Oak Creek Brewing Co Hefeweizen
The brew of this evening was a pale wheat beer made in West Sedona, Arizona. Oak Creek Brewing Co’s Hefeweizen is a beautiful golden orange with a touch of haziness when poured from the bottle. The head is light and dissipates after only a few minutes, but what little lacing is left behind while sipping holds to the glass like a champ, sparkling and refusing to let go. On a different note, this is probably my favorite of the three beers I have tried thus far, as the flavors seem to have a mind of their own.
Before we get to taste, however, I should mention the odd scent. While not completely out of the ordinary (it is beer, after all), it is nowhere near as bitter-smelling nor does it reek of hops and barley. Being made with 50% wheat, it is much lighter and the fermented grains give way to an undercurrent of bananas and cloves. The weirdest thing about this for me is that on my first glass, I had absolutely no whiff of bananas, though I did recognize something grassy. Only on my second glass a few hours later did I manage to pull out the banana scent…it’s a good thing you can’t get high off of sniffing beer, as I had my nose stuck in the glass for a good 3 or 4 minutes. Then, after a few sips and swishes over my tongue, I recognized the faintest hint of a sweet plantain at first contact, but found that it disappeared the second after it hit my taste buds. I tried a few more times to find the flavor, and the result was always the same. I suppose if I were insistent on drinking this beer for the banana taste, I would have to take a lot of quick sips and savor the half second of sweetness before trying again and again. Oh, and carbonation was spot on for the smoothness and airy richness; it really complimented the feeling.
My other favorite part about this particular beer, was that there was zero bitterness or sour aftertaste. Once it was down my throat, it was gone. No lingering around on my tongue waiting to be distracted by a bite of food or something salty, it was a quick wave of flavor and then disappeared, leaving my mouth ready for the next gulp. I suppose with it being so light as a whole, I am way more partial to it than I would be an ale or stout, but all the same, I did warn everyone that I might be focusing on the fairer brews.
In the long run, while I’m in Arizona, I will definitely be returning to the Oak Creek Hefeweizen. Next time, I hope to enjoy it in it’s home city of Sedona, and maybe even at the brewery itself so I can compare it on tap. This beer would be perfect with a light fluffy deli-style sandwich or any sort of snack food, you know, for those afternoon charades parties, before you have to focus on dinner and stronger alcohol.