can have good beer in a can, but this is not good beer in a can.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For
reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.