Great White BeerNovember 1, 2001 Eureka, CA
Lost Coast Brewery
Available: CA, MN, NC, NM, OR, PA, WA
This American version of a Belgian white (wit) beer is unfiltered.The brewers at Lost Coast credit the quality of their ales to the cool maritime climate of Humboldt Bay, where the year-round average temperature of 55°F is ideal for top-fermenting ale yeast.
This beer has good color and very pleasant aromatics with coriander and spice apparent, which follows on to the palate as not-quite-so-coriander-ish, but fading to a spicy finish. There are also citrus-y undertones, but these are credited to Humboldt (County, California) herbs and not to orange zest as is common and expected in this beer type. The difference is noticeable and a very interesting variant on the white beer style. Pleasing, but there is a slight hint of bitterness, lurking back there, that comes off as just a wee bit disturbing. Very refreshing, nevertheless.
- Fred Eckhardt
The beer is golden and hazy, bringing up a tight white head. The aroma is sweet, reminiscent of oranges and chamomile. On the palate, the beer is well balanced, with sweet malt playing against light hopping. It finishes cleanly, with a citric flourish in the aftertaste. This is a very nice beer, though it doesn’t have the very pale color and vaguely pasta-like flavor of a beer made with 50 percent unmalted wheat. So it’s not entirely traditional, but it is very tasty. It would be absolutely great with spicy grilled shrimp or tandoori chicken.
- Garrett Oliver
The label shows a white shark, presumably in Humboldt Bay. I was expecting a bear, from the Redwood Forest. A fairytale bear might enjoy this sweetish interpretation of a Belgian “white” wheat beer. Fresh lemon-curd aroma and palate. Very citric indeed. Creamy Fine yeast haze. Fine bead. Smooth, lightly dry, finish, with some herbal notes. “Secret blend of Humboldt herbs,” according to the label. The same smooth, sweetish, house character as in this brewery’s Downtown Brown. The brewery is in Eureka, Northern California as well.
- Michael Jackson
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
Internationally recognized brewer and expert on traditional beer, Garrett Oliver is the brewmaster of the Brooklyn Brewery and the author of The Brewmaster's Table.
Author of Ultimate Beer, the Simon & Schuster Guide to Beer and numerous other works on drinks, Michael Jackson has created legions of converts to fine beer.