In honor of the Colorado Department of Tourism's decision to extend the deadline for its "Snow-Less" contest, a search for those who have never experienced snow, we've picked a beer from the Rockies to review this week.
But like we feel about the contest, which somehow assumes warm-blooded people will be desperate to bury themselves in tiny ice crystals (skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding) for three months, we found Breckenridge Brewery's Agave Wheat a bit puzzling.
The first sip yielded more carbonation than flavor, and it took the beer warming up and going half flat to change that. Wheat beers are known for their full, creamy mouth feel. But this variety tasted thin, sharp. Sampling some agave from the pantry didn't help us find that flavor in the glass, either. Of course, the cactus nectar is just a sweetener, which would turn to alcohol when fermented, but the alcohol by volume for this beer is less than a Blue Moon, that commercial standard for wheat beers. As we said, puzzled.
But for all the easy jokes about a half-cocked contest, Colorado is majestic, and it's hard to see why people need enticement to go (the state will now allow entries from those who "can commit to [visiting] for as short as two weeks"). Similarly, neither Breckenridge Brewery nor this particular beer is bad. Their seasonal Scottish Ale is among the best we've quaffed (if that verb can sound positive).
This would simply be a better beer in August. And if you like crisp, light brews, or if St. Arnold's wheat variety is too mellow or too sweet for you, this might be up your alley.
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If you want to try Agave Wheat yourself, visit Kroger, Central Market or H-E-B (where we got it on sale for $7.99). And if you want those three free months at 10,000 feet, post your video on www.snowatfirstsight.com by Friday.