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Wolaver’s Wildflower Wheat: Don’t tell them it’s Organic

July 16, 2011

Organic.  The mere mention of the word and people run screaming, or at least roll their eyes as they mockingly gag themselves. But, if nothing else will convince the people that organic products are not missing something fundamental and disgusting as a result, this beer should.

Wolaver’s Organic Wildflower Wheat: Made with 100% organic hops and malts in Middlebury, Vermont by a subsidiary of Otter Creek Brewing Company named Wolaver’s Organic Brewing.  Wolaver’s actually made history when it was founded in 1997 as the first certified organic brewery in United States.

Wolaver’s mission: “Our brewery is dedicated to brewing great tasting beers, supporting sustainable agriculture, and minimizing our impact on the environment.”  Although their website is under construction at the moment, you can still check out what’s going on with Wolaver’s on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @Wolavers.  [My Twitter handle is @MaggleRocks if you’re into the whole tweeting thing!]

Wolaver’s offers a year-round lineup of organic ales including India Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout, and Brown Ale.  In the Fall they offer a Pumpkin Ale made with local, organic pumpkins; Winter brings the roasty-toasty Alta Gracia Coffee Porter.

The Wildflower Wheat–an unfiltered wheat ale brewed with chamomile flowers–is their Spring seasonal which carries on through the Summer.  (Organic) Vermont honey leaps out of the bottle at you first thing. But don’t be afraid!  The honey in this brew is incredibly well-integrated with its other characteristics. Honey jumps out at first, then takes a backseat to floral, yeasty, wheatiness only to pop back out in the finish and wrap things up in a neat little honey-drop package.

The honey seems to work so well here partially because of the yeast-dominant nature of the wheat ale but also because of the earthiness of the chamomile which balance it perfectly.  The mouthfeel is incredibly soft and smooth, reflecting the somewhat silky or emollient nature of honey, without its heft. This brew pretty much feels like honey, smells like honey, and tastes like honey yet, somehow, is not overtly sweet!

Add to the honeyed floral aspects some delightful spiciness…Clove spice? Perhaps more like cardamom. Complexity and unique (delicious) flavor abound. Hay on the finish brings up fond childhood memories (that may or may not belong to you?) of a barn in the summertime.

In my opinion, although this may not the beer to slug with your next pizza or burger, this is a beautiful sunny summer day sipper. Light and refreshing, crisp and clean.  Not much hop flavor to speak of in this American wheat, but hop domination is not needed here.  Get your hands on this soft summer wonder while it’s still in season and you won’t regret it.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. July 16, 2011 9:12 pm

    You beat me to it! Such a good beer. I got a little cinnamon flavor in the background too. I like that Wolaver’s is one of the few breweries that rocks the USDA organic label like its going out of style.

  2. Maggie permalink
    July 20, 2011 10:19 pm

    I was afraid to say baking spice, but yeah, I see cinnamon in the back too.
    And yes, I’m very glad Wolaver’s is proud to be organic!

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