Citrus added to beer can taste good, be refreshing, and help you get your vitamin C. Citrus can also ruin the experience of drinking a beer. For the most part, wheats are more delicate than other beers especially in their floral (hoppy) aspects, unless you are drinking Gumballhead by Three Floyds or another anomaly among wheats. So, when you add lemon, orange, or Sardinian bush fruit (whatever you might add) it automatically renders delicacies in the beer void. Let me explain myself by way of my own experience.
I was enjoying a night on the town, when I was surrounded by nothing but average beer. Then I saw a bright spot on the menu (of course, bright is relative when you are dealing with black holes among the beer world). I saw Shock Top wheat, an Anheuser-Busch product, which I don’t enjoy too much in the bottle but have often really enjoyed on tap (there is a difference). I proceeded to order this grainy and wheaty beer, looking forward to its nice flavors.
“Wait…what is that floating in the glass?” I thought. ”Could it be…yes, it is.”
A lemon was floating atop my beer. I politely drank the beer and asked for the next one to be without lemon. Apparently the server had become so used to people ordering the beer with a lemon that it was almost counter-intuative not to put it in there. And even Anheuser-Busch doesn’t deserve that.
Yes, I know you feel fancy when that lemon comes in the glass. Yes, I know people look at you and see what exotic beer taste you have. Yes, I know your tastes look descriminating when you put a lemon in your wheat beer or Corona. But please, please, please…taste the beer first. If the brewer meant to have lemon in the beer, he/she would have included it in the recipe or given a coupon for a free bag of lemons with a case. Don’t ruin it for all by automatically putting lemon in your beer before even trying it. If it takes a lemon to make you like the beer, maybe you don’t like the beer. Who knows: maybe its lemonade you like and not beer. Maybe you like hard lemonade. Maybe your a rare species of human lemon weeble whose insatiable thirst for lemons will push our planet to the brink of extinction. Or, worst of all, maybe you don’t like the taste of beer.
In case this upset anyone, that is how diatribe and hyperbole work. In other words, I’m overstating the case to make a point, which is: at least try a beer before you put anything in it. I myself have even been known to drop a lemon, orange, or lime in a beer. Let’s face it, citrus can be very refreshing. However, to sound like the late John Lennon, “All we are saying, is give beer a chance!”