Cloudy beer scares most North Americans.
Why? Who knows. Maybe folks here are so used to micro-filtered megabrews that they can’t fathom beers you can’t see through. Even wheat beers, a category where all sorts of amazing beers are murky with yeasty goodness, are often pressed through a filter before they’re bottled. Note Big Rock’s Grasshopper, a refreshing wheat beer that’s clear and, therefore, less threatening.
And so it’s refreshing to see that Wild Rose Brewery’s Velvet Fog celebrates its lack of clarity; the package even refers to it as “the unclear choice of discerning beer drinkers.” Nice. The box also has practical advice on how to swirl and pour a Velvet Fog correctly.
The Pitch: “A special blend of 50% wheat malt and 50% barley gives this unique unfiltered ale a distinctive hazy, golden colour and a fresh tangy character.”
The Look: The packaging is a standard Canadian longneck, with a pretty Wild Rose label. The beer itself pours a hazy pale golden yellow, topped with a bit of foam that doesn’t stick around for ages.
The Taste: The aroma is lightly yeasty with clean citrus. The flavours are dusty and tart with some yeast, ending in a dry finish. There’s some shredded wheat, but not a lot of other big wheat-beer notes like banana or clove. The body is smooth and silky, with a thick, perfect-for-sipping texture. It’s not a stand-out beer, but it’s refreshing. I might try it with a wedge of lemon, a la Grasshopper.
Pairs With: A spicy stir-fry with fresh peppers, celery and a sweet sauce. Singapore noodles with curry sauce. Satay.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $13.49 for a six-pack of 341 mL bottles at DeVine Wines in Edmonton.
Value for cash money: Not bad.
Nutrition?: It’s beer.
Beerish power: 4.5% a.b.v.
The verdict: Good. Not amazing, but good. The body is more impressive than the flavour.
Must, really Must try more of the Wild Rose beers! Quite enjoyed the Alberta Crude Oatmeal Stout on tap at The Sugarbowl. Have one bottle of a six-pack of Yukon Brewing;s Midnight Sun Espresso Stout left. After that-oh & the Trois Pistoles-then it’s Wild Rose time…although some of the Yukon beers look inviting.
Particularly the Ice Fog IPA & Deadman Creek Cranberry Wheat.