I’d like to talk a bit about something that’s a little sideways from what we think about beer, namely beer aberrations.  I don’t mean something that’s strayed from a style, but rather strayed from it’s application.  Beer cocktails, beer sauces, beer foods, basically any use of beer that isn’t in a glass and into your mouth.  From improving a cruddy macro-brew with a hit of juice to make a shandy, to highlighting some of the unique flavors in a good craft beer with an herbal liqueur, beer cocktails are an area that has almost limitless depth.  And while beer in food may not really be for everyone, let’s not forget the simple beer bratwurst.  By the way, a good and hoppy ale in while cooking up the mix for a Shepard’s Pie is my secret ingredient and surefire converter for beer-purists.
Why do I bring this up?  The it came up when talking about the innate connection between beer and bread.  Water, yeast, some kinda starch, and you’ve got one or the other.  Some beers may even be more closely related by using wheat as part of the starches.  Wheat beer, the missing link between bread and beer, sorta.

A little beer history for you all, before we delve in.  I’m sure you’ve noticed a common prefix or suffix to many beers is the term “weiss”, “weizen” or “whit”, usually on a pale ale style.  Well, linguistically it has a double meaning.  Sometimes it refers to the color as a “white beer”, and other times it’s referring to a content of wheat in the brew.  The etymological roots of both are actually the same!  Or rather, it’s likely that a long long LOOONG time ago, milled wheat was just kind of called “white stuff”.  Makes sense enough.  The only real difference is that the Belgian style brewed with citrus and coriander, sometimes “weiss” or “weizen” more often called “witbier”, like Hoegaarden.  Alternatively, sometimes called “witbier” but more often called “weiss” or “weizen”, there is a traditionally German style of using as much or more (usually malted) wheat.

The Americano Wheat beer from Guadalupe Brewing Co. is true to it’s name in that it is very “American”.  Even right from the nose, you can expect some classically American hop-profiles.  Citrus, a bit of resinous scent, of course backed by the bready wheat.  The first note you get in the taste is even more of that citrusy hop flavor, but much more complex.  There’s a bit of a lemony tang, some oily orange, even a bit of grapefruit dry bitterness.  A wonderful example of good ol’ American hops.  The resinous note from the nose isn’t so much gone as it is transformed into some of the earthier bitter citrus, which I’m pretty alright with.  The wheat itself is there as much as wheat can be.  It never really  acts as a leader, more kind of subbing in or playing along with a subtle malt profile.  The malt in this, by the way, does just that.  Overall, Americano wheat is a good example of an American wheat beer.  It’s extremely refreshing and sessionable, perfect for an “everyday” kind of after-work refresher.