Over Christmas time, I drank Samuel Adam’s Coastal Wheat. I can’t understand why they can’t make a good normal wheat beer. (By the way, I really like their Imperial White so I know they can make a decent beer using wheat.) Of course, my criticism is more endemic of American wheats than Sam Adams in particular. In fact, Sam Adams makes some very good beers. I find many of the U.S. versions totally uninteresting when compared to their German or Belgian counterparts. So, let me iterate that I’m tipping my hand by telling you this, and it affects how I drink and understand American wheat beers. At any rate, I don’t think much of this beer even among many of its U.S. counterparts. Here it is.
The Pour: The pour might have been the best part. It was a pale lemon color with a hazy, active body. The head stayed fairly well also. In the glass, things seemed just fine.
The Nose: Powdery yeast and a touch of lemon citrus were noticeable, with some grains on the nose as well. Hints of yeast malts popped through, but beyond that, a touch of sweetness was about all there was to Coastal Wheat
The Taste: A sweet, lemony quality was probably the most up-front attribute. Touches of malt and a grainy finish with a hint of hop and wheat spiciness ran through razor fast. A bite of lemon peel flavor and bitterness made a quick appearance. That’s about it. None of the interesting cloves or bananas that are associated with the classic German yeast strains were present at all.
Overall, I found the beer rather characterless and insipid. It was terrible for what it was, just entirely uninteresting. Perhaps it would be a good beer after mowing the grass, but I’d still go elsewhere. Better than the really big brewers?…yes. Best choice for an American or German wheat?…not even close. Pick it up and see for yourself. Maybe you’ll have a different take.
Among other Wheat Ales: