Ah, watermelon ale. I do so love a good watermelon ale. They’re great for warm-weather imbibing; even better when it’s really hot out. The problem is that in all my beer travels I’ve really ever only found three of them out of the current 5317 different beers that I’ve sampled. The first two were the best and I tasted them back in New England: Boston Beer Works Watermelon Ale and Coddington Watermelon Ale, my favorite.
Problem is, I didn’t see another one until the early teens when I came across 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon, which did not impress me. So, when I heard about New Belgium Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Ale I was immediately on the lookout for it, and headed down to Stout’s Growlers when I noticed they had tapped a keg. New Belgium Heavy Melon is brewed with watermelons and limes, so it’s a little different than the others I’ve tried.
From the website:
Hot summer nights, jam out to the cooling waves of Heavy Melon Ale, our newest seasonal track. Brewed with juicy watermelon and zesty lime peel, this crushable ale rips with a blast of melon notes. Ripened fruit aromas of melon, papaya and citrus climax with an enticing aroma, and set up an invigorating wash of fruity sweetness, grassy bitterness and the slightest touch of tartness. Super crisp and refreshing from start to finish, Heavy Melon Ale shreds through the summer heat.
Ingredients from the website:
Yeast: Ale yeast
Malts: Pale and Caramel-80
Fruits/Spices: Watermelon and lime peel
New Belgium Heavy Melon has an alcohol content of 5% with 14 IBUs. I paid $15.50 for a growler at Stout’s; the beer sells for $8.99 a six-pack here in bottles.
New Belgium Heavy Melon Watermelon Lime Ale pours to a pale straw color with a thick creamy head formation and a soft melon and zesty lime rind nose. Taking a sip, the beer is very light up front in the malt department with just the faintest hint of biscuit malt. The watermelon comes forth shortly thereafter but it’s too faint for my taste; more like cucumber to me than watermelon. There is a hint of lime at the last and a gentle tartness from same with a soft bitter note.
The main problem here for me is there just isn’t enough watermelon flavor. We all know how refreshing an ice cold slice of watermelon can be on a really hot day; I’d like at least some of that flavor to come through here. As I said, I much prefer the examples brewed by Coddington or Boston Beer Works. Problem is, those are only really available at the brewpubs.
The search for a widely available delicious watermelon ale continues….
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.