Breckenridge Brewery – Agave Wheat

After going through quite a few different types of darker beer, I have decided that it was time to drink something a little more summery.  This past week I headed up to a store about 20 miles from my house: Corridor Wine and Spirits.  For some of you, that may be a little far to travel to pick up some beer, but I decided I wanted to do some reviews without having to pop open a 750 ml bottle.  Having heard that Corridor had some really good selection, and you could create your own six-pack, I decided that it would be worth the extra gas money to make a little trip north of DC.  While walking around Corridor I had to make some tough choices on what I wanted to actually purchase.  Having the fact that I would be reviewing on my mind, I had two major factors to consider.  First, I wanted to grab a few things that would have a little more summer feel to it.  Secondly, and really more importantly to me, I wanted to grab some beer that either contained interesting ingredients, or were just things I had never seen before.

One of the first beers I picked up was this Agave Wheat from Breckenridge Brewery.  I can’t say I am too familiar with what agave actually is; however, I do know it has one use: making tequila.  I was hoping that there would be some other uses for agave though, because to be quite honest, I hate tequila.  Thankfully, looking into some of the other uses for agave, I found that it can also be used as almost a sugarcane substitute.  So, even before tasting, I was expecting one of two big outcomes from this beer.  It could either be the strangest, harshest, most tequila based wheat ale I’ve ever had, or it could have an interesting sweet flavor to it based on the sugarcane possibilities.

In addition to this being the first beer I’ve ever had with agave in it, it is also the first beer I have ever had brewed by Breckenridge Brewery.  Just because the beer geek in me wouldn’t allow me to complete pass up a chance to learn more about this brewery, I had to look up a little bit of the history behind this place.  The short version of this brewery is that a guy, Richard Squire, decided to do the two things that he loved: ski and make beer.  His beer started to take off, and he was able to parley that into a full-time job.  It is pretty much the dream of every beer lover ever.

The Agave Wheat pours out a light golden hazy color.  It develops some nice hazy lacing of head on the top with the initial pour.  It does have that expected wheat smell to it, as well as, some very pleasant citrus smells that permeate the entire odor make up.  There is a little hint of pear and apples as well; however, I thought maybe it would have a little sweet smell to it based on my agave research.  It was not present, but I really don’t know if that was the intention of the agave either.  A nice little swirl of the glass does have the lace sticking nicely to the side of the glass. This is perhaps one of my favorite visual appeals.

On the first taste, I do get the light and summer feel I was expecting to get.  The light citrus feel comes through in the initial taste.  The wheat flavor follows you through the rest of the flavor; however I am slightly disappointed that I am not pulling more interesting flavors out of the beer.  With a name like “Agave Wheat”, this beer did stick out to me as something unique. But, in the tasting department,  I really don’t think that a whole lot sets it apart from the rest of the wheat beers I have had out there.  I think I may pull out a slight flavor in the end that is a hint of the agave.  However, I was a little more hopeful of something more before the actual tasting.

I feel like there needs to be a little more carbonation to this beer as well.  It does have a light and refreshing feel to it, but it just seems to be lacking something.  It definitely finishes quickly and gives you a quick refreshing feel; however, I think that quick ending leaving something lacking.  It almost leaves me with a slightly unexpected bitter feel in the end.

I bought six different beers the other day all with very high hopes.  I also started with this particular beer because it caught my eye the most.  In the end I may have set my hopes a little too high.  I think throwing a slight ingredient in there to call your beer something a little more unique backfires in this instance.  All in all, I could imagine grabbing this beer for easy drinking. It would be something to sit down with and not really think about, but in the long run, it really isn’t one I would recommend to someone who is looking to sit down and enjoy an excellent and unique wheat beer. I’m not giving up on Breckenridge just yet, but I hope some of their brews in the future are slightly more enjoyable than this one.

Teacher Grade: C-

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