The warm weather for 2007 is here in many parts of the
country, and just around the corner in others. That means summer beers, of
course, usually something lighter and on the refreshing side. Samuel Adams
once again offers its Summer Ale and Cherry Wheat. Coors just rolled out a new Blue Moon beer,
Honey Moon Summer Ale
These, of course, are just a few examples of what you can expect to find on
store shelves this summer.
Not to be outdone, Louisiana’s Abita Brewing has brought back a beer called
Strawberry Harvest Lager that may well prove to be a popular summer
beverage among a wide range of drinkers. First rolled out in 2006,
Strawberry Harvest Lager proved itself a hit early on and quickly sold out.
Abita promises a greater supply this year, but this is still a seasonal
brew, and only available for a limited time.
Strawberry Harvest Lager is made with whole, local Louisiana strawberries,
and that shows in the flavor and aroma of the beer. I like the idea of
fresh, local ingredients for a fresh, local beer. In that respect, I think
this one works a lot better than say, Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde.
Harvest Lager is, of course, a lager too. That is at odds with most fruit
beers, which are ales. You won’t really see much difference in the final
product, however, as any ale fruitiness in such beers is likely covered up
by the fruit flavor anyway. Still, the body of this beer is a bit lighter
here as a result.
Abita strawberry harvest lager pours to a very pale golden color with a
light creamy head formation and soft, fruity nose. The body is light and biscuity, and actually very creamy. The creaminess works well with the
strawberry fruitiness to suggest fresh strawberries and cream in a glass, if
Harvest Lager avoids several pitfalls that can derail a fruit beer rather
easily. First off, it has a genuine, fresh Louisiana strawberry flavor.
There's no artificial or extract taste here. Then too, the beer is not at
all cloying, finishing a bit thin but not really sweet. A touch of grassy
hop flavor tries to poke through.
All in all, this is a refreshing summer quencher that you can drink plenty
of, and easily at that. I like it well enough, even if it is really just an
average beer overall. Three and a half stars for what is, after all, a nicely done fruit beer.
Many beer geeks eschew fruit beers as a matter of course. I say give it a
chance, whether you’re an experienced beer bon vivant or just an occasional
Bud drinker. You might just find this one surprising you.
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.