Do they have alligators in Germany? They do not, at least not naturally habituating ones. Alligators are native only to America and China according to Wikipedia. Alligators are very common in Louisiana, however, hence the name of one of the more popular beers in the lineup of the Abita Brewing Company: Andygator, a pale doppelbock. Alligator, after all, ends in –ator, the suffix of most German doppelbocks.
A pale doppelbock with a name boasting local flair might be enough of a feat for most breweries, but not for Abita. No, Abita decided to have some more fun with Andygator by mixing it with another local favorite: Abita Strawberry Harvest Lager. That beer is made with whole Louisiana strawberries, an ingredient that would never make into a doppelbock in Germany, but that works quite well as we shall soon see.
Abita says of Strawgator:
Abita Strawgator™ is the fusion of Strawberry Harvest Lager sweetness with the bite of Andygator. This golden lager is made with malted barley and wheat. It is hopped with German Perle hops for a delicate hop flavor. After filtration, generous amounts of fresh Louisiana strawberry juice are added, giving the beer a pleasant sweet taste and aroma, as well as a rich golden color and slight cloudiness.
Abita Strawgator has an alcohol content of 8% by volume with 27 IBUs. I paid $7 for a full mug pour at Taco Mac and $7.99 for a 22-ounce bomber bottle. Amazingly, this is another of those beers that are actually cheaper on tap than in the bottle. Abita suggests it as a dessert beer, paired with fruit or cheese perhaps, and I can see that working well.
My mug of Abita Strawgator arrived a murky orange caramel color with a thick head of foam and a nose like a caramel apple if you used a strawberry instead of an apple. Taking a sip I find the beer a little buttery and toasty up front, then lots of bright strawberry flavor. In many ways, Strawgator reminds me of an Aldi Fruits of the Forest Strudel, imported from Germany. The beer is not cloying, though, and warming alcohol dries in the finish.
All in all, I found this to be a very interesting and delicious brew, more a fruit beer I think than a doppelbock but definitely a well-executed treat no matter how you pour it.
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.