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.