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:
I thought that, despite it’s overall lack of flavor or complexity, the Coastal Wheat was fairly refreshing and might make a nice summer beer.
The real tragedy is being forced to purchase this beer and the Cranberry Lambic if you want to drink two of Sam Adam’s quality holiday beers, the Holiday Porter and Old Fezziwig.
That’s why I called it a lawnmower beer. I think it is refreshing just not that great. The cran lambic is hated by almost everyone I know. I also agree about the two that you named. Hands down the best ones in the holiday pack.
Thanks for the info. I’ll avoid it.
February 2nd, 2010 at 9:22 am
Try it if you want but I don’t like it.
I’m with you on american wheats being entirely boring. I had Abita’s (not a huge abita fan to begin with) last weekend and snoozed through it. In all honest, I think bud light’s wheat was better (more on that later).
I actually almost picked up the SA Coastal the other day when i was at the grocery store–a place where SA is as crafty as it gets–but decided a six pack was too big of a risk. I’ll search out a single.
My girlfriend and I bought a six-pack of Coastal Wheat last weekend and each only drank one b/c it was so bad. We were incredibly disappointed in how flavorless it was. We might as well have been drinking a low calorie beer. I love Sam Adams beer, but this fell well short. I even sent an email to Sam Adams, explaining how disappointed I was. I’m interested to see if they’ll respond.
I’ve honestly not had a wheat beer by them that I’ve truly enjoyed. The do some okay stuff but it’s just not up to par. My personal feelings are that American wheats fall short in general.
You read my thoughts on this one…it’s nice to see that some people agree. Thanks for commenting, we hope to see you again.
Well I bought a variety 12-pack, and I know I have not tried many beers, but I thought the coastal beer was one of the best I have ever had (but I am only 21). I was extremely impressed, especially with the lemon flavor. I am going to school in Chicago, so the wheat beer here is 312, and this did not have as much wheat taste as that one. But I really liked the lemon. I really like Sam Adams, anything else that has that lemon flavor?
Thank you so much for the comment. This is a good reminder that, for people starting out, this is a decent beer. I’m always re-oriented by comments like yours because they help me to remember that there is a whole group of people out there just now starting their beer journey and that they are not drinking Natty Light (etc).
312, and most stuff by Goose Island, is pretty good. I’m from Indy myself so I’ve had the 312 many times. Thanks for taking the time to respond to the post and tell us a bit about your beer story and yourself. If you gravitate toward the lemon flavors and already like Sam Adams, I’d recommend trying their Summer Ale. Also, Hoegaarden, which is a classic and wonderful Wit beer is something I think you’d love (based on what you’ve told me). Maybe some of the other folks who get on here could recommend a few more.
Glad to see you are expanding your horizons and wanting to try more stuff. Please stop by the site any time.
Oh, I have a different take, alright. This is my FAVORITE beer out there. Come on, this is nowhere near the gross-out you describe. And I like many different beer types (Old Peculier is another favorite of mine), but I just have to give my defense of Coastal Wheat. It’s totally delicious, all the time. I could understand if you were railing against, say, Newcastle. That stuff has very poor quality control. Twice I bought SPOILED bottles of the stuff – in different states. Yuck. Anyway, besides all that, thanks for the tip on Goose Island Summer Ale. I’d like to give it a try.